mlearn project

Charles Sturt University's Mobile Learning Project

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Project Achievements and Plans

OK I am due another update on the blog so here we are! I thought I would outline what we have done so far and what’s coming up for the team.

Subject Outlines

The project has been consistently working on mobilising the subject outlines on the web for use by students. The aim of this work is to deliver access to a high volume student site and provide significant benefit to the student experience. This service will be available for students for 201360.

Learning Resources

The project has undertaken an extensive exploration of the available learning resources and available techniques, file types, development processes and software available to deliver content to mobile.

Device Trials


Twelve iPads and seven Sony Reader devices were purchased for the Library to explore opportunities for lending to students. Initial plans for device lending included supporting students on work placements, lending to remote and distance education students, pre-loading devices with learning resources, eBooks, journal articles etc., and purchasing apps or other mobile friendly resources.

ITC594 – E-commerce Technologies

This subject provided the challenge of equipping and delivering support to multiple cohorts of students who were studying on campus, by distance and through the Melbourne & Sydney Study Centres. The devices were used to inform and enhance a research project into mobile technology and e-commerce and provide students with the tools to explore mobile technology uses. The project was also able to assess the process required for delivery and return of devices to non-internal students.

EML302 – Investigation: Literacy

In this trial students used the capabilities of the device to create multimodal text. They participated in weekly tutorial sessions and asked to develop writing tasks using the iPad and post these writing tasks to a class blog in an attempt to assess the efficacy of the iPad.

MRS222 – Nuclear Medicine Science 1

This subject formed a longitudinal study, as it is a yearlong subject and the same cohort of students have continued into 2013. The trial looked at many aspects of integrating the technology into the classroom including the addition of interactive elements to a standard lecture using responseware. The devices were used to provide an information access point and communication tool for students on placement and provision support to students on placement through video chat. The trial also explored the use of discipline specific applications as a learning resource, multimedia capabilities to record learning practice in a video diary and leverage 3G technology to provide ubiquitous access to subject materials.

Apps in Nursing – Simulation & Resources

The iPad was deployed with the patient monitor app SimMon to enhance the simulation environment in the skills ward at Albury campus in conjunction with simulation manikins that were already in situ. To use this app, one device becomes a patient monitor, displaying patient heart rate, blood pressure and SpO2. A second device is used by the facilitator to change patient vital signs on the first device (the monitor) in order to simulate a deteriorating or improving patient. The iPads are also used to access resources such as e-MIMS for students to look up different drugs and acquire the most up to date information. This also extends to a range of other resources available through CSU Library’s extensive digital catalogues.

iPads for Accessibility

The disability service evaluated the mobile learning environment and accessibility aspects of iPads. Students assessed how the devices cope with vision impairment, utilising on-screen enlargement and text to speech software.  The assessment extends to how learning resources may be delivered in a variety of accessible formats.

Demonstrating mathematics using an iPad

This group are investigating the use of iPads in mathematically based subjects to improve the student experience and performance. One area they are investigating is how to reduce or break down the barrier for distance students having difficulty with problem solving. Direct interaction with distance students would enable improved problem solving, concept development and retention in highly mathematical subjects. The final area of investigation is the use of apps to record drawing and handwriting with voice to create resources that can be stored and sent to students to explain difficult concepts and problem solving instruction.

iPads for Teaching

This cohort of participants will assess the utility of the iPad for a range of tasks in academic roles. This includes the use of the iPad to facilitate paperless marking, social media engagement with students, investigation of learning resources, implementation of paperless strategies and the integration of mobile technology into a range of teaching contexts across a range of discipline areas.

iPads for Writing

Students enrolled in the subject, Writing for Publishing, will assess the capabilities of the iPad for writing extensively and capitalise on its portability and extra functionalities. This trial will also investigate paperless marking and the use of social media.

Mobile Devices for Digital Media

Students in the subject, Understanding Digital Media, will assess the suitability of mobile technology as a means of production of digital media. Students are exposed to a range of technology from consumer grade gear through to professional production equipment. The large cohort of students will be able to loan the devices through the existing equipment lab in the school.

Further Plans in 2013

Mobile Hub

The project will develop a collaborative online space for disseminating and sharing resources, tutorials, reviews, research and information regarding the hardware, software and practices for mobile devices used by students, professional staff, academics and researchers in higher education.

Adaptive Digital Learning Resource

After our initial investigating the project has found that the existing formats are too specific for their delivery and in many cases that mobilisation of existing resources is too difficult to adapt to a huge variety of mobile devices. To provide a consistent user experience content needs to flow like water, changing its shape to match every presentation channel. In 2013 the project aims to address this by developing a proof of concept that would allow the development of adaptive educational resources that can be published for a range of platforms and purposes.