To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Impatient opportunists: a study of technology use in a higher education classroom

Kyong eun Oh (Department of Library and Information Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA)
Jacek Gwizdka (Department of Library and Information Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 23 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to explore technology use in a higher education classroom with the focus on tablet computers.

Design/methodology/approach

Study participants consisted of 36 undergraduate students from Rutgers University's Information Technology and Informatics major. Data were collected using an online survey, a classroom observation, and a group interview.

Findings

The study findings demonstrate unexpected technology uses that can be explained by the characteristics of the student group, the Net generation, namely, their impatient multi‐tasking and opportunistic behaviour. Students used tablet computers to take notes, conduct group activities and interact with the instructor. Students’ preference for typing was found to be a barrier in their adoption of tablet computers.

Research limitations/implications

The findings can help technology developers and educators better understand and optimize their use of computing technology in higher education. Limitations of this study include only one class was studied, and classroom observation probed student behaviors only at selected points in time.

Originality/value

The unique value of the study included: the study was not limited to tablet technology and investigated students’ use of multiple technologies; the study captured student behaviors in an actual learning environment, and the study provides empirical evidence for students’ multi‐tasking in a classroom and for their use of tablet computers for hand writing.

Keywords

Citation

eun Oh, K. and Gwizdka, J. (2011), "Impatient opportunists: a study of technology use in a higher education classroom", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 81-96. https://doi.org/10.1108/17581181111198638

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited