DHET Personal Mobile Device Project (2015-2017)

The Personal Mobile Device Project (PMD) was commissioned by the Department of Higher Education and Training to investigate whether the financial investment of a personal mobile device (PMD), whether on the part of a university or of students themselves, adds value to the T&L experience. The main aim of the project was to better understand how access to PMDs enables greater flexibility and effectiveness of teaching and learning in the HE Sector both in and outside the classroom.

Some of the major research questions for the PMD project were:

  • In what ways are students able to integrate PMDs into their learning?
  • In what ways do PMDs introduce a positive or negative dimension into the ways students organise and implement their learning?
  • In what ways are academic staff able to integrate universal student access to PMDs into the ways they facilitate students learning? What are the needs of staff and learning environment in this respect?
  • Do staff experience any disruption or interference in their facilitation of student learning by universal access to PMDs?

Institutional Collaboration

There are various institutions across South Africa who have embraced the use of mobile devices in teaching and learning, some of which were collaborators on the PMD Project. These institutions include:

  • The Sol Plaatje University
  • The University of Cape Town
  • The University of Free State
  • The University of Johannesburg
  • The University of Witwatersrand

This project examined ways of enhancing blended and e-learning approaches through enabling personal mobile device access to technology both in and outside the classroom. It explored synergies and research agendas across a number of universities where one to one personal ICT access is enable. The collaboration functioned as a cross-institutional research and evaluation project.


The results of this research project were announced at a symposium held on 21 November at the Sports Science Centre in Cape Town. For more details, visit the symposium page at: http://www.cilt.uct.ac.za/cilt/news/does-use-personal-mobile-devices-aid-teaching-and-learning