Skip to main content

Measuring Uptake and Engagement in an m-Learning Intervention: The Case of ChildConnect South Africa

Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC,volume 1192)

Abstract

ChildConnect is a messaging service which aims to use mobile learning to support and educate parents and caregivers through an SMS curriculum of Early Childhood Development content. This paper reports on initial uptake and subsequent engagement with the ChildConnect messages. An experimental design was adopted where caregivers were randomly assigned to either a treatment or a control group. The uptake for ChildConnect from those targeted via public clinic data on pregnant women was 24%, this increased to 66% for secondary caregivers invited to join the service by a primary caregiver. Engagement was measured in terms of appetite, as well as in terms of response rates to both unincentivised and incentivised opportunities to engage. For both control and treatment groups there was clear appetite to receive more than three messages per week, with most (~78%) participants indicating that they would like to receive messages every day or every weekday. Three incentivised surveys (midline 1, midline 2 and endline) were completed by 72%, 70% and 69% of participants respectively. Between 25−55% of participants in the treatment group responded to unincentivised weekly ‘reply’ messages. Higher response rates were seen for the control group who received fewer messages and only fortnightly opportunities to reply.

Keywords

  • m-Learning
  • South Africa
  • Parenting programme
  • Evaluation
  • Early childhood
  • Feature phones

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-49932-7_8
  • Chapter length: 10 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   269.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-49932-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   349.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.

References

  1. Republic of South Africa. National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy. Government Printers: Pretoria, pp. 1–140 (2015). https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/201610/national-integrated-ecd-policy-web-version-final-01-08-2016a.pdf. Accessed 5 July 2019

  2. Britto, P.R., Ponguta, L.A., Reyes, C., Karnati, R.: A systematic review of parenting programmes for young children in low and middle income countries. UNICEF (2015)

    Google Scholar 

  3. McQuail, D. (ed.): SAGE Benchmarks in Communication: Mass Communication. SAGE Publication Ltd., London (2010). https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446262467

  4. Crompton, H.: A historical overview of mobile learning: toward learner-centered education. In: Berge, Z.L., Muilenburg, L.Y. (eds.) Handbook of Mobile Learning, pp. 3–14. Routledge, Florence (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  5. Shahrokhi, M., Kambayi, M.: The impact of mobile assisted language learning (MALL) on phrasal verbs of Iranian intermediate EFL students. In: Mentor, D. (ed.) Handbook of Research on Mobile Learning in Contemporary Classrooms. IGI-Global, Hershey (2016). https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-5225-0251-7

  6. Villanueva, K., Vaidya, J.: Transforming learning with mobile games: learning with mGames. In: Mentor, D. (ed.) Handbook of Research on Mobile Learning in Contemporary. IGI-Global, Hershey (2016). https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-5225-0251-7

  7. Murphy, F.: Community Engagement, Organization, and Development for Public Health Practice. Springer, New York (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Rodgers, A., Corbett, T., Bramley, D., Riddell, T., Wills, M., Lin, R.-B., Jones, M.: Do u smoke after txt? Results of a randomised trial of smoking cessation using mobile phone text messaging. Tob. Control 14, 255–261 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1136/tc.2005.011577

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  9. Wong, C., Fung, C., Siu, S., Lo, Y., Wong, K., Fong, D., Lam, C.: A short message service (SMS) intervention to prevent diabetes in Chinese professional drivers with pre-diabetes: a pilot single-blinded randomized controlled trial. Diab. Res. Clin. Pract. 102(3), 158–166 (2013)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  10. Crane, A., Smith, W.: Leveraging mobile technology for parental engagement in the early years: findings from the read to kids India pilot 2015–2017, WorldReader (2018)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Barron, P., Peter, J., LeFevre, A., Sebidi, J., Bekker, M., Allen, R., Parsons, A., Benjamin, P., Pillay, Y.: Mobile health messaging service and helpdesk for South African mothers (MomConnect): history, successes and challenges. BMJ Glob. Health 3(e000559) (2018). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000559

  12. Hlodan, O.: Mobile learning anytime, anywhere. BioScience 60(9), 682 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2010.60.9.4

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  13. Takahashi, D.: 7 surprising facts about open rates for push notifications (2016). https://venturebeat.com/2016/09/29/tapjoy-unveils-7-surprising-facts-about-who-opens-push-notifications/

  14. Chaffey, D.: E-commerce conversion rates. Smart Insights (2018). https://www.smartinsights.com/ecommerce/ecommerce-analytics/ecommerce-conversion-rates/

Download references

Acknowledgement

All three authors are affiliated to the University of Johannesburg. ChildConnect was sanctioned by the South African National Department of Health and funded by Innovation Edge. The technology partner was Praekelt.org, and the content design and evaluation research partner was Kelello, in collaboration with the Centre for Education Practice Research (CEPR), University of Johannesburg.

This research was funded by Innovation Edge, and undertaken by Kelello in collaboration with University of Johannesburg’s CEPR. We acknowledge the support and enabling environment created by Prof Henning through the South African Research Chair on the ‘Integration of Mathematics, Science and Languages in the Primary School’, funded by the National Research Fund (NRF), grant number 98573.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ingrid Mostert .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Mostert, I., Roberts, N., Plaatjies, LA. (2021). Measuring Uptake and Engagement in an m-Learning Intervention: The Case of ChildConnect South Africa. In: Auer, M.E., Tsiatsos, T. (eds) Internet of Things, Infrastructures and Mobile Applications. IMCL 2019. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 1192. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-49932-7_8

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-49932-7_8

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-49931-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-49932-7

  • eBook Packages: EngineeringEngineering (R0)