The effects of mobile devices on student learning in a new zealand-based university preparation course: a case study

Saavedra, Emily Kate (2018) The effects of mobile devices on student learning in a new zealand-based university preparation course: a case study. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Abstract

Activity Theory provides the theoretical framework underpinning this qualitative exploration into the effects of mobile devices on student learning within the context of a New Zealand-based, university preparation course. Situated within a constructivist paradigm, this thesis presents student and teacher perspectives in relation to four research questions.

The first research question focuses on how students, within a blended mode, university preparation course based in New Zealand, use their mobile devices in relation to learning. The second research question aims to identify factors that influence the use of mobile devices, while the third research question investigates if any value is added to learning and teaching practices when using mobile devices. The final research question explores any challenges associated with the use of mobile devices within this academic context.

Key findings identified that students in this study use mobile devices to support their learning by exploiting tools accessible on their devices to complete course-related tasks. They also use mobile devices to access lexical support, maintain social connections and manage workflows. Factors that positively influenced mobile device usage in the pre-degree context included pedagogical approaches, teacher influence, task completion and social influences. However, not all influences were positive. Students’ perception that their attention spans were shortening and a lack of technical proficiency were factors that negatively impacted on learning.

Other key findings indicated that value was seen to be added when mobile devices were used appropriately within this pre-degree context. Value was notably added with regard to the facilitation of collaborative, supportive and personalised learning through the convenience of instant access and increased connectivity. However, with the prevalence of mobile devices within the classroom, there were aspects that were challenging and presented as contradictions within the Activity Theory framework. These challenges consisted of distractions and difficulty in maintaining focus on tasks. The use of mobile devices by classmates was also found to have a negative effect on those around them.

This thesis concludes by outlining areas where noteworthy contributions to theoretical, methodological and practical knowledge have been made. It contributes to the growing body of literature by exploring the use of mobile devices within the pre-degree context and identifying potential areas of future study. By embarking on these areas of investigation to understand the effects of mobile devices on student learning, educators and other stakeholders will have a clearer idea of ways in which the capabilities inherent in mobile devices can be harnessed to best support student learning.


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Education thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education (1 Jul 2013 - 30 Jun 2019)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education (1 Jul 2013 - 30 Jun 2019)
Supervisors: van Rensburg, Henriette; Midgley, Warren
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2018 03:14
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2019 05:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: mobile devices, predegree, foundation, technology, education, challenges
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0805 Distributed Computing > 080502 Mobile Technologies
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130101 Continuing and Community Education
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.26192/5c0dda70f69de
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34914

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