Theses and Dissertations


John Harper

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

Armstrong, Christopher Clayton

Committee Member

Prince, Debra L.

Committee Member

King, Stephnie B.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


Since the turn of the century, cell phones have increasingly become prevalent within modern society. The widespread use of these mobile devices has proliferated in academic settings in recent years. Ownership of cell phones among college students has soared during the same period. This dissertation joins a growing conversation in education research about the challenges that cell phone use in the classroom has caused. I explored what college students’ experiences are with text messaging during class and how they perceive policies for cell phone use for the classroom. This research study was guided by six research questions: (1) What are college students’ general experiences with text messaging? (2) What are college students’ observations of cell phone use by others? (3) What are college students’ practices of cell phone use in the classroom? (4) What are college students’ experiences with issues related to cell phone use in the classroom? (5) What are college students’ perceptions about cell phone policies for class? (6) Do college students’ perceptions of appropriate cell phone policies for class vary by select demographic variables (age, gender, ethnicity, class standing, and community college experience)? A quantitative cross-sectional research design was utilized to describe college students’ perceptions of cell phone use during class and to identify what the perceptions of appropriate cell phone policies for class are among certain demographics of students. A web-based survey consisting of 28 questions was sent 264 undergraduate and graduate Political Science students with 43 (16%) responding. Descriptive statistics and Pearson’s chi-squared statistical test was used to analyze the data. The findings from this research revealed that perceptions of appropriate cell phone policies for class differ among certain demographic variables. Additionally, students think that they should be allowed to use their cell phones during class but agree that policies to govern the use of cell phone during class are needed.