A Case Study of Community College Students' Perceptions Regarding iPad Use and Their Academic Achievement

Author/Creator ORCID




Community College Leadership Program


Doctor of Education

Citation of Original Publication




The TRiO Program is not an acronym; it refers to a number (initially three, now eight) of U.S federal programs, which increase access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students. TRiO programs are designed to assist first-generation college students, persons with disabilities, and low-income persons. This qualitative research study examined the TRiO students’ perception of iPad usage and how the iPad contributed to students achieving their course objectives. Achievement Goal Theory, used to frame this study, is a framework for understanding the principles used to measure success. In addition, the Achievement Goal Theory explains why people participate in achievement-related behavior (Ames, 1992a; Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Nicholls, 1984). The researcher collected and analyzed the qualitative data from student interviews, as well as an administrator, and three teachers’ observations. In addition, a syllabus was reviewed to know how much the iPad was used for completing assignments. The researcher utilized a convenience sample of ten community college students who had been using the iPad either in class or the TRiO lab. The findings showed that most of the students adopted the iPad in their academic lives and judged the iPad along with existing instructional technology in the classroom. Students indicated that they achieved course objectives in the class. The results also indicated that, according to the administrator and teachers, the use of the iPad in the classroom and lab was beneficial to the students’ performance in the classroom. These findings resulted in the following four themes regarding TRiO students’ perception of iPad usage and their academic achievement: accessibility, interaction in the classroom with applications and different programs, benefits of iPads, and improved study skills. The benefits of iPads and accessibility were the two dominant themes found throughout the research.