Today, the PC is only one of many ways to access information resources. Traditional computing technology has become more mobile and ubiquitous and more and more computing tasks are possible to do using new types of mobile devices. According to Siau, Lim, and Shen (2001), the essence of m-commerce (also termed “mobile information systems”) is to reach customers, suppliers, and employees regardless of where they are located and to deliver the right information to the right person(s) at the right time. The ability to develop and evolve usable m-commerce systems is becoming increasingly critical for enterprises.
According to MSN Encarta, electronic learning (e-learning) is “the acquisition of knowledge and skills using electronic technologies such as computer and Internet-based courseware and local and wide area networks”. E-learning applications can be broadly classified into two categories: offline learning, where learning is imparted through the use of digital media devices like CD-ROMs, DVDs, and so forth, and online learning, where learning is imparted through computer networks using Web-based tools like, virtual classrooms, digital collaboration (discussion forum, chat, electronic bulletin boards, listserv, etc.). Web-based learning operates in a computer-networked environment and many of these systems make use of the Internet. In this chapter, we restrict our discussion to the usability of Web-based learning management systems (LMS). Such LMS not only offer online courseware, but also track participants’ progress in learning.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Mobile Computing: The capability to physically move computing services with us.
Nomadic Computing: The use of computers while on the move.
Multi-Channel Information Systems: Information systems that are to be used by different types of end-user equipment such as traditional PC, PDA, and a mobile phone in an integrated manner.
M-commerce: A technological approach to reach customers, suppliers, and employees regardless of where they are located and to deliver the right information to the right person(s) at the right time.
Pervasive Computing: An environment where computers have the capability to obtain information from the environment in which it is embedded and utilize it dynamically
Mobile Information Systems: Information systems that include end-user terminals that are easily movable in space, are operable independent of location and have wireless access to information resources and services.
Ubiquitous Computing: An environment where computers are embedded in our natural movements and interactions with our environments. Combines mobile and pervasive computing.