Students, Mobile Devices and Classrooms: A comparison of US and Arab Undergraduate Students in a Middle Eastern University

  •  Bibi Rahima Mohammad Abu Taleb    
  •  Chris Coughlin    
  •  Michael H. Romanowski    
  •  Yassir Semmar    
  •  Khaled Hosny Hosny    


The use of mobile devices in the university classroom is not limited to Western cultures. Rather universities in the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Countries face similar problems regarding smartphone usage in classrooms. This study utilizes Tindell and Bohlander’s (2012) survey to compare results regarding cell phones and text messaging in a small private US university to those in a Middle Eastern University located in a GCC country. The authors surveyed 300 randomly selected undergraduate students representing 26 majors located in seven different colleges to gain an understanding of their cell phones use in university classrooms. Comparison with US students demonstrates these students share a great deal of similarities although several findings indicate differences. To address the similarities and difference, the authors discuss globalization and relevant issues regarding the role culture plays in the use of this technology.

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