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Is Learning as Effective When Studying Using a Mobile Device Compared to Other Methods? July 7, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anita DeCianni-Brown @ 5:19 pm
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“A concern with E-Learning environments is whether students achieve superior or equivalent learning outcomes to those obtained through traditional methods.”  Aramatas and Saliba conduct a study, which explores learning outcomes from printed study material, lecture format, computers and “smart” mobile phone delivery methods.  Each of the delivery methods offer benefits.  Having experienced educational delivery via each method, each one has its pros and cons. 

 

Smart phones give an opportunity for learners to be able to do coursework anywhere/anytime.  When someone has time constraints, this is a great advantage.  However, the use of mobile phones in learning environments/educational delivery comes with some challenges as well.  The speed at which someone can input text is much slower.  The size of the screen can also be a challenge when it comes to reading text.  Smart phones can enhance the engagement and activity of the learning environment, but being able to function as ‘the’ learning environment faces one larger challenge – not everyone has a smart phone.  Though not everyone has a computer or internet access, there are locations that offer it.  Individuals can use computers in libraries or community centers.  Access to smart phones is not as convenient. 

 

In the study that Aramatas and Saliba conducted, they looked to test whether learning outcomes were similar, or no worse, when using mobile phones as a delivery method.  The study included 81 students, ranging in age from 18 – 27 years old.  Students were broken into groups of three and asked to study four lessons using the four delivery methods (printed, lecture, computer, smart phone).  Students were in three different settings:  lounge room where they studied printed material and the lecture was presented; study where they used a computer; and bedroom where they used their mobile device.  Tests were designed for each lesson.  Learners were given questionnaires after each setting to complete. 

 

Based on their responses, 60 percent of the sample indicated they were interested in using their mobile phone to facilitate learning, while 15 percent were not interested and 25 percent unsure.  The study found that students’ test scores were better for lessons studied using print; but they were equal for the other three methods.  Their findings also showed that despite some of the challenges in using mobile phones, they can still be used as an effective learning tool. 

 

Armatas, C. & Saliba, A. (2009). Is Learning as Effective When Studying Using a Mobile Device Compared to Other Methods? In C. Spratt, & P. Lajbcygier, E-Learning Technologies and Evidence-Based Assessment Approaches (218-233). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. 

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Collaborative E-Learning Using Wikis: A Case Report July 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anita DeCianni-Brown @ 2:49 am
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Being able to collaborate and share information via the world wide web has gone far beyond the use of email and web pages.  Through the web, discussion boards and forums began evolving into a much more interactive platform that allowed far greater interaction.  Social software tools such as blogs, wikis, podcasting, vodcasting, along with MySpace and Facebook allow individuals to share and disseminate information.  Since the publication of this article, more social media platforms such as Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn have also added to the way learners can collaborate on projects and communicate with a greater audience.  This creates a trail of interaction between the individuals, and allows the instructors the ability to assess the collaborative process and the product being developed.  (p. 38) 

 

Social constructivism is a dominant theory of learning can be described as learning as a social process which the context of learning is significant.  The implementation of learning is done through the “community of practice” which is an environment in which a group of individuals participate in a shared activity of learners who become self-regulated and independent and is focused around a domain of knowledge.  (p. 39)  Brock cites an example from Monasch University of a Wiki project, Leapfrog Biology, which was designed for medical students who had not completed 12 Biology.  The course was developed as 3 thematic modules:  Cellular basis of life; Human genetics; and Disease and immunity. 

 

There were individual and group work activities that were incorporated in the course.  Individual work included interactive media elements, quizzes and summary submissions.  Group activities included a debate and group project.  Nobel Factor, the group project, was a competition between students.  Students were to design and develop a Wiki exploring Nobel Prize winning discoveries in medical research related to the subject of each of the modules.  They were able to upload images and attachments.  Students had to vote for the best wiki, which ended up being published so all first year medical students could use it as a resource. 

 

Though I have not had the opportunity to participate in a Wiki, I have worked in similar-styled projects.  In a design course I took in a traditional classroom setting, the instructor created a blog page, which was only open to those of us in the course.  We posted our design projects in the weekly blog, shared sites and design ideas of interest, and had to write reviews of historical designs, as well as comment on each other’s design work.  In addition to my own research and writing, I was able to learn about other designers (there was a class of 24 of us).  In looking at other’s work, it sparked creativity ideas on either new techniques or styles to try.  The site was still available for a time after the course was complete for us to go back and reference. 

 

 

 

Brack, C.  Collaborative E-Learning Using Wikis:  A Case Report.   E-Learning Technologies and Evidence-Based Assessment Approaches. Information Science Reference.(37 – 54)