Enhance Active Learning in Higher Education by Using Mobile Learning

Enhance Active Learning in Higher Education by Using Mobile Learning

Noa Ragonis (Beit Berl College, Israel) and Osnat Dagan (Beit Berl College, Israel)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8106-2.ch002

Abstract

The quality of teaching in higher education is central for preparing students for their future academic and work demands. This includes the integration of information and communication technologies, since it has the potential to enhance teaching and learning processes and is thought improve both the understanding of content knowledge and the acquisition of relevant 21st-century skills. In particular, the use of mobile devices enables active learning at anytime and anywhere. This chapter describes a project of faculty development for integrating mobile learning (ML) into academic studies to accomplish pedagogical goals, as implemented at Beit Berl College, Israel. The chapter presents fundamental guidelines and principles of integrating ML into academic practices; Nine ML workshops that were developed and implemented; A detailed description of one workshop including the learning materials used; and Evaluation of the implementation. A summary of lessons learned from the implementation experience and further recommendations are presented.
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Introduction

The information and communication revolution affects many areas, among them the teaching and learning methods in educational frameworks. Within the framework of excellence in teaching, great attention is paid to the integration of different Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tools into the pedagogical processes in academia. The integration of new ICT tools has become significant in order to shift the traditional “sage on the stage” framework to dynamic teaching-learning scenarios that are more relevant, increase students' attention and motivation, and better engage students in active learning processes (McAleese et al., 2013). Those processes are manifested both in schools and in academia. Using ICT tools enables running up-to-date activities in classes, and enables the development of students' up-to-date skills for their future lives (Sharples, & Spikol, 2017). Enhancement of teaching and learning processes is a central value at Beit Berl College in Israel, which is expressed in many layers. Lecturers serve as a role model for their students, particularly in a college whose main area of training is education for all age groups and of various teaching subjects. These changes and approaches, together with the significant development in the daily use of mobile technology, led to the implementation of the project described. Mobile technology enables the following pedagogies: active, constructive, authentic, personalized and reflective learning processes for students, and supports learning anywhere and at any time) Howland, Jonassen, & Marra, 2014). Hence, the college wished, and still wishes, to assimilate the use of pedagogy based on Mobile Learning (ML) among the lecturers. The need to promote and improve teaching and learning requires significant change and lecturers need support in their exposure to new approaches and practices (Hénard & Roseveare, 2012).

In this chapter we describe the process of integrating ML that took place in Beit Berl College. It is an example for an implementation model at Higher Education Institutions (HEI) that takes into account many factors, and offers ways to deal with obstacles learned through five years of activation. The college ICT academic unit is operated within the Center for Teaching Enhancement (CTE) aimed to assist faculty in the integration of ICT in pedagogical processes. The unit launched a multiyear and multilayer project targeted at integrating mobile devices to enhance active learning. The project began in 2014 with teams of pedagogical instructors and lecturers from diverse disciplines. The project goals were to foster the use of new pedagogies to better achieve the lecturers’ pedagogical targets. That, while fostering active, constructive, cooperative, and authentic components to enrich the student experience in a meaningful context, and to enable the development of students' ICT skills as well. During 2016-2018, Beit Berl College was involved in the TeachEx Erasmus+ project (TeachEx, 2017) aimed at promoting teaching excellence in HIEs in Israel, led by the college CTE and the ICT unit. The project’s main targets were: promoting teaching excellence; developing creative teaching methods and producing benchmark tools for teaching, including the integrating of digital tools; and creating support structures in the CTEs. The objectives are to meet the needs of diverse students, to close the generation gap, and to enable interactive and experiential learning. Some of the mobile learning (ML) workshops for faculty, which will be described in the chapter, were integrated into the development of the project's outcomes, received feedback from the other Israeli and European partners, and were improved accordingly.

The chapter first presents background on enhancing teaching in higher education and using ML in different educational levels. Following, we describe the narrative for launching the ML project, the implementation process, the developed ML workshops, and the process evaluation. We conclude with reflection on the project’s main achievements, our future intentions, and recommendations for implementation in other HIEs.

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