m-Libraries Conference 2009, Second International m-libraries Conference

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Mobilising the development of information skills for students on the move and for the workplace - two studies of mobile delivery in practice

Anne Hewling, Hassan Sheikh

Last modified: 2009-06-24

Abstract


Increasingly students come to their studies equipped with access to a number of mobile technologies. These may include laptops and mobile Internet and – even more frequently – access to the Internet by means of web-enabled mobile phones. There is presently much debate around the need for flexible content delivery that can meet the perceived needs and expectations of students using such tools. What might constitute appropriate content? Can such devices deal with ‘new’ content or are they better harnessed for revision and re-enforcement activity, as a supplement to other sorts of delivery rather than as standalone material? Or, does mobile delivery offer an entirely new kind of study and learning experience and, if so, when and where in the curriculum might this be appropriate? At the same time there is, as yet, little literature available on the actual doing of such mobile initiatives on the ground, the nitty gritty of, for example, going beyond shrinking existing web pages to fit a mobile phone screen and towards writing content for the smaller screen in a format that has a unique and meaningful impact.

 

This paper will look at two real world projects [mobileSafari and i-Know] which have produced a range of different kinds of information skills mobile content intended to be delivered to learners in both formal and informal learning contexts, as part of a formal higher education programme and as part of a workplace based initiative. Instructional design issues, (including the creation of pedagogically sound generic templates), will be considered alongside related technical issues but, most importantly, the paper will present data looking at how mobile content (text-based and audio) for enhancing information management competence is used and valued by learners in different real life study contexts.


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