What Apps Do Postsecondary Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Actually Find Helpful for Doing Schoolwork? An Empirical Study

  •  Catherine S. Fichten    
  •  Alice Havel    
  •  Mary Jorgensen    
  •  Susie Wileman    
  •  Maegan Harvison    
  •  Rosie Arcuri    
  •  Olivia Ruffolo    


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) experts and individuals with ADHD have made many recommendations concerning mobile apps that could potentially help college students succeed. But do students know about these recommended apps? Do they find them useful? How do students use mobile apps for completing schoolwork? To answer these questions we carried out two empirical studies. In study 1, 35 Canadian postsecondary students who self-reported ADHD and 74 students without disabilities completed an online LimeSurvey questionnaire and indicated which of 20 expert recommended schoolwork-related apps they had tried and which they liked. In Study 2, nine students with ADHD specified how they used their technologies to complete schoolwork. Results indicate that students with and without ADHD were familiar with only 13 of the 20 apps recommended by experts, and that they liked only 11. For completing academic work, the most popular apps were built-in smartphone camera and recording apps. Students also found Microsoft, Google, Pomodoro and Kahoot apps helpful. Discord was the most popular app for collaboration with classmates. Results show that students with and without ADHD found the same apps and technologies helpful. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study to actually query students with ADHD about their app use and preferences. We conclude that disability service providers, academic administrators and access technologists need to stay up-to-date about general use mobile apps to enable them to make appropriate recommendations to help students with ADHD succeed in college.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

Journal Metrics

Google-based Impact Factor (2021): 1.93

h-index (July 2022): 48

i10-index (July 2022): 317

h5-index (2017-2021): 31

h5-median (2017-2021): 38

Learn more