Impact of Mobile learning in education

13 10 2008

Impact of Mobile learning in education by Gabor Kismihok

This research on this new field of mobile learning is one of the first ones, which tries to measure what students and real users of mobile learning applications think about this technology compared to students who weren’t engaged with this way of teaching before. The database created by this project contains 300 questionnaires from two groups (focus and control group) which is also freely available for all researchers further research from the project website www.ericsson.com/impact.

The results of this analysis are two folded. On one hand useful and significant data has been gathered and analysed, which describes the main attitude differences between traditional and mobile learners. As it is visible from the descriptive analysis there is a remarkable scepticism towards technology in the focus group and also great positive expectations from the control group.  

On the other hand most of the analysis which has been carried out provided non significant results. Among these results there are quite a few items which support our hypotheses and also some which deny them, however based on our observations it is not possible to say significantly that our main research ideas are justified or not.

However regarding the hypothesis 1 – “There is no significant difference in the judgement of people with or without experience in mobile learning that the use of mobile technology can enhance the general quality of learning.” – there is significant data in this research, which shows that this might not be true! The abovementioned scepticism shows that people who are engaged in technology based learning are a bit more careful about articulating their expectations, especially positive expectations towards technology based learning and in this case mobile learning.
One it comes to our next research statement, – “It is generally accepted that the use of mobile learning in education is beneficial for improving the communication between students and educators.” – it is also quite hard to say anything which justifies or denies this statement. It was generally accepted that communication has great importance in education and using mobile devices might have a positive impact on educational communication between students and educators. However one of the significant results of this research was that students, who tried mobile learning, were more pessimistic regarding this question than those who didn’t. However mobile learning as a category is quite broad, and there is no evidence that respondents in the focus group were using communication related applications. This was one of the weaknesses of the questionnaire, which should be handled in future research.

Regarding the “Incorporating Mobile learning into educational activities adds additional value for the learning programmes provided by higher educational institutions.”  there was no significant evidence gathered from this research pro or contra this statement. There is no doubt, that mobile educational services treated positively in both groups and there is a positive support from both groups towards technology in education. But there is no evidence coming out from this research, which gives a clear justification.

There is still quite a long way to go. This was one of the first steps on this new field of mobilised education but hopefully not the last. It is essential to carry out other quantitative research, which targeted more carefully, maybe leaving this traditional focus and control group method and focusing more on the attitudes of the mobile learners.

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