Ubiquitous Connectivity and Students’ Well-being: a Situational Analysis in a UK University

By Michele Salvagno, Jacqui Taylor, Milena Bobeva and Maggie Hutchings.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: September 28, 2015 Free Download

Recent research underlined as ubiquitous connectivity has changed the nature of traditional campus universities by creating technology-mediated environments where physical and virtual domains integrate and overlap. The aim of this research is to investigate how ubiquitous connectivity is impacting on university students’ daily lives and consequent wellbeing. On-campus undergraduate and postgraduate university students and staff members from the same department were involved using a qualitative survey, semi-structured interviews and a variation of the Experience Sampling Method. The data analysis followed two different steps: firstly, a socio-constructivist framework was adopted to highlight how students’ experiences with ubiquitous connectivity are socially and discursively constructed. Secondly, the results were discussed in the light of the two main well-being approaches existing in literature: hedonic and eudaimonic. The results show that the hedonic perspective seems to be prominent among students. Ubiquitous connectivity is mainly appreciated for its capability to make university day-to-day experiences easier to manage. Moreover, stress avoidance or relief seems to be one of the main goals that learners seek to obtain through ubiquitous connectivity. However, technologies also play an active role in disrupting learners’ well-being by increasing their level of stress due to difficulties in accessing resources, info overload or unorganised online materials.

Keywords: ubiquitous connectivity, students’ well-being, technology-mediated learning

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 8, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.1-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: September 28, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 687.997KB)).

Michele Salvagno

Postgraduate Researcher (PhD student), Psychology department, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK

Assoc. Prof. Jacqui Taylor

Associate Professor, Psychology, Bournemouth University, Poole, Dorset, UK

Dr. Milena Bobeva

Bournemouth, UK

Dr. Maggie Hutchings

Bournemouth, UK