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Designing for Mobile Learning

Matt Bower (Department of Educational Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)

Design of Technology-Enhanced Learning

ISBN: 978-1-78714-183-4, eISBN: 978-1-78714-182-7

Publication date: 3 August 2017


Mobile devices, through their capacity to enable anytime-anywhere learning as well as capture, annotate and share multimedia, offer entirely new ways for students to learn. This chapter provides review of mobile learning with a particular focus on learning design. First various definitions and characteristics of mobile learning are examined in order to establish a common understanding of its boundaries and meaning. Example uses of mobile learning in schools and higher education are described as a way to provide a more concrete understanding of design possibilities. Benefits of mobile learning are unpacked, as distilled from the literature, including the ability to provide flexible, accessible, authentic, personalized, ubiquitous and seamless learning. Mobile learning issues are also examined, including technical problems, cognitive load issues, distraction, equity and safety. A primary school science and a university pre-service teacher education vignette are described so as to offer a more in-depth illustration of what mobile learning can look like and achieve in practice. Finally, mobile learning research findings and observations are synthesized into recommendations, to inform and guide evidence-based mobile learning design practices. Opportunities for future research and investigation are also discussed.


Bower, M. (2017), "Designing for Mobile Learning", Design of Technology-Enhanced Learning, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 261-304.



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