University Students' Perceptions of Personal Mobile Devices in the Classroom and Policies

University Students' Perceptions of Personal Mobile Devices in the Classroom and Policies

Ieda M. Santos (Emirates College for Advanced Education, UAE) and Otávio Bocheco (Federal Institute Catarinense, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1757-4.ch021

Abstract

This chapter discussed the results of a study that explored students' perceptions of personal mobile devices in the classroom and suggestions for policies. Thirty-four students enrolled in two undergraduate courses taught at a Brazilian higher education institution took part in the study. Data collection consisted of a survey and focus group interview. Quantitative data suggested an overall tendency to rare use of the devices for content and non-content activities. Qualitative results, however, showed that students may have used more often their devices in class. The results discussed several policies recommended by the students ranging from allowing the devices for content and emergency to not using social media for off- task activities. The study suggested that inappropriate use of mobile technology in the classroom may be minimized if students participate in the development of policies, and instructors integrate the devices in class to promote engagement and interest among students. Recommendations for practice and future research are discussed.
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Background Literature

Although the BYOD concept can have different meanings (Sharples et al., 2014), this chapter refers to the practice of students using their own mobile devices to support teaching and learning (Johnson et al., 2015). A BYOD model encompasses smartphones, digital media players, personal digital assistants and tablet computers. These smaller devices are distinct from computer laptops for their high flexibility and mobility (Pegrum, Oakley, & Faulkner, 2013). BYOD can potentially support new forms of learning and teaching opportunities (Sharples et al., 2014). It enables:

…students and educators to leverage the tools that make them most efficient. In many cases, their devices are already populated with productivity apps…helping them to better organize their notes, syllabi, and schedules on campus and beyond. Furthermore, instructors can leverage this mobile device use by implementing polling and other interactive features during class. (Johnson et al., 2015, p. 37)

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