mlearn project

Charles Sturt University's Mobile Learning Project

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Developing subjects for Mobile Learning

My experiences over the last few years in developing technology and content for education has led me to one specific truth. Integration is the key.

Technology, content, resources and practices are useless if they are not integrated into the learning process. Students need to see value and benefit, not more work and more time. If it’s not integrated students won’t use it, and all the time, effort and money will be for nothing. Many academics have been left pulling their hair asking why and questioning your students ability to “get it”, simply because they didn’t integrate it into the subject.

Integration doesn’t have to be big and scary – it could be integration on a much smaller scale – a single topic, task, class or assessment. My advice would be to start small, test it and build on your successes. A phased and iterative approach means that you can shape, tailor and adapt to changes and responses from your students. Integration evolves over time – it might start off as a choice or an alternative before it’s ready to become mainstream, mandatory or compulsory.

After a quick chat with David Reid in Bathurst I though I need to start collecting some information and resources about developing a subject for mobile learning.


Next Steps in Mobile Learning: a great infographic illustrating the path to mobile learning. It takes you down the path using key questions and statements to define and guide you through. Need help with the first step? Well try our next resource …

A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: This interactive diagram of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives is nice display of some of the key learning objectives (is a rollover interactive?). So when thinking about mobile learning – think how can I use this to meet one of these objectives.


There are some great examples of what and how academics have already integrated mobile learning. There’s often no need to start from scratch – build on those who gave gone before you.

Abilene Christian University have been doing mobile learning for a while – probably longer than anyone else. If you’re looking for examples you need to look at their ACU Connected site. The work by their research fellows show mobile learning being applied in a huge variety of ways – and in a range of subject areas. They also have a great set of resources available (multimedia gallery, links to organisations and papers, and a list of tools)  and some really good videos too – many available on their iTunes U site.

Thom Cochrane: Thom has been working in mobile learning for quite some time and has a great wiki with pages on some of the various projects he’s been involved with. Plenty of media in there to – youtube, prezi, images. I particularly love the story of how student Lisa became an instant star on Twitter with her tweet “I Hate Technology”.


ACU have been putting the work done by their research fellows on their website. I would also take a look at their yearly reports if you want snap shots and wider student population data. I would definitely recommend reading their latest 2010-11 Report (PDF) – some great quotes from students, teachers and interesting stats!

I’m going to point to Thom Cochrane again. He’s got huge lists of references for most of his articles, so that’s another good place to start.

I’d also link to this site as well – the Learning with Mobiles article has some links to Dr Jan Herrington’s work and some other research articles and examples.

This isn’t meant as a complete list… it’s a starting point. Everyone’s experiences, needs and knowledge will be different – so choose your own path. If you find anything on your journey tell us about it – add a comment to the page. Share and pass it on!


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27 Benefits of Mobile Learning

As a starting point for mobile learning it great to see this recent review of research on mobile learning by Dr. Naomi Norman.

  1. Convenience (learning location)
  2. Convenience (timely learning)
  3. Reassurance
  4. Flexibility
  5. Relevance
  6. Control of learning
  7. Quick and easy access to information
  8. Quick and easy communication
  9. Easy knowledge sharing
  10. Improved learner confidence
  11. Supported decision making
  12. Improved care
  13. Fits many learning styles
  14. Choice
  15. Good use of ‘dead time’
  16. Lends itself to informal learning
  17. Convenience (assessment location)
  18. Convenience (timely assessment)
  19. Easy evidence collection (for e-portfolios)
  20. Immediacy of assessment feedback
  21. Easy reference to previous assessments
  22. Easy repeating self-assessment
  23. Easy contact with mentors
  24. Consistency
  25. Efficiency and cost savings
  26. Wide reach
  27. Appeal across the board

via – The Mobile Learning Edge – Thanks!

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mLearn will be at CSUEd

For everyone at CSU – the project will be making an appearance at CSUEd. Philip and myself will be presenting Mobile learning at CSU: Increasing flexibility for our students in building 754 room 103 at 1.35pm on Wednesday.

I’ll also be set up in the learning hub hallway during the breaks if you want to catch up with me, have a chat or find out more about the project!

Hope to see you there!


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Learning with Mobiles

It’s time to start assembling our guide to Learning with mobiles!

While mobile learning is fairly new to the scene, learning isn’t. The position we find ourselves in is not one where we a faced with a blank page or a staring into the abyss – in fact there is a huge amount of data, information and research out there, not just about mobile learning – but learning itself. Rather than starting from scratch we are actually starting well ahead of the field. The key is to choose the best approaches and to learn from what has proceeded us.

Dr Jan Herrington, Professor of Education at Murdoch University has been working on eLearning and authentic learning models for many years. Her keynote from ULearn11 goes through some of the characteristics of authentic learning and some of the pedagogical approaches applicable to mobile learning – Tools for learning: Mobile phones and authentic learning tasks. (I love the quote – “teach carpentry, not hammer”. )

Jan has also contributed to a couple of papers that outline pedagogy and research methods:

I’ve been using the curation service ScoopIt and collected a range of resources related to mLearning in Higher Education.

The Victorian Department of Education has been running a iPads for Learning pilot in their primary schools and have collected a range of useful examples, ideas and resources:

Have a look at the post on this blog Creating Unique Mobile Experiences for some ideas about how to incorporate mobility into your learning.

Here’s a great diagram of iPad apps but laid out in using Blooms Taxonomy: Bloom's Taxonomy for iPads

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Mobile Push & Pull

Mobile Technology represents a unique convergence point. Typically technology is single purpose (lots of ‘A or B’ statements) but mobile often converges two very different possibilities (‘A and B’ statements). For example mobile can be used to create and consume and content can be pushed and pulled, passive and active, public and private.

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