Friday, November 19, 2010

Reflections on developing scholarly mobile learning outcomes

I am currently in the final stage of this semester, meaning that like most graduate students, papers are being outlined, drafted, and finalized. So the past couple of weeks have been rather busy. However, as I’m beginning to craft the final drafts of my papers, this is good time to reflect on emerging themes among my learning process.

Just for the record, my Fall 2010 courses are:
·      Dissertation Seminar – required for all doctoral students in my program
·      Design Based Research – my advisor teaches this course and also it is focused on the mobile learning project iAdvocate I have helped design
·      Planned Change – a change management course that uses Everett Roger’s Diffusion of Innovations text

Since mobile learning is my topic of focus, I have spent several months identifying and analyzing mobile learning literature and trying to figure out how to present my understanding of the topic in a cohesive form. For now, my thoughts on the topic have begun to gel into a ‘definition of mobile learning’ based on the literature, but its still a work in program. The most promising definition (based on peer feedback) is formed from the writings of Traxler. I write:

Traxler (2009) sees the potential of the technology in how it can support learning within a “mobile education” that is personalized (user-centered), authentic (relevant), and situated (p. 17). Of course, each of these aspects have also been examined independently of mobile learning, but when applied to the conception of mobility, they reveal a unique potential for matching teaching styles and learning styles with particular disciplines within a mobile education.

Getting to this point has been a challenge and so has writing my papers. What has struck me however are comments related to:
·      How my topic and problem presentation is ideologically biased since I am assuming that mobile learning is indeed the new wave of learning technologies
·      How my approach is overly broad and so I should focus research questions on specific pieces of mobile education
·      The challenge that the technology will change, so it might be futile to try to generalize from current mobile technological affordances

These are all valid concerns and definitely have influenced my analysis and writing. Below are the working titles of my papers
·      Planned Change course – Leveraging education change within a mobile learning context
·      Dissertation Seminar - Mobile Learning: Development of an instructional design model
·      Design Based Research – Applying Instructional Message Design Principles to a Mobile-based Learning Environment

Depending on which paper seems the best to me, I will post a copy in a later blog. 

Photo courtesy of Davide Restivo via Flickr:

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