Applied Competences for Students by Using M-Learning Devices in Higher Education: Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes

Applied Competences for Students by Using M-Learning Devices in Higher Education: Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes

José-Alberto Herrera-Bernal, Darinka del Carmen Ramírez-Hernández, María-Soledad Ramírez-Montoya
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0256-2.ch019
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The purpose of this chapter is to present a case study for evaluating the competences (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) applied by students in Higher Education by using m-learning devices in a course taught in an online distance education. The research question was: Which skills do the students need to learn through m-learning devices? Two variables used in this study were: m-learning and learning technology skills. The results shows that m-learning becomes an extension, addition and/or evolution of online studying and that the student requires a set of basic knowledge and skills to handle cell phones and iPods as learning tools. Students also develop skills in computing, communication, productivity, relationships, leadership, self-study while being involved in a study mode such as mobile learning. Students also require competences such as self-management, evaluation and selection of information, creativity, communication and collaborative work.
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As Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are developing frequently, new learning approaches have been introduced to facilitate teaching and learning processes. Thus, e-learning has revolutionized the educational field. This fact and the rise of mobile technology have led to the emergence of m-learning. Mobile devices are growing in popularity and there has been an increasing interest in their potential as innovative tools for learning. Within the concepts relevant to the development of the theoretical framework for this chapter, some concepts are described: the m-learning information technology, e-learning or mobile learning, and skills development in the educational environment.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Competence: The Oxford Concise Dictionary defines competence as “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently” ( Stevenson & Waite, 2011 , p. 1682). However, there are different definitions for competences, mainly because it has been suggested that one broad definition is not suitable for all professions, but they all include the three basic elements: knowledge, skills and attitudes ( Innes, Leboeuf-Yde & Walker, 2016 ).

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): This is a term that includes any communication device or application, for example: cellular phones, IPod, tablets, computer and network hardware, also software, satellite systems and so on. It also includes various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning ( Diethelm & Goschler, 2015 ).

Attitude: According to the Cambridge Dictionaries Online, attitude means: A feeling or opinion about something or someone, or a way of behaving that is caused by this.

Knowledge: According to the Cambridge Dictionaries Online, knowledge means: understanding of or information about a subject that you get by experienced or by study, either known by one person or by people generally.

Mobile Learning (m-learning): M-Learning is a new learning approach intending to use mobile devices such as laptops, smart phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) with the purpose of process learning in any place and at any time and its application needs to be designed in a way that it considers the special features and constraints of mobile devices such as screen size, available storage, and processor speed as well as battery life ( Al-Harrasi, Al-Khanjari & Sarrab, 2015 ).

Case Study: Stake (2005) mentions that: “the case study is the study of the particularity and complexity of a particular case, to get to understand their activity in important circumstances” (p. 11).

Higher Education: According to Merriam-Webster dictionary a simple definition is: education or learning at a college or university. Full definition is: education beyond the secondary level; especially: education provided by a college or university.

Skill: According to the Cambridge Dictionaries Online, skill means: An ability to do an activity or job well, especially because you have practiced it.

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