Pacific Periscope

University to introduce ‘m-learning’ over mobile network

The Suva, Fiji headquartered University of the South Pacific (USP) has announced it will soon launch a kind of closed circuit mobile network to help keep teaching staff and students communicate better in the process of learning.

The proprietary mobile network intends to promote the ‘inclusive classroom concept’ at its largest campus in Laucala Bay, according to the Associate Dean of the university’s Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment, Dr Bibhya Nand Sharma, who announced the plans this week.

Dr Sharma said surveys and test trials showed students to be more attentive when approached through m-learning. The university plans to extend the scheme to its other campuses region wide after the Suva campus launch.

The technology used is CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) – which has been largely replaced by GSM technology around the world. CDMA systems do not need SIM cards and is suitable for closed systems like the USP plans to employ.

The university’s plans are ambitious and will be carried out over six phases. The service will launch with the Short Message Service (SMS) alerts and notification services to begin with.

Future services will include accessibility to other university facilities and accessing the internet through quotas. “This will expand student services via the university’s online learning management system making course databases accessible through the mobile web and use of SMS,” Dr Sharma said. The institution also plans to conduct assessments through SMS.