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The Use of Mobile Technology To Supplement Learning In and Out of The Classroom – 1

Efiko is a mobile quiz platform for secondary school students designed to stimulate and personalise the learning experience beyond the school environment. Since inception in 2012, the Efiko user base has grown to a little over twenty-seven thousand users, across 32 different states nationwide.

In 2013, in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation, a pilot was conducted in 3 states – Lagos, Bauchi and Jigawa. The purpose of the pilot was to assess the impact of mobile technology on education in Nigeria, with a view to identify the unique potentials and or challenges with its adoption.

This post is a first in the series of publishing insights from completing the pilot; the objectives of which were as follow:

  1. Can mobile technology be used to provide access to rich & engaging content to target audience beyond the limitations of schools and communities?
  2. How does the Efiko technology affect student learning outcomes as observed in score results and the average pass rate of students in intervention and non-intervention sites/schools?
  3. Can targeted incentives increase the uptake and outcome effect of Efiko?

In this post, we begin to address the first and second objectives, with a focus on Lagos state.*

Mode of Selection

5 Secondary Schools were selected in each of the participating states, with 50 students selected in each school. Selection was based on the following criteria:

Schools: with support from the Ministry of Education for each state, schools were selected based on gender, overall school performance in external examinations, with a priority given to schools in remote areas as well as serving low income neighbourhoods.

Students: working with supervising teachers, students with different performance grades (high performing, mid and low) were selected.

To aid the pilot, schools were provided with a solar mobile lab, built specifically to ensure devices were constantly powered, and to mitigate the challenge of access, by ensuring students would have ready use of devices when needed. Mobile phones were provided by the Efiko team, with support from Samsung Nigeria. The phones were topped up with data plans, for the exclusive use of students participating in the pilot to test themselves after classes.

Figures: General vs. Pilot

The figures below provide an overview of the figures as a background into the Efiko demographic.

charts

Effects of Efiko on Student Performance

The following is a comparative analysis, between the top 6 performing students on the 6 lowest performing students, contrasting their results before and during the pilot. Maths and English have been selected as they cut across the different disciplines.

Table 1.1 – Top performing students in Maths

1.1

 

Table 1.2 – Lowest performing students in Maths

1.2

 

Table 2.1 – Highest performing students in English

2.1

 

Table 2.2 – Lowest performing students in English

2.2

 

The top performing students in Maths had an average of a 12.5% increase in performance, while the 6 students with the lowest performance had an average of 18.4% increase in performance. On average, before the pilot, students with the lowest results had an average of 44.6ย marks, during the pilot however this rose to 52.8ย marks, pushing students closer to the minimum required pass mark.

For English Language, half of the sample from the top performing students experienced a decrease in performance, averaging 1.7%. Students who were in the top performing category, and who experienced an increase in performance did so by a 15.7% average. On the other hand, students who were in the lowest performing category had an average of a 13.9% increase in performance.

While the findings from this report are based solely on the data gathered from using Efiko, additional factors may indeed affect the performance of students, ranging from personal aptitude/motivation or factors related to family life.

The next release will explore the effects of play patterns, specifically frequency, time and duration of play, as well as patterns surrounding content engagement to identify the effects, if any on studentsโ€™ performance.

 

* As at when this report was published schools from Lagos state had the most comprehensive results from performance before and during the pilot.