mlearn project

Charles Sturt University's Mobile Learning Project

Developing subjects for Mobile Learning

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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!


Author: Tim Klapdor

Passionate about good design, motivated by the power of media and enchanted by the opportunities of technology.

One thought on “Developing subjects for Mobile Learning

  1. Thanks for this Tim. I agree, its all about integrating a new method over time. I’ll check out the resources / sites / research you have listed and give it further thought.

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