Student use and pedagogical impact of a mobile learning application Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Mobile learning (m-learning) is a relevant innovation in teaching and learning in higher education. A mobile app called NutriBiochem was developed for use in biochemistry and nutrition education for students in a second year Biochemistry and Metabolism course. NutriBiochem was accessed through smartphones, tablets, or computers. Students were surveyed upon completion of the final exam (n = 88). Survey questions assessed frequency of use, motivations for use, and perceptions of app usefulness. The pedagogical impact of NutriBiochem was evaluated by measuring the relationship between frequency of use and final course grade. Just over half of the students used the app, and ∼80% of users accessed the app moderately or infrequently. Smartphones were the most common device and the preferred device on which to access the app. There were no statistical differences in mean final grade between users and nonusers. Students with higher comfort levels with technology accessed the app more broadly than those with lower level of comfort with technology. Over 75% of students agreed that NutriBiochem was a useful learning tool, but fewer (∼45%) felt it helped them perform better in the course. The findings of this study are important, as they suggest that NutriBiochem is an effective study tool for students who are comfortable with technology, and access it regularly. Overall, the use of mobile applications in science education has been shown to be: 1) effective in enhancing students' learning experience; 2) relevant and important as an emergent method of learning given modern pressures facing higher education; and, 3) met with positive student attitudes and perceptions in terms of adopting and using such technology for educational purposes.


  • Teri, Saskia
  • Acai, Anita
  • Griffith, Douglas
  • Mahmoud, Qusay
  • Ma, David WL
  • Newton, Genevieve

publication date

  • March 2014