Exploring the mobile learning needs amongst performing arts students

Publication Date29 Apr 2020
AuthorKen Yiu Kwan Fan,Patrick Lo,Kevin K.W. Ho,Stuart So,Dickson K.W. Chiu,Eddie H.T. Ko
SubjectLibrary & information science,Library & information services,Lending,Document delivery,Collection building & management,Stock revision,Consortia
Exploring the mobile learning needs
amongst performing arts students
Ken Yiu Kwan Fan and Patrick Lo
Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Kevin K.W. Ho
School of Business and Public Administration, University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam, and
Stuart So, Dickson K.W. Chiu and Eddie H.T. Ko
Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Purpose This paper aims to study the information needs and online information-seeking behaviors on mobile platforms of performing arts
students at a college level.
Design/methodology/approach Survey instruments were used to collect data from performing arts students at the Hong Kong Academy of
Performing Arts (HKAPA), a metropolitans major performing arts tertiary institution. Data collected were analyzed through descriptive statistics and
other statistical methods, and the music-related students were compared with the production-related students.
Findings The result reveals that performing arts students all owned their mobile devices and often used mobile apps for non-academic purposes,
but they did not often use mobile library services or read online academic contents with their mobile device s. The participants considered inadequate
signal coverage, slow loading time, difculty in reading on a mobile device and the lack of specialized mobile apps as more signicant ba rriers
affecting their usage. There are some signicant differences between the music-related and production-related student groups in that music-related
students watched lectures on the library websites and used electronic music scores more often than the production-related students.
Practical implications This study contributes to the input for enhancements and policies to future mobile services and facilities of performing art
Originality/value There have been scant studies on the mobile learning needs of performing arts students, especially in Asia.
Keywords Information needs, Mobile devices, Quantitative survey, Online information-seeking behavior, Performance arts college students,
Performing arts libraries
Paper type Research paper
The use of smartphones and mobile technologies in academia
has been well received and recorded (Krishnan, 2011).
However, the information needs and behavior amongst
performing arts studentsare likely to be different from students
in conventional disciplines because of the differences in their
curricula, i.e. arts and sciences vs performing arts (Clark,
2013). Prior research (Thelwall et al.,2003;Ho, 2014) has
already pointed out that different academic disciplines would
face a different level of impact in the online environment, and
we can anticipate this situation to be more severe in the mobile
learning environment. Thus, more studies have been
conducted to investigate the information needs for non-
conventional disciplines,such as art and design (Lo et al., 2016;
Chen et al., 2018) and nursing (Lu et al., 2008). As far as we
know, there are scant research studiesin the information needs
of performing arts students.Therefore, we explore this through
a questionnaire survey at the Hong Kong Academy for
Performing Arts (HKAPA), which lls up an important
research gap in the mobile device adoption by performing arts
students, especiallyin the Asian regions.
Founded in 1984, the HKAPA is a tertiaryinstitute offering
professional studies in performing arts in Hong Kong.
It provides studio practice-based certications, including
professional diploma, advanced diploma, undergraduate and
postgraduate programs in various areas such as the Chinese
opera, dance, drama,lm and television, music and theatre and
entertainment arts (Choa, 2007). The HKAPA has a group of
libraries, i.e. Academy Library, Film and Television Library
and Music Library (the HKAPALibraries), offering collections
of traditional academic libraries and numerous collections of
performing scores, plays, motion pictures, audio recordings
and videos in both physical and electronic forms for supporting
the teaching and learning in the HKAPA. As such, the
operation of the APA Libraries is quite different from
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald
Insight at: https://www.emerald.com/insight/2398-6247.htm
Information Discovery and Delivery
48/2 (2020) 103112
© Emerald Publishing Limited [ISSN 2398-6247]
[DOI 10.1108/IDD-12-2019-0085]
This project is supported by the Faculty Research Fund, Faculty of
Education, The University of Hong Kong.
Received 10 December 2019
Revised 7 February 2020
8 March 2020
Accepted 15 March 2020

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