Adults' Use of Mobile Learning Environments While Enrolled in General Educational Development Classes

Tia Wilkinson, Walden University

Abstract

Mobile learning environments (MLEs) offer ubiquitous learning opportunities for adults in General Educational Development (GED) programs. However, MLEs have not been integrated into most adult GED programs; therefore, little is known about the experiences of adult learners who use MLEs as part of their education. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore how adult learners described making connections within MLEs, how they perceived learning with MLEs, and how they expanded their use of MLEs. The principles of connectivism provided the conceptual framework for the study. Participants were 11 adult learners in GED programs in a Southern urban area of the United States. Data sources were semistructured interviews and observations of learners using MLEs in their classrooms. Data were coded using open, axial, and selective coding with LaPelle's analysis plan. Results indicated that students moved from using MLEs as communication devices to experiencing them as necessary learning tools. Findings also indicated that students experienced MLEs in positive ways when educational applications on the MLEs met their learning needs. Findings may be used to inform GED administrators about learner perceptions of mobile educational content that can be acquired at little to no cost to benefit adult learners using MLEs.