mLearn 2012: Lessons Through Exploration
It is now more than a year into the mLearn Project and we would like to share what we have learnt and discovered through the work carried out so far. This report has been divided into a number of different sections, aimed at providing direct access to relevant information. The report will cover case studies of mobile technology pilots over two sessions in 2012 in a learning and teaching context. It will also discuss the results of the surveys undertaken as part of the Project, to highlight the successes and failures of these pilots. The report will also outline the work done, and the results so far, in the development of a mobile solution for CSU Subject Outlines and learning resources.
To navigate this report use the menu on the right. The report is also 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 word ‘mobile’ is now an umbrella term used to define the hardware, mobility of the user and the supporting technologies and interfaces. Mobile has become a broader cultural label encompassing the technologies, ideas, customs, and behaviors that accompany these devices. This report uses the cultural form throughout, except where referring to devices or technology explicitly.
Approach & Process
The Project has attempted to follow an agile methodology guided by milestones and sessional deadlines. The Project philosophy has been shaped by the technology industry, which has a proven record in innovation and adaptability to a rapidly changing environment.
The philosophy of the Project aligns in many ways with the model outlined in the Lean Startup (Ries, 2011), and follows the core principle of Build-Measure-Learn. The Project is Build-oriented with a focus on outcomes and actions. It is planned that these outcomes will be used to Measure results, which in turn will allow the university as a whole, to Learn from the experience.
The Project follows an agile development process (Beck, et al., 2001) with specific focus on user satisfaction, rapid delivery, tangible use, sustainable development, good design and simplicity. Regular adaptation to changing circumstances is crucial to the work of the Project.
The Project is multi-threaded with a number of concurrent areas of work. Rather than a number of small separate projects, these are all grouped under the one banner making optimum use of the cross over in knowledge and skills. The focus is on encouraging small-scale innovation rather than large-scale outcomes. Innovation is seen as an incubator for ideas and a proving ground for new technology. By conducting real world pilots on a small scale, it is hoped that they will be easier to support, and will provide lessons as to what works and what does not. The Project has been equipped to provide academic staff and students with access to mobile technology, the required support mechanisms and technically capable staff, so that it is driven by innovative ideas that can be put into action.
Project involvement runs across disciplines and includes representations from most divisions and all faculties. The aim is for innovation not to be siloed or restricted, and to allow it to complement strategic goals throughout the university. Developers will work directly with users and stakeholders, creating strong bonds between the needs of the users and the work being undertaken.