Does Mode of Access Make a Difference? Mobile Learning and online student engagement

Sarah Nichter


Even though student use of mobile devices for educational purposes has increased in recent years, the research on the possible impact on student success or engagement has been minimal. This study investigated the impact of mobile device use on student engagement and student success in online courses. The theory of Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) was a foundation for understanding and measuring engagement behaviors of online students. The Online Self-Regulated Learning Questionnaire (OSLQ) was the basis of the survey instrument. Participants were categorized into three groups of mobile device use (low, moderate, high). These three groups were used for comparison in each of the research questions. The research questions ask what impacts mobile learning has on student engagement, as measured with SRL; what impact mobile learning has on the SRL constructs of environment structuring, task management, and time management; and what associations mobile learning might have with student success and persistence. The ANOVA showed that mobile learning had a moderate impact on engagement for students in the high group. Students in each group engaged in environment structuring behaviors more than task strategies or time management behaviors. Students in the moderate and high groups engaged in task strategies more than the low group. Students in the high group engaged in time management behaviors more than the other groups.  The Crosstab analysis did not show an association between levels of mobile learning and course grade or persistence. These findings have positive implications for online pedagogy and course design.



            Keywords: Mobile Learning; online learning; student engagement; Self-Regulated Learning; student success


mobile learning; online learning; student engagement; self-regulated learning; student success

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Copyright (c) 2021 Sarah Nichter

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