Activity Theory Approach to Developing Context-Aware Mobile Learning Systems for Understanding Scientific Phenomenon and Theories

Activity Theory Approach to Developing Context-Aware Mobile Learning Systems for Understanding Scientific Phenomenon and Theories

Lorna Uden (Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK) and Gwo-Jen Hwang (Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and Education, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/ijdet.2013100103
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Abstract

Mobile computing offers potential opportunities for students’ learning especially when it combines a sensing device such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). Researchers have indicated that a key feature of in-field learning supported by mobile devices and technology is context awareness, with which context and functionality provided by the learning system are adapted to the user’s situation. However, the design of context-aware mobile learning systems provides the authors with major challenges in terms of both defining use context as well as developing appropriate concepts relevant to the design of contextual information on the systems. Educators have highlighted the role of activity in science development and learning, implying that activity theory can be used to design a mobile learning environment. This paper presents the use of activity theory as a framework for describing the design of a context aware mobile learning application. A case study for the design of a mobile learning application for science learning is described using activity theory.
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Mobile Applications For Learning

In recent years, researchers have noticed the efficiency and popularity of mobile and sensor technologies. Several studies have been conducted to demonstrate the practice of those new technologies in supporting authentic learning (Chen, Kao, & Sheu 2003; Chen, Chang, & Wang 2008; Chu, Hwang, Huang & Wu 2008; Wu, Hwang, Tsai, Chen, & Huang, 2011).

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