Extending eLearning to mLearning – effectiveness of mobile devices in course delivery
Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore
The introduction of mobile learning tools has brought about the phenomenon of “unwired classroom” and a whole new dimension of education. As Keegan (2002) anticipated, “mobile learning is a harbinger of the future of learning”. Technologies are transforming learning materials into more engaging and interactive resources in which instructions can be customized to suit students’ learning needs and styles. The use of mobile technologies has grown to such an extent over recent years that they now overtake the proliferation of personal computers in modern professional and social contexts (Attewell, 2005).
This presentation describes the use of in-house developed learning eBooks in the teaching and delivery of courses for the engineering diploma. This has enabled enriched student learning on mobile devices which they are most likely to own. The eBooks support the School of Engineering vision of access to knowledge anywhere and everywhere – even when the mobile device is offline and connection to the Internet is not possible. The eBooks can be used off-line and online and is platform independent. The strong pedagogical framework allows instructors to develop rich content to achieve self-paced learning and build student competency over time.
The student feedback has been encouraging with 100% of the students rating the eBook as excellent or good. The rating for provision of module material and overall module feedback has also been 100% excellent or good.
The 2010 JISC mobile review aptly summarizes that mobile learning presents the potential to drive innovation in education. (Belshaw, 2010) The development of the eBooks has resulted in integrated, interactive and improved learning outcomes which are being measured. The eBooks enable the student to view and visualize difficult concepts through simulations.The student acquires a repertoire of learning strategies and practices which help in developing confident and self-directed learners.