Evidence-based Smartphone Use among Engineering Students in an Academic Writing Course

Jeffrey Dawala Wilang, Michelle Andrino Garcia


The role of smartphones is vital in academia as interconnectivity in the classroom promotes learning autonomy, increases motivation, and enhances teaching and learning mobility. Using classroom research design, this study aimed to investigate the perspectives of Engineering students of smartphone use in an academic writing course. The data were collected from students enrolled in a writing course in a top-ranked Science and Technology university in Thailand. Fifty students voluntarily submitted reflections towards the end of the semester. The study was qualitative, in which inductive coding was used. The findings elicited specific situations of smartphone use in an academic writing course, for example, knowing and looking at the meaning of words, knowing the word form, finding information, taking notes, brainstorming with friends, using translation, and others. Two roles of smartphone use were coded. The first role is facilitative, which has the following functions: resource-based, cognitive-based, memory-based, output-based, collaborative-based, entertainment-based, and communicative-based. Another is the debilitative role indicating two functions, such as sources of cognitive distraction and undesirable behaviors. Interestingly, self-regulation of smartphone use in class was coded. Implications on how smartphones can be used in teaching writing were also discussed.


smartphones use; academic writing; reflective writings; facilitative role; debilitative role

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Copyright (c) 2021 Jeffrey Dawala Wilang, Michelle Andrino Garcia

International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) – eISSN: 1863-0383
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