Are you still with us? Managing mobile phone use and group interaction in PBL

Gillian Hendry, Sally Wiggins, Tony Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


As mobile phone technology becomes more advanced, so too does its presence in everyday life. Research has shown, for instance, that students are using their mobile phones in classroom settings, a practice that holds both potential advantages and disadvantages. In group work, these interactions may have consequences for group dynamics in that orienting to a mobile phone can display a shift in an individual’s attention to the group. The current essay details a research project conducted on problem-based learning (PBL) tutorials in the United Kingdom in which student groups were video-recorded as they worked. A discursive psychological analysis focused on instances of interaction in which a group member picked up his or her mobile phone in the middle of a working session and how the accountability for the phone use was managed by either the phone user or a fellow group member. In understanding more about the microprocesses that take place in such environments, we are better positioned to support students’ learning and socialization as they progress through college.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Number of pages15
JournalThe Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning
Issue number2
Early online date10 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


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