G. Holweg, R. Pucher, F. Schmöllebeck

University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien (AUSTRIA)
Today students privately own smartphones, tablets and laptop computers and use them for many tasks in their daily life – for fun, entertainment, work and studies. Also they expect to be supported by this technology in their efforts to study in the most efficient way possible. This is especially true for technically oriented students in computer science, as these students are everyday faced with the new possibilities new technology offers in their everyday life.

Computer like devices seem to force a change in the way teaching and learning is done in educational fields in many ways. This often happens “behind the scenes”. It is often unknown how computers and other devices are used by individuals and what they actually are used for. Learning goes mobile and can be done whenever and wherever students want. On the other hand teaching changes dramatically and learning material is often online and can be used by students according to their needs. It‘s clear that both sides (mobile learning and online material) have to go hand in hand and new teaching and learning methods appear, as for example Blended Learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Flipped Classrooms, Distance Study Courses, special forms of Project Based Learning (PBL), to name just a view of them.

At the University of Applied Science Technikum Wien during the last years large investments had been made to provide hardware equipment, like computer classrooms and server infrastructure. In Computer Science courses students are expected to use this infrastructure for many types of lessons. However, for several years now it can be observed that an increasing number of students prefer to use own equipment for learning tasks in the classroom and at home, as they feel this is much more comfortable compared to dealing with preinstalled classroom computers with restrictive usage policies.

Realizing how students deal with modern equipment can widen the view, as for example browsing moodle and reading pdf documents on smart phones, adding notes to a pdf document directly on the computer’s screen by using a stylus, taking a picture of exercises solved on paper with a smartphone and uploading it to Moodle and much, much more.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a concept that also can be used to free budgets which had to be used for hardware. Already starting with 2007 the authors implemented BYOD in many courses. It is now a commonly used concept in software engineering and in computer science. Although the concept works fine it is often not clear for the authors which kinds of electronic devices students own (smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, desktop computers at home, other devices like e.g. Raspberry Pi, …), and how these devices are used in learning activities. Many devices are not directly visible to the teachers, as for example private desktop computers that are used as web servers needed for project work. The authors found that in many cases server infrastructure and electronical equipment made available by the university is not used to the expected extend; instead students prefer to use their own equipment.

For this reason a survey among students is done that gives insight into penetration and usage of privately owned electronical devices used for studies. The proposed paper will present details on the survey.