My good friend, colleague, and doctoral student, Joanne Gikas, will be defending her dissertation next Wednesday. The purpose of her study was to explore the changes to teaching and learning when faculty members implemented mobile computing devices in their classes. She considered both faculty members’ perspectives and students’ perspectives in her qualitative research. Here is a brief summary of her study:
The research questions focused on what impacts an instructor’s decision to implement mobile computing devices in teaching and how teaching and learning change when mobile computing devices are integrated into the learning environment. Three themes emerged from the data: (1) teaching with mobile computing devices, (2) learning with mobile computing devices and (3) training and support for higher education instructors and students. Teaching with mobile computing devices impacted instructional strategies and planning. Mobile computing devices impacted student learning by offering advantages, such as accessing information quickly, opportunities for collaboration and providing students a variety of ways to learn. Mobile computing devices also impacted the training and support model for instructors and students. Instructors were responsible for student training and institutions offered a mixed model of support for the instructor. Mobile learning offers instructors and students more educational potential than simply accessing resources. Faculty members described evidence of institutional support and motivations to change their curricula, while exhibiting an interest in experimentation. Students applied what they were learning in courses through the mobile computing devices, and the devices contributed to their identities and learning. While mobile computing in higher education is often perceived as pervasive, evidence from this study suggests we are still in the early adoption stage.