Researching Informal and Mobile Learning: Leveraging the Right ResourcesMark van t HooftKent State UniversityResearch Center for Educational TechnologyKent, OH, USAmvanthoo@kent.edu
MIL-RM Workshop, 14 Dec 2007, WLE, London, UK
1. Rethinking ResearchLearning contexts are increasingly
volatile and flexibleconnected (Roush, 2005)augmented (Price, 2007)customized (Sharples et al., 2006; Walker, 2006)
1. Rethinking ResearchChanging nature of learning means:process and (or over) product.that if learning changes, learning research (methods and strategies) should change as well.considering how to leverage mobile tools for this research.
2. Reconsidering the Questions We AskWe need to ask the right questions
2. Reconsidering the Questions We Askor fear the no significant difference(Oblinger & Hawkins, 2006)
3. Adjusting Research Methods and StrategiesAvoid the
hobbled horse race&trivial treatment(Tinker, 2007)
4. Using Mobile Technologies to Capture Mobile DataWhat information is of most worth?How do we most effectively use digital tools to gather this data?To what extent should learners be involved in the research design?
5. An ExampleFrequency 1550 (Waag Society)
5.1 Reconsidering Research QuestionsDifferent questions to consider:How does learning of history change when learning while mobile as opposed to learning in more traditional settings?How do learners assimilate their learning of Amsterdams history into their own lives?
5.2 Adjusting Research Methods and StrategiesCould use traditional data sources
spatial, user, learner, and connectivity data(and use the latter to structure the former)(Zhang, 2002)
5.3 Leveraging Mobile TechnologyMobile devices have the capability to collect various data types and them send to a remote database for storage and subsequent retrieval for analysis.
6. Issues and ChallengesAccess v. privacyOwnership of data: whose is it, really?Control over the research setting
7. ConclusionLeveraging mobile devices for learning research goes way beyond choosing the right tool.