The Open UniversitySkip to content

Students' experiences with PDAs for reading course materials

Waycott, J. and Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2003). Students' experiences with PDAs for reading course materials. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 7(1) pp. 30–43.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (407kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The availability of text reading and editing software for Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) makes it timely to consider whether PDAs are useful tools for reading learning materials. This paper describes a study that evaluated the use of PDAs for reading by students on a Masters course run by the UK Open University. The evaluation consisted of pre- and post-questionnaires, and follow-up interviews. In addition, students discussed their experiences in a computer-based conference. Findings show that while the portability of the device was welcomed by students, and the electronic format was advantageous, limitations such as the small screen size, navigation difficulties, and slow and error-prone methods for entering text, made it difficult to read and interact with documents on the PDA. The paper recommends that further research consider the value of PDAs as reading devices in the context of other potential ways that PDAs can be used as learning tools.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1617-4909
Keywords: Evaluation; Handheld computer; Learning; Palmtop; PDA; Reading; Personal Digital Assistants
Academic Unit/School: Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 714
Depositing User: Users 12 not found.
Date Deposited: 22 May 2006
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2019 06:30
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU