Improving mobile learning in secondary mathematics and science: Listening to students

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 2021, pp. 1-15
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Background Mobile learning studies often focus on teachers' perspectives. This study instead considers students' experiences of learning with mobile devices (i.e., m-learning) in secondary school mathematics and science. Objectives The research aims to describe the m-learning experiences of secondary mathematics and science students, and to determine the extent to which distinctive pedagogical dimensions impact students' perceived learning. Methods A survey instrument using the iPAC mobile pedagogical framework as a theoretical lens is developed and validated. This framework highlights three pedagogical dimensions: personalization, authenticity, and collaboration. Structural equation modelling is used to investigate how each dimension predicts students' perceived improvement in learning, whilst accounting for usage context, among a sample of students in schools where mobile devices are used extensively. Results and Conclusions Students were in agreement that personalization was a characteristic of their m-learning experiences, but authentic and collaborative learning were not as strongly featured. M-learning activities fostering personalization were most important for improving perceived learning; authenticity and collaboration were also significant, but no differences in perceived learning improvement due to location were found. Authentic m-learning and perceived improvement in learning with mobile devices were significantly higher in science than mathematics subjects. Implications When teachers design m-learning tasks that enhance personalization, collaboration, and authenticity, students are predicted to perceive improvements in their learning. The findings suggest that teachers should consider designing technology-enhanced tasks that improve students' experiences of collaborative and authentic learning, particularly in mathematics for greatest gains in students' perceived improvement in learning.
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