Monday, October 5, 2015

M-learning to Speed Up NBN Interim Satellite Service

This is to propose using mobile learning techniques (m-learning) to improve the delivery of on-line education via the NBN Interim Satellite Service (NBN-ISS). At the same time the same materials can be provided to students in the city.

ABC TV's Landline's "Data Drought" segment (4/10/2015) indicated that students have had difficulty with e-learning via the NBN-ISS, due to limited bandwidth. A new satellite next year will increase capacity, but the satellite service will always be limited, compared to cable services in cities (due to physics and geography).

It is possible to design courses, content and software for use over satellite service. But this may not be feasible for the relatively small number of remote students in Australia. However, city students are increasingly using mobile devices (smart phones, tablets) for education. Use of mobile devices requires the redesign of  courses, content and software.  Mobile devices have more limited communications, in much the same way as remote satellite users. Therefore it should be possible to take into account the needs of satellite users while designing mobile learning.

Responsive web design allows the same educational content to adapt to smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers, automatically. This eliminates the need to design separate mobile and a desktop versions of course materials and software: the one version can be used for both.

Course materials can be implemented in efficient formats which minimize download time Caching can be used so the material can be used off-line, without a constant Internet connection. Courses can be carefully designed and tested, so students don;t need to download amendments to course materials. Optional material can have its meta-data provided separately, so students can decide if they need to download it at all.

Materials can be provided in text, audio and video formats, so students can choose the format which suits their needs and network access. Budgets can be set for each course, so the amount of material to be downloaded will be known.

Students can be provided with short text based "nudges" to remind them what they need to do and when. The use of live synchronized video can be minimized, both to mqaximise the student's productive time and minimise network use. Where live events are required, these can have an audio with limited video option.

These techniques can be used to improve the executional experience for all students, but will particularly help remote students.

Currently I am a student of Mobile Learning, as part of a Masters of Education. For my next assignment, I am required to take an existing on-line course and convert it for mobile learning. Is there an example of open access course material currently used via the NBN I could try converting?

1 comment:

  1. I have proposed " M-learning to Speed Up NBN Interim Satellite Service " for the Policy Hack with Wyatt Roy: