Students and their mobile devices : using learning motivations to predict specfic types of multicommunicating in class



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This study provides a first look into how learning motivations are associated with different ways that students use technology to carry on multiple conversations--multicommunicate--while in class. I use self-determination theory (SDT) to make predictions linking intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation, to classroom technology use. The resulting models find that intrinsic motivation is associated with students multicommunicating to gain and relay understanding during class. Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation explain why students use technology to support others during class. Personal multitasking preferences are linked to why people want to remain available while attending class. Finally, amotivation, teacher perception, and classroom perception is associated with students using technology in ways that are distracting. Being amotivated is not the only reason for students to multicommunicate for class distraction purposes. If a student holds negative perceptions for the teacher or the class, that can lead to a student multicommunicating for classroom distraction purposes as well. This study offers a test of the multicommunicating scale that can be useful for organizational communication. In addition, it opens the door for instructional communication scholars to more closely examine what students are doing when they use technology in class, and invites instructors to consider that some classroom multicommunicating behaviors might be productive for the learning process.