The Application of Mobile Technology in E-Learning and Online Education Environments: A Review of Publications in SSCI-Indexed Journals from 2003 to 2012

The Application of Mobile Technology in E-Learning and Online Education Environments: A Review of Publications in SSCI-Indexed Journals from 2003 to 2012

Chia-Wen Tsai (Department of Information Management, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan), Pei-Di Shen (Teacher Education Center, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan) and Yi-Chun Chiang (Teacher Education Center, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/ijeis.2013100106


In this paper, the authors reviewed the empirical mobile technology (MT) studies, and those focused on adopting and designing MT for students’ learning, published in SSCI journals from 2003 to 2012. It is found that the number of articles has significantly increased, particularly after 2008. Among the 74 published papers, most of them were conducted in higher education, as well as on computing domain. Furthermore, the quantitative research method was used more in MT and e-learning research. The findings in this study may provide potential direction and help policymakers in governments and researchers in professional organizations to allocate the necessary resources and prepare for supporting future research and applications of MT.
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Background And Objectives

The rapid proliferation of mobile technology (MT) devices such as mobile phones and tablets has had a significant impact on society, bringing about important changes in ways of daily life (Nedungadi & Raman, 2012). It is worth noting that technology has been regarded as a potential solution to the problems inherent within mass education (Hinvest & Brosnan, 2012), with technological advances leading educators to reconsider and ascertain whether new instructional methods modify or even magnify student’s learning styles (Ongun, Altas & Demirag, 2011). Despite the potential for educational technology to enhance academic performance, current research has failed to demonstrate enhanced student learning outcome through using technology within education (Bremer, 2005). Although diverse forms and increasing services are offered by MT, educational use is still immature because of the technological limitations and pedagogical considerations (Traxler, 2007). That is, implementing innovative approaches like personalized learning on mobile devices requires reminding students of the pedagogical justification for this new way of doing things (Nedungadi & Raman, 2012). In addition, due to the high cost of computer labs and technological devices in schools, many schools have an unfavorable student-to-computer ratio, and most students can only access computer labs or use such devices once or twice a week (Park, 2011). Therefore, educators should make more effort to facilitate learning by using MT and integrate them with appropriate learning strategies for both teachers and students.

MT can be viewed from two aspects, including technological devices such as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), Bluetooth, 3G, and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) as well as mobile information appliances such as mobile phones, PDA, and laptop computers (Nah, Siau & Sheng, 2005; Varshney & Vetter, 2000). Naismith, Lonsdale, Vavoula and Sharples (2004) indicate that in the extensive literature about the challenges and benefits of using MT for learning, the advantages of MT have been shown to be convenience, flexibility and connectedness (Chae & Yeum, 2010).

Recently, several studies have investigated use of MT in education (e.g., Chu, Hwang, Tsai, & Tseng, 2010; Traxler, 2005). After decades of research, various elements of MT have been proposed. Naismith et al. (2004) describe the use of MT corresponding to six categories of learning activity: behaviorism, constructivism, situated learning, collaborative learning, informal/lifelong learning, and support. Serious and significant issues as to how MT can best be used for students’ learning must be considered. This study aims to review MT studies published in influential international journals from 2003 to 2012. The research questions of the current study are the following:

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