Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Sarah Noonan, Chientzu Candace Chou, Thomas Fish



This qualitative case study investigated the experiences of innovative higher education instructors from the Midwest United States regarding their use of mobile devices in their classes for student learning. Fourteen participants discussed how they specifically use mobile devices and applications for knowledge acquisition in interdisciplinary fields and to prepare students for professional roles in advanced fields. This study revealed innovative examples from interdisciplinary scholars regarding their use of mobile applications for real-time feedback, formative assessment, and continuous engagement. Professors also used mobile applications to give students technical opportunities to acquire knowledge and produce content through project-based learning. Professors described student use of relevant, industry-standard mobile technology for creating webpages, videos, and social media. Mobile devices and applications were used to promote student engagement, comprehension, and creative expression. An analysis conducted using Vygotsky’s (1978) theory of social constructivism and two frameworks widely adopted in the field of education: technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK; Mishra & Koehler, 2006) and universal design for learning (UDL; Meyer et al., 2014) revealed how students were successful and more engaged through introduction to mobile technology. This study confirmed students reached a higher level of knowledge related to their discipline because their instructors leveraged mobile technology in innovative ways. This study included recommendations for faculty development and strategic planning to address the skills and information necessary to allow faculty to effectively use mobile technology in their courses.


Mobile devices, mobile applications, innovation, higher education, technology, project-based learning

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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