Evaluation of Mobile Learning with The Eight-Dimensional E-Learning Framework

Evaluation of Mobile Learning with The Eight-Dimensional E-Learning Framework

Özlem Efiloğlu Kurt (Yalova University, Turkey) and Esra İşgör Şimşek (Yalova University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0466-5.ch005
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Mobile learning has been a very popular topic in recent years as a result of the accelerating use of mobile devices. This learning type that offers education for everyone without any space and time limitation opens the doors for life-long learning. Even though mobile learning, which is employed to support the traditional education and ensure distant education, seems to have many advantages, it also possesses some disadvantages. Therefore, evaluating mobile learning in various dimensions will contribute to the literature through revealing the antecedents of these advantages and disadvantages. In this chapter, Khan's (2005) eight-dimensional e-learning framework is explained with its dimensions and adapted into mobile learning context. Subsequently, Coursera case which is among the MOOCs that are commonly used nowadays as a mobile interface is evaluated with reference to the framework.
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Small mobile communications devices are currently used for a variety of purposes in our daily lives and play a significant role in accessing information, for interaction, and even conducting learning activities. Sharples (2000) reported that the use of these mobile devices in learning activities has led to e-Learning (that typically uses desktop computers or portable laptops with large screens) developing into truly mobile learning. Similarly, Quinn (2000) named e-Learning, which can be achieved through movable operational tools, as mobile learning. According to Gulbahar’s (2012) definition, mobile learning refers to ensuring education and teaching through small mobile devices such as PDAs, smart phones, movable media players, tablets, and mobile phones.

Mobile learning allows access to educational information and activities using small, mobile devices at any place and time (Roger, 2011) and brings many advantages to users. Attewell (2005) summarized these advantages as follows: They help students to develop their reading, writing, and computational skills; realize their own abilities; determine the areas requiring help and support; improve their self-confidence and self-respect; and acquire independent and collaborative learning experiences. In addition, Woodill (2011) emphasized that mobile learning has some benefits such as ensuring the long-time focus of learner, being both efficient and effective, saving time and costs, allowing the opportunity to update information dynamically, being personal, and permitting the access to information through various resources.

By means of these advantages provided by mobile technology, learning will acquire a new dimension in the future. Ally (2014) argues that there are some trends that educators and policy makers should be aware of. These trends are as follows:

  • The role of instructor turns into that of a facilitator of learning from a presenter of information.

  • Learning takes place at any time of the day and in any place.

  • Students can reach learning materials at any time and from any place through electronic repositories.

  • There will be no geographic barriers which can prevent access to learning materials through the Internet.

  • Students and teachers will be able to access learning materials as open educational resources under Creative Commons licences.

  • Learning will not be teacher-centered, but rather learner-centered.

  • More multimedia materials will be used to meet the needs of current and upcoming generations of learners.

  • Learning systems will be intelligent and will be able to follow the learners’ development.

Nowadays, most people carry their mobile devices, such as smart phones, laptop computers or tablets, with them constantly for entertainment, communication, work, and education related purposes. These devices that we encounter at almost every moment in our lives, have undoubtedly a significant role in an educational sense and there are some important points about these devices in the learning materials’ development process. Sharples (2000) summarized these points as follows:

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