Mobile Learning Essentials - Role of Context


The reason M-learning has become such an exciting area of research is that it provides real time learning solution in concentrated snippets of information. While this in itself is a good working methodology, the contexts in which mobile technology actually becomes fruitful might not be available at all places.

Role of Context

Without these contexts and environment, mobile technology will not survive. Imagine a University where there are rigid classroom training hours, fixed curricula, and inflexible routines. Mobile learning won’t survive a semester in this environment. Let us understand the importance of these concepts and how they play such an important role in mobile learning.

Changing Contexts

Earlier, knowledge was restricted to physical forms such as books and texts. Not only physical boundaries, knowledge was also restricted to space boundaries. Earlier if you needed to learn something new and you didn’t have a book for it, you had to look for it in libraries.

With the growth of mobile phones and social networking, that barrier has fallen. Students are no longer dependent on teachers for their information as online communities are fast organizing all relevant information under different categories, which makes collecting information very quick in real time.

Understanding Context

Sometimes, contexts change within the span of a semester itself. For example, a classroom training session could change to a project work scenario, where every student has to interact with one another and get results, as opposed to the “one-to-many approach” of learning they were being subjected to earlier.

Assessment, Feedback and Submission

Any learning session should be tested against a fair assessment system. Assessments give a transparent image of what learners have managed to achieve through a learning pedagogy. However, the traditional system of assessments involves making students appear tests, where they fill up questions sets with answers and get marks based on their answers.

While this is still the standard in mobile learning technology, what changes is that mobile learning takes away the subjective angle from assessments. Now, students know that their scores and rankings are genuine as there would be no emotional element involved in awarding marks.

Also, there will be plenty of time saved by electronic scoring of paper, as compared to the traditional method where an evaluator had to check the answer, decide of the marks, score the answer, and total the final score.

Some of such similar advantages are −

  • Instant Feedback
  • Individual and Group Feedback
  • Statement Banks- Minimize Effort
  • Monitor Group Process & Outcomes
  • Transparent Assessment
  • Ease of Sharing Confidential Documents
  • Easy Distribution of Information
  • Faster Process of Scoring
  • More Time for Practice and Feedback

Mobile learning also involves learning through quizzes, polls, DIY tasks, submission facilities and methods for students to engage their minds in studies while providing for assistance through online mutual tutors.