QR Cache: Connecting mLearning practice with theory Rob Power College of the North Atlantic-Qatar Athabasca University
Project Overview• Started out of frustration over the types of mobile learning seen in Qatar.• Wanted to demonstrate what good use of mobile technologies could look like.• Wanted to demonstrate the ease of development of mobile RLOs.• Wanted to connect mLearning practice to sound learning theory.
How the Mobile RLOs Work• RLOs were created using a free mobile web hosting service (Winksite)• The RLOs contain: • English names and brief descriptions of devices • Related images • A follow-up “Test Your Knowledge” survey for formative feedback (and to spark group discussions)
How the Mobile RLOs Work continued…• QR Codes were created using a free app for the BlackBerry Playbook• Students scan a QR Code mounted on a piece of computer equipment to access the relevant RLO• Each RLO takes less than 5 minutes to complete
Research Objectives1. How do learners respond to the use of mobile RLOs, accessed by scanning QR codes, to learn English computer terminology and concepts? a) Do learners experience any difficulties when accessing the RLOs? b) Do learners enjoy using such mobile RLOs? c) Would learners like to use such RLOs more often?2. Does the integration of the mobile RLOs, accessed by scanning QR codes, reflect the principles and benefits of effective mLearning design? a) Do the RLOs help to reduce transactional distance between learners and content, learners and other learners, or learners and teachers (Moore, 1989, 1991)? b) Do the RLOs create optimal interaction between individuals, technology, and social elements, as outlined by the FRAME model (Koole, 2009)?
The FRAME Model(Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education) The FRAME Model (Koole, 2009, reproduced with permission)
Research Methods Classroom Implementation:• RLOs replaced workbook-based learning• Primer lesson integrated on QR codes• Students and instructors worked together to locate, install, and practice using QR code scanner apps• Two class sessions dedicated to exploring QR codes mounted on computer hardware
Upon completion of the in-class activities:• Participating students invited to complete on online questionnaire• Questionnaire consisted of a combination of fixed and open-response items covering • Ease of access • Look and feel of the RLOs • Levels of interaction with their peers and instructor, and • Overall impressions.• A similar questionnaire was prepared for participating instructors to provide feedback on the learning activities and RLO designs.• Responses were analyzed for the identification of major themes related to student and instructor perceptions, and evidence of effects upon transactional distance and the types of activities that form the domains of the FRAME model.
What This Tells Us• Qatari learners have the devices and connectivity to take advantage of mLearning strategies.• Qatari students enjoy, and want to experience more mLearning approaches.• The mobile RLOs appear to reduce Transactional Distance across all three domains.• The mobile RLOs demonstrate an effective convergence of all three domains of the FRAME model.
Phase 1 Limitations• The online questionnaire was the only method of soliciting feedback used in the first phase. • The survey schedule would benefit from an in-depth piloting and refinement phase. • The addition of either one-on-one or focus group interviews would provide further opportunity to solicit qualitative feedback, and to triangulate the findings with respect to learner perceptions (Cohen et al., 2011, pp. 382, 412-417).• Data on student achievement on two standardized assessment instruments was collected during the first phase, for comparison with a control class of learners who did not use the mobile RLOs. • While all learners demonstrated mastery of the required competencies, the sample size was too small to obtain confidence in the results of statistical analyses of the achievement data (p. 144).
Future Plans• The QRCache RLOs have been integrated into the regular MC-105 course curriculum.• Design Phase II to incorporate: – Pilot testing of a more rigorously developed survey – A larger participant base of MC-105 students – Use of lessons learned to develop similar RLOs for other CNA-Q courses – Cross-curricular RLO testing and student feedback – Cross-institutional or workplace research – Eventual development of a checklist, matrix, or rubric based upon Moore’s Transactional Distance Theory and Koole’s FRAME model to assist in the development and assessment of mobile RLOs.
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More InformationScan this QR code to access the QR Cache Research Project wiki