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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Changing Mobile Learning Practices: A Multiyear Study 2012–2016 | EDUCAUSE Review

Student surveys on mobile technology usage highlight a need for better mobile integration in coursework and institutional strategy.


"Since the first iPhone was invented in 2007, mobile devices have progressed from a convenience in our daily lives to a necessity" says


In higher education, the use of mobile technologies in learning has also increased rapidly over that 10-year period.1 Given mobile's changing nature and affordances, however, it is still unclear how to best integrate the technology into both coursework and institutional strategy. 

At the University of Central Florida (UCF), we conducted online surveys in 2012, 2014, and 2016 to gather student perspectives on mobile learning at the university. Our goal was to get an overview of students' mobile device ownership and learning activities over time and understand related trends. This article compares the results of the 2016 survey to the previous two surveys and addresses three research questions: 
  1. What types of mobile devices do students use, and how has device ownership changed over time?
  2. How do students use mobile devices and apps, and how has that usage changed over time?
  3. What are students' beliefs about mobile usage, and how have those beliefs changed over time?

Mobile Technology and Education 
According to the ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2017, 95 percent of undergraduate students own a laptop or a smartphone and 30 percent own a laptop, a smartphone, and a tablet.2 Mobile technology's high ownership has translated into increased usage to support student learning; this is particularly true with smartphones, which are conducive to agile tasks such as communication, easy information access, and photography.3

According to a recent survey, for example, 70–79 percent of University of Washington students reported using smartphones for academic purposes in at least one class.4 Other study results show that 78 percent of students consider their phones to be at least moderately important to their academic success,5 while 83 percent used a smartphone for course-related activities for one or more of their courses and 25 percent used a smartphone for all of their courses.6

Although usage for academic purposes has clearly increased, several challenges remain in implementing mobile technology in higher education. These challenges include a disconnect between student and instructor views of mobile technologies, a lack of pedagogical support or training for instructors, and a lack of effective technical support for mobile learning...

Next Steps 
Our mobile survey results offer a systematic view of mobile learning implementation and its implications for practice at UCF. Our hope is that it might also help other institutions promote and more systematically establish mobile learning practices of their own.

Among our short-term plans are to eliminate the disconnect between instructors and students through faculty training and pedagogical support. In addition to our stand-alone mobile training course, we intend to integrate learning concepts, such as universal design, into all training programs to help instructors design mobile-compatible online courses and assignments.

To support these mobile initiatives, UCF has created a new position, program director of mobile strategy, to focus on growth and awareness of mobile technologies.
Read more... 

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Source: EDUCAUSE Review


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