City Research Online

Leave them to their own devices: healthcare students’ experiences of using a range of mobile devices for learning

Attenborough, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4018-8445 & Abbott, S. (2018). Leave them to their own devices: healthcare students’ experiences of using a range of mobile devices for learning. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 12(2), article number 16. doi: 10.20429/ijsotl.2018.120216


Given recent advances in mobile technologies, there has been a shift from e-learning to mobile learning in UK universities, yet there are few data about how students select and use mobile devices, and whether e-learning systems and materials are fully compatible.

Healthcare students have placements in clinical practice where they use mobile devices to access university course information and learning materials.

This study investigated student use of devices in the School of Health Sciences, City University London. Eight final-year students from different disciplines participated: they were issued with a device and reported on how they used it via a personal blog, interviews and focus groups.

Thematic analysis was applied to the data. Two groups of themes were identified: factors relating to the devices themselves (strengths and weaknesses; learning to use them; enjoying them) and to the course (university work; in clinical placement).

Students had similar observations and experiences of the different devices, both at the university and in clinical practice, and this paper reports on their perceptions. The importance of Wi-Fi access, suitable learning spaces and permissions to use devices were important findings, as was evidence of the enjoyment students found in using the devices.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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