Using mobile learning and social media to enhance learner feedback: some empirical evidence

Mireilla Bikanga Ada, Mark Stansfield, Gavin Baxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
147 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of this paper is to investigate an area of growing importance that is widely recognised in the literature relating to the issue of how to improve ways that assessments and feedback are provided to students within higher education. This paper reports on a study that aimed to explore the views of both educators (n=70) and students (n=540) on feedback and feed-forward at a UK university. The study also investigated their experience and attitudes to social media applications as a means of enhancing access to feedback within the context of mobile learning.

The research approach adopted in this study predominately conforms to a quantitative research design though embeds elements of qualitative research via a “mixed methods” approach. The overall methodology of the paper adheres to an exploratory case study in a higher education environment to identify various issues and approaches that could be addressed or enhanced to aid ways that assessments and feedback are disseminated to students within higher education.

Participants’ views were sought in relation to students receiving learning materials, as well as feedback from tutors directly to their smartphones and mobile devices. In addition, the study explored possible reasons for students not wanting to use social media and mobile devices for their learning and feedback. Overall, the results indicated a positive attitude on the part of educators and students to using mobile devices and social media applications for teaching and learning purposes.

Research limitations/implications
The case study presented in this paper draws on findings from one higher educational institution. Further research is required to determine the generalisability of the findings to allow comparison of the findings to be undertaken within other higher education institutions.

The originality of the paper is that it provides detailed empirical evidence and findings that provide several important implications in relation to enhancing the student learning experience and providing considerable improvements to the way that feedback is provided that make it more likely that students will take more notice to feedback and act upon it. This in turn enables educators to better plan and manage their teaching and student experience online and through students’ mobile devices. The value of this study is that it explores views of both educators and students, whereas many other previous studies tend to focus on the views of either educators or students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-90
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2017


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