Uncoupling Mobility and Learning: When One Does Not Guarantee the Other

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Abstract

Mobile learning was an embedded component of the pedagogical design of an undergraduate course, Digital media and society. In the final semester of 2010 and the first semester of 2011, 135 students participated in an empirical study inquiring into their perceptual experience of mobile learning. To control for access to technology, an optional iPad student loan scheme was used. The iPads were loaded with an electronic textbook and a mobile application of the learning moderation system. Eighty students participated in ten-person focus groups. Feedback on mobility and the electronic text was positive and optimistic. However, the majority of students were not convinced that the trial made a difference to their learning. This result was interpreted to indicate that the presence or absence of mobile devices does not guarantee or preclude student learning.