Attitudes to Mobile Learning Survey

Project description

The growth in the adoption of mobile phones and more recently smart phones has been well documented 1. As part of its remit to identify, gauge and prioritise student expectations of how technology should be used to support their learning, the ESU undertook a major student survey in 2010. The survey was made available to all students and participation was encouraged by offering a small prize. The survey sought to clarify:

  • What phone do students use?
  • How do they use them?
  • What University applications, information and data do students think should be accessible on mobiles?
  • What are student attitudes towards the use of mobiles to support their learning?

The survey also provided students with the opportunity to add comments or suggestions. In addition to the survey a joint focus group (with the MyMobileBristol team) was run in July 2011.

Summary findings

Over 2,900 students responded to the survey. A detailed analysis of survey results will follow but key findings include:

1.  Survey responses came from all faculties, levels and both home and overseas students.

Students from all faculties responded, with Science (23%) and Engineering (21%) being the top. 30% of the respondents were postgraduate, while 15% of the students described themselves as."Oversees student."

2. Students use their mobile devices to support their informal and formal learning.

Top uses of mobiles to support learning were:searching the web, taking photos, receiving information alerts and listening to talks and lectures.

3. When asked which of the following would they access if it was available on a mobile device students selected:

  • 79% to access Blackboard
  • 78% to view timetable information
  • 70% to access MyBristol
  • 67% to receive grades and feedback

4. Student attitudes to the use of mobiles in formal teaching and learning were split.

When asked which statement best describes you:

  • 41% selected " I would like to use my mobile device both formally and informally to support my learning e.g. mobile blog"
  • 4% selected "I would like to use my mobile device in a formal learning environment e.g. voting in lectures."
  • 39% selected "I would like to use my mobile device informally to support my learning in class e.g. receiving updates on new course materials."
  • 16% selected "I would not want to use my mobile device in class or as part of my learning it is for staying in touch with my family and friends."

As a direct result of this survey the University has invested in the functionality required to provide enhanced mobile access to Blackboard. Blackboard Mobile learn will be available from October 2011. Blackboard Mobile learn will enable easier access to course materials, announcements, alerts, grades and interactive tools like blogs and discussion boards.


May 2011 - survey released to students

June 2011 - focus group

July Survey closed

Further Information

Project contact

  • Pete Herbert
  • Hilary Griffiths


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