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Mobile Learner Requirements


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Presentation at MATURE Workshop on User Centred Requirements Processes for E-Learning and Knowledge Management – A European-Wide Perspective (#MUCRP09) July 2009

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Mobile Learner Requirements

  1. 1. Mobile Learner Requirements MATURE Workshop on User Centred Requirements Processes for E-Learning and Knowledge Management – A European-Wide Perspective (#MUCRP09) July 2009 Email: Home page: Blog: Twitter: Slideshare: Dr John Cook Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning MATURE & Learning Technology Research Institute, London Metropolitan University
  2. 2. Please turn you mobile phone
  3. 3. Please turn you mobile phone …on! My mobile number: +44 7920 534 784 But text me questions & your name Then in talk will try and answer you or txt u bk
  4. 4. Role in MATURE • MATURE (FP7 IP) – – focus is on Continuous Social Learning in Knowledge Networks • Workpackage leader for evaluation and requirements spec (Workpackage 6) – LTRI’s refined role one of performing Evaluation within a Design Based Research approach • Working across the project applying expertise in – informal learning, – mobile learning and – adoption of e-learning tools and approaches designing and implementing systems that support learning
  5. 5. • About 4 billion people own a mobile phones • That is over half the world’s population • So looking at mobile devices from TEL perspective important • Links between informal and formal learning important themes (e.g. see Cook, Pachler and Bradley, 2008)
  6. 6. Structure (25+5) • Simplified overview of what mobile learner requirements may need to consider • A Twitter hashmob … • Four examples of mobile learner requirements • MATURE: possible demonstrator in mobility & mobile devices • Near future? Scaffolding the mobile wave
  7. 7. 1. Simplified overview of what mobile learner requirements may need to consider
  8. 8. Simplified dimensions of learning environments • Instructional models / learner control • Novice / Expert • Instructional phases / Scaffolding / Networked Learning • Content / Learner Generated Content & Context • Formal learning / informal learning • Single context / conversations across contexts • Desk-top based PC / appropriation of handheld device and mobility
  9. 9. 2. A Twitter hashmob between @gsiemens, @Downes & @opencontent (David Wiley) as they engage in a backchannel debate on David Merrill’s talk at #edmedia, 25th June 2009
  10. 10. First Principles of Instruction • FYI from by Merrill • Instructional phases • Many current instructional models suggest that the most effective learning environments are those that are problem-based and involve the student in four distinct phases of learning: – (1) activation of prior experience, – (2) demonstration of skills, – (3) application of skills, and – (4) integration or these skills into real world activities.
  11. 11. • This is an example of ‘tweetalogue’ & shows how experts learn/debate issues using mobile devices, but it also serves to raise ‘dimensions’ described above (my bold)
  12. 12. • @gsiemens: Merrill presenting first principles of instruction w/ the periodic shot across the bow of network learning #edmedia • @opencontent: @gsiemens "Successful learner control" is highly correlated with learner expertise. #edmedia • @opencontent: @gsiemens Merrill's critiques of learner control will all deal with "novices." #edmedia • @gsiemens: Merrill presents a great case. His ideas resonate with many. And yet, what his model is antithetical to much of how I learn daily #edmedia
  13. 13. • @Downes: @gsiemens right • @opencontent: @gsiemens You're an expert and have context in which to interpret your learning. #edmedia • @opencontent: @gsiemens The problem comes when we ask novices to learn as if they were experts. And Merrill is more interested in novices. #edmedia • @Downes: #edmedia Merrill: Learners don't know what they need to know Siemens: challenges on learner control; merrill: theres a place for non-control
  14. 14. • @gsiemens: Asked @opencontent question to Merrill, received anticipated response:) #edmedia (Merrill: I didn't think David would be here. I was wrong!) • @Downes: #edmedia The thing is - what is the best evidence that a student 'needs' some content? The fact that the need actually manifests itself • @Downes: #edmedia and if the need actually manifests itself, it therefore becomes apparent to the students, and they seek it out for themselves
  15. 15. 3. Four Examples of mobile learner requirements: ‘Learner voice’
  16. 16. 3.1 RLO CETL (UK Gov) • UK’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) in Reusable Learning Objects ( – Explored converged multimedia capabilities of smartphones as platform for storing learning resources – See Bradley et al. 2007; Smith et al, 2007. • This work uses smartphones as a desk-top, placing rich multi-media mobile learning objects in the phone’s memory to scaffold (Wood, Bruner and Ross, 1976) different types of learning.
  17. 17. • Picture shows students evaluating sports science learning objects. Smith et al. (2007) obtained some interesting results in the focus group when the students had a chance to use and evaluate a mobile RLO for muscle mechanics (which is also available as an internet version). • Of particular interest was the observation that the mobile version complimented the web version of the RLO in a number of respects. • Firstly, it was observed that having already seen and completed the web- based version, the mobile version could be used to reinforce and memorise what was learnt before an exam – “because, if you were on the train or whatever, to Uni … it would be perfect”. • Secondly, it was agreed that the addition of audio in the mobile version added to a sense of immersion in the content and an increase in the level of involvement in comparison with the web version. – “It’s more like you’re in class…. you are able to concentrate more”.
  18. 18. • Indeed, picture illustrates that with headphones on, this form of learning enables immersion in the learning task. • The subjects are completely engrossed in their learning activity. A number of students mentioned some other advantages of the mobile version, citing the element of distraction with computer versions: – “Because when I’m on the internet to be honest, I’ve got loads of different pages open and just flicking through – on the mobile you’re just looking at the work” and – “I just think it’s much better when you’re travelling or whatever, when you’re on a train going somewhere … If I had it on my phone, I’d look at it definitely”. • Students also agreed that they would use the mobile RLO in context, e.g. in the gym to observe muscle mechanics.
  19. 19. Fit to dimensions • Instructional orientation • Novice model • Content • Scaffolding • Formal learning • Single contexts • Desk-top based PC & handheld device and mobility
  20. 20. 3.2 MA Live Media Events (Local project)
  21. 21. [Play quote 2 clip] Learner story “Well we were walking around and observing the theatres of the event and trying to get the most images [that] we could get, and videos, and even sounds. We tried first to observe with our own eyes a little, to pick up what we thought was important for our presentation, and for our observation of the event.”
  22. 22. [play Elli clip] (Cook, Pachler and Bradley, 2008)
  23. 23. Fit to dimensions • Learner control • Novice moving towards Expert • Scaffolding off-site learning / Networked Learning • Content / Learner Generated Content & Context • Formal learning outcomes assessed / informal learning • Single context / conversations across contexts • Desk-top based PC / appropriation of handheld device and mobility
  24. 24. 3.3 Mobile Urban Planning and Education (CONTSENS) • Location-aware services – offer to transfer background information – services such as finding places and giving directions – help identify potential interactors in physical proximity of the learner • Context-sensitive learning – aware of the activities of learners and can thus offer to give assistance – E.g. if a student’s course work is due in soon, the context- sensitive system can send a tip giving the location of resources that may help with an assignment – continually derive what intervention is appropriate and can provide relevant services to aid learning
  25. 25. • Context-aware learning could include (Sharples, 2006) – location-based guides and customised help systems – systems that enable activities in context, e.g. data logging – game learning offering services and options such as communication and awareness of other game players – customised content – adaptive interface and interaction, where the level of detail and order of presentation can vary and be made appropriate for context and for display on different devices.
  26. 26. • The ‘CONTSENS’ project • Developed a series of mobile learning applications that are being used to support student teachers in exploring their knowledge and understanding of urban education in a meaningful context (Smith, Cook and Pratt-Adams, 2009).
  27. 27. Going for a Local Walkabout: Putting Urban Planning Education in Context with Mobile Phones (Cook, 2009a; also Smith, C., Cook, J. and Pratt-Adams, S., 2009) • An urban area close to London Metropolitan University, from 1850 to the present day, is being used to explore how schools are signifiers of both urban change and continuity of educational policy and practice. • The aim of this project is to provide a contextualised, social and historical account of urban education, focusing on systems and beliefs that contribute to the construction of the surrounding discourses. • Another aim of this project is to scaffold the trainee teachers’ understanding of what is possible with mobile learning in terms of field trips. • Part of EC funded CONTSENS project:
  28. 28. Enhancement of the learning experience • 91% thought the mobile device enhanced the learning experience • The information was easy to assimilate allowing more time to concentrate on tasks. • Allowed instant reflection in situ. • The mobile tour promoted “active learning” – they were less passive than they would have been on a tutor-led tour – they were not “merely taking in information” – the mobile tour triggered their own thoughts and encouraged them to think more about the area
  29. 29. “The information given was underlined by the 'experience' of the area and therefore given context in both past and present.”
  30. 30. ““it was triggering my own thoughts and I was getting to think for myself about the area and the buildings.”
  31. 31. Fit to dimensions • Instructional models & learner control • Novice • Scaffolding off-site learning / Networked Learning • Content & Learner Generated Context • Formal learning • Single context / moving towards conversations across contexts • Appropriation of handheld device and mobility
  32. 32. 3.4 Mobile Archaeology (CONTSENS) • Another approach to mixed-reality is provided by the ‘CONTSENS’ project The project focuses on the development of appropriate training/learning materials for mobile learning enhanced by context sensitive and location based delivery • London Metropolitan University, consortium members are working on new environments and visualisations that are created where the physical and digital interact and inform one another in real time. This Cultural Heritage Learning work package extends work done on an earlier mobile learning Cistercian Chapels project for archaeology students hosted by Sheffield University, UK, (
  33. 33. Cistercian Chapels project for archaeology (Carl Smith, John Cook & Claire Bradley, work in progress) • Construction of the Abbey began in 1132. A defining feature of the Cistercian Order was its incorporation of two communities, and the abbey church was designed to accommodate both groups separately. • Whereas the monks’ choir was in the eastern part of the church, the lay-brothers’ was in the west; the two were divided by a large partition known as the rood screen. • MA Landscape Archaeology students from Sheffield University
  34. 34. • The gap between physical world (what is left of Cistercian), virtual world on mobile is inhabited by the shared cognition of the students in the video clip (PLAY)
  35. 35. (Lots of pointing at screen and abbey) Student 1: So those windows, up there isn’t it, still? Is that right? So those have all changed since then. Student 2: Yeah there was like another stage between this one and this one. Student 1: High up. Student 2: With three vaults. Student 1: There’s three on that side at the moment and three on that side. Student 2. Yes Student 1: So three have come down haven’t they, along with the window. Student 2: And from this (? points screen) that one is equal to that one, and actually we can not see that one (points). We can see three vaults there … Student 1: There must have been … Student 2: That’s the big one there. Can you see that? (points at screen) Student 1: Do mean with the pillar? Student 2: Yeah, you can see it’s this way (?) but it’s stopped there. Student 1: That’s right (makes gestures for a pillar and they both stare into the space where the missing pillar should be).
  36. 36. Preliminary results • All the users made extremely positive comments about what they thought of the mobile learning course, describing it as – “more fun” than expected, “I enjoyed it”, “interesting”, 2 said it was “very interesting, it was a “good idea”, “good!”, a “fantastic experience”, and “very stimulating lots of good ideas”. – 80% rated it as being useful for learning the subject – 60% thought the mobile device enhanced the learning experience
  37. 37. Preliminary results • On the negative side, three found that having to look at the mobile devices were a distraction from engaging with the archaeology/site itself, and one would like more archaeological and historical explanation. • However, 80% agreed that the mobile learning experience was fun, and 9 out of the 10 users (90%) would take another mobile learning course if it was relevant to their learning needs and would recommend mobile learning as a method of study to others, which is a good indication that most of them had a positive experience (the other user answered ‘uncertain’ to both of these questions).
  38. 38. “The ability to be in a particular position but get a variety of views/different visual perspective was a very useful opportunity. The whole thing also got everyone talking in a way I hadn't experienced on field trips to Fountains before.”
  39. 39. Lecturer in MA Landscape Archaeologist • “As an archaeologist I am typically also interested in architecture and related art history - so the idea of a multifaceted package which could allow the user to easily transform content between subjects interests me … intelligent learning packages which respond to people with needs within a particular subject area but then allow them to push these boundaries and develop their activity beyond this really ensures the technology provides opportunities way beyond the usual paper-based handout.”
  40. 40. Designer’s view after 2 CONTSENS case studies • Need to know more about the profile of the learner, about related subjects and related knowledge. This should be modelled before the tour. If we get a rich user profile we can support the tour.
  41. 41. Fit to dimensions • Instructional models / learner control • Expert • Scaffolding off-site learning / Networked Learning • Content & Learner Generated Context • Formal learning & informal learning • Single context / moving towards conversations across contexts / boundary objects • Appropriation of handheld device and mobility
  42. 42. 4. MATURE year 2: negotiations about a demonstrator in mobility & mobile devices
  43. 43. 5. Near future? Scaffolding the mobile wave (Cook, 2009b)
  44. 44. • My own view is that the mobile device will be a major platform that makes use of Google Wave ( • A Google Wave is a hosted conversation that lives in one place. • On the baisis of the recent Horizon report (Johnson, L., Levine, A., & Smith, R., 2009), I predict that in 2 years these communication waves will form a ‘Mobile Wave’ environment which allow users to mix and match services that suit their own needs much in the way iPhone Apps are currently being used now.
  45. 45. • Consequently, in the talk I will give two CONTSENS examples, developed by the LTRI team, that I think are useful ways of showing what is possible in terms of scaffolding the mobile wave: Mobile Urban Education and Mobile Cistercian Abbeys • The goal should be to enable the learner to appropriate the Mobile Wave, configuring it so that it blends their personal apps and apps/services that the institution or work-based organisations provides that the learner finds useful.
  46. 46. Ambient learning – makes use of the digital artefacts to augment the environment and enable learning (see e.g. Price, 2007). – technological tools are used to augment user activity in context. – this view of context invests effort in designing a rich environment that in turn mediates innovative forms of learning and teaching.
  47. 47. A prototype Nokia camera phone, equipped with sensors and Mobile Augmented Reality Applications (Source: Nokia Research Center)
  48. 48. Thank you Questions?
  49. 49. 6. References • Bradley, C., Haynes, R., Smith, C., Cook, J. and Boyle, T. (2007). Multimedia Learning Objects for Mobiles. Mobile Learning, 5-7 July 2007, Lisbon, Portugal. • Cook, J. (2009a). Going for a Local Walkabout: Putting Urban Planning Education in Context with Mobile Phones. Invited talk at LearnHigher CETL ‘M-Posium’ on Mobile Learning. April 22nd, Manchester Metropolitan University. Slides available: • Cook, J. (2009b). Scaffolding the Mobile Wave. Keynote at Institutional Impact, a JISC online conference, 9th July 2009. See • Cook, J., Pachler, N. and Bradley, C. (2008). Bridging the Gap? Mobile Phones at the Interface between Informal and Formal Learning. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, Spring. Available from:
  50. 50. 6. References • Johnson, L., Levine, A., & Smith, R. (2009). The 2009 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Download: pdf/2009-Horizon-Report.pdf, accessed 14 January 2009 • Price, S. (2007). Ubiquitous computing: digital augmentation and learning. In: Pachler, N. (ed) Mobile learning: towards a research agenda. WLE Centre, Institute of Education, London, pp. 33-54. Available at: http://www. pdf • Sharples M., Milrad M., Arnedillo-Sánchez I., Vavoula G. (2008). Mobile Learning: Small devices, Big Issues. In Balacheff, N., Ludvigsen, S., de Jong, T., Lazonder, A., Barnes, S. and Montandon, L. Technology Enhanced Learning: Principles and Products. Kaleidoscope Legacy Book. Berlin: Springer. Available at: • Sharples, M. (2006). Becta seminar ‘Future Gazing for Policy Makers’, 28 March, held at the BT Government Innovation Centre, London, UK.
  51. 51. 6. References • Smith, C., Cook, J. and Pratt-Adams, S. (2009). Context Sensitive Mobile Learning: Designing a ‘Technoscape’ for Urban Planners. Mobile Learning, Barcelona, 26-28 February. • Smith, C., Cook, J. Bradley, C., Gossett, R. and Haynes, R. (2007). Motivating Learners: Mobile Learning Objects and Reusable Learning Objects for the X-Box generation. ALT-C 2007, 14th International Conference of the Association for Learning Technology, University of Nottingham, September 2007. • Wood, D., Bruner, J. S. and Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem solving. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 17(2), 89-100.