Critical Factors in Defining the Mobile Learning Model: An Innovative Process for Hybrid Learning at the Tecnologico de Monterrey, a Mexican University

Critical Factors in Defining the Mobile Learning Model: An Innovative Process for Hybrid Learning at the Tecnologico de Monterrey, a Mexican University

Violeta Chirino-Barceló, Arturo Molina
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-042-6.ch048
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Many factors converge when attempting to define the most adequate mobile learning model to be applied in a face-to-face university environment. As far as innovation related processes go, the implementation of mobile learning, implies defining a road map on the basis of strategic planning. It is also important to apply an action research approach in the implementation process of the model. In analyzing in depth this innovative mobile learning process, there are key factors to consider. First, there are factors related to the technology necessary for the implementation of the model—both hard and soft requirements. Second, there are cultural issues related to the use of non-native internet professors of innovative technologies. Finally, there are challenges related to defining, exactly, those educational strategies to be handled through mobile devices. This chapter focuses on the critical factors involved in integrating mobile learning into a hybrid educational model at a Mexican university.
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One of the challenges for higher education institutions in the new millennium is the necessity to manage an approach of continuous innovation in the design of educational environments, in order to foster learning. Learning borders also expand, from professional specialization to enhancing the acquisition of competencies demanded by the labor market in multicultural environments (Oblinger & Rush, 1997; Wagner, et al., 2006). We have now reached a point in which Instructional Design integrates educational objectives, oriented toward developing knowledge about concepts and skills to perform processes related to specific fields of specialization; as well as objectives oriented toward the acquisition of thinking and technological skills – what is often called “transversal.”

Key Terms in this Chapter

Educational resources taxonomy: Is a classification system, defined to categorize educational resources main attributes. These categories can be organized following a “tree” schema thus integrating sub categories as needed, in accordance to educational needs. Main categories can be defined about – non exclusively-: 1) Presentation format related to multimedia: video, audio, text, image; 2) Didactic value: type of content privileged, learning style focused, didactic strategy favored

Critical Factors: Are those values, elements and decision frame strategies which determine the possibility of implement innovation, based on a knowledge management approach

Disruptive innovation in education: The modifications in delivery channels, educational tools, methodology, content or modifications on the arrange made to those elements, that leads to changes in practice in educational strategies. Especially in the case of mobile learning is linked to its consideration as a customizable learning tool. This characteristic permits to address a more personalized approach to the traditionally standardized one “strategy for all” education. This implies to generate a disruptive change in the established modes of delivering instruction.

Mobile Learning: mobile learning constitutes an approach to knowledge acquisition that enhances student´s self directed learning, taking advantage of suited educational resources, a well defined instructional design and the potentialities of the 4 R´s of mobile devices, fostered by intended designed applications. So is that through mobile devices, a more personalized learning is performed focusing on giving context to in class activities, reinforce domain key concepts comprehension, self assessment, teacher “on demand” assessment peer to peer collaboration and evaluation and practice of future professional mobile based activities (active learning approach)

Digital Immigrants –Non native-: The term derived from the one coined by Prensky, refers to people born prior to 1981 and so non appertained to Internet Generation, also known as Millennials, – digital natives-

Hybrid Learning: Hybrid learning is the knowledge and skills acquisition process (learner centered) that is fostered by an instructional design which integrates digital (internet and mobile), printed, recorded and traditional face-to-face class activities in a planned, pedagogically valuable manner; facilitating student to self direct his/her learning process by choosing the learning methods and materials available that best fit his or her individual characteristics and needs oriented to reach curriculum learning objectives

Knowledge Management System: An internet based software able to integrate and retrieve data to obtain information which serves as input for knowledge creation. The System is designed on the based on selected software in accordance with processes that lead to the generation of the intended outputs. Knowledge is created by human interaction facilitated by on purpose designed spaces in which actors participate to communicate and retrieve information.

TCPK professors Training Model: Is an approach for professors’ engagement in the use of technology in education (T); thinking about the intersections existing among: the Content to teach (C), the pedagogy involved to reach intended learning (P). The K is related to the knowledge that teacher has to have in order to integrate the other three elements as well on those elements themselves to get the most of educational practices based on technology. The training is conceived on “hands on” basis relying on active learning as the fundamentals of more effective integration of professors to educational technology innovations

Educational technology innovation: The adoption of modifications in delivery channels, educational tools, methodology, content; or modifications on the arrange made with those elements that leads to changes in practice in educational strategies.

Mobile Educational Resources: Multimedia educational products designed on the basis of selected educational content devoted to reinforce comprehension of key concepts, to provide context to in class instruction, to self asses learning outcomes and generally speaking to complement the current instructional design of a course focusing on fostering the availability of diverse presentation of content to reach a broader students learning styles.

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