Location-based mLearning reminders

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  • And paper available here: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/328742/papers/5.Reminders-ijwi-2009-final.pdf
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  • Full reference to paper:
    Hedin, B. & Norén, J. (2009). Mobile Location-based Learning Reminders using GSM Cell Identification. IADIS International Journal on WWW / Internet, 7(1), 166-176.
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Location-based mLearning reminders

  1. 1. Björn Hedin Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, Sweden [email_address] http://twitter.com/bjornh Slides available at http://tinyurl.com/iadis09 Location-based mLearning reminders
  2. 2. Quick overview In this study we have … <ul><li>Built a J2ME application to study chemistry on mobile phones </li></ul><ul><li>Built a J2ME application to remind students to use the chemistry application when they leave or arrive at places they have chosen are suitable for mobile studies </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluated the use in two university level chemistry courses </li></ul>
  3. 3. Research questions <ul><li>What are students’ attitudes to Location Based Reminders for mLearning? </li></ul><ul><li>How well can learning opportunities be detected using such a system? </li></ul><ul><li>Which places are added, what strategies are used to detect learning opportunities? </li></ul><ul><li>What are students’ attitudes to a simple (flashcard) system for mobile learning? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Background Previous studies/projects <ul><li>MUSIS project- Various content pushed to university students' mobile phones </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education related reminders most popular content (more than fun videos, music etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SimpleLearn - Reminders to study sent via email and SMS at times determined by an algorithm. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flashcard system for mobiles/desktop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reminders often occurred at inconvenient times </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Idea The objectives of this study <ul><li>Why not try to send mLearning reminders based on location rather than time </li></ul><ul><li>Easier to determine that &quot;when I am on the bus on my way to the university&quot; is a good time to study than &quot;at 8.43 AM&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>Location can be determined using positioning of the student's mobile phone </li></ul>
  6. 6. Determining your location Mobile positioning <ul><li>Location Based Services for mobile phones is a rapidly growing area </li></ul><ul><li>GPS often used but... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No coverage indoors or underground </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drains battery very rapidly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Position of current GSM cell an alternative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Available on low-end phones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coverage everywhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low power consumption </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but less precise location (or not even a location at all) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Level of precision needed? Do we need 5, 50 or 500 meter accuracy? <ul><li>Symbolic places more important than coordinates, i.e. &quot;At home&quot;, &quot;At the university&quot; or &quot;On the metro” </li></ul><ul><li>Changes are important, i.e. &quot;when I leave home and enter the metro” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially the metro is easy to detect </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For this functionality GSM cell based location could work out fine for Location Based Reminders (LBR) </li></ul>
  8. 8. The reminder application Basic functionality <ul><li>Detects places through GSM cell id (no coordinates) </li></ul><ul><li>Students can “add places” (or “meaningful locations”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The phone searches for nearby GSM cells, and the students attaches a label to them (At home, Metro …) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Attach study reminders to places for “arrive-”, “at-” or “leave”-events. </li></ul><ul><li>Next time the student enters or leaves such a place, a reminder is triggered asking if the student would like to study using the chemistry application </li></ul>
  9. 9. The reminder application Adding a new place
  10. 10. The chemistry application Basic functionality <ul><li>Flashcard-like system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>See a question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Press button to see answer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self assessment – Knew answer well, to some extent or not at all </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Session of 10 questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions you didn’t know answer to will appear again next time, questions you know will be replaced by new questions </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The chemistry application Picture questions + self assessment
  12. 12. The chemistry application Text questions with short answers
  13. 13. The chemistry application Text questions with long answers
  14. 14. Results <ul><li>Technical problems encountered </li></ul><ul><li>Results from user study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>11 university students in two courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content adapted for the courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used applications for one week </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suggested improvements </li></ul>
  15. 15. Implementation issues <ul><li>APIs to get cell information not available on all Java implementations and/or platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with implementing sound- and vibration alerts from Java programs running in the background </li></ul><ul><li>Autostart of application </li></ul>
  16. 16. Problems with “places” One place associated with several cells <ul><li>Cell changes can be changed several times per minute even if the phone remains stationary </li></ul><ul><li>Some cells appear very rarely, thereby making them difficult to detect </li></ul><ul><li>Right: One hour at my office (red dot). Three cells detected. Five cells during whole day </li></ul><ul><li>(Scale: Smaller circles = 500m) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Problems with “places”(2) One cell associated with several places <ul><li>The cells to the right can be connected to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ the university” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Metro station Tekniska Högskolan” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Bus 4” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Difficult to know whether I arrived at the university or if I am just passing by in a bus </li></ul>
  18. 18. User study results Reminders <ul><li>Sometimes forgot to start application ->Autostart would be a good feature. </li></ul><ul><li>Long time to detect departures from less densely populated areas (with large cells) </li></ul><ul><li>Most appreciated reminders: When travelling by public transport. </li></ul><ul><li>“ On-place”-reminders not used much </li></ul>
  19. 19. User study results Places <ul><li>Most places added were “informal learning environments” </li></ul><ul><li>The university was only added to be reminded when leaving the campus </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone added “at home” </li></ul><ul><li>Detecting places worked fairly well </li></ul>
  20. 20. User study results Suitable mLearning places <ul><li>Public transport was considered best </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phone size convenient in cramped places </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Felt it was “Bonus study time” – they don’t do much else useful anyway </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Home </li></ul><ul><ul><li>N ice break from other activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier to study on phone for 10 minutes than to open your books </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. User study results Motivation <ul><li>Bonus time – study at places not possible otherwise </li></ul><ul><li>F un way to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes regular studies </li></ul><ul><li>“ Microlearning” possible </li></ul>
  22. 22. Suggested improvements <ul><li>Add questions/flashcards of your own </li></ul><ul><li>Share questions/flashcards with friends </li></ul><ul><li>Let learning content be anything accessible via a URL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile web, v ideo, audio, Evernote, Google Docs, eBooks, local files </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web interface + synchronization for easier editing of tags/URLs </li></ul><ul><li>Learning portal with learning content/activities to choose from </li></ul>
  23. 23. Suggested improvements(2) <ul><li>Make it possible to attach several tags to one cell </li></ul><ul><li>Implement ”add tag to current cell” </li></ul><ul><li>Implement continuous tagging mode </li></ul><ul><li>Add time restrictions, i.e. “Only weekdays between 8 A.M. and 8 P.M. </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptive reminders, i.e. if reminders don’t trigger actions, remind less often </li></ul>
  24. 24. Discussion <ul><li>Do we really want students to get such reminders? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning yourself? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increased stress? </li></ul><ul><li>Perha ps very infrequent reminders could be good? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ You took the exam XXX six months ago. Would you like to review the exam questions”? </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. That’s it – Questions? <ul><li>Slides available at http://tinyurl.com /iadis09 </li></ul><ul><li>Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bjornh </li></ul><ul><li>Contact me via email at [email_address] </li></ul>

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