Learning with mobile devices: the changing place and space of distance learners' study

Cross, Simon; Sharples, Mike and Healing, Graham (2016). Learning with mobile devices: the changing place and space of distance learners' study. In: EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 5385–5393.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.2282

Abstract

This paper examines the changing study practices of UK distance learning students as they employ, adapt and integrate the use of new portable digital devices such as tablets, e-books and smartphones into their learning. The paper uses data from 1700 students that have been collected in a series of surveys at The Open University by the E-Pedagogies Project between 2012 and 2016. The data cover study habits, patterns of use, study tasks and student experiences of distance learning students, showing how these change over time. Data from open comments provide further insight into how, why and where students are studying, or attempting to study. The evidence paints a nuanced picture where the combination of handheld digital devices being used is in flux, where course learning designs need to allow students more flexibility in study technology and pedagogies, and where the opportunity time for study remains fluid. The insights presented in this paper will be of interest to all those involved in Higher Education and distance learning both.

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