Learners’ Perception on Security Issues in M-learning (Nigerian Universities Case Study)


  • Shaibu Adekunle Shonola University of Warwick
  • Mike S Joy University of Warwick
  • Shaibu Adekunle Shonola University of Warwick
  • Mike S. Joy Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick




mobile learning, m-learning, m-learning security, mobile device, handheld device, security issues


With the advent of modern technology, mobile phones and smartphones are used not only for calling and text messages but also for banking and social networking. Recent developments in technology have made the use of mobile devices feasible in other sectors such as education and government. While educators are using mobile devices as teaching aids, students are also using them as learning tools.  In some cases the developers of mobile learning in universities are making m-learning apps without serious consideration for security aspects whereas the handheld devices pose a serious threat to confidentiality, integrity and privacy of users including the learners. As a case study, this paper investigates the security concerns that students may have with the introduction of m-learning in higher education institutions in Nigeria and how this impacts on their learning. It examines the effects of security threats in m-learning on students and provides recommendations for alleviating these threats.

Photo credit: "Sysop actions of la cabale camembière - croped" by PierreSelim - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sysop_actions_of_la_cabale_camembi%C3%A8re_-_croped.jpg#mediaviewer/


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Shaibu Adekunle Shonola, University of Warwick

Department of Computer Science

PhD Student

Mike S Joy, University of Warwick

Department of Computer Science

Associate Professor (Reader)


Adedoja, G., Botha, A., and Ogunleye, O.S. (2012), ‘The Future of Mobile Learning in the Nigerian Education System’, IST-Africa 2012 Conference Proceedings Paul Cunningham and Miriam Cunningham (Eds) IIMC International Information Management Corporation, 2012.

Aderinoye, R.A., Ojokheta, K.O. and Olojede, A.A. (2007), ‘Integrating Mobile Learning into Nomadic Education Programmes in Nigeria: issues and perspectives’, International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 8(2), 44-52.

Alwi, N. M, and Ip-Shing, F (2009). ‘User’s Perception in Information Security Threats in E-Learning’, Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation. ICERI2009 Proceedings, Madrid, Spain. pp. 2345-52

Alzaza,N.S. and Yaakub, A.R (2011) ‘Students’ Awareness and Requirements of Mobile Learning Services in the Higher Education Environment’, American Journal of Economics and Business Administration, 3(1) 95-100

Boyinbode O. K. and Akinyede R. O.(2008) ‘Mobile Learning: An Application of Mobile and Wireless Technologies in Nigerian Learning System’, International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, 8-11.

Charlesworth, A (2009) ‘Code of Practice for the Further and Higher Education Sectors on the Data Protection Act 1998”, Tech. rep., JISC Legal, (2009)’ available online [http://www.jisclegal.ac.uk/Portals/12/Documents/PDFs/ DPACodeofpractice.pdf]. accessed 17 February 2014

Cisco, ‘Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2011–2016’, 14 February 2012, Available online http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/

ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-520862.html accessed 11June 2014

Dale, C. and Povey, G. (2009), ‘An Evaluation of Learner-Generated Content and Podcasting’ ,Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education. [Online] 8 (1) pp.117-123. Available from http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/hlst/documents/johlste/vol8no1/PP0214Format117to123.pdf accessed 20 April 2014

El-Hussein, M. O. M. and Cronje, J. C. (2010), ‘Defining Mobile Learning in the Higher Education Landscape’, Educational Technology & Society,13(3)12–21.

Graf. F (2002), ‘Providing security for eLearning’, Computers & Graphics, 26(2)355–65.

Hashemi, M., Azizinezhad, M., Najafi, V and Nesari A, J (2011). ‘What is Mobile Learning? Challenges and Capabilities’,Procedia Social and Science Behaviour, 30, 2477– 81

Kambourakis, G (2013), ‘Security and Privacy in m-learning and beyond: Challenges and state of the art’, International Journal of u- and e- services, Science and Technology, 3-6

Keegan, D. (2005). ‘The incorporation of mobile learning into mainstream education and training’. World Conference on Mobile Learning, Cape Town, October 2005.

Kukulska-Hulme, A., Sharples, M., Milrad, M., Arnedillo-Sánchez, I. and Vavoula, G.(2009), ‘Innovation in Mobile Learning: A European Perspective’ , International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning. 1(1)13-35.

Luminita, C. D.C. and Magdalena, C.I.N (2012), ‘E-learning Security Vulnerabilities’, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 2297 – 301

Osang, F.B., Ngole, J., Tsuma, C (2013), ‘Prospects and Challenges of Mobile Learning Implementation in Nigeria. Case Study National Open University of Nigeria NOUN’ International Conference on ICT for Africa 2013, February 20-23, Harare Zimbabwe

Obodoeze, F.C., Okoye, F.A., Mba, C.N., Asogwa, S.C. and Ozioko., F.E (2013), ‘A Holistic Mobile Security Framework for Nigeria’, International Journal of Innovative Technology an Exploring Engineering (IJITEE) , 2 (3)1-11

Rafiu, M.I, Kayode,S.A and Rapheal, T.O (2011), ‘Implementing Mobile-Learning in Nigeria Tertiary Educational System – A Feasibility Study, International Journal of Science and Advanced Technology 1(1)7

Razaque, A and Elleithy, K (2012), ‘Discovery of Malicious Attacks to Improve Mobile Collaborative Learning (MCL). International Journal of Computer Networks & Communications (IJCNC), 4(4).

Shonola, S.A & Joy, M.S. (2014), ‘Mobile learning security issues from lecturers’ perspectives (Nigerian Universities Case Study)’. In publication (2014).

Taleb, Z and Sohrabi, A. (2012), ‘Learning on the move: The use of mobile Technology to support learning for University Students’,Procedia Social and Science Behaviour, 69,1102 – 09.

Zamzuri, Z. F., Manaf, M., Yunus, Y., and Ahmad, A. (2013), ‘Student Perception on Security Requirement of e-Learning Services’, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences. 90, 923-30.

Mobile phone screen