Exploring BYOD Usage in the Classroom and Policies

Exploring BYOD Usage in the Classroom and Policies

Ieda M. Santos (Emirates College for Advanced Education, UAE) and Otávio Bocheco (Instituto Federal Catarinense, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1757-4.ch016
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This paper presents results of an exploratory study that investigated instructor and student perceptions of in-class use of personal mobile devices and policies for appropriate practices. The study is based on an undergraduate course offered at a higher education institution in the United Arab Emirates. Eighteen students and one instructor participated in the study. A mix methods approach was adopted. Data collection consisted of a survey, focus group and individual interviews. Quantitative results suggested an overall tendency to use the devices rarely for content and non-content related activities. Qualitative results, however, indicated more usage of the devices, but not to the extent to cause disruptions in class. The study furthers the discussion on a bring your own device (BYOD) policy development. When developing BYOD policies for appropriate practices in the classroom, educational institutions should take into account students' context, culture and main stakeholders' opinion. Policy implementation should be complemented with training to support effective BYOD integration in the classroom.
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Literature Review

Despite the debates about what actually BYOD means (Sharples et al. 2014), for the purpose of this paper, it refers to the notion of students using their own devices in teaching and learning (Johnson et al., 2015). In addition, although such practice started in the 1980s with students bringing laptops to university campuses (Crompton, 2013), there are different opinions of whether BYOD encompasses this tool. Traxler (2010) and Pegrum, Oakley and Faulkner (2014), for instance, see mobile devices as including mobile phones, smart phones, PDAs, tablets and digital media players. These devices are distinct from laptops as they offer a high degree of mobility and flexibility (Pegrum et al., 2014).

The BYOD model presents several challenges to higher education (Santos, 2015). One challenge relates to classroom disruptions. Students may, at any time, visit websites not related to the content of the lesson or check email that disrupt or distract them or their peers (Tal & Kurtz, 2014). Due to disruptions, instructors may show reluctance to allow BYOD in the classroom (Langmia & Glass, 2014; Thomas & O’Bannon, 2013).

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