Putting “mobile” into mathematics: Results of a randomised controlled trial

Khristin Fabian, Topping Keith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
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There is an increasing use of mobile technologies in the classroom, particularly its use in supporting contextual learning, but comparative research on the effects of mobile learning in mathematics are few. The aim of this research was to examine student perceptions of using mobile technologies and their effect on mathematics achievement in a randomised controlled trial. Seventy-four Grade 5 and 6 students and three teachers participated in the study. Both groups participated in six weeks of active and collaborative learning activities on math. The experimental group used tablets to support them in their activities while the control group had similarly designed activities without the tablets. The tablets were observed to have facilitated constructivist learning activities as students moved in and out of different learning contexts. Most of the experimental group had positive evaluations but their end activity ratings were not significantly different from the control group. Gender differences were found in terms of how students perceived the mobile learning activities. There was no difference found in the groups’ post-test achievement scores following an analysis of covariance with pre-test as covariate. For items relating to student misconception, students in the experimental group performed better. Overall, the study highlights that the success of a mobile learning intervention is dependent on various factors, such as student characteristics, stability of the technology and content compatibility. Implications for practice and future researchers are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101783
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Early online date8 Jun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2019


  • mobile learning
  • mathematics education
  • student perceptions
  • technology-enhanced learning
  • mathematics achievement


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