Posts filed under ‘mobile learning’
I attended a Heriot-Watt University research seminar on 3rd December, given by Lisa Gjedde from the University of Aarhus’s Danish School of Education. The topic was ‘Mobile Learning Environments: Exploring Potentials for Contextual and Engaging Learning’ with Lisa giving a couple of examples of this type of learning put into practice. A summary of her presentation is available below.
Firstly, Lisa showed the benefits of the FlexLearn project, a project aimed at educating truck drivers through the use of video and mobile phones. As it would be difficult to get (and keep) the attention of these learners, the project created on-demand lessons to be re-visited, in order for the learners to re-take as required.
Research methods used included observations and qualitative interviews during three pilot courses with eight learners. Interviews were also undertaken with certified truck drivers, teachers and office workers, as the as iterative design process was used.
Upon analysing the challenges that came out of the research, the following issues were raised:
- Unfamiliarity with technology
- The effort of coaches was needed to help those unaccustomed to mobile phones.
- Lack of adaptivity
- Continuously being exposed to terms that were not understood caused frustration.
- Different genres
- Different genres, such as animation, may have added to the experience.
- Teacher presence
- The presence of a teacher would have made a difference
Analysing the motivation, it was felt the following were useful:
- Multiple choice questions with instant feedback
- Self-directed repetition
- Self-paced progression
- Easy tools access
The role of a coach through video and multiple choice helped to make it seem like the coach was really there, as the pre-recorded video coaching was interspersed with multiple choice questions. The video format alone found favour with those suffering from dyslexia, as it was found to be “better than expected”. Those from different cultural backgrounds also found greater success with the video format, suggesting that is not merely an alternative format for use in learning and teaching, but may encourage greater success among those who find more traditional formats difficult.
Mobile Game-based Learning Environments
Lisa advised of another project which – through exploring the use of mobile learning games – should deliver recommendations for MLE design. With international partners including Nokia, the project aims to look at issues such as motivation, through the use of techniques like story enhancement and emotional design. In terms of engaging learning, key techniques could include:
- Developing and refining
- Deriving excitement
Considering mobile learning perspectives, Lisa mentioned the following features:
- visual and auditive for preferred learning styles
- suitable for blended learning
- may support deeper learning.
Further questions to consider in this area might include: the effects on engagement, how mobile-based interactive learning environments support active construction of knowledge and developing competencies through different conceptual tasks.
In summary, it was interesting and useful to see that learners with dyslexia and those with non-native cultural backgrounds may perform better with alternative media formats. This can perhaps skip some of the issues associated with handwriting/English by adopting a more visual approach, which may also suit those with a preferred visual/interactive learning style.