Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

British Journal of Educational Technology




The rise of mobile learning in schools during the past decade has led to promises about the power of mobile learning to extend and enhance student cognitive engagement. The purpose of this study was to examine trends to determine the cognitive level students are involved in within mobile learning activities. This systematic review involved an aggregated and configurative synthesis of PK-12 mobile learning studies from 2010 to 16 and used Bloom’s Taxonomy as a theoretical framework for categorizing the cognitive level of student activities. Major new findings include that students are involved in activities at all six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. This study shows that over 60% of researchers are developing activities that require high levels of cognitive processing, a large increase from past studies. Nonetheless, 40% are integrating mobile devices in ways that keep students working with minimal cognitive processing. In both elementary and secondary studies, there was a 40/60% split in the use of lower versus high level thinking opportunities. New findings show that mobile devices were integrated into science, mathematics, social studies, literacy, art and special education. Studies in science settings were the majority of the studies (40%), followed by literacy (24%).


Early access version.


0000-0002-1775-8219 (Crompton)

Original Publication Citation

Crompton, H. , Burke, D. and Lin, Y. (2018), Mobile learning and student cognition: A systematic review of PK‐12 research using Bloom’s Taxonomy. British Journal of Educational Technology, 1-18. doi:10.1111/bjet.12674