Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Characteristic Mobile Learning Engagement Strategies of International School Middle-Years Students
by Arnold, Bradley A., Ph.D., Capella University, 2018, 176; 10745617
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to develop descriptions of how teenage students remain engaged in learning while using mobile technology. Developments in technology have expanded learning contexts and provided learners with improved capacities to connect with others to exchange, gain, and construct knowledge. Developments in technology have also created challenges for instructional designers to create learning activities that promote engaged learning and complex thinking skills in students. The ability to access, share, and create knowledge through connected networks has thus presented opportunities to reevaluate how learners motivate themselves to engage in learning. The study was guided by the following research question and subquestions: RQ1: What strategies do students in international school middle-years programs use to remain engaged in learning while utilizing mobile technology? RQ1a: What learning activities do these students engage in while utilizing mobile technologies? RQ1b: What actions do these students take to remain connected to their learning environment? Narratives of student actions were framed and analyzed through the lens of reciprocal determinism, which states that learning is determined by the relationships between behaviors, thinking processes, and situational factors. Information was gathered to show how students used their technology tools to interact within their environment, access and analyze information, and adapt to changing situations. A nonprobability sampling of ten international school students aged 13–14 and a purposeful sampling of seven of these students’ teachers was used to select the study participants. Information was gathered through student focus group discussions, student interviews, teacher interviews, teacher observation logs, and network data logs. Transcripts were coded through an inductive approach and information analysis occurred through the constant comparative method to help identify evolving themes and patterns. The narratives that developed provided examples of how students maintain connections to networks and how their learning actions, thinking processes, and learning situations can be influenced by the use of mobile technology tools. The findings suggest that students can identify knowledge gaps and then use technology to devise learning strategies to fill these gaps and develop advanced thinking skills. Further research should look at different demographics, attitudes, and school settings to better understand how students adapt their engagement strategies while using mobile technology to remain connected to the learning environment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Zender, Wendy
Commitee: Lane, Carla, McDermott, James
School: Capella University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 79/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Instructional Design, Middle School education, Educational technology
Keywords: Case study, Connectivism, Engagement, Middle school, Mobile technology, Reciprocal determinism
Publication Number: 10745617
ISBN: 978-0-355-66772-1
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