Mobile Devices and Mobile Learning: Shifting the Mindset of Teachers and Learners

Mobile Devices and Mobile Learning: Shifting the Mindset of Teachers and Learners

Philippa K. Smith (Institute of Culture, Discourse & Communication, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand), Lynn Grant (School of Language & Culture, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand), Clare Conway (School of Language & Culture, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand) and Vickel Narayan (Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLAT), Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJMBL.2016100101
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Abstract

Incorporating new media technologies that enable mobile learning to be part of educational practice poses challenges to those used to teaching in a traditional classroom environment. In this article three lecturers and a learning advisor from a New Zealand university reflect on their experiences in the progressive redesign of a Bachelor of Arts degree paper. Students were tasked with using mobile devices to make short movies and incorporate digital platforms and social media as part of mobile learning. A design-based research approach assisted the lecturers to use the transition of the paper over a two-year period as a case study to demonstrate how a change in mindset and skill base was necessary for them as well as the students in adapting to a mobile learning environment. Findings from this research indicate that the students' ability to apply creative skills using mobile devices, plus the lecturers' willingness to embrace new formats, enhanced the learning and teaching experience. Finally, this article presents guidelines to assist other institutions wishing to update courses to incorporate mobile learning.
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A Design-Based Research Approach

The central tenet in design-based research is that the research is conducted in order to explore possible solutions to real learning and teaching issues (Herrington, Reeves, & Oliver, 2010). The design of the solution is informed by a review of literature pertaining to the identified issues. Lastly, the solution is implemented and tested iteratively. As such, design-based research provides a framework through which theory and practice are explored together leading to an increased knowledge and understanding of theory and practice in an authentic research context (Reeves, 2006).

According to Amiel and Reeves (2008), design-based research is one way of addressing some of the shortfalls of other research methods in examining the role of tools and techniques in the classroom. However, we note that technology should be recognised as a process rather than an artefact, allowing researchers to question their research methods and the values that guide research agendas, which would help them to direct this technological development rather than simply react to it. We further argue that this involves a series of testing and refinement cycles (including collecting the data to redefine the problems, looking at possible solutions and at the principles that might best address them), which allows a continuous cycle of design-reflection-design. Holmberg (2014, p. 294) argues that design-based research can:

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