How can mobile learning enhance the student learning experience? What are the pedagogic benefits related to the use of mobile technologies in learning, teaching and assessment activities. What are the most effective strategies for engaging learners as mobile learners? These are just some of the questions addressed in a new collection of case studies on institutional approaches to mobile learning which has been published by UCISA’s Academic Support Group.
As part of an official launch for the publication, a UCISA event entitled ‘Effective use of mobile technologies to enhance learning, teaching and assessment’ was held at Imperial College London on Thursday 23rd January, at which representatives from the six featured institutions presented on their case studies. John Traxler, Professor of Mobile Learning at the University of Wolverhampton, kicked off proceedings with a keynote address, reviewing the development of mobile learning across the HE sector.
John discussed a broad range of themes about the implications and affordances of using mobile devices in learning and teaching. From opportunities for bringing learning out of the classroom, managing users expectations when supporting ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD), challenging existing models of learning and teaching to equity of access to devices, there is clearly a broad range of issues and challenges to be considered.
The case studies authors picked up on these various themes in their presentations, from looking at using iPods in field studies and using mobile devices where warm gloves are needed; tackling some of the practical issues of using mobile devices in hazardous or clinical environments to trialling different models for providing access to devices; there were plenty of discussions regarding some of the issues, challenges and lessons learnt.
Case study award winners, University of Salford, explored some of the different models of learning that mobile devices can support through engaging staff on their Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), helping the students to experiment with a variety of social media tools on their own devices. The PGCAP students, by the end of the programme, were much more confident at taking their experiences and experiments forward into their own learning and teaching practice.
From the high attendance at the event to the range of discussions and interest in the work of the presenters, using mobile devices in learning and teaching is a growing area of interest and this set of case studies will be a useful resource for anyone looking to learn more about this expanding field of study.
Elaine Swift, Nottingham Trent University
Richard Walker, University of York
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