But Do They Want Us in “Their” World?: Evaluating the Types of Academic Information Students Want through Mobile and Social Media

But Do They Want Us in “Their” World?: Evaluating the Types of Academic Information Students Want through Mobile and Social Media

Tim Brown (University of Central Florida, USA) and Amanda Groff (University of Central Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0011-9.ch701
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Abstract

The growth of social media and mobile communication provides educators with an opportunity to transmit course-related information to students in new ways. But are students willing to accept course information through those channels, typically seen as “fun” and “social?” The study in this chapter examines the reasons that students use different types of personal media and how appropriate certain types of communication channels are for academic information. Results show that students prefer to get their academic information through “official” channels, such as email and course management systems. However, they are willing to accept certain types of information through social channels (mobile devices, social networking), as long as they do not have to share personal information.
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Background

In order to examine what students want out of their social media and mobile tools in the classroom, we’re going to use two fundamental theoretical foundations: uses and gratifications, and the technology acceptance model (TAM). The uses and gratifications approach helps us examine the motivations, or reasons, that people use different types of media, whether it’s television, radio, the Internet, or mobile phones. The technology acceptance model (TAM) introduces the concepts of usefulness and ease of use; in other words, does the user think the technology or media is useful and easy to use. We’ll examine the specific questions a bit later, but first some necessary background on these theories and the work that has brought us to this point.

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