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Scott and Amy's critique of Park's Framework for Mobile Learning Design.
 

Scott and Amy's critique of Park's Framework for Mobile Learning Design.

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Presentation of the critique of Park (2011) by A. Tesolin and S. Meunier

Presentation of the critique of Park (2011) by A. Tesolin and S. Meunier

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  • Our group has chosen to explore the theoretical framework proposed by Park (2011) for learning design for mobile learning (ML). Park’s approach to forming a theoretical framework for mobile learning design is certainly necessary but is not itself a sufficiently complete theoretical framework. This is to be expected; precious few theories exist in this area and Park’s will be an important building block for further theoretical exploration. ML is defined as the use of mobile or wireless devices for the purpose of learning while on the move and across contexts (79). The available literature is presented as being descriptive of the ability of ML to allow people to learn within the contexts they find themselves and also the ability to shorten the distance between theory and application (pp. 79-80). Missing from this, however, is a theoretical basis from which instructional and learning designers can draw ideas of best practices (80). It is from here that Park exposes the building blocks of her own proposed theoretical framework.
  • Prior to delving into her use of transactional distance theory, Park describes a continuum of distance learning beginning with static desktop-based e-learning and ending with cloud-based ubiquitous learning platforms (80). The point of discussing this prior to her own theoretical framework appears to be to demonstrate that there has been an evolution of technology that has resulted in the possibility of contextually-based, “just in time” learning. Without the development of stable, widely distributed, and cheaply available communication technology, a theoretical framework for learning design “anywhere; anytime” would have been unnecessary. Park demonstrates that it is only very recently that mobile devices and their supporting networks have acquired the degree of penetration necessary to provide a stable enough platform to allow for learning to take place (pp. 79-80). At this point in time, technology supports a nearly invisible interface for learning “whenever and wherever” (van’t Hooft, et al., cited by Park, 80).
  • The mobile platform itself is subject to degrees of complexity. Park demonstrates the technological advantages and disadvantages of designing learning on this platform. While there are several advantages afforded by mobile devices, the most significant by far is their portability (81). The ubiquity of learning afforded by the mobile platform has opened up opportunities for potentially emancipatory learning where people need it the most. A great example of this aspect is Balasubramanian et al.’s study of the emancipatory impact of mobile access and microfinance for impoverished women in India (2010). While it is evident that the use of these tools in that context was contrary to accepted social and gender roles, the resulting increase in the agency of the women studied is a basis for hope that ML can remove barriers if applied in the correct combination of need and support (Balasubramanian, K., et al., pp. 206-7).
  • The limitations of ML are currently few and, as technology continues to improve at an exponential rate, may be decreasing by the month. Park summarizes several of the platform’s current limitations but the largest of these is clearly the fact that instructional and learning designers lack a “solid theoretical framework which can guide…the quality of programs that rely significantly on mobile technologies” (83). Matters such as the small screen and memory sizes of mobile devices are currently (literally : as you read this) being exacerbated by such innovations as device interoperability and cloud computing (Macintosh Corp., iCloud). While no reliable measure seems to exist on the web, there are now at least a half-million unique applications available for all popular mobile devices available in North America alone; if there are no reliable applications for the ML market at present, it is reasonable to assume that there soon will be. As is common in the tug of war between education and technology, the onus is on educators, designers, and researchers to join forces and answer the need for a solid theoretical framework as soon as possible; there will soon be an “app for that.”
  • Park’s answer for this need is to modify Moore’s theory (2007) of Transactional Distance (Park, 84). Park simplifies the definition of transactional distance as psychological distance between the learner and the instructor in a learning environment, even though geographic separation would definitely create the perception of distance as well (84). This distance is best bridged by clearly defined curricula, easily accessible communication between learners and teachers, and the agency of learners making decisions about the circumstances and the terms of their learning (Moore cited by Park, 84). For Park, Moore’s TD theory is attractive because it provides an easily-expressed (and independently verified) relationship between TD and synchronicity of dialogue (84). Park explains that, according to at least three independent studies, Moore’s model accurately predicted that “as dialogue increases, transactional distance decreases” (84). The ubiquity afforded by a mobile communication platform is a sort of tipping point that would allow, in Park’s estimation, for the transactional distance of a mobile-based learning environment to approach zero. On the basis of the typology made available by Moore, Park offers a modified matrix of learning that is mediated by mobile technology (Park, pp. 85-90).
  • A Framework for Mobile Learning Pedagogy: A Critique Underpined by Constructivism by Nevena Mileva, Bernadette Simpson & Joseph Thompson (2008) Pedagogical forms of mobile learning: Framing research questions by Diana Laurillard (2007) Developing a Mobile Pedagogical Framework by Thomas Cochrane (2007)

Scott and Amy's critique of Park's Framework for Mobile Learning Design. Scott and Amy's critique of Park's Framework for Mobile Learning Design. Presentation Transcript

  • Mobile Learning
    • A review and critique of Park’s (2011) proposed theoretical framework for the design of mobile learning.
  • Our Article
    • Our group has chosen to explore the theoretical framework proposed by Park (2011) for learning design for mobile learning (ML). Park’s approach to forming a theoretical framework for mobile learning design is certainly necessary but is not itself a sufficiently complete theoretical framework. This is to be expected; precious few theories exist in this area and Park’s will be an important building block for further theoretical exploration.
    • ML is defined as the use of mobile or wireless devices for the purpose of learning while on the move and across contexts (79). The available literature is presented as being descriptive of the ability of ML to allow people to learn within the contexts they find themselves and also the ability to shorten the distance between theory and application (pp. 79-80). Missing from this, however, is a theoretical basis from which instructional and learning designers can draw ideas of best practices (80). It is from here that Park exposes the building blocks of her own proposed theoretical framework.
  • Amy and Scott: Educators on the “frontier” of education Could mobile learning (m-learning) be the answer?
  • Why M-Learning?
    • We know there are many barriers to education. As “frontier” educators (geographically and politically), we have seen the full array of methods for reaching students who are hard to reach. We chose to partner on the basis that each of us consider mobile technologies
    • In our experience, we have noted that many high-risk youth, while generally impoverished, technologically-poor and -averse, are active and heavy consumers of content designed to be deployed via mobile devices.
    • “ Mobile Devices”, for our purposes, as communication devices that are easily portable and relatively inexpensive to use. These would include but not be limited to: smartphones, tablet computers, and personal data assistants (Park, 79).
  • The Evolution of M-Learning (Park) 1) She compares electronic learning (E), mobile learning (M) and ubiquitous learning (U).
  • The Evolution of E-Learning (Park)
    • Prior to delving into her use of transactional distance theory, Park describes a continuum of distance learning beginning with static desktop-based e-learning and ending with cloud-based ubiquitous learning platforms (80). The point of discussing this prior to her own theoretical framework appears to be to demonstrate that there has been an evolution of technology that has resulted in the possibility of contextually-based, “just in time” learning. Without the development of stable, widely distributed, and cheaply available communication technology, a theoretical framework for learning design “anywhere; anytime” would have been unnecessary. Park demonstrates that it is only very recently that mobile devices and their supporting networks have acquired the degree of penetration necessary to provide a stable enough platform to allow for learning to take place (pp. 79-80). At this point in time, technology supports a nearly invisible interface for learning “whenever and wherever” (van’t Hooft, et al., cited by Park, 80).
  • Benefits of M-Learning AND she describes the current strengths of mobile learning.
  • Benefits of M-Learning
    • The mobile platform itself is subject to degrees of complexity. Park demonstrates the technological advantages and disadvantages of designing learning on this platform. While there are several advantages afforded by mobile devices, the most significant by far is their portability (81). The ubiquity of learning afforded by the mobile platform has opened up opportunities for potentially emancipatory learning where people need it the most. A great example of this aspect is Balasubramanian et al.’s study of the emancipatory impact of mobile access and microfinance for impoverished women in India (2010). While it is evident that the use of these tools in that context was contrary to accepted social and gender roles, the resulting increase in the agency of the women studied is a basis for hope that ML can remove barriers if applied in the correct combination of need and support (Balasubramanian, K., et al., pp. 206-7).
  • Limitations of M-Learning
  • Limitations of M-Learning
    • The limitations of ML are currently few and, as technology continues to improve at an exponential rate, may be decreasing by the month. Park summarizes several of the platform’s current limitations but the largest of these is clearly the fact that instructional and learning designers lack a “solid theoretical framework which can guide…the quality of programs that rely significantly on mobile technologies” (83). Matters such as the small screen and memory sizes of mobile devices are currently (literally : as you read this) being exacerbated by such innovations as device interoperability and cloud computing (Macintosh Corp., iCloud). While no reliable measure seems to exist on the web, there are now at least a half-million unique applications available for all popular mobile devices available in North America alone; if there are no reliable applications for the ML market at present, it is reasonable to assume that there soon will be. As is common in the tug of war between education and technology, the onus is on educators, designers, and researchers to join forces and answer the need for a solid theoretical framework as soon as possible; there will soon be an “app for that.”
  • Transactional Distance: Definition 2) She adapts Moore’s Transactional Distance Theory (TD Theory)
  • Transactional Distance: Definition
    • Park’s answer for this need is to modify Moore’s theory (2007) of Transactional Distance (Park, 84). Park simplifies the definition of transactional distance as psychological distance between the learner and the instructor in a learning environment, even though geographic separation would definitely create the perception of distance as well (84). This distance is best bridged by clearly defined curricula, easily accessible communication between learners and teachers, and the agency of learners making decisions about the circumstances and the terms of their learning (Moore cited by Park, 84).
    • For Park, Moore’s TD theory is attractive because it provides an easily-expressed (and independently verified) relationship between TD and synchronicity of dialogue (84). Park explains that, according to at least three independent studies, Moore’s model accurately predicted that “as dialogue increases, transactional distance decreases” (84). The ubiquity afforded by a mobile communication platform is a sort of tipping point that would allow, in Park’s estimation, for the transactional distance of a mobile-based learning environment to approach zero. On the basis of the typology made available by Moore, Park offers a modified matrix of learning that is mediated by mobile technology (Park, pp. 85-90).
  • Park’s Typology: Based on Moore’s TD 3) And categorizes key studies into 4 types.
  • Park’s Typology
    • Type 1- high transactional distance socialized mobile learning ( hs )
    • Type 2- high transactional distance individualized mobile learning ( hi )
    • Type 3- low transactional distance socialized mobile learning ( ls )
    • Type 4- low transactional distance individualized mobile learning ( li )
  • Distraction 1: Lit Review Incomplete
    • A Framework for Mobile Learning Pedagogy: A Critique Underpined by Constructivism by Nevena Mileva, Bernadette Simpson & Joseph Thompson (2008)
    • Pedagogical forms of mobile learning: Framing research questions by Diana Laurillard (2007)
    • Developing a Mobile Pedagogical Framework by Thomas Cochrane (2007)
  • Distraction 2: Expansive Structure Her first goal, while useful- could have been a separate paper!
  • Useful Aspect 1: Excellent Choice of Framework
    • Park (2011) uses Moore’s all-encompassing TD theory (Gokool-Ramdoo, 2008; Saba, 2005) to address mobile learning in “non-traditional, informal and non-institutional settings” (p.82). The TD Theory does this by identifying the perceived mental separation between the learner and instructor (Shearer, 2007).
    • Park simplifies the definition of transactional distance as psychological distance between the learner and the instructor in a learning environment, even though geographic separation would definitely create the perception of distance as well (84). This distance is best bridged by clearly defined curricula, easily accessible communication between learners and teachers, and the agency of learners making decisions about the circumstances and the terms of their learning (Moore cited by Park, 84).
    • For Park, Moore’s TD theory is attractive because it provides an easily-expressed (and independently verified) relationship between TD and synchronicity of dialogue (84). Park explains that, according to at least three independent studies, Moore’s model accurately predicted that “as dialogue increases, transactional distance decreases” (84). The ubiquity afforded by a mobile communication platform is a sort of tipping point that would allow, in Park’s estimation, for the transactional distance of a mobile-based learning environment to approach zero. On the basis of the typology made available by Moore, Park offers a modified matrix of learning that is mediated by mobile technology (Park, pp. 85-90).
  • Useful Aspect 2: Excellent Analysis
    • Park saw the need to better define “dialogue” and incorporate the cultural-historical activity theory developed from the work of Vygotsky (1978) and Leont’ev (1978; 1981) and transformed by Engestrom to reflect the inherent social character of mobile devices.
    • She recognizes the importance of this synthesis of the two theories as it allows her model to address constructivist learning environments by identifying the impact of peer to peer dialogue or social activities.
  • Useful Aspect 3: Practical Suggestions Park makes suggestions on how an instructor could ensure the activity's success (2011). Type 1- High Transactional Distance & Socialized (HS) - pay special attention to the design and setup of social interaction Type 2- High Transactional Distance & Individualized (HI) - pay special attention to the creation of a knowledge database Type 3- Low Transactional Distance & Socialized (LS) - pay special attention in developing a meaningful collaborative task so that higher order learning can occur Type 4- Low Transactional Distance & Individualized (LI) - pay special attention to student environment and provide support
  • Our Opinion: Park The framework is a practical guide for educators with 2 minor distractions:
  • What others are saying
    • “ This pedagogical prototypes classification would be rather useful when one is developing a mobile learning.” http://asaginu.com/blog/moving-forward-with-mobile-learning/
    • “ ...I think the proposed framework has considerable value in helping to understand the affordances and educational potential of mobile learning.” http://tur-www1.massey.ac.nz/~wwtdu/cadelblog/blog6.php/2011 /04/08/mobile-learning
    • “ Taking a slightly more sophisticated approach Park (2011) presents a “mobility hierarchy” arguing that mobile technologies offer capability in four increasingly sophisticated areas; enhancing productivity; allowing flexible physical access; enabling the capturing and integrating of Data; and facilitating communication & collaboration. Park (2011) then overlays a continuum of collaboration (from individual to group activities) suggesting that a key advantage of m-learning is its ability to allow students a mechanism to transition between both individual and collaborative learning spaces with ease.” (p.19-20)
    • Murphy, G. (2011). Post-PC devices: A summary of early iPad technology adoption in tertiary environments. e-Journal of Business Education & Scholarship of Teaching, 5 (1), 18-32.
  • References
          • Author unknown (2011). Retrieved from http://asaginu.com/blog/moving-forward-with-mobile-learning/
            • Author unknown (2011). Retrieved from http://tur-www1.massey.ac.nz/~wwtdu/cadelblog/blog6.php/2011 /04/08/mobile-learning
          • Balasubramanian, K., Thamizoli, P., Umar, A., and Kanwar, A (2010). Using mobile phones to promote lifelong learning among rural women in Southern India. Distance Education , 30 (2), 193-209.
    • Cochrane, T. (2007). Mobile web2 pedagogies. Conference on Mobile Learning technologies and Applications (MOLTA). Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.
    • Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research. Helsinki: Orienta-Konsultit.
    • Gokool-Ramdoo, S. (2008). Beyond the theoretical impasse: Extending the applications of transactional distance theory. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 9 (3), 1-17. Laurillard, D. (2007). Pedagogical forms for mobile learning: framing research questions. Mobile Learning: Towards a Research A genda, Chapter 6 p. 153-175 WLE Centre, Institute of Education, University of London, London England.
  • References
    • Leont'ev, A. N. (1978). Activity, consciousness, and personality. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.
    • Leont'ev (Leontyev) A. N. (1981). Problems of the development of the mind. Moscow: Progress Publishers.
    • Macintosh Corporation. (2011). What is iCloud? [Online]. Accessed at: HYPERLINK " http://www.apple.com/ca/icloud/what-is.html "
    • McGonigal, J. (2010). Urgent Evoke. World Bank Institute.
    • Mileva, N., Simpson, B., and Thompson, J., (2008). A framework for mobile learning pedagogy: A critique underpined by constructivism. mLearning Pedagogical Framework. Ch. 4 29-42. MINERVA 1 227828-CP-1-2006-1-IE-MINERVA-M
    • Moore, M. G. (2007). The theory of transactional distance. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of distance education (pp. 89-105). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    • Murphy, G. (2011). Post-PC devices: A summary of early iPad technology adoption in tertiary environments. e-Journal of Business Education & Scholarship of Teaching, 5 (1), 18-32. iPad technology adoption in tertiary environments. e-Journal of Business Education & Scholarship of Teaching, 5 (1), 18-32.
  • References
    • Park, Y. (2011). A pedagogical framework for mobile learning: categorizing educational applications of mobile technologies into four types. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12 (2), 78-102.
    • Saba, F. (1988). Integrated telecommunications systems and instructional transaction. The American Jounal of Distance Education, 2 (3), 17-24. Shearer, R. (2007). Instructional design and the technologies: An overview. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of Distance Education (pp. 219-232). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Traxler, J. (2007). Defining, discussing, and evaluating mobile learning: The moving finger writes and having write... International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 8 (2), 1-12. van't Hooft, M., Swan, K., Cook, D., & Lin, Y. (2007). What is ubiquitous computing? In M. van't Hooft & K. Swan (Eds.), Ubiquitous Computing in Education . Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    • Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. London: Harvard University Press.