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  • 2018O'ToolePhD

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The lived experiences of ICT and Engineering Faculty teaching in higher education institutions in Ireland and the United Kingdom, who adopt and implement mobile technology enhanced learning initiatives: a phenomenological investigation

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date24/09/2019
Number of pages219
Awarding Institution
Award date24/09/2019
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This qualitative phenomenological study was designed to gain an in-depth understanding of the perceptions and lived experiences of information and communications technology teaching faculty and engineering teaching faculty in higher education institutions (all participant and institutional names herein are pseudonyms) who adopt and implement Mobile Technology Enhanced Learning. The theoretical framework was based upon innovation research and informed by applying Rogers’s Diffusion of Innovation and Wenger’s Communities of Practice theories. Purposeful sampling was used to target twelve information and communications technology and engineering teachers in Ireland and the United Kingdom who utilised a variety of mobile devices across multiple platforms to enhance teaching and learning. Using phenomenological reduction to analyse data gathered through in-depth, semi-structured interviews, observations, and an online focus group, the study revealed several overarching lessons. Participants experienced feelings of frustration, anxiety and uncertainty due to inadequate and obsolete mobile tools, issues with unreliable technical infrastructure and wireless networking connectivity, and time constraints arising from a sharp learning curve. Participants felt many higher education institute executives need to consult teachers when formulating and implementing an adoption strategy as they perceived a lack of appreciation by many higher education institute executives of their needs for successful adoption and implementation. Participants clearly required significantly more mobile Technology Enhanced Learning focused pedagogies. Learning about mobile Technology Enhanced Learning was mostly personal, predominantly through informal discussions but also professional learning communities of practice. Participants also required more collaboration and networked learning and practically focused continuing professional development and the associated time to acquire it. Participants perceived increased learner collaboration, global communication, motivation, engagement and achievement, and larger number of resources and improved teaching. Most significantly, teachers recognised the superior ability of mobile Technology Enhanced Learning to convey information and communications technology and engineering concepts to learners and consequently improved attrition rates.

Keywords: Communities of Practice, CPD, Diffusion of Innovations, learner, mobile learning, mobile technologies, mobile TEL, PLC, teacher, technology adoption, technology enhanced learning, technology implementation, TEL.