Good Practice Guide and Use Case Studies of Mobile Learning (#mlearning)
As ownership of smartphones and tablets grows there is increasing interest in how they might be used to support learning and teaching, both in the classroom and beyond. This Best Practice Guide has been put together by the UCISA Digital Skills and Development Group Academic Support sub-group to provide examples of good practice in using mobile technologies to enhance learning.
Mobile learning: How mobile technologies can enhance the learning experience (Link to full guide)
It includes six interesting case studies from different institutions on how mobile devices/technologies have been used to enhance the learning experience.
Mobile for fieldwork in Environmental Sciences
The intended result of this activity was to encourage and enable students to quickly and easily document discoveries and ideas in the field, to access resources electronically and reuse data in other learning contexts, and to encourage students to develop a collaborative approach to data sharing and discourse. Overall, the aim was to encourage students to create as well as consume data.
Using iPads to promote collaborative learning
We incorporated the use of iPads into the practical skills sessions of our second year undergraduate Physiotherapy students and asked them to film themselves performing practical skills. In small groups of up to four students they created, reviewed and shared their own student generated short videos in a range of communication and skill based activities to:
- Review and critique their performance of skills and practical techniques to improve both their practical skills and, by working in groups, develop their peer feedback skills.
– Review communication skills by recording samples of interaction and then use these videos to highlight effective communication and good practice.
Once created, these videos were used as a starting point for debrief and reflection sessions with academic staff, to promote both practical skills development and the ability to critique performance and give supportive peer feedback. Each of the students reviewed their own performance to promote reflection on their own skills and then provided feedback on the performance of others. If desired, the videos could then be emailed or uploaded to the VLE for further reflection and review at a later session or to support revision for practical exams.
Modelling effective mobile learning is infectious
In this case study we investigate the mobile learner experience, the potential impact on teachers’ own professional practice and share lessons learnt which might be useful for other practitioners. We used a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach to develop digital skills and behaviours needed in the 21st century for learning (Hamza & Noordin, 2013) on the go, in and outside the classroom as a more sustainable solution. We focus in this study on the use of social media in the context of mobile learning. Indicatively, 16 out of 17 students on our January 2013 cohort had a mobile device and were using it. We had our mobile devices switched on to explore together the potential of these digital Swiss army tools for learning and teaching, and we did this individually and through group activities. We experimented together and reflected on their use in the context of this module, but also more widely for teaching practices.
We advise teachers to participate in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities, courses and programmes, in their institution and/or outside, and use these technologies as learners first. It is recommended that institutions help with the implementation of BYOD interventions by providing pedagogical and technological support and guidance to teachers and students (Hamza & Noordin, 2013). Seizing opportunities to actively experiment and carry out research around mobile learning will deepen understanding, boosting teachers’ confidence and competence in utilising these for learning and teaching based on an informed pedagogical rationale.
Implementing mobile learning with iPads in higher education: a large scale case study
We report on the findings of the first and largest iPad mobile learning (m-learning) case study that has been conducted in UK higher education. Following their introduction to our student community, the use of iPads has been evaluated in terms of their usability, acceptability and student perceptions of the impact on their learning processes and experience.
MMS students now have ready access to existing and newly developed, bespoke learning resources. This permits them to:
- make better use of their time – reducing potential dead time while they were waiting for a clinical or other scheduled learning activity
- access resources on the go, providing the opportunity for just in time learning
- immediately capture a record of their learning experiences as they are happening
All of these have contributed to a more connected and better unified clinical student learning experience.
Additional evaluation is currently being conducted into how the use of mobile devices can be better integrated with the currently employed core learning methodologies. Particular attention to, and review of, our problem based learning approach is underway to improve the student learning experience. The disruptive nature of technology has changed the problem based learning process with students having ubiquitous access to the internet. The pedagogical approach to curriculum delivery must, therefore, change to address this. A study of clinical PBL tutor perceptions of iPad use has been piloted and is continuing (expected publication in 2014). Additionally, a pilot of using iPads to improve the case close in clinical PBL, by using software that encourages flipping the classroom is planned for early 2014 (expected publication 2014).
The involvement of students has been an invaluable element in the success of the project, with students innovating and discovering new ways of learning to augment and improve their learning. Many of the developments have been student led and also designed as a direct consequence of student feedback.
Enhancing the formative assessment environment through the use of mobile technologies
Group assessments on the module were assessed formatively using a combination of peer, self and tutor feedback. An overall judgement was derived from a dialogic approach (Alexander, 2008) involving negotiation between all group members and the tutor. This has been shown to be a successful approach impacting positively on students’ own teaching and learning practice. The opportunity to use mobile technologies was recognised as a potential enhancement to existing good practice in formative dialogic assessment
The key findings identified were:
- The students’ level of engagement with peer review and feedback increased significantly when using the iPads
(100% engagement when iPads were used).
- The students reflected critically on the use of the technology and the peer assessment process. This was particularly evident when the students shared their concerns and frustrations on using the eClicker application for providing feedback on the science themed assemblies and lessons. The students reported that they would have liked to be able to provide written feedback when answering the questions in order to justify their responses. The group of students also expressed concern over the lack of explanation when they received feedback that was either disagree or strongly disagree. To address this, the Socrative application was used for the remainder of the investigation.
- The students began reflecting on the process of peer feedback as a means of assessment; 87% of students made
use of peer assessment and feedback with children during their second year placement.
The student experience of using iPads to enhance undergraduate laboratory teaching
To support the iPad rollout, a phased model of development was deployed using the Jisc InfoNet Mobile Learning InfoKit (2012) as a basis. Initial displacement activity was designed to evolve into enrichment and transformation as staff and students developed more confidence and experience.
From the onset of the project we enabled students to choose apps for use in their studies aligned to their own practice and preference. Indeed, research into the personalisation of online learning environments recognises the importance of student choice (Teemu et al., 2012). Conversely, it was also recognised that some students, who perhaps lack the confidence or experience to choose their own apps, may require initial support.
Following best practice, evidenced through recent work by Jisc and in line with the National Union of Students, QAA and Government agendas, we wanted to involve students to support the development of the project – students as change agents! Therefore, a student iPad team was recruited via competitive selection and awarded a scholarship of £1,500. The task of the iPad team involved promoting activity, developing a web presence, organising a student centred app reviewing process and supporting research. The iPad team were also tasked with creating support material for the next iteration of students based upon student feedback and personal experience. Through constant engagement with the iPad team, and through their activities, we were in a strong position to deliver an agile project that could quickly adapt as required.
Check out their lessons learnt from this project!
From these case studies, we can find that effective mobile learning is going away from the top, passive teaching method, of the Learning Pyramid to the bottom, participatory learning. This image is adapted from National Training Laboratories, Maine. (from http://midt2012.wordpress.com/)