Rose Colored Glasses

Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Seeking Evidence of Impact in Teaching and Learning with Mobility

This was probably one of the best sessions I attended. There was no presenter. Instead it was a round-table discussion on the topic.

There was great discussion at my table where most of us were considering a mobile initiative but few if any had actually embarked on one. One school at the table had a small iPad pilot running but the number of participants was insufficient to collect significant data. In summary, the students liked using iAnnotate (  to make notes on the course pdfs and they felt more engaged having the technology in hand.

Another institution, Pepperdine I believe, has iPad loaners for faculty who must first submit a proposal of what the envision doing with the iPad before it is loaned to them.

Our group came up with a number of questions that really need to be answered to move forward and in some cases determine evidence of impact.

  • Should the initiative be device agnostic or web-based? Will selecting one over the other create a mobile divide for those students that do not own/cannot afford the selected technologies?
  • What do the standards for implementing mobile technology into teaching and learning look like and how does the use of such technology relate to the learning outcomes for the course?
  • Does both qualitative and quantitative data need to be gathered? If so, how does one go about gathering the quantitative data when the cost of such initiatives limits the sample size and where the experience is hard to quantify?
  • What are the costs not only of development for mobile initiatives (where the creation of apps or purchase of technology is concerned) but also the maintenance and change management costs of such initiatives?
  • What role/roles must be considered when determining effectiveness? Who is the audience(s) for the initiative and where learning is what needs to be measured how can the evidence of the mobile initiatives role in improved learning be measured?

We really had many questions but the entire room came up with few if any answers.

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This entry was posted on February 15, 2011 by in ELI 2011.

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