mlearn project

Charles Sturt University's Mobile Learning Project

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Project Report

I am pleased to have added the 2012 Project Report to the blog! The report is available via the MLEARN 2012 REPORT link at the top of the page. Once you’re in the report is navigable via the links in the right sidebar.

The report has taken sometime to put together as it is a detailed account of the three main components of the project – Build, Measure & Learn. The report follows the same structure. Build discusses the work done by the project, Measure details the  feedback and survey data, and Learn which is an attempt to quantify the broader experience of the project into key lessons.

The full report is available to download in full or as sections Build,Measure & Learn. The report is also available as a collections of Tweets ready to share. The report is also available on Slideshare to improve access and simplify dissemination. Please feel free to pass on and circulate the report with your peers and social networks. We would love to get any feedback so feel free to get in touch – leave a comment or find us on Twitter @csumlearn.

The report will hopefully add to the conversation and broad questions around the role of mobile technology in education and the challenges and opportunities that it brings.

On Slideshare you will also find the Project’s Guide to iPads and Mobile Devices which are a handy resource for any institution looking at finding out more about mobile technology and its implementation.


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New Presentation

A brief note to let you know that our Project Sponsor Philip Uys has developed a new presentation for the 3rd Annual E-Learning Summit in Melbourne.

We’ve embedded a cop of the presentation, “Mobile Learning and Student Engagement In and Outside the Classroom” below.

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Another List!

So I came across another list of 24 benefits of mobile learning by Marcus Boyes. To summarise:

  1. Convenience and flexibility: access anywhere, at any time – at the exact moment learning is required.
  2. Relevance: learning to be ‘situated rather than simulated’
  3. Learner control: empowers learners to take the initiative and direct their own learning activities.
  4. Good use of ‘dead time’: while travelling or waiting for a meeting to start (the bathroom also seems popular!).
  5. Fits many different learning styles: reading  video, animation, listening to podcasts, contributing to discussions, researching on the internet, rating skills on a diagnostic, etc …
  6. Improves social learning: enable interaction between peers and tutors using mobile devices.
  7. Encourages reflection: the voice recorder on many mobile devices enables effortless and instantaneous recording of thoughts and opinions..
  8. Easy evidence collection: readily available for collecting portfolio evidence via audio, still or video camera.
  9. Supported decision making: access to information, which enables the quick double-checking of a decision
  10. Speedier remediation: mobile learning enables forgotten or mistakenly remembered information to be speedily accessed and redressed.
  11. Improved learner confidence: short nuggets of learning offered on mobile devices, accessed prior to meetings or beginning tasks, improves learners’ confidence in their skills.
  12. Easily digestible learning: the small screen minimises the amount of information that can be offered to a learner at any given time.
  13. Heightened engagement: quick-fire knowledge or mobile assessments/quizzes, in keeps learning fresh and at the forefront of learners’ minds.
  14. Better planning for face-to-face sessions: quick pre-assessments via mobile devices enable trainers to determine learners’ level of knowledge and plan their sessions accordingly.
  15. Great for induction: induction on mobile devices enables learning to be contextualised to the exact spot in a workplace it makes reference to.
  16. Elimination of technological barriers: the use of a learner’s own mobile device means they are already familiar with the technology, eliminating technological barriers to accessing learning.
  17. Designed once: delivered across multiple platforms
  18. Easily trackable: mobile learning can be designed to enable tracking data to be saved and then synchronised over wireless.
  19. Cost-effective build: mobile learning is cheaper than supplying laptops and other computing devices for e-learning.
  20. A means to recoup money: students can have free access to the learning and another paid-for version to recoup costs.
  21. Direct interaction with learning: touch screens and other more direct input devices removes a layer of interactivity
  22. Big data tracking: with the integrated connection of mobiles devices to the web, it opens up the possibility of tracking everything the user does, how they use the learning, what questions they got right and even their behaviours.
  23. Context sensitive learning: with GPS and the use of QR codes learning can become specific to a location
  24. The power of personalisation: by getting the user to do the learning on their own personal device they are more likely to engage with the learning. They are also more likely to do the learning in their own time, rather than at work.

There’s a lot in common with the last list – maybe time to compile our own!

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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!