An investigation of student engagement, motivation and attitudes towards course content in a mobile-learning enhanced course

Alioon, Yasaman
This study aims to investigate the students‟ engagement, motivation and attitudes toward course content in a mobile-learning enhanced computer networking course where authentic collaborative activities were designed, developed and implemented. The computer networking course was a must course in Computer Education and Instructional Technology department curriculum. The participants of the study were 3rd grade students enrolled in the course. The effect of the activities on students‟ engagement, motivation and attitudes toward course content was investigated using a mixed-method research method. The activities were implemented for two subsequent semesters where the content and the instructional method were modified based on the findings from the first implementation before implementing it for the second time. In order to collect quantitative data on student engagement and attitudes toward course content two surveys were used. In addition, for measuring students‟ motivation a questionnaire was used. In order to further analyze the effect of the activities on students‟ engagement and motivation, follow up interviews were carried out in both semesters. The findings of the study indicated that the “personal development” was the component with the highest mean score in both semesters, followed by “satisfaction from the course” in the first implementation, and “collaborative-learning” in the second implementation, as the components of students‟ engagement. vi “Satisfaction from the course” was the component with the third highest mean score in the second implementation as well. Paired sample t-test revealed a difference in “intrinsic value”, “cognitive strategy-use” and “self-regulation” as the motivational components in the first implementation. In the second implementation the differences were in the “self-efficacy”, “test-anxiety” and “self-regulation” components of the students‟ motivation according to the t-test analysis results. The content analysis on the interview transcriptions showed that the students‟ perceived the activities as a proper enhancement for the computer networking course in terms of “communication” and “collaboration” with peers. Moreover, students highlighted the role of the activities regarding learning the computer networks concept. They stated that the activities requiring them to find analogical examples between the course content and real-world examples helped them in better understanding the course content, and their applicability in the daily-life.