Engaging Students Using mLearning - An Experiment Using Structured Text Messaging in the College Classroom to Measure Learning Outcomes and Student Retention

By: Cheryl Hebert  

Mobile devices are changing the pedagogical framework in higher education. Research remains divided regarding the use of mobile technology in the traditional lecture environment. However, if used properly, mlearning in the classroom can be a valuable tool. This research predicted “structured texting” would engage students more in course content, and assist students to complete a course than students using traditional question-answer techniques. The experiment consisted of a non-probability, convenience sample, of two matched college classes. The treatment class submitted anonymous questions on their mobile phones, for quiz review, on six occasions using a structured texting app during the semester. The control group asked questions verbally the traditional way. In addition to the number of questions asked, and the subsequent quiz grades, students in both conditions completed measures of willingness to talk, communication apprehension, and attitudes towards texting. The control group had higher final grades overall, compared to the experimental group t (45) = 2.01, p = <0.01. However, the experimental group generated significantly more questions than the control group t (5) = 2.57, p <= 0.01. The experimental group also scored marginally higher than the control group on the Chapter 6 quiz, t (45) = 2.01, p = <0.07. There was no significant difference regarding attendance and retention. The measures of classroom apprehension and texting practices indicated that students with relatively high classroom apprehension felt more comfortable participating by asking questions anonymously. Future research should consider apprehension levels of students when determining the effectiveness of learning strategies such as mlearning.

Media Technologies
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Cheryl Hebert

Residential Faculty Communication Studies, Behavioral Science and Cultural Studies, Estrella Mountain College, United States
United States