Use of Science Mobile Apps among Undergraduate Science Students and Its Impact on Their Interest and Learning
FAMTE / FDLA Virtual Conference: Distance Learning: Raising the Bar for K-20
September 30 - October 2, 2020
In a paper, ‘The potential of socio-biologically relevant mobile applications to attract girls to STEM’ presented at the FDLA Conference 2019, we had proposed the use of free/low-cost mobile apps with real-life or socio-biological relevance as a strategy to attract girls at the middle and high school levels to subjects in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). In this session, we share findings from an exploratory study where we examined if and how undergraduate science students at a large university in South Florida use science mobile apps with real-world relevance. Based on student perceptions, we discuss to what extent the use of these mobile apps boost student interest and enhance their learning in science courses. One of the challenges faced by many undergraduate science programs, is keeping students engaged and minimizing attrition. Many students who enter science programs either switch to other majors due to a loss of interest and/or poor grades, or completely drop out of college. Hence, sustaining and even increasing their interest in science is critical to ensuring their successful completion and entry into graduate programs or careers in STEM fields. One of the main drivers of students’ interest in science courses, is the availability and accessibility of tools that allow them hands-on experience of real-life scientific applications or science addressing real-world problems. Mobile apps enable contextualized learning experiences and connections across disciplines within STEM to achieve this. In this session, we also discuss methods for adopting and integrating science mobile apps as a way to attract, retain and support undergraduate students in science programs. We believe that attendees, whether from K-12 or higher education who are interested in the use of mobile technology to enhance student engagement and retention, will find something to take away from this session.
Conference Proceeding Title
Distance Education: Raising the Bar K-20
Nethi, Vanaja and De, Santanu, "Use of Science Mobile Apps among Undergraduate Science Students and Its Impact on Their Interest and Learning" (2020). Biology Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures. 427.