Title page for ETD etd-11042011-105812

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Pollara, Pamela Christine
URN etd-11042011-105812
Title Mobile Learning in Higher Education: A Glimpse and a Comparison of Student and Faculty Readiness, Attitudes and Perceptions
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Theory, Policy, & Practice
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kennedy, Eugene Committee Co-Chair
Lou, Yiping Committee Co-Chair
Arbuthnot, Keena Committee Member
Marks, Loren Committee Member
Bodie, Graham Dean's Representative
  • e-learning
  • distance learning
  • educational technology
  • mobile learning
  • smartphones
  • mobile devices
Date of Defense 2011-10-21
Availability unrestricted
Through the advancement of mobile technology and their increasing affordability, mobile devices have transformed from a means of communication to tools for socialization, entertainment, work, and learning.

The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to investigate how undergraduate students are using mobile devices for learning both inside and outside the classroom and how actual student use compares to faculty perceptions of student use. Faculty and student perceptions regarding the impact that the use of mobile devices would have on student learning, participation and engagement were also examined. Finally, the study explored the potential for adoption of mobile device use in the classroom. Data were collected through a survey administered to university faculty and undergraduate students and through interviews conducted with representative samples from both groups.

Results suggest that faculty perceptions about student use do not match actual student use of mobile devices. While faculty believe students are primarily using mobile devices to socialize, students report that they are performing a wide variety of educational tasks. Although some instructors ban the use of mobile devices in the classroom and prefer mobile learning to remain outside the classroom, students believe that a more formal use both inside and outside the classroom could be beneficial. Students seem more ready to adopt the use of mobile devices for learning while faculty are concerned that devices may be distracting and limiting.

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