To appreciate the landscape of this emerging technology on campus, a comparative study on adoption of mobile learning and eTextbooks at the University of Central Florida (UCF) is being conducted.
In 2012, UCF’s Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) distributed the first survey to students. The 2012 survey report can be downloaded at: http://mobile.cdl.ucf.edu/?p=60. A follow-up survey was distributed in Spring 2014. The 2014 survey report can be downloaded at: http://mobile.cdl.ucf.edu/?p=672.
This report will share the results from the most recent survey that was conducted in Spring 2016. The survey includes both closed and open-ended questions which are based on existing research and surveys previously distributed by the university. It was structured in two main categories: mobile learning (devices and apps) and eTextbooks. Topics include device ownership, access, and beliefs towards the technologies concerning areas such as learning, sense of community, and engagement. Student responses to this survey will allow us to gauge a baseline for usage and beliefs at UCF, compare the results with the 2012 and 2014 surveys, and shape the next course of action.
Key findings of this report include:
- Ownership of mobile devices is high and continues to increase among students.
- Student status, sex and age (18-64) were demographic factors relating to ownership of mobile devices.
- There is still a large difference between instructors requiring the use of mobile devices in coursework and students reporting the use of mobile devices on their own for learning.
- Student classification, residence, race, sex, and GPA emerged as demographic factors relating to student-reported use of mobile devices, tablets, and e-book readers for learning purposes.
- 65% of students (N=1474) indicated that they had used a mobile app for learning at least once each week.
- Students reported modest instructor support for using mobile apps/devices in coursework.
- Limited internet connectivity is the top reason students may not want instructors to use mobile apps/devices
- 66% of students (n=974) reported using an eTextbook at least once in their college studies.
- Student status, age, and discipline emerged as significant factors for predicting eTextbook usage.
- Instructors are modestly integrating eTextbooks within courses, with room for improvement.
- Student preference for print textbooks is not a significant deterrent to eTextbook use.
- Most students have mixed beliefs about technical skills, study skills, learning effectiveness, engagement, and sense of community with relation to using eTextbooks.