Sample 8: My Dissertation
MOBILE LEARNING AT A STATE COLLEGE VIRTUAL CAMPUS
THE MOBILE LEARNER AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF COURSE DESIGN IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC
In addressing online instruction challenges of affordability, access to technology, and connectivity, this study investigates students’ beliefs and uses of mobile learning at Southern State College Virtual Campus (SSCVC) during the COVID19 pandemic, while examining the instructional design strategies used to maximize the potential of mobile learning. First, analyses of the learning management system (LMS) data described students’ demographics and how these students accessed online instruction at SSCVC. Second, based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), Criminal Justice (CJ) online students were surveyed on their perspectives of mobile learning before (i.e., Fall 2019) and during the pandemic (i.e., Fall 2020). In addition, a focus group interview with SSCVC elearning professionals as well as analyses of six selected CJ online courses were conducted to investigate the instructional design strategies that can be applied to build learning environments that foster mobile learning. Results revealed that 65% of CJ online students used the LMS mobile app and 35% used browsers to access CJ classes. These rates were the same comparing LMS data from before and during the pandemic. Survey respondents (n = 59) reported that the top reasons for using mobile devices for learning were their location, schedule, and type of assignment. Additionally, Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests suggested that students were more likely to engage in mobile learning when thinking of their constraints during the COVID19 pandemic (i.e., Fall 2020) compared to before the pandemic (i.e., Fall 2019). Qualitative data from the focus group and the analyses of six CJ online classes resulted in a list of online course design best practices including the use of assignments and technology tools that are compatible with both hand-held devices and desktops. Implications of this study for higher education institutions and elearning professionals include the acknowledgement of the pervasiveness of mobile learning and the importance of flexible design strategies for online instruction that can be accessed and consumed by all learners and across platforms, devices, and learning spaces.