CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)


College of Engineering and Computing


Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Gertrude W. Abramson

Committee Member

Mike Lohle


College students, Educational technology, Instructional technology, Mobile computing, Technology acceptance, Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), Information technology, Information science, Educational technology


While research supports the integration of mobile computing into instruction, there is disagreement concerning the unstructured use of mobile devices in lecture-based college classrooms. Research supports the argument that unstructured use creates distraction and decreased academic performance. Research also suggests that unstructured use actually supports lecture instruction through personalized learning situations. In either case, the motivations of students to use mobile device is often unclear. This study sought to investigate the motivations for students’ acceptance of mobile devices. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) was utilized to identify the factors leading to college students’ adoption of mobile devices. A survey based on UTAUT was distributed to 254 college students in six distinct lecture-based general education courses. The results revealed that Performance Expectancy, Effort Expectancy, and Social Influence were positively correlated with Behavioral Intention for class-related behavior, with Performance Expectancy being the most significant. None of the constructs were significant for behavior unrelated to lecture. Analysis of the students’ intention based on the UTAUT moderators of age, gender, and experience did not produce any significant difference, nor did an analysis of the classes by subject. The study concludes that the ability of a mobile device to complete specific tasks was the strongest motivating factor leading to intention.