mobile devices
formal learning
informal learning

How to Cite

Hoffmann, M. (2017). AN EXPLORATORY STUDY: MOBILE DEVICE USE FOR ACADEMICS. Research in Social Sciences and Technology, 2(1). Retrieved from


This exploratory study surveyed how undergraduate students and higher education instructors at two small faith-based universities in Southern California used mobile devices in and outside of the class for academic purposes. The researcher cross-referenced the results from the two groups to make correlations. The results of this study showed that nearly all instructor participants had multiple devices and almost half of the student participants had two or more devices as well. Those devices are being used in and outside of formal class for academics in very basic and emerging way that are just touching the surface of their capabilities. This study found that students use their devices in class to read, reference, or search materials. Faculty reported using their devices as presentation devices most often. 


Ally, M. (2004). Using learning theories to design instruction for mobile learning devices. In J. Attewell & C. Savill-Smith (Eds.), Mobile learning anytime everywhere (pp. 5-8). London, UK: MLearn.

Ally, M. (2009). Mobile learning: Transforming the delivery of education and training. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: AU Press.

Apple. (n.d.). Apple press info: iPod + iTunes timeline. Retrieved from

Bandura, A. (1971). Social learning theory. New York, NY: General Learning Corporation.

Bell, F. (2011). Connectivism: Its place in theory-informed research and innovation in technology-enabled learning. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(3), 98-118. Retrieved from

Chang, C., Chatterjea, K., Goh, D., Theng, Y., Lim, E., Sun, A., & Nguyen, Q. (2012). Lessons from learner experiences in a field-based inquiry in geography using mobile devices. International Research In Geographical & Environmental Education, 21(1), 41-58. doi:10.1080/10382046.2012.639155

Chen, B., & deNoyelles, A. (2013, October 7). Exploring students’ mobile learning practices in higher education. Educause. Retrieved from /exploring-students-mobile-learning-practices-higher-education

Cruz-Flores, R., & Lopez-Morteo, G. (2010). A framework for educational collaborative activities based on mobile devices. International Journal Of Interactive Mobile Technologies, 4(3), 9-18. doi:10.3991/ijim.v4i3.1268

Ifenthaler, D., & Schweinbenz, V. (2013). The acceptance of tablet-PCs in classroom instruction: The teachers’ perspectives. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 525-534. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.11.004

Kilinc, E., Kilinc, S., Kaya, M., Baser, E., Turkuresin, H., & Kesten, A. (2016). Teachers’ attitudes toward the use of technology in social studies teaching. Research in Social Sciences and Technology, 1(1), 59-76.

Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2008). Handbook of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) for educators. New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Korkmaz, U. & Yurtseven, Z. (2016). Turkish pre-service teachers’ experiences with contemporary technology games and perceptions about teaching with instructional games. Research in Social Sciences and Technology, 1(1), 44-58.

Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2010). Learning cultures on the move: Where are we heading? Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 13(4), 4-14. Retrieved from

Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2012). How should the higher education workforce adapt to advancements in technology for teaching and learning? Internet and Higher Education, 15(4), 247-254. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.12.002

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9620.2006.00684.x

Rainie, L., & Smith, A. (2013, October 18). Tablet and e-reader ownership update. Retrieved from

Shulman, L. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4-14. doi:10.3102/0013189X015002004

Tarman, B. (2016). Innovation and education. Research in Social Sciences and Technology, 1(1), 77-97.

Terras, M. M., & Ramsay, J. (2012). The five central psychological challenges facing effective mobile learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(5), 820-832. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01362.x

Traxler, J. (2009). Current state of mobile learning. In M. Ally (Ed.) Mobile learning: Transforming the delivery of education and training (pp. 9-24). Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Athabasca University Press.

Traxler, J. (2010, January). The “learner experience†of mobiles, mobility and connectedness. Paper presented at ELESIG Symposium: Digital Futures, Reading, UK. Retrieved from

Wexler, E. (2014). What are teens doing online? Retrieved from /pages/frontline/media/generation-like/what-are-teens-doing-online/

Wu, W. H., Jim Wu, Y. C., Chen, C. Y., Kao, H. Y., Lin, C. H., & Huang, S. H. (2012). Review of trends from mobile learning studies: A meta-analysis. Computers & Education, 59(2), 817-827. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.03.016