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Lisa Kolakowski Critique 1

Lisa Kolakowski Critique 1

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Published by Lisa Kolakowski
Critique 1 for EDET 780
Critique 1 for EDET 780

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Published by: Lisa Kolakowski on May 22, 2013
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Lisa KolakowskiMay 22, 2013AEET/EDET 780
Critique 1
Ruth, D.M., Mastre, T.M., & Fricker, R. (2013, 28). EDUCAUSE Homepage | EDUCAUSE.edu.
 A Study of Mobile Learning Trends at the U.S. Naval Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School |EDUCAUSE.edu.
Introduction
The purpose of the study conducted by Ruth, Mastre and Fricker was to address three questions around
mobile learning. Those questions are: What are the trends in mobile device usage by today’s students? Which
types of course content do current students prefer for their mobile devices and in what format? And, what willfuture university students expect schools to provide on their mobile electronic devices? These questions wereanswered by two surveys. The surveys were led by the NPS Center for Educational Design, Development andDistribution. The respondents for the surveys were the United States Naval Academy undergraduate studentsand the Naval Postgraduate School graduate students. The respondents were selected as a representation of other universities across the country, with the ages of respondents between 20 and 35. The survey wasentirely web-based and sent to the graduate students in the Summer of 2010 and the undergraduate studentsin the Spring of 2011. The survey was organized into four categories: Current Device Ownership, DeviceConnectivity, Device Usage, and Future Interests. The survey did go through pre-testing prior to sending out tothe students.The survey found the majority of respondents had a smartphone, and most had unlimited data plans. Fiftypercent of the smartphone owners for both respondent groups owned an iPhone. The Naval PostgraduateSchool respondents owned more Blackberry devices than the undergraduate respondents, due in part becausethe Navy issues Blackberry devices to officers. The two main features used on smartphone devices are tobrowse the internet and to check email. Half to three-fourths of respondents use their smartphones to viewPDFs or word files. Less than a fourth of the respondents owned a tablet. However, this number has mostlikely grown significantly since the study took place. At the time of the study, iPads were newly introduced intothe market. Nearly seventy-five percent of the respondents owned an MP3 player, particularly an iPod to listento audio files or watch video files. Overall, respondents are interested in using mobile devices for classroomuse in the future.The limitation of the study, according to the researchers, is that the survey did not ask about smartphone usageto the amount of detail the
ECAR National Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2011
 had asked. There are multiple findings, according to the researcher, than can impact us and other readers.The trends in mobile device usage are constantly increasing. Many respondents to the survey would usemobile learning if it was available. The dominance of the iPhone has gone down with the use of Androidsincreasing. Students are doing more things with mobile devices on a higher frequency. An important outcomeof the survey was the future usage interests. Students are interested in mobile applications that supportclasswork. However, the seamlessness and user-friendliness is very important. It cannot be a hassle to useon a mobile device.
 
If I were conducting the research in this area, my next step would be to continue the same survey questions, onthe next wave of undergraduate and graduate students. This survey can be done year after year, especiallysince the frequency and dominance of mobile devices is rapidly growing. Another important area to researchnext is how to determine what pieces of a course should be mobile compatible and what pieces should not be
mobile compatible. The “too much of a good thing” could apply here, in t
hat we do not want to make more thannecessary mobile compatible so that we do not loose students
’ interest in mobile learning
. Another area toresearch next is how universities can incorporate their systems seamlessly onto mobile platforms. This will bea challenge for all universities over the next few years.
Critique
This study clearly defines the three research questions at the beginning of the article, then clearly responds tothese three questions at the end of the research. I find this review of the literature very useful. The article or case study is well organized. The authors provide enough background on the study by giving insight into prior research that was taken into account, who supported the research, background on the respondents, the threemain research questions for the survey, how the material for the survey was determined, extensive surveyresults, conclusion of the results, answers to the initial research questions, and what it all means. The authorswere critical of their survey results, by providing possible reasons for the data results. For example, the highusage of Blackberry devices among the graduate students could be explained by the devices being given to off duty officers. Or suspecting the usage of PCs and PDAs would increase significantly if the study wasconducted at a later date because the release of the iPad happened right before the study was conducted.The researchers do write for a wider audience. The audience does not need to know in great detail aboutinstructional design of prior knowledge of mobile learning. The writing is well organized and explained. Theuse of graphs throughout the article helps explain the survey results beyond what the text says.I find this article extremely beneficial to my topic of mobile learning. Currently, I am helping to develop a mobilestrategy for corporate sales training at work. We have sales agents across the country that are independentbusiness owners. This means we cannot require them to take training or surveys. This makes it difficult todetermine how many are using mobile devices, or what information they would like to have on a mobile device.Research such as this case study helps determine usage within the field based on other surveys conducted. At the end of this report, it is clear that my assumptions around mobile device usage are true. The majority of students, at the time surveyed, have a smartphone and are interested in mobile learning. Since mobilelearning is a relatively new topic, even early research is beneficial. However, the research is not overlysurprising, nor does it suggest any learning theories. I would have liked the article to go into more detail onlearning theories to apply to a mobile learning strategy. However, this case study focused primarily on thesurvey conducted, not how to develop a mobile learning strategy. The researchers provide other surveys asreferences, or theories used to develop the survey, but they do not go beyond that. Since it is still a new andemerging topic, at the time the article was written it was just on the brink of the capabilities of mobile learning. Ibelieve more can be gained from furthering this case study.
Conclusion
Overall, I do find this case study valuable. The data collected is useful in determining the current usage of mobile devices among undergraduate and graduate students, as well as their opinions on future usage. Thestudy does have its limitations in that it only focused on surveying students and not on implementing a strategy. Another limitation is the duration of the study since it took place just as iPads were introduced to the market.Today, the results could be significantly different. I did find this study useful to determine what learners would

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