Exploring Opportunistic Use of Mobile Devices for Studying in Higher Education

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Sammanfattning: Students today often feel that they have too much to do and too little time. A common strategy to remedy this is to take advantage of opportunities to use “inter-time”, the time between other activities such as waiting or traveling. The aim of this thesis is to explore how studying using mobile devices in higher education can be designed for such opportunities. I choose to call this Opportunistic Mobile Studying (OMS).Using a design-based research approach this thesis discusses and proposes both scientific and practical contributions. A number of iterations of OMS have been designed, instantiated and tested in university courses and then evaluated using mixed methods.The first research question is how can OMS be designed to support students in adopting the behavior of studying at opportune moments. The results have been framed and interpreted using the Fogg Behavior Model, where behavior is the product of motivation, simplicity, and triggers. The results suggest that a key factor for motivation is procrastination, and therefore deadlines can be used to predict and suggest what students would likely be interested in studying during OMS moments. Simplicity is increased if OMS is adapted for studying in short fragmented moments, where important aspects are that content should be short, easy to access and easy to navigate. Trigger reminders were particularly appreciated and should be triggered based on time and place. Commuting is identified as a good context to build a routine of studying using OMS.The second research question is how can OMS activities and content be designed to support efficient studying in OMS situations. Study- activities identified as especially suitable for OMS situations are those that focus on preparation and repetition. These activities can enhance other learning activities and efficient studying can be accomplished even if only a little time is available. Examples of successful methods for this tested in this thesis include advance organizers and flashcards. Longer and more comprehensive studying material can be used if quick and easy navigation within the material is provided, for example, by using synchronized narrated slides such as enhanced podcasts. 

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