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Assessing The Impact Of Mobile Technology In An Urban Higher Education Environment

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Portable/Embedded Computing I

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.230.1 - 9.230.11

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Paper Authors

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Solomon Alao

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Shurron Farmer

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Damian Watkins

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Craig Scott

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Pamela Leigh-Mack

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Assessing the Impact of Mobile Infor mation Communications Technology on Student Attitudes and Per ceptions in an Ur ban Higher Education Envir onment

Cr aig Scott, Pamela Leigh-Mack, Damian Watkins, Solomon Alao, Shur r on Far mer Mor gan State Univer sity Baltimor e, Mar yland

Abstract Mobile platforms present an excellent opportunity to bridge the digital divide that has an impact on so many students. At Morgan State University, we proudly boast of our leadership as a “Gateway to Opportunity” for many underrepresented students. This paper will address our efforts to: correct and build positive attitudes toward mobile Information Communications Technology (ICT), understand computer usage habits, and experiment with what methods are most effective in using mobile ICT to improve academic performance. Our approach was to insert mobile platforms with differing form factors into a learning environment and investigate their impact on student perception and performance. Outcomes, strategies, and assessment instruments were developed within a generic modular framework to measure the effectiveness of our approach. The preliminary results presented in this paper will show how technology form factor, access, length of time of ownership, and student classification has a positive impact on our student’s attitudes and perceptions as well as their academic performances. Introduction When students have limited access to computers outside of structured computer lab environments, there may exist a need to promote the usage of technology as an essential tool that is used as an integral part of the engineering curriculum. For some minority engineering students, studies show that access to computers and technology growing up may not be as vast as their majority counterparts1. Hence, there may be a fear factor when introducing students to technology2. Better understandings of what computers are how they work and how information is sent and received is an important consideration toward using technology effectively. Our effort addresses the need to correct and build positive attitudes toward mobile ICT and strongly promotes the need to understand computer usage habits of underrepresented groups and what methods are most effective in using mobile technologies. Our approach is to first highlight the need to intensify the students’ awareness of how computational tools (especially mobile tools) can impact their academic productivity and performance. Consequently, we have developed a short course module that can be used in nearly any discipline to assess and positively reinforce the productive aspects of mobile technology usage. Secondly, this effort dovetails ideally into a parallel effort within the Hewlett Packard Engineering Student Retention Initiative by providing supportive technology outside of the mobile classroom for an innovative Dimensions of Learning (DOL) based pre-calculus/calculus I course sequence. The idea is to provide the faculty and students with mobile technology in various form factors that they can take with them once the mobile class period has ended. Our passion drives us to exploit this opportunity to further study the impact of mobile computer ownership on user perception and performance within the pedagogical framework in that effort. Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Alao, S., & Farmer, S., & Watkins, D., & Scott, C., & Leigh-Mack, P. (2004, June), Assessing The Impact Of Mobile Technology In An Urban Higher Education Environment Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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