Integrating Digital/Mobile Learning Strategies With Students in the Classroom at the Historical Black College/University (HBCU)

Integrating Digital/Mobile Learning Strategies With Students in the Classroom at the Historical Black College/University (HBCU)

Audrey McCrary Quarles (South Carolina State University, USA), Cassandra Sligh Conway (South Carolina State University, USA), Stanley Melton Harris (South Carolina State University, USA), James Edward Osler II (North Carolina Central University, USA) and Leslie Rech (South Carolina State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2953-8.ch020


Today's digital classroom must include contemporary learning strategies to interest the millennial students. Students are learning the latest digital/mobile technologies daily. Likewise, the professors must keep up with students and encourage universities to invest in digital technologies. Without this, how can students be ready for the working world and the global impact of education? Of course, this is not a question to answer right now; however, educators must take it serious in preparing students for the competitive workforce. Faculty must stay current with the latest digital/mobile technology and seek innovative strategies to keep abreast of research within the discipline area. This chapter's purpose is to: 1) examine authors' perception of digital/mobile learning technologies at HBCUs; 2) examine research on digital/mobile technology in classrooms; 3) discuss teaching and learning strategies that can impact the digital/mobile learning environment; and 4) note the global impact of learning strategies in classrooms.
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Background/Theoretical Perspective

During the last 10 years, postsecondary education has shifted from the traditional face-to-face classroom style of teaching to incorporate technology that focuses more on digital and mobile learning. Today’s students are equipped with iPads and tablets at an early age and are not afraid to explore new technology as soon as it become available. The rapid advancement of technology over the last two decades has changed the dynamics of teaching and learning in the 21st Century. Educators are now expected to integrate technology in the classroom to meet the needs of today’s learners (Henderson & Chapman, 2012). Therefore, faculty must learn strategies to engage college students, especially at Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), by promoting digital learning. Digital learning is not limited to teaching online courses. It includes mobile technology that can enhance learning and is accessible to students “anywhere” and at “anytime” (Tseng, Tang, & Morris, 2016, p.199). “As mobile technology promotes learning accessibility and flexibility, students can benefit from social interaction through the learning process which will also foster students’ performance and satisfaction on learning content” (Tseng, Tang, & Morris, 2016, p.199). Overall, digital learning is necessary “to create a system that contributes to deeper learning and produces a new generation of students equipped to thrive in college and their careers” (VanderArk & Schneider, n.d., p.6).

The terms digital learning and mobile learning encompass a vast array of modern tools utilized to enhance teaching and student learning. Digital learning is learning facilitated by technology that gives students some element of control. Digital learning requires a combination of technology (mechanism to deliver content), digital content (high quality academic material delivered through technology) and instruction (personalized guidance and assistance to ensure students learn and stay on track) (“What is Digital”, n.d.). It includes learning tools such as e-books, iTunes, blogs, wikis, podcasts and learning management systems (LMS) – such as Blackboard. Students are able to utilize the LMS for various academic activities such as downloading lecture notes or uploading assignments. Similarly, faculty members can make use of the tool for uploading lectures notes, grades, and so forth (Alrasheedi, Capretz, & Raza, 2016). Whereas, mobile learning (m-learning) is an evolving form of technology based learning (Irby & Strong, 2015). It is considered to be one of the fastest growing learning platforms. Mobile learning focuses more on portable handheld devices, such as tablets, iPads, iPods and smartphones that utilize wireless technology to impart education (Alrasheedi, Capretz, & Raza, 2016; Obyung, Fulk, Alijani, and Heon, 2015). Smartphones have become an important way for Americans to communicate, have access and share information. For many minority and low income college students, this device may be a viable option (Day-Black, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Historically Black Colleges/Universities: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are institutions in the United States that were established to serve the educational needs of Black people ( Coleman, n.d. ).

Mobile Learning: Mobile learning includes handheld devices and other devices like it.

Undergraduates: These are students who are enrolled at a college or university in an undergraduate curriculum.

Graduate Students: These students are enrolled in graduate programs.

Learning Strategies: Learning strategies are ways to assist in learning.

Perceptions: Perceptions are how a person perceives a situation.

Digital Learning: Digital learning is information used on a computer or like device.

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