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Douglas McConatha, Professor of Sociology
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Mobile Learning in the Classroom:
An Empirical Assessment of a New Tool for Students and Teachers
Mobile Learning, or M-learning as it is often called, is a relatively new tool in the pedagogical arsenal to assist student and teachers as they navigate the options available in the expanding distance learning world. M-Learning is defined as “the delivery of training by means of mobile devices such as Mobile Phones, PDAs and digital audio players, as well as digital cameras and voice recorders, pen scanners” and other mobile devices. M-learners typically view lessons in small, manageable formats that can be undertaken when laptop or fixed station computers are unavailable It is currently being used in a variety of educational, governmental and industrial settings. This paper assesses some of the possible methods, challenges and future potential of using this approach in a college classroom.
One hundred students in an introductory survey course in sociology were given the opportunity to use an M-Learning product developed by HotLava Software for the purpose if assisting them in preparation for two scheduled exams. Both practice and review questions were made available on Smart Phones, Web enabled phones, PDAs and other Internet capable mobile devices the via the Learning Mobile Author (LMA) software from HotLava. Forty-seven of the 100 students in the class chose to access these data via their personal devices and their responses were collected and recorded. The results of their performance, as indicated by a final grade in the course, were compared to the outcomes for those students who chose not to use the M-Learning tool. Students using the software demonstrated a higher level of knowledge of the subject matter covered in the course when compared to students choosing not to use the tools (p<.01). Conclusions and a discussion of these outcomes are offered as well as some inferences and speculation regarding the future of M-Learning in the classroom and beyond.
Hot Lava Software, Inc. is the leading provider of mobile authoring, publishing, delivery and tracking solutions. Hot Lava Software anticipated the need for mobile content in the form of learning, reference, testing and job aids to support a growing remote and field workforce. Using Hot Lava Software’s content development and publishing system (LMA) integrated with the Hot Lava mobile delivery and tracking system (MDTS) your organization will have the tools and knowledge needed to launch and track mobile initiatives faster and more cost effectively than you would have ever imagined.
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