Utility, usage, and perceptions of computing devices in online distance learning
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This research explores learners’ perceptions of how their computing devices affect their learning within online distance learning environments. To achieve this, the study includes an exploration of computing devices, traditional software applications—which require installing on devices—and cloud-based applications (hereafter collectively “apps”) that online distance learners rely on to assist them in their learning, and how online distance learners use their computing devices and apps throughout the learning process. Using case study methodology, this research surveyed master’s-level students at a small public and predominantly graduate university in Canada. The results and analyses describe learners’ preferences for particular computing devices and apps prior to and throughout the learning process, and their uses of computing devices and apps to interact with instructors, peers, and learning content. The purpose of this study is to assist educators and current and future graduate learners alike in better understanding the relationship between learners and their computing devices in the online distance-learning context.
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