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How students in Higher Education use their mobile phones for learning Claire Bradley Research Fellow Learning Technology Research Institute

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Presentation on theme: "How students in Higher Education use their mobile phones for learning Claire Bradley Research Fellow Learning Technology Research Institute"— Presentation transcript:

1 How students in Higher Education use their mobile phones for learning Claire Bradley Research Fellow Learning Technology Research Institute Dr Debbie Holley Principal Lecturer Learning and Teaching London Metropolitan University Business School

2 Background to research Ongoing research into mobile learning with year one new entry students We have supported student groups using mediaBoard Texted students Learning tips Carried out a pilot for CONTSENS, an EU context specific project where students went out on site Integrated Textools a system where student text answers to questions in large lecture halls And this project learning on the move

3 The study Survey with students Loaned flip video camcorders to 3 students to record their daily mobile learning use 2 of these students also filmed video interviews with other students about their use The 3 students were interviewed to explore their mobile learning practise in more depth Interviews have resulted in 3 in-depth case studies or stories about their mobile learning practise and attitudes towards using their phones for learning

4 Survey results: The students 74 1 st year undergraduates taking a core business module Studying Marketing and Operations completed a questionnaire Gender: 73% female, 27% male Age: Age range % respondents61%33%5%1%

5 Survey results: Students phones Contract v pay as you go (PAYG) 63% on contract 37% pay as you go Make Range of handsets owned is diverse – 72 students cited 37 phone models from 9 manufac- turers 80% of phones can be classified as being Smart Phones (i.e. Internet and enabled)

6 Survey results: Mobile features

7 Do you currently use your mobile phone for learning? 22 students - 29% - said they used their mobiles for learning 34 uses given (some students use their mobile for more than one task) Uses reported have been grouped into 7 categories

8 Uses for learning CategoryMobile phone useTotal uses per category Conducting research/ Internet (4 students)12 getting informationGoogle (3 students) Research / search info. (5 students) Communicating (4 students)6 Contacting group assignment members Fashion Facebook group Generating content/ Take pictures/photos (3 students)4 artefactsVoice recording Using tools/ Calculator (3 students)4 applicationsMicrosoft Office OrganisingPutting reminder alarms for meetings3 Check my exams Organiser Note-taking Write notes1 OtherAccessing learning materials4 Presentations / record presentations (2 students) Transport files (PDF, Word, PowerPoint …)

9 Case study: Sam Foundation year Art, Media and Design Blackberry Curve, 18 mth contract Uses his phone for these learning activities: Setting reminders in the calender, using the clock and alarm to organise his studying and schedule Photos of images and things to remember Records lectures for later replay Communicates with other students – phone, Blackberry Messenger (free between Blackberry users) Uses the Internet and Google to look up information Says his most common use is probably the calendar, because that is really useful, because my organisational skills arent very good, so it does help to have a little buzz when you need to do something

10 Case study: Sam Why he uses his phone for learning: Because it is convenient I mean Ive got it in my pocket 24 hours a day, its always there, and now I can use the Internet When: When necessary Where: At gallery visits and exhibitions During lectures – records them and enters information such as dates and deadlines into the calendar At home – checks notifications of forthcoming deadlines, tasks, etc. to see what he has to do How the university could promote mLearning: Send reminder texts

11 Case study: Shriya First-year Public Relations Blackberry Curve, PAYG + £5 per mth for Internet Bought Blackberry because it has Windows software Phone uses: Access university systems – Webmail, Evision (student record system), WebLearn (downloads materials from VLE) Communicates with classmates – Blackberry Messenger is free Accesses Facebook for tutorial groups Makes notes using Memopad (attach alarms to notes) and Word to go to write notes in lectures and draft reports Her mobile use is overtaking use of her laptop!

12 Case study: Shriya Why she uses her phone for learning: Because it is easier, it is accessible (always connected to the Internet and other people), you can use it anywhere and everywhere, and you dont have to carry a heavy laptop around with you It really helps you because it saves on time and money Where: In quiet places – her room, the local park, but not in the library because they are not allowed Not in front of a computer: mobile = freedom How the university could promote mLearning: Encourage students to use their mobiles, e.g. interactive learning sessions on how they could use them She believes that using mobile phones can get students interested in the subject more, they are fun and help to create enthusiasm for learning

13 Case study: Heidi First-year Public Relations Sony Ericsson G502, PAYG, doesnt use Internet (too expensive) Phone uses: Communicates with other students – primarily by TXT because its convenient and cheap, or calls which can be faster and more effective Takes pictures – of things to remember, to use in her coursework or that give her ideas Calculator (shes studying statistics) Makes notes and takes down thoughts by saving them as TXT messages She relies heavily on TXT messages for communication and making notes

14 Case study: Heidi Why she uses her phone for learning: I know I have it on me always, and I can check it always, its better than writing in a small calendar book for me She would use her mobile more if she had a more sophisticated phone and cheaper Internet Where: Everywhere actually When: When it is appropriate. How the university could promote mLearning: Produce an App. that would make it easy to access University systems because it is Internet-based, and it would save you time because you could access from anywhere

15 Other students mobile learning practise 3 Foundation Art, Media & Design students Rion, Sony Ericsson CyberShot Uses the camera on his phone to take photos to use in his work. See video: Isaac, Blackberry Uses his phone as an alarm clock, to communicate with others via and phone calls and for setting reminders for deadlines. See video: Tomasz Listens to music on his phone whilst he works to help him concentrate. See video:

16 Conclusions Students are savvy and creative about using the phones that they have and finding cheap solutions Many are already using their mobiles for a range of learning tasks, largely on their own initiative One way forward is to encourage students (and tutors) to make more use of the powerful devices they have for learning activities This work provides insights into students mobile phone ownership and their mobile learning practise, making it easier to design mobile learning initiatives around what they already do and could do

17 Contact details Claire Bradley Debbie Holley The full survey data, case studies and video clips are all on the project website:


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