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Instructional-Design Theories and Models: Volume IV, The Learner-Centered Paradigm of Education

Edited by Charles M. Reigeluth, Brian J. Beatty & Rodney D. Myers       2017

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Chapter 14

Design Considerations for Mobile Learning

Thomas Cochrane


Editors’ Foreword


Preconditions (when to use the theory)


  • Subject areas in which digital communication and collaboration skills are necessary for

                producing artifacts for eportfolios.

  • Learners create, curate, and share content.


  • All Students.

      Learning environments

  • Bridging formal and informal learning contexts.

      Instructional development constraints

  • Learners must have access to mobile devices and networks.

  • Teachers must develop an ecology of resources to support learning.


Values (opinions about what is important)

      About ends (learning goals)

  • Developing communication and collaboration skills.

  • Developing multimedia production skills.

      About means (instructional methods)

  • Mobile devices should be used to bridge classroom-based instruction and more situated authentic learning experiences. 

  • Contextual sensors in mobile devices should be utilized to design learning experiences that are responsive to location and environmental contexts.

  • Learners should generate their own contexts and content in the process of creating meaning.

      About priorities (criteria for successful instruction)

  • Efficiency and appeal are highly valued, but effectiveness is also important.

      About power (to make decisions about the previous three)

  • Learners should have significant control over what, when, where, and how they learn.


Universal Principles

     1. Enable student-generated content. 

  • Promote student use of built-in, mobile, multimedia production tools.

  • Promote student and teacher use of mobile social media for communication and collaboration.

     2. Enable student-generated contexts.

  • Facilitate student-directed projects and negotiation of assessment activities.

  • Facilitate student creativity and reconceptualization of role from passive reproducer of knowledge to active participant in learning communities.

  • Promote use of built-in contextual sensors.

  • Promote use of eportfolio spaces to personalize and customize learning environments.

     3. Enable authentic learning experiences. 

  • Promote use of mobile social media for participation in professional global networks and communities. 

  • Design an ecology of resources to support authentic learning, and design triggering events to enable student-generated content and contexts.

  • Use social media to foster the development of teamwork skills in team-based projects.


Situational Principles

     For enabling learner-generated content

  • Content creation: When a learning goal is for students to create a portfolio of their work, require them to use the content-generation and multimedia recording capabilities of their mobile devices to capture work in progress and capture moments of inspiration.

  • Content curation: When a learning goal is to capture an experience outside the classroom, such as a field trip or an interview, require students to use their mobile devices to upload these into a curated collection (e.g., a YouTube playlist or ScoopIt collection) for later critique and analysis.

  • Content sharing: When a learning goal is to facilitate student reflection and peer review on their work, require the use of mobile social media such as Twitter, Wordpress, and Google Plus comments to share these reflections.

     For enabling learner-generated contexts

  • When a learning goal is to foster communication and collaboration skills, require students to use social media on team-based projects.

  • When a learning goal is to foster communication and collaboration skills, require students to select and use collaborative mobile multimedia tools appropriate for their context. 

  • When a learning goal is to share or situate an authentic experience located outside the classroom, leverage the geolocation, image recognition, and augmented reality capabilities of mobile devices.

  • When a learning goal is to enable multimodal communication or for visual disability access, use the voice recognition capabilities of mobile devices.

     For enabling authentic learning experiences

  • When there is a need to establish communication and collaboration channels among learners, teachers, and the community in which the experience is located, provide an ecology of resources, such as a project hub, communication channels, hashtags for curating project content, and eportfolio platforms.

  • When introducing students to the appropriate choice of tools to use in a situation, provide triggering events, such as a series of short, quick production and sharing exercises using mobile social media.

  • When the expense (and safety) of real-world scenarios and environments is prohibitive, provide virtual reality experiences.


Case Study

  • A Global Mobile Collaborative Project #moco360 

                                                                                                                                                                                       –  C.M.R., B.J.B & R.D.M.

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