Recently I was investigating the use of mobile learning (m-learning) for programs and workplace learning. My area of work concerns teaching ICT students in Australian postgraduate programs leading to professional certification. Such courses are increasingly delivered via blended and e-learning, using tools such as Moodle. However, one aspect of such programs which has limited support from on-line tools and remains an educational and administrative problem, is the workplace experience component required for professional certification of graduates.
M-leaning is a development of e-learning, which was built on the foundation of paper based distance education. This evolutionary approach, I suggest, could be applied to the supervision of ICT students in Australian postgraduate programs leading to professional certification. Students could undertake part, or all, of their education in the workplace, supervised face-to-face by professionals, with remote support from the university. This would overcome the visa restrictions on transnational students, which would otherwise limit their use of e-learning. By using a combination of work-place supervisors and m-learning, to make the learning experience personal, immediate and intimate, students could have an campus experience while off-campus. As well as improving the quality of education by situating it in the workplace, this will provide access to education which would be otherwise denied due to regulations concerning the use of online learning.
Developing bespoke m-learning tools was a high cost process. However, e-learning tools, such as Moodle and Mahara, now come by default with "responsive" web interfaces which adapt to work on mobile devices.
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