by Susan Smith Nash, Ph.D.
[Listen to the companion podcast at:
https://community.elearners.com/blogs/inside_elearning/attachment/431.ashx - 952 KB]
Well-designed and incorporated mobile learning (m-learning) maximizes effectiveness of delivery, enhances access, and accommodates multiple learning styles. ; Thus, m-learning, which encompasses content that can be accessed (and gathered) with portable devicesincluding smartphones, mp3 players, iPods, video players (including DVD), personal digital assistants (pda's), even cameras, recorders, books and tapes, is a vital part of effective e-learning programs. ;
Situated Learning: ; ; M-learning enhances learning style preferences that thrive when connections are made between the course content and concrete examples, contexts, settings. ; The key is to design and deploy content so that it resonates with the learner's experience as well as with current activities.
Situated learning can be applied to m-learning by asking students to listen to stories that deal with real-life situations, then ask them to takenotes while in the field, take photos or movies, record their thoughts on a voice recorder, which will be used as the basis of writing.
Auditory Learning: ; Listening to coursecontent via mp3 files or recording is not the same as listening to a book on tape. ; What differentiates m-learning audio content from a simply a book on tape is the way that learning objectives, desired outcomes, and guided suggestions are incorporated. ; The audio content (lecture, etc.) is tied to learning objectives, and sensory cues help reinforce points. ; Sensory cues can include audio, music, even silence.
Telling a story is a good way to engage learners' attention. ; The mind makes meaning through narratives (archetypal or otherwise), and learners will begin to anticipate outcomes.
One can engage affect and emotion by means of using music, and also by relating stories that evoke the unconscious and resonate with the learner's experiences and beliefs.
Visual Learning: ; By
including synched powerpoints, images that accompany a spoken text, or
movies, students are engaged, and they start to think of the content in
ways that engage more parts of their minds than simple text or audio.
The visual content will serve as memory markers and facilitate the
creation of schemata and organizing principles within the individuals'
Time-Sequence Learning: ; ; Mobile learning is extremely effective for individuals who organize knowledge around time-sequences. ; The fact that the presentations (audio, video) are time-linear allows learners to listen to them in order and to use each unit or component as a scaffolding item. ;
In time-sequence learning, it is very important to design the modules so that they are in ascending order of difficulty. ; Likewise, if you are a learner, be sure to be aware of the proper sequence and to follow it. ; To break out of the sequence is to be in peril of learning things out of order and developing faulty schemata. ;
Remember that there is a limit to one's working memory, and it is important to punctuate the content with breaks and memory-markers (schema, tags, etc.).
Kinaesthetic Learning: ; While listening and viewing, the student should not remain passive. ; To ask students, particularly those whose preferences are kinaesthetic, to be passive, is to invite disaster. ; Instead, ask the learner to engage in physical activities -- taking notes, engaging in activities that involve touching screens or interacting with the device, or, to be involved in the world at large by doing a specific task.
Structure. ; Ideal m-learning is structured, organized, and is of limited duration. ; It takes a building block approach, but each is similar enough in overall design to encourage the learner to feel comfortable and to be able to participate in mastery learning. ; In essence, each segment should include an introduction, main themes, topics, perhaps a story that illustrates points, visual and auditory content and cues, a synopsis, and a call for action.