Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

First Advisor

Dr. Katherine Kasten

Second Advisor

Dr. Terrance W. Cavanaugh

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul D. Eggen


This research was designed to explore the learning experiences of state college students using mobile e-book readers. The purpose of the study was to build a rich description of how students used electronic textbooks delivered on mobile computing devices for college-level, introductory sociology courses. This research employed a multiple case study design that thoroughly investigated and documented student experiences with this instructional technology.

The bounding frame was comprised of the literature on mobile technology, mobile learning theories, and e-books. Situated within the mobile learning framework was a theoretical lens of learning theories commonly found in the literature on mobile learning (constructivism, social cognitive theory, self-efficacy theory, expectancy x value theory, self-determination theory, and situated cognition). This lens was used to provide insight into the student’s learning experiences.

This study was comprised of data from a variety of sources that were chosen for their ability to produce insight into the learning experiences of mobile e-book students taking introduction to sociology courses at a Southeastern public state college. The data analysis was comprised of three levels of increasing stages of granular examination. These included level one: descriptive summaries of student cases, level two: student and instructor interview data and excerpts from audio recording transcriptions organized by topical categories, and level three: cross-case synthesis relating to the theoretical framework and research questions.

Students were found to be competent with the e-books, confident, metacognitive, and desirous of more social learning opportunities within their e-books. By addressing the primary research question and the subquestions, six major conclusions were reached. These were: (a) students expressed competence in their use of the mobile e-books, (b) students expressed feelings of high self-efficacy when using the mobile e-books, (c) students overall valued the use of the e-book for their learning, (d) students were individualized and metacognitive in their learning with the mobile e-books, (e) students enhanced their learning socially and within situated learning opportunities, and (f) the students and the instructor had divergent views on the value and utility of social, interactive textbooks.

Increasing understanding of the use of electronic and mobile instructional technologies such as e-books may better assist educational leaders with preparing students for today’s global knowledge economy. Based on the conclusions of this study, recommendations for future research and educational leadership were addressed.

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Education Commons