Mobile Learning in Medicine

Mobile Learning in Medicine

Kalyani Premkumar (University of Saskatchewan, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-511-7.ch008


This chapter describes the medical context and characteristics of medical students, residents, and medical professionals and implications for m-learning. Some technologies used and examples of usage, benefits, outcomes, and barriers at the undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education are explored.
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What is Mobile Learning?

Mobile learning or m-learning has been defined in very many ways (Attewell & Savill-Smith, 2004; Collis & Moonen, 2001; Keegan, 2002; Kukulska-Hulme & Traxler, 2005; Laouris & Eteokleous, 2005; Metcalf, 2006; Mitchell, 2003; O’Malley et al. 2003; Van Barneveld & Shaw, 2006). While eLearning is defined as learning supported by digital electronic tools and media, m-learning is defined as eLearning using mobile devices and wireless transmission (Milrad in Attewell & Savill-Smith, 2004). Others (Keegan) define m-learning as “the provision of education and training on PDAs/palmtops/handhelds, smart phones and mobile phones” (p. 6) number). O’Malley et al, with a focus on mobility, define m-learning as “any sort of learning that happens when the learner is not at a fixed, predetermined location, or learning that happens when the learner takes advantage of the learning opportunities offered by mobile technologies.” While some (Milrad, Keegan) focus on the mobile use of technology, others (O’Malley) focus on the mobility of persons. M-learning is defined by yet others who emphasize learning as “the acquisition of any knowledge and skill through using mobile technology, anywhere, anytime, that results in an alteration of behavior” (Geddes, 2004, p. 1). In this chapter, the emphasis will be on learning.

The goal of m-learning should be to develop content for mobile applications in order to accommodate the needs often described as just-in-time (JIT), location based learning (LBL), just-in-location learning (JILL), learning-on-demand (LOD), and what-I-need-when-I-need-it (WINWINI) (Van Barneveld & Shaw, 2006).

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