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

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What is Mobile Learning and What Do Students Expect – How Can Libraries Help Fill the Gap? A Report on a Dedicated Six-Month Research Project from LIS at LJMU

Will Reid, Vicki Owen

Last modified: 2009-06-30

Abstract


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When ‘mobile learning’ is in the spotlight, the emphasis should be on how it is a benefit to students and why it can support teaching and learning but instead tendency leads to prominence being placed upon what it actually is. Stripped down to the bones it is simple. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term ‘mobile’ as something that is able to move or be moved freely or easily so in an ‘m-learning’ context the obvious definition is ‘learning that is not restricted by geographic location. ’So how can such learning be used to maximise student success whilst at university? What is the role of the library service in supporting that step? What devices enable this to happen? These questions underpin a major research project at LJMU, reflecting a strategic university focus on developing flexible, enhanced approaches to learning, and the opening of two new learning spaces within LIS.

 

An in-depth horizon scan of the literature forms the basis for the project, identifying key concepts already acknowledged in previous research and assimilating the plethora of ‘m-learning’ definitions being pitched in the research forum at present. These concepts are then paralleled with the current expertise within LJMU providing a measure of current attainment in this field in a contextual setting. Student opinion, derived from on-spot questionnaires, surveys and focus groups is drawn upon to gain the underlying premise for a strategy of ‘m-learning,’ justifying the ‘how’ and the ‘why.’ Finally, a discussion of best practice across all educational sectors provides insights into potential courses of action over the next five years.

 

The project is due to be completed in May 2009 when a report shall be submitted to the LIS management team. This will be the first full presentation of the results of the research following completion of the project.


Full Text: PPT