Other Mobile Learning Research

Evaluation of the use of Mobile Technology in the Undergraduate and Graduate Classroom 


The purpose of this study was to measure student perception regarding the use of mobile learning technology in delivering course content both in and out of the classroom. This study analyzed and compared data both from a freshman class in which every student was provided a mobile device, and a graduate class in which students may or may not have mobile devices . The researchers adapted a Mobile Learning Initiative survey used by Abilene Christian University to collect responses from both classes. The areas the survey evaluated included: identification of the primary mobile device used by the student; its importance at the university; usage in a specific course; how it was used in the courses under study; and, how effective the technology was in teaching class remotely. Preliminary analysis revealed that the freshman class showed a higher satisfaction rate possibly due to the fact that they have increased access to technological devices.

Key Findings:

  • Students reported high levels of satisfaction with use of mobile technology in learning course content.
  • Students reported activities were much more effective when every person had devices with them.
  • There was little difference between class with complete ubiquity and class without.
  • Those who were provided with devices (undergraduates) were significantly more likely to use this device in other classes as their “primary academic device”.

Full Report PDF

VIDEO: "Honest Answers"

  • How can instructors encourage students to express true thoughts on contentious issues?

ACU Connected Summit (2011) Presentation PPT

Related Publications / Presentations:

  • ACU Connected Summit, Abilene, TX, Feb '11
  • ACU Undergraduate Research Festival, Mar '11
  • Adam's Center for Teaching, Abilene, TX, April '11
  • National Social Science Association Technology Conference, Las Vegas, NV, April '11
  • Association of History, Literature, and Science, and Technology National Conference, Houston, TX, May '11
  • North American Christians in Social Work National Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (Oct '11)
  • [Pending Presentation] National Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors Conference, Portland, OR, Mar '12
  • [Pending Presentation] National Social Science Association Technology Conference, student paper competition, Las Vegas, NV, April '12



Digital Texts and the Future of Education: Why books?

Researcher(s): Scott Perkins, Ph.D.

Email: perkinss@acu.edu

ACU and GYLO partnered to investigate factors and relationships associated with using mobile devices as supplemental tools for teaching statistics in higher education. The Statistics 1 app has been used in multiple ACU-GYLO research studies
since 2009, beginning with testing in undergraduate statistics courses at ACU over the fall 2009, spring 2010, and fall 2010 semesters. App usability was evaluated and student usage patterns and motivation were assessed. Researchers also tested for relationships between students' perceptions of using Statistics 1 and their final course grades. Finally, the researchers focused on examining form factor differences in how students reported using the Statistics 1 app on mobile devices (iPhone or iPod touch) versus iPad.

Key Findings:
A series of pilot studies found a positive correlation between use of the app and perceptions of increased engagement and consequently higher grades in the course. In the fall 2009 study, the majority of students (24 of the 30 responding) reported a
heightened ease of and motivation to study due to the increased mobility and convenience (quick access to information and easier to carry around than the text) and mentioned going through quiz questions "whenever" they chose. 

In the spring 2010 study, The majority of students (18 of the 25 surveyed) reported using the Statistics 1 app at times and in places not traditionally considered "formal learning spaces" such as downtime at work, on the bus, or when their schedule placed restraints on their formal study time. 

Exploration of the relationships between students' perceptions and attitudes toward using the app and their final course grades demonstrated multiple significant positive associations in the spring of 2010.

  • First, students who perceived that the app had improved their ability to succeed obtained significantly higher grades than students who perceived no effect on their ability (p<.01).
  • Secondly, students who reported that use of the app increased their motivation to study also showed significantly higher final grades than students who perceived the app had little to no effect on their motivation to study (p<.01). 

Overall, students' perception of increased motivation was strongly related to final course grades. In the fall 2010 study, around 75% (26/34) of the students expressed a preference for using iPad more for studying, with 13 students specifically attributing the difference to the larger screen size. Conversely, students found the portability of the smaller devices, iPhone or iPod touch, important because they always had the device with them. 

Full Report: Mayrath, M., Nihalani, P., & Perkins, S. (2011). Digital texts and the future of education: Why books?, EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 34(1). 

Related Publications / Presentations:

  • Perkins, S. & Saltsman, G. (under review). Engaging Faculty in a Campus-Wide Initiative: Perspectives on Abilene Christian University's Mobile Learning Program, International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, invited manuscript under
  • Perkins, S. & Casdorph, M. (2011). Digital Swiss Army Knife, EDUCAUSE Review, 46(2).
  • Turning Technologies User Conference 2010. Cambridge, MA; October 11, 2010; Researching the Impact of Mobility: Lessons Learned and Directions for the Future. 
  • Perkins, S., & Saltsman, G. (2010). Mobile Learning at Abilene Christian University: Successes, Challenges, and Results from Year One, Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, 6(1), 47-54.
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. William Rankin and George Saltsman; Atlanta, GA; December 7, 2009; Mobile Learning with iPhone and iPod touch: Year Two.
  • 2009 EDUCAUSE Conference. Brad Crisp, Kyle Dickson, Scott Perkins, and George Saltsman; Denver, CO; November 6, 2009; Mobile-Learning with iPhone and iPod touch a Year Later.
  • 2009 ACUTA Portland Fall Seminar. William Rankin and George Saltsman; Portland, OR; October 27, 2009; Mobile-Learning at Abilene Christian University: A Second-Year Assessment of ACU Connected.
  • MoblEd '09. William Rankin, Scott Perkins, and George Saltsman; Pasadena, CA; April 23, 2009; ACU Connected: A Campus-Wide Mobile- Learning Initiative at Abilene Christian University.

Other Publications / Presentations by Scott Perkins