Mobile Learning in Organizations: Lessons Learned from Two Case Studies

Mobile Learning in Organizations: Lessons Learned from Two Case Studies

Amarolinda Zanela Saccol (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brazil), Jorge Luis Victoria Barbosa (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brazil), Eliane Schlemmer (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brazil) and Nicolau Reinhard (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2011070102
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M-learning has been tested and investigated in the last decade in different levels of education, from K12 to higher education. However, academic studies reporting concrete m-learning experiences in the corporate environment are still rare. Considering this gap of knowledge, this paper analyzes two cases of corporate m-learning using COMTEXT® (a Mobile Virtual Learning Environment – MVLE, developed by the authors). It discusses the different elements involved in m-learning practices in organizations, including: (1) ergonomic, technological and pedagogical affordances; (2) limitations of mobile and wireless technology use in corporate m-learning; (3) methodologies and learning tools that can be applied; (4) the intricacies between the different types of mobility involved in m-learning activities in a corporate environment.
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Research Background And Methodology

This is an exploratory research. We have created a Mobile Virtual Learning Environment (MVLE) called COMTEXT® (an acronym for COMpetence in conTEXT), as a tool for testing concepts related to competence development and m-learning in organizations (Saccol et al., 2009). COMTEXT® is a web based system designed to be accessed via mobile devices.

COMTEXT® was designed according to the process of competence management in a corporate environment (Lindgren, Henfridsson & Schultze, 2004; Draganidis & Mentzas, 2006; Berio & Harzallah, 2007) and has four modules (Figure 1). The first module is called Profile (as can be seen in Figures 1 and 2, the icons titles are in Portuguese) and can record and show the competence tree of an organization and unfold it to the individual level. The environment can record the status of the individuals regarding the development of their individual competences that are linked to the organizational competences or the competences of their sector or work process, and also the competence gaps to be filled.

Figure 1.

COMTEXT interface - main modules

Figure 2.

COMTEXT interface - learning tools


The second module is called Planning, and is used to plan the training or educational activities. The next module, called Learning, is the core of the system (Figure 2), offering a set of tools to support teaching and learning activities, including: learning diary, forum, e-mail, access to YouTube Mobile®, Skype®, and Pocket Mindmap® as well as a repository of learning objects and files. The Assessment module provides tools for evaluations that can contain scale-based and open questions. It is possible to apply quantitative and/or qualitative evaluations, including 360 degree feedbacks. This module also offers a portfolio that produces all the interactions recorded by each apprentice with the learning tools (diary, forum, chat and files).

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