Using Theory to Review and to Plan the Blending of Mobile
Learning into Practice
Learning Technology Research Institute an...
Email: john.cook@londonmet.ac.uk
Home page: http://staffweb.londonmet.ac.uk/~cookj1/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnnigel...
Jargon Buster
• MOBILE LEARNING. “Mobile learning – as we
understand it – is not about delivering content to
mobile device...
Structure
• The talk will first provide an introduction to
– the theory behind the Socio-Cultural Ecology (Pachler, Bachma...
Framework : “Socio-Cultural Ecology” (Pachler,
Bachmair and Cook, 2010)
• Grounds readers by offering
– theoretical and co...
Macro framework:
Socio-Cultural Ecology
• Structures (digital tools and media)
– educational institutions no longer define...
• Although he does not use the term ‘context’ in
the way we envisage, we draw on Giddens’
(1984, p. 17) proposition that
•...
• Structure is, therefore, not simply external to human
context and action, a current context is: instantiated in
practice...
Micro framework: User-
Generated Contexts
• Cook et al (accepted) suggest we should
be looking at the student- or user-
ge...
User-Generated Contexts
• The nature of learning is being
‘augmented’
– Citizens/users are now actively engaged in
generat...
User-Generated Contexts
• Situated Learning
– learning that takes place in the same 'context' in which it is applied
– the...
User-Generated Contexts
• Users of mobile digital devices are being
‘afforded’ synergies of knowledge distributed
across l...
User-Generated Contexts
• mobile digital devices are mediating access to
external representations of knowledge in a
manner...
Typology-Grid
Intervention or
innovation using
networked handheld
device – the “who what
where when how”
- is it a radical...
Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS) ©
http://www.alps-cetl.ac.uk
Involving 16 professions across the partn...
The ALPS Assessment
Cycle (Group A)
Group B
Using the framework for review / findings of lessons learnt (Group A)
Intervention or
innovation using
networked mobile de...
Using the framework for planning (Group B)
Examples of issues highlighted
Intervention or innovation using networked mobil...
Explanation of why ALPS had to address
security and control issues (Group A)
Cultural practices –
things people do, i.e.
“...
Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS) ©
http://www.alps-cetl.ac.uk
Using the framework for
planning (Group B...
Group A feedback on use of
framework
• Difficult to use at first.
• Helped to be able to discuss in a group.
• Structures ...
Group B feedback on use of
framework
• May be useful for planning as it provides a way for you to way in which you
can ste...
Overall feedback on use of
framework
• Hard at first but things that were worthwhile came out of it
• May be worth for eac...
Discussion
• When using the framework for planning it
seemed that the most useful outcome was a set
of questions or issues...
Summary Examples of issues
highlighted
Intervention or innovation using networked mobile device
• If intervention is radic...
Questions that could be used to
guide debate
• Did you discover anything new using the
typology?
• Did you find the typolo...
References
Cook, J., Pachler, N. and Bachmair, B. (accepted).
Ubiquitous Mobility with Mobile Phones: A Cultural
Ecology f...
References
Pachler, N., Bachmair, B. and Cook, J. (2010). Mobile Learning:
Structures, Agency, Practices. New York: Spring...
Using theory to review and to plan the blending of mobile learning into practice
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The presentation will be structured as follow. The talk will first provide an introduction to the theory behind the Socio-Cultural Ecology (Pachler, Bachmair and Cook, 2010) and the notion of User-generated contexts (Cook, Pachler and Bachmair, accepted), which Cook (2009) has refined into an analytical tool called a ‘typology-grid’ (see below). The talk will then demonstrate how the typology-grid has been successfully been used to analyse and learn from the ALPS and conclude by inviting a critique of the typology-grid.

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  • Notion of ‘life-worlds’ recognises the clustering of different factors such as socio-economic background, gender, age/generation, ethnicity, regional background, profession etc. Traditional boundaries of various kinds are being blurred, abolished and they dissolve and disappear. Also, these trends have a lasting effect on meaning-making and learning. In the first third of the last century, individualisation and fragmentation were an emerging dynamic, which led to a discourse around life-worlds (see Schütz 1932; Schütz and Luckmann 1984). Life-worlds have to be constructed by the people themselves and are their own responsibility. A life-world comprises more than just the environment in which people live.
    Life-world stands for lifestyle and habitus, which depend on people’s individual way of living, which frames their life-course. Life-worlds result from individualization, which has led to fragmented worlds; they have to be configured personally. The responsibility for one’s own lifeworld is to be carried by people individually.
    People in European countries organise their life-worlds within and by way of stable socio-cultural milieus. Milieus do have the function of individualised life-worlds, which are structured by the hierarchical variable of differentials in income and formal education. This is the traditional social stratification. But there are also other important variables which combines people’s value orientation with the process of modernization of society. Pachler, Bachmair and Cook (2010) recognise seven milieus : established, intellectual, modern performing, traditional, modern mainstream, consumer materialistic, sensation orientated.
  • The work is framed by a socio-cultural ecology approach developed by Patchler, Bachmair and Cook (2010); this outlines the triangular inter-relationships between structure, agency and cultural practice (see diagram). Specifically, the socio-cultural triangle draws on media and cultural studies and is being used to guide our investigation of the outside-in/inside-out challenge. The main theories are: Giddens’ (1984) structuration theory; cultural studies and media (Hall, 1997) regarding individualised agency within the practices of everyday life.
    By ‘habitus’ we mean dispositions and action patterns based on
    appropriated social structures within typical cultural practices. In particular, we are interested in the potential of mobile devices not just to provide, but also to enable the shaping of highly individualised, yet socially and physically connected, culturally differentiated and semiotically rich contexts for learning.
  • Although he does not use the term ‘context’ in the way we envisage, we draw on Giddens’ (1984, p. 17) proposition that “social systems, as reproduced social practices, do not have ‘structures’ but rather exhibit ‘structural properties’ and that structure exists … only in its instantiations in such practices and as memory traces orienting the conduct of knowledgeable human agents”. Structure is, therefore, not simply external to human context and action, a current context is: instantiated in practice; is informed by experience, history, and temporal patterns of behavior (see also; and manifests itself in the form of structural properties through multimodal interaction with media. As a consequence of these structural changes, the nature of learning is changing as mode of meaning making and users are actively engage in generating their own content and contexts for learning. We call this user-generated contexts.
  • user-generated context for us is conceived in a way that users of mobile digital devices are being ‘afforded’ synergies of knowledge distributed across: people, communities, locations, time (life-course), social contexts and sites of practice (like socio-cultural milieus) and structures. Of particular significance for us is the way in which mobile digital devices are mediating access to external representations of knowledge in a manner that provides access to cultural resources. This dynamic digital tool mediation of meaning-making allows users to negotiate and construct internal conceptualisations of knowledge and to make social uses of knowledge in and across specific sites or contexts of learning.
  • ALPS is a HEFCE funded centre for excellence in teaching and learning focussing on assessment and learning in practice settings. 5 Universities (Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan, Bradford, Huddersfield and York St John) crossing 16 health and social care professions
    Strongly supported by the NHS Strategic Health Authority and with three commercial partners
  • Text in blue is possible story of a lesson learned (or an opportunity/question identified) by the ALPS Mobile Technologies project and which has perhaps become a little clearer through use of this typology. The ALPS project showed that one of our assumptions (students being familiar and comfortable with using mobile technology) was not accurate (there was a reasonably large group in 2007 who did not find the technology we were presenting them with easy to use). On reflection it can be seen that this was because students familiarity was with the basic use of mobile devices (texting and phone calls) and not with the more complex smart phone functionality (setting up devices to receive email, installing software, device security, synchronising etc). It was observed that Facebook was heavily used and it is possible that linking the ALPS Suite into a familiar (and heavily used) system such as this may have made it easier for students to accept. However, it should be noted that in earlier pilots students had not been receptive to using Facebook for learning. This leaves open the question of how best to build on students’ familiarity with certain systems/technology whilst not being seen to intrude on their private/personal spaces.
  • When using the framework for planning it seemed that the most useful outcome was a set of quesitons or issues raised by the analysis which could then be used to help to plan the work. The issues either highlighted possible barriers that would need to be overcome (usually in the cultural practices or structures area) or new ways in which structures or agency (human behaviour) could be used to help the project itself.
  • We met with John Cook and ran a workshop at which we used the framework for both analysis of work that had been undertaken (ALPS) and to help think about and plan future work (the iPhone rollout and Sable).
    Here is an example of a page from the analysis of the ALPS work. We produced about 6 pages of analysis.
    Having done the analysis we then looked for patterns or stories in the analysis that helped to explain decisions that were taken by the project (such as why security was approached in the way we did – hightlighted in green) or lessons learned (places where things did not work as we had expected – example highlighted in blue).
  • At the same workshop we also used the framework to think about and plan a current project (iPhone project in school of medicine). Again several pages of analysis were produced and the participants reported finding the framework a useful way of looking at the issue.
    Intervention or innovation using networked mobile device
     
    If intervention is radical, means more need to justify the investment…ROI analysis of iphone project
    Cultural practices
    We need to bear in mind the difference between surgical and medical wards as a barrier/factor in m-learning
    Structures
    *Interesting to see if there is an improvement in students search terms over time?
    Can we capture some evaluation data straight from the device- census days?
    Micro dimensions
    Can we find out what form of conversational threads they have?
    Can we find out what peer learning/ support/ evaluation of these devices happens on facebook/ twitter/ Ning etc?
  • Using theory to review and to plan the blending of mobile learning into practice

    1. 1. Using Theory to Review and to Plan the Blending of Mobile Learning into Practice Learning Technology Research Institute and HALE, DLD Seminar: 18 November 2010, 11am, TMG-61, North Campus John Cook Learning Technology Research Institute London Metropolitan University
    2. 2. Email: john.cook@londonmet.ac.uk Home page: http://staffweb.londonmet.ac.uk/~cookj1/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnnigelcook Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/johnnigelcook Music wiki: http://johnnigelcook.wetpaint.com/page/Music Johnnigelcook or Jonni Gel Cook!
    3. 3. Jargon Buster • MOBILE LEARNING. “Mobile learning – as we understand it – is not about delivering content to mobile devices but, instead, about the processes of coming to know and being able to operate successfully in, and across, new and ever changing contexts and learning spaces. And, it is about understanding and knowing how to utilise our everyday life-worlds as learning spaces. Therefore, in case it needs to be stated explicitly, for us mobile learning is not primarily about technology.” (Pachler, Bachmair and Cook, 2010, p. 6)
    4. 4. Structure • The talk will first provide an introduction to – the theory behind the Socio-Cultural Ecology (Pachler, Bachmair and Cook, 2010) – the notion of User-generated contexts (Cook, Pachler and Bachmair, accepted) – which Cook has refined into an analytical tool called a ‘typology- grid’ • Demonstrate how the typology-grid has been successfully used to analyse and learn from the ALPS CETL (Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings) • Conclude by inviting a critique of the typology-grid
    5. 5. Framework : “Socio-Cultural Ecology” (Pachler, Bachmair and Cook, 2010) • Grounds readers by offering – theoretical and conceptual models – analytical framework for understanding the issues • Recommendations for specialised resources • Practical examples of mobile learning – in formal (school) as well as informal educational settings • Particularly with at-risk students
    6. 6. Macro framework: Socio-Cultural Ecology • Structures (digital tools and media) – educational institutions no longer define alone what learning and knowledge are and they are certainly no longer the only, even the main location where learning and knowledge can be accessed and takes place. – From push to pull, change of mass communication and media convergence – individualised mobile mass communication and social fragmentation into different milieus. • Agency (capacity to act on the world) – formation of identity and subjectivity – environment a potential resource for learning – different habitus of learning and media attitudes; a new habitus of learning is one of the characteristics of at risk-learners. • Cultural practices (routines in stable situations) – Institutional settings, be they school, university, the work place etc. – Media use in everyday life (includes informal/non-formal)
    7. 7. • Although he does not use the term ‘context’ in the way we envisage, we draw on Giddens’ (1984, p. 17) proposition that • “social systems, as reproduced social practices, do not have ‘structures’ but rather exhibit ‘structural properties’ and that structure exists … only in its instantiations in such practices and as memory traces orienting the conduct of knowledgeable human agents”.
    8. 8. • Structure is, therefore, not simply external to human context and action, a current context is: instantiated in practice; is informed by experience, history, and temporal patterns of behavior; and manifests itself in the form of structural properties through multimodal interaction with media. • As a consequence of these structural changes, the nature of learning is changing as mode of meaning making and users are actively engage in generating their own content and contexts for learning. We call this user- generated contexts.
    9. 9. Micro framework: User- Generated Contexts • Cook et al (accepted) suggest we should be looking at the student- or user- generated contexts as – Zones of Proximal Development or ZPD (Vygotsky, 1978/1930) – Situated Learning (Lave and Wenger (1990) – Or conversational threads (Laurillard, 2002)
    10. 10. User-Generated Contexts • The nature of learning is being ‘augmented’ – Citizens/users are now actively engaged in generating their own content and contexts for learning – Calling this User Generated Contexts (UGC) • UGC is a micro view of ‘context’
    11. 11. User-Generated Contexts • Situated Learning – learning that takes place in the same 'context' in which it is applied – there is a link between meaning-making and situation/site of practice – (Lave and Wenger (1990); for discussion see Pachler, Bachmair and Cook, 2010) • But for me you can get – contexts within contexts – you can learn across contexts – and this blurs things • “Context” is a slippery notion
    12. 12. User-Generated Contexts • Users of mobile digital devices are being ‘afforded’ synergies of knowledge distributed across local, augmented and virtual: – people – communities – location – time (life-course) – social contexts and sites of practice (like socio- cultural milieus) – systems, structures and media
    13. 13. User-Generated Contexts • mobile digital devices are mediating access to external representations of knowledge in a manner that provides access to cultural resources. • This dynamic digital tool mediation of meaning- making allows users to negotiate and construct internal conceptualisations of knowledge and to make social uses of knowledge in and across specific sites or contexts of learning.
    14. 14. Typology-Grid Intervention or innovation using networked handheld device – the “who what where when how” - is it a radical (R) or incremental (I) Cultural practices – things people do, i.e. “stable routines” Structure s – digital media, tech- nologies, and systems Agency – human capacity to act in the world Micro dimensi ons Key questions •Which Cultural Practices does this intervention or innovations relate to, build upon, challenge etc? •What Structures does it utilise? Are these “standard” or “bespoke”? •How does Agency (human capacities to act in the world) affect the intervention, or how is the intervention dependent on Agency?
    15. 15. Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS) © http://www.alps-cetl.ac.uk Involving 16 professions across the partnership, from Audiology to Social Work ALPS CETL Five Higher Education Institutions Three Commercial Partners Supported by
    16. 16. The ALPS Assessment Cycle (Group A)
    17. 17. Group B
    18. 18. Using the framework for review / findings of lessons learnt (Group A) Intervention or innovation using networked mobile device – the “who what where when how” - is it a radical (R) or incremental (I) Cultural practices – things people do, i.e. “stable routines” Structures – digital media, technologies, and systems Agency – human capacity to act in the world Micro dimensions e.g. User Generated Contexts: active learning, reflection, attention, etc Mobiles being taken by students into Practice (to use for assessment and learning) (R) - Project assumed student familiarity with mobile technology (digital natives) but students didn’t have experience of Smart Phones (in 2007). Bodies: professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRBs) , Health Trusts, Universities, ALPS Partnerships. Technologies: encryption software, mobile devices, mobile networks, email. - Student experience in using devices (but text/calls were normal use and project showed that many students were not familiar with the use of the smart phone functions) Facebook was heavily used but not for learning (+MSN) - BUT in the early mobile pilots the students rejected the use of Facebook for learning
    19. 19. Using the framework for planning (Group B) Examples of issues highlighted Intervention or innovation using networked mobile device If intervention is radical, means more need to justify the investment…ROI analysis of iphone project Cultural practices We need to bear in mind the difference between surgical and medical wards as a barrier/factor in m-learning Structures *Interesting to see if there is an improvement in students search terms over time? Micro dimensions Can we find out what form of conversational threads they have? Can we find out what peer learning/ support/ evaluation of these devices happens on facebook/ twitter/ Ning etc?
    20. 20. Explanation of why ALPS had to address security and control issues (Group A) Cultural practices – things people do, i.e. “stable routines” - not allowing student use of wi-fi and PCs. Official Trust policy. - Official Health Trust policy to ban use of mobile devices (in 2007 though this did change over the lifetime of the project) BUT (unofficially) Consultants did use them as did some patients Structures – digital media, technologies, and systems Comment by team b at plenary: are structures seen to only supportive or can they be barriers? Bodies: PSRB, Health Trusts, Universities, ALPS Partnerships. Technologies: encryption software, mobile devices, mobile networks, email. Agency – human capacity to act in the world - Student responsibility to decide when and how to use device (appropriate use).
    21. 21. Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS) © http://www.alps-cetl.ac.uk Using the framework for planning (Group B) Intervention or innovation using networked mobile device Cultural practices Structures Agency Micro dimensions Using i-phones to support students in practice through online reference books, reflective exercises in the progress file and assessments This is a radical intervention for the student and assessor as it changes how we do things and encourages immediacy of assessment and feedback. For faculty this is a less radical intervention as we started the work 3 years ago. Dissonance between cultural practices within NHS, HEI etc to start with mean that stable routines are always threatened anyway The culture is that mobile phones are for personal and social use so their use for learning is a disruption to routine/thinking etc Mobile phones have been seen as disruptive in NHS practice and a disruption to teaching culture Iphones Apple e-portfolio University servers Twitter/facebook/flickr etc The internet e-books Medhand O2 OUP Anything that allows anytime any pace learning Survey of pre and post test behaviours* How might the iphone help students to extend their ZPD zone? (Vygotsky) So- customization of feedback and assessment, immediate information search and delivery function, help clinical decision making, ability to capture evidence and store it Is the PDA a boundary object? (see Coulby et al 2009) Will all this access and self directed learning result in the student becoming more accepted within the CoP? (Lave and Wenger) Learner opportunities- students as critical evaluators that can access, appraise and apply information Empowered learners that have less reliance n clinical team for the smaller things? Assessment data Evidence from progress file- reflections, photos, audio Social networks- CoP Changes in use of iphone over time- ie diagnosaurus loads at start of year, more drug ref only at end (scaffolding and fading, Vygotsky)
    22. 22. Group A feedback on use of framework • Difficult to use at first. • Helped to be able to discuss in a group. • Structures was hardest “maybe because least interesting?” • Cultural Practice seemed to take on the role of the practices we want to challenge. • Agency ended up being what we want to achieve • Micro column came last and tended to fall out • It did help, got a lot out of the exercise • Engaging in what we aare planning in a deep and structured way helps • However, you do need to know about theory to get more out of it, e.g. ZPD. And did need JC’s talk at the beginning. • Provides a lens for us to look at our work. • We didn’t allow phone calls and were not really sure where that fitted in the structure.
    23. 23. Group B feedback on use of framework • May be useful for planning as it provides a way for you to way in which you can step forward. • Cultural Practices tended to be seen as barriers • Micro dimensions of learning looked at towards end • Helped to analyse what happened: “being forced to break things down can help generate an explanation as to why you took a particular course of action, for example because this Cultural Practice stood in the way”. • Our analysis using the framework also highlighted that we used a lot of Information Systems services and that we incremental in that we used traditional approaches like assessment. • The red text tend to show things we thought would work (but didn’t?) or is something we missed, e.g. a Cultural Practice that stopped us.
    24. 24. Overall feedback on use of framework • Hard at first but things that were worthwhile came out of it • May be worth for each part to have spate columns of enabling/disabling factors. • Did we follow the boxes in a linear fashion? No ... • “Really enjoyed it”. And next day by email from Project Manager: • “Hi John, Thank you very much indeed for the workshop yesterday. I found it really interesting and the model was a very useful tool to use to help us to analyse our past work and plan our future work. It was also fun! I've already had a lot of feedback from the others saying the same thing. Viktoria (who is moving on from ALPS to manage projects in sociology) has said that she is interested in looking at using the model in other areas as well as she found it very helpful.”
    25. 25. Discussion • When using the framework for planning it seemed that the most useful outcome was a set of questions or issues raised by the analysis which could then be used to help to plan the work. • The issues either highlighted possible barriers that would need to be overcome (usually in the cultural practices or structures area) or new ways in which structures or agency (human behaviour) could be used to help the project itself.
    26. 26. Summary Examples of issues highlighted Intervention or innovation using networked mobile device • If intervention is radical, means more need to justify the investment…ROI analysis of iPhone project Cultural practices • We need to bear in mind the difference between surgical and medical wards as a barrier/factor in m-learning Structures • Interesting to see if there is an improvement in students search terms over time? Micro dimensions • Can we find out what form of conversational threads they have? • Can we find out what peer learning/ support/ evaluation of these devices happens on facebook/ twitter/ Ning etc?
    27. 27. Questions that could be used to guide debate • Did you discover anything new using the typology? • Did you find the typology easy to use and/or helpful? • How does it compare to any other models/theories you have used to help analyse or plan mobile learning? • Have you got any questions or comments about the typology? • Have you got any suggestions for changes to the typology or to the way that it is used?
    28. 28. References Cook, J., Pachler, N. and Bachmair, B. (accepted). Ubiquitous Mobility with Mobile Phones: A Cultural Ecology for Mobile Learning. E-Learning and Digital Media. Special Issue on Media: Digital, Ecological and Epistemological. Giddens, A. (1984). The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration, University of California Press. 1984. Reprint edition 1986 Laurillard, D.(2002). Rethinking University Teaching: A Framework for the Effective Use of Learning Technologies, 2nd ed. London: Routledge Falmer Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1990). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
    29. 29. References Pachler, N., Bachmair, B. and Cook, J. (2010). Mobile Learning: Structures, Agency, Practices. New York: Springer. Schütz, A. (1932) Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt. Eine Einleitung in die verstehende Soziologie.Wien, Verlag Julius Springer. English translation: The phenomenology of the social world. Northwestern University Press. Evanstone 1967 Schütz, A. and Luckmann, T. (1984) ‘Strukturen der Lebenswelt’. Band 2. 3. Auflage. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp Vygotsky, L. (1978 / 1930). Mind in society. The development of higher psychological processes. Edited by M. Cole et al., Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press.

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