Assessing the Benefits of AJAX in Mobile Learning Systems Design

Assessing the Benefits of AJAX in Mobile Learning Systems Design

Feng Xie (Massey University, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 32
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-062-2.ch016
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Mobile technologies are rapidly changing our lives with increasing numbers of services supported by mobile devices, including Web-based learning applications, providing opportunities for people to study anytime and anywhere. However, using Web-based mobile applications to present learning resources is a challenge for developers because the performance of the mobile Internet over GPRS networks is often unacceptably slow. A new Web development model, Ajax, may help to address this problem. Ajax (asynchronous JavaScript and XML), is an approach to Web application development that uses client-side scripting to reduce traffic between client and server and provide a seamless user application experience. In this chapter, we address the question of whether mobile Ajax provides measurable performance advantages over non-Ajax mobile learning applications. An empirical study was undertaken to measure mobile learning application performance over a GPRS network, comparing an Ajax application and an active server pages (ASP) application with identical functionality. Our results suggest that mobile Ajax can reduce the bandwidth requirement by around 70 percent, and cut the server’s response time in half. In addition, these performance improvements were noticed by users in our small group usability test.

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