Digital Device Ownership and Learning Environment Preferences of Students in South Africa and Ghana

Simon-Peter Kafui AHETO
Johannes CRONJE

This paper explores differences in access to technology and configuration of preferences for learning environments among design students in two universities of technology in South Africa (ISA) and Ghana (IG). Laptops and Smartphones ownership influenced and supported design students’ learning. In IG, there was a 97% Laptop ownership as against 69% in ISA. IG does not have computer laboratories; hence Laptop ownership is a pre-requirement for Design programs. Oppositely, ISA has fourteen computer laboratories for Design programs. There is no statistically significant difference between male and female design students in their choice of learning environments for academic success. Design students are not enthusiastic about accessing library resources via handheld devices. Towards academic success, students ranked low, their institutions’ Learning Management Systems. We recommend a blended approach when designing learning environments for Design Education, while promoting the use of media platforms for content management due to device ownership among students.

KEYWORDS: Device ownership, design, design students, higher education, learning environment.