Extensive Nokia collectionWhile mLearning continues to evolve and grow, it is natural that questions will continue to be posed regarding exactly what it consists of, its efficiency, intent, effectiveness etc.  As a fervent believer in the potential of mLearning to complement formal and informal teaching and learning opportunities, we have been very interested in the strategies, approaches and protocols being used to assess mLearning projects.  The challenge, however, is that mobile initiatives, both smartphone based and tablet based, are still emerging, and as such are most frequently in the “pilot” phase of implementation or development.

For this reason, the Center for Mobile Research and Innovation is launching a new project wherein we hope to establish a basis for developing effective strategies for assessment and/or project evaluation that can be utilized for various types of mobile projects in higher education.  Whether formal/informal learning, curricular/extracurricular, or administrative/engagement focused,  we’re looking to collect and analyze similarities and differences among approaches to mobile implementations, and to provide some organization and collaboration among Universities. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to conceptualize and create a tool (or series of tools) that can be used to assess the use of mobile devices across a variety of applications/projects/pedagogical strategies.  Over the next year, we will be reviewing assessment strategies, protocol and mechanisms used in as many projects as possible, covering a wide variety of objectives and goals. This project will then extend into a second year, wherein we launch an assessment mechanism for mLearning at willing participating institutions in order to determine its effectiveness.

The first step of this is obviously to begin collecting information about institutions that have launched pilot or full projects in the mLearning space, or the more broad mobile/tablet devices space, and then following  through that into examining how these projects and efforts are being assessed, as participants are willing.

Some questions:

Are you, or is your institution, currently or planning to launch mLearning or mobile/tablet pilots, projects or initiatives?  If so, do you have an assessment mechanism in place for evaluating the project that you are willing and able to share?  This is very broad and intended to be….assessments could be on the learning that takes place, the effectiveness of the project and so forth.

If not you personally, is there an individual at your institution to whom you could refer me who might be able to help?

We are hoping to collect some information to begin the review and analysis by mid-September, but of course will begin the process as documents, sample protocol, draft focus group questions or whatever data begins to filter in.

If you are interested, or have resources, documents, contacts or insights you think might be valuable for this project, we’d be thrilled to hear from you in the comments below.  You can feel free to email us also at cmri@shu.edu.


Picture thanks to Richard Dorman who has quite the collection of Nokia devices!