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Title: A mobile context-aware learning schedule framework with Java learning objects
Author: Yau, Jane Yin-Kim
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 9888
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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The focus of this thesis is the study of mobile learning, specifically learning in different locations and under various contextual situations, from the perspective of university students. I initially derived and designed a theoretical mobile context-aware learning schedule (mCALS) framework from an extensive literature review. Its objective is to recommend appropriate learning materials to students based on their current locations and circumstances. The framework uses a learning schedule (i.e. electronic-based diary) to inform the location and available time a student has for learning/studying at a particular location. Thereafter, a number of factors are taken into consideration for the recommendation of appropriate learning materials. These are the student’s learning styles, knowledge level, concentration level, frequency of interruption at that location and their available time for learning/studying. In order to determine the potential deployment of the framework as a mobile learning application by intended users, I carried out three types of feasibility studies. First, a pedagogical study was conducted using interviews to explore together with students (a) what their learning requirements were when studying in a mobile environment, (b) whether the framework could potentially be used effectively to support their studies and, (c) using this user-centred understanding, refined user requirements of the framework. Second, a diary study was conducted where I collected data and analysed the usability feasibility of the framework by (a) determining whether students could plan their daily schedule ahead and keep to it, (b) ascertaining which learning contexts were important and, (c) establishing which learning materials were appropriate under which situations. Two validation studies were conducted. The first one was an online experiment utilising Java learning objects. Participants of this study were suggested appropriate learning objects to study with, based on their amount of available time, current motivation level for learning and their proficiency level of Java. The second validation study was an investigation into high-quality Java learning objects available in the public domain. Finally, a technical design of the framework was carried out to determine whether the framework at present could realistically be implemented using current mobile technologies. The data analyses of the feasibility studies show that (a) a learning schedule approach is successful to an extent in obtaining location and available time information to indicate accurate values of these contexts, (b) different learners may require different personalisation strategies when selecting appropriate learning materials for them in mobile environments, and (c) the mCALS framework is particularly well-suited for self-regulated students. I also proposed a set of suggestion rules which can be used to recommend appropriate Java learning materials to students in different contexts. The validation studies show that 1) the proposed suggestion rules are effective in recommending appropriate materials to learners in their situation, in order to enhance their learning experiences, and 2) there are a sufficiently large number of high-quality LOs available in the public domain that can be incorporated for use within my framework. Finally, the development of mCALS has been considered from three perspectives – pedagogical, usability and technical. These perspectives consist of critical components that should be considered when developing and evaluating mobile learning software applications. The results demonstrated that the mCALS framework can potentially be used by students in different locations and situations, and appropriate learning materials can be selected to them, in order to enhance their learning experiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB Theory and practice of education ; QA76 Electronic computers. Computer science. Computer software