Self-regulation strategies of smartphone use during university self-study

Rebecca Barron, LINDA KAYE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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The role of smartphones within education has received a lot of media and academic attention. This has typically focused on their use in the classroom, within tutor-directed sessions. However, less has been focused on how smartphone use is negotiated within self-study. Using semi-structured interviews, the current study sought to explore final year undergraduate students’ (N = 6) strategies for smartphone self-regulation during self-study time and the extent to which these strategies were effective. IPA revealed three main themes: “Urgency, Context and Consistency”, “Learned Helplessness” and “Fear of Missing out (FoMO)”. The findings extend our understanding of how conceptual frameworks such as self-regulation apply to smartphone regulation during self-study and provide insight into the barriers for effective regulatory behaviour. Implications for both self-study efficacy and smartphone regulation are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47
Number of pages57
JournalThe Journal of Social Media for Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • smartphones
  • self-regulation
  • self-study
  • higher education
  • social media


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