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Title: Smartphones for online study : effects on learning and engagement
Author: Miller, B.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2018
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Online classrooms and online learning have proliferated as smartphones have become ubiquitous. The combination of developments relating to the efficacy of online learning and the use of smartphone as tools to gather and process information have raised questions about the impact of smartphones on higher education. Smartphones have become more and more a part of our daily lives. The smartphone has been an especially critical component of the lives of teenagers and young adults. It is as important to have a smartphone as it once was to get a driver's license. In the United States, the Department of Education brought forth a motion that allowed children to bring their devices in to schools. Many of the officials had no doubt in their minds that this would facilitate effective learning. Past research indicates that students are willing to embrace the use of smartphones in their learning. Based on current statistics, even economically disadvantaged students are able to access smartphones, though they may not have access to other gadgets such as laptops and Internet connections at their homes. According to scholarly literature, smartphones become a tool for learning the moment they are used to take pictures as notes and record videos when conducting interviews. Smartphones also have many other qualities that make them useful for learning: connectivity, portability, interactivity, and individuality. This study investigated differences in the way students approach online learning, comparing those who use smartphones, rather than mobile devices more generally, to access their online classroom and students who use more traditional tools, such as desktop and laptop computers, to access their online classroom. This study used a mixed-methods research design to investigate the use of smartphones and their effect on learning behaviors and engagement in online education at a regionally accredited US institution. The study examined quantitative aggregate and latent qualitative differences in relation to the effects smartphone devices have on students' approach to learning and engagement when these devices are used as a means of accessing and studying through an online learning management system. The study found statistically significant differences in the ways students approach their own learning using their smartphone to log in to their learning management system and students who used other iv technological mediums to sign in to their learning management system. The study also found statistically significant differences in engagement patterns, albeit conflicting results have been found in comparisons between online students who indicated using their smartphones to log in to the learning management system when compared to students using desktop computers or tablets. The study also revealed that the type of tasks online students perform with a smartphone varies significantly from the tasks that students perform when using a desktop or tablet.
Supervisor: Gray, Morag Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral