Implementing Mobile Learning Within Personal Learning Environments: A Study of Two Online Courses
This article presents a case-study of two distance learning courses, in order to address the question of universal adoption of mobile devices and applications by students, and the impact of these devices in personal learning environments (PLEs). First, a critical discussion of the value of these concepts in the current technological context was carried out, followed by an analysis of their impact on educational use, based on data collected in online courses on physics and statistics at Universidade Aberta, the Portuguese Open University. The results indicated that all students have adopted mobile learning, and the make-up of an individual’s PLE depends more on the learning resources available rather than on gender or age. These findings can help provide more efficient ways to implement learning by connecting current social needs to learners’ mobile PLEs, particularly when flexibility of time and space are of utmost importance. Further studies at the Portuguese Open University will address a larger and more balanced sample of students across more course units.
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