InContext: A mobile application for the improvement of learning strategies at University
Keywords:Mobile application, journalism, research methodology, educational innovation, higher education, writing, pedagogical research, didactic proposal
InContext is a custom-designed mobile application for writing assignments intended for university students in journalism and research methodology courses. In these disciplines, it has been observed that there is a need for an educational and technological tool to guide the writing of text using preloaded templates in which students can input text and multimedia material to create articles or write research reports. Besides its ease of use, the app was intended to improve metacognitive thinking. This led to the establishment of six working hypotheses in an exploratory study. For the study, a random sample of students enrolled in the aforementioned courses was selected during the August-December 2019 semester at a private university in Mexico. They took a pre-test using the “Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire” (MSLQ) that had been translated into Spanish and already validated in Mexico. Subsequently, the students used the application and then answered the same questionnaire as a post-test. The study aimed to compare the results of the tests to see whether there was an improvement in cognitive skills. The results showed an increase in four skills: critical thinking, data search, cognitive self-regulation, and regulation of effort. The research results did indicate metacognitive development that would benefit the academic and professional work of future graduates.