A Study on the Pattern and Trend of Students’ Typical Usage of Mobile Devices in Learning Activities

  • Simon K. S. Cheung
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 843)


This paper investigates the pattern and trend of university students’ typical usage of mobile devices for learning purposes. Based on the surveys conducted to the full-time students at the Open University of Hong Kong in the past 5 years, it is revealed that the majority of students usually use mobile phones for communication using social media whilst less than half usually use mobile phones in reading e-books and doing assignments. Tablet computers are usually used for connecting to learning portals and reading e-books. Notebook computers are still used for conventional usage, such as doing assignment. It is also revealed that the use of tablet computers for doing assignment becomes popular because of the availability of cloud-based storage. The use of mobile phones for connecting to learning portals becomes popular since many mobile apps for learning portals are available. As compared to mobile phones, tablet computers and notebook computers become less popular for communication using social media. The results affirm that the pattern and trend of typical usage depends on not only the nature of the learning activities but also the functional features, limitations and technological development of mobile devices.


Mobile learning Mobile devices Learning activities Mobile device usage 


  1. 1.
    Census and Statistics: Information Technology Usage and Penetration, Thematic Household Survey Report No. 62, Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (2017)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Census and Statistics: Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics, November 2017 Issue, Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (2017)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    World Bank: Report on Internet Penetration, Data Bank, World Bank (2017).
  4. 4.
    Ellis, K.: Moving into m-learning. Train. J. 40(10), 56 (2003)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Crompton, H.: A historical overview of mobile learning: toward learner-centered education. In: Berge, Z.L., Muilenburg, L.Y. (eds.) Handbook of Mobile Learning, pp. 3–14. Routledge, Abingdon (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Winters, N.: What is mobile learning? In: Sharples, M. (ed.) Big Issues in Mobile Learning, Workshop Report, Kaleidoscope Network of Excellence Mobile Learning Initiative, pp. 7–11. University of Nottingham, Nottingham (2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cheung, S.K.S.: A case study on the students’ attitude and acceptance of mobile learning. In: Li, K.C., Wong, T.L., Cheung, S.K.S., Lam, J., Ng, K.K. (eds.) ICTE 2014. CCIS, vol. 494, pp. 45–54. Springer, Heidelberg (2014). Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cheung, S.K.S., Yuen, K.S., Tsang, E.: A study on the readiness of mobile learning in open education. In: Proceedings of IEEE International Symposium on IT in Medicine and Education, pp. 133–136. IEEE Press (2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lam, J., Yau, J., Cheung, S.K.S.: A review of mobile learning in the mobile age. In: Tsang, P., Cheung, S.K.S., Lee, V.S.K., Huang, R. (eds.) ICHL 2010. LNCS, vol. 6248, pp. 306–315. Springer, Heidelberg (2010). Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lam, J., You, J., Cheung, S.K.S.: A review of the use of mobile learning in education. In: Proceedings of International Conference on ICT in Teaching and Learning, pp. 271–276. SIM University (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Poll, H.: Pearson student mobile device survey: college students. Pearson Higher Education, June 2015Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cheung, S.K.S.: A survey on the use of mobile devices for learning purposes. Int. J. Innov. Learn. 16(2), 192–202 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cheung, S.K.S.: A study on the use of mobile devices for distance learning. In: Cheung, S.K.S., Fong, J., Kwok, L.-F., Li, K.C., Kwan, R. (eds.) ICHL 2012. LNCS, vol. 7411, pp. 89–98. Springer, Heidelberg (2012). Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cheung, S.K.S.: Students’ typical usage of mobile devices in learning activities. In: Lam, J., Ng, K.K., Cheung, S.K.S., Wong, T.L., Li, K.C., Wang, F. (eds.) ICTE 2015. CCIS, vol. 559, pp. 63–72. Springer, Heidelberg (2015). Scholar
  15. 15.
    iPhone: Website of iPhone, Apple (2017).
  16. 16.
    Galaxy: Website of Galaxy Note (2017).
  17. 17.
    Xperia: Website of Xperia, Sony (2017).
  18. 18.
    iPad: Website of iPad, Apple (2017).
  19. 19.
    Galaxy: Website of Galaxy Tab (2017).
  20. 20.
    Surface: Website of Surface, Microsoft (2017).
  21. 21.
    ThinkPad: Website of ThinkPad Series, Lenovo (2017).
  22. 22.
    MacBook: Website of MacBook, Apple (2017).
  23. 23.
    VAIO: Website of Sony VAIO, Sony (2017). vaio-laptops
  24. 24.
    Wikipedia: Definition of Phablet, Wikipedia (2017).
  25. 25.
    OUHK: Website of the Open University of Hong Kong, the Open University of Hong Kong (2017).

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Open University of Hong KongHomantin, KowloonHong Kong

Personalised recommendations