Tuesday, January 26, 2010

mLibraries seminar with Professor Mohamed Ally - afternoon sessions

After lunch, there is presentation on ‘measuring institutional m-learning capability: Exploring frameworks and models. First requirement is a mobile friendly learning management system (eg. Moodle). Need to have good hardware & software support via a proactive, well informed IT department. Assemble a mobile development team (content expert, elearning/computer expert, librarian, editor & a project manager). Design for delivery on any mobile device using an intelligent agent. Ensure learning support organised. Establish service standards for students and ensure they are followed. Examples shown of the Athabasca University Digital Reading Room (DRR) and the use of mlearning by students learning English as a Second other language.

Technical and design issues to do with implementation then presented. Important to make use of the advantages provided by mobile learning. Example of interactivity which may be in the form of object (proactive inquiry, using buttons etc), linear (moving back & forth within content) or support interactivity (generalised / student focused feedback). Interactivity needs to be up to date, have capability to undertake construct &/or reflective interactivity. Other forms are simulation interactivity and hyperlinked interactivity. Two most highest levels are non-immersive contextual and immersive virtual interactivity making us of virtual environments. When delivering to a range of different mobile devices, one approach is to adjust the size of the display to the size of the screen which signals a change to the style sheet to allow for appropriate display.

In order to bring success to mobile learning need for training of librarians, teachers/instructors. Empower the learner. Provide open access resources and design ONCE for delivery on any technology. Begin with a blended approach. Establish a research institute for mobile learning/library. Hire the right people. Do NOT wait for the technology to become state of the art – start NOW. Conduct continuous information sessions on mobile learning/library. Send message that the organisation has to make the move. Build success stories.

After afternoon tea, the participants workshopped a ‘roadmap’ on where to now & shared potential collaborative activities.

Activities around NZ – Waikato University using MIT open source apple app & adapted to requirements of the University of Waikato. John Clayton has been working on Mobile Moodle. Wintec a few small elearning projects which have been small – maybe moving directly to mlearning might springboard more activity. Victoria University & Massey doing some projects. In Auckland, there is Unitec project from Thom CochraneGregor Ronald from University of Canterbury provided overview of projects around Christchurch.

There is a need for a more consolidated NZ based mobile learning organisation to lobby for cheaper access to mobile data, share ideas, collaborate on projects etc. One way to start is to set up a SIG on Ako Aotearoa or a more open site like basecamp which has appropriate tag like mlearningnz or mlibrariesnz.

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