Practice of Design and Development of Pad-based Mobile Learning Resources



School of Engineering, the Open University of China

No. 75 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100039, China

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Hong GUO2

School of Engineering, the Open University of China

No. 75 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100039, China

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +86-13910807832, +86-10-57519190

Jing XIN3

National E-learning Resource Centre, the Open University of China

No. 75 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100039, China

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +86-13810129380 

Accepted sub-theme: 4



As an innovative way to learn that evolved from digitized learning, mobile learning represents a new generation of universal education. Understanding and development of mobile learning resources is an important task in educational research and practice.

Mobile learning has the following characteristics: convenient learning, personalized teaching, rich interaction and contextual correlation. Mobile learning resources have significant differences with traditional learning resources. This article explores the basic principles of the construction of mobile learning resources, mobile learning resources content design, media design and interaction design strategies. This article is closely linked to information technology in the field of education from the perspective of distance education. It describes the design and development of mobile learning resources based on "operating system" courses for pad-based mobile learning devices. 

Keywords: Mobile Learning, Resource Design, Practice Case


1. Introduction

Rapid development of network and communication technologies, including GPRS, CDMA and WAP, has allowed them to be used in various fields. The function of mobile devices has become more and more powerful. Mobile learning has become research-focused amid the rise of smartphones, PDA and pad devices. Currently, there is no uniform, exact definition of mobile learning. The international community generally regards it as “M-learning” or “M-education”. 

In Finland, a report titled "Telenor WAP mobile learning" issued as part of a research project co-sponsored by Ericsson, Insite, Telenor Mobile and IT Fornebu Knowation gave the definition of mobile learning as “a new way of using mobile terminal devices to learn” amid increased demand for flexible learning.

Clark Quinn, director of cognitive systems company Knowledge Planet, said: "Mobile learning is the combination of mobile computing and digital learning, which includes anytime, anywhere learning resources, powerful search capabilities, rich interactivity, strong support for effective learning and performance-based evaluation. It is digital learning through Pocket PC, PDA or mobile phone and other information devices and so on."

Dye offered a more specific definition of mobile learning: learning that can be carried out anytime, anywhere with the help of mobile computing devices able to effectively present learning content and provide two-way communication between teachers and learners.

Harris defined mobile learning as: the intersection of mobile computing technologies and E-learning, it is able to bring learners an anytime, anywhere learning experience. Harris believes that mobile learning should enable learners to enjoy education anywhere via a mobile phone or PDA. [1]

Chabra and Figueired gave a broader definition of mobile learning combined with the idea of distance education: mobile learning is the ability to use any device at any time and any place to learn.

The mobile education laboratory at the Modern Education Technology Center of Peking University defines mobile education as: relying on more mature wireless mobile networks, the Internet and multimedia technology, implementing interactive teaching activities between students and teachers through the use of mobile devices (such as mobile phones, etc.) in a more convenient and flexible way.[2]

In summary, the implementation of mobile learning technology is based on mobile technology and the Internet technology, namely mobile interconnection technology. Mobile learning entails studying with the help of wireless mobile computing devices. In addition to all the features of E-Learning, mobile learning has another important feature whereby learners are not restricted by time or location. The ability to learn anytime and anywhere for different purposes and via different ways, allows teachers and students to engage in a two-way exchange in mobile learning. Learners can interact with teachers or students anytime, anywhere.

II. Characteristics of mobile learning

Mobile learning provides the “four As” – anyone, anytime, anywhere and any device – to afford greater convenience. Mobile learning has the following characteristics:

1. Mobility: Students are no longer limited to learning at their computer desk. They can learn freely at anytime and anywhere for different purposes via different ways. Not only is the learning environment more flexible, so too are learning resources and learners themselves.

2. Interactivity: Interactive content that involves two-way communication makes mobile learning meaningful. It is consistent with the basic principles of constructivism and fully demonstrates the superiority of mobile learning.

3. Digitization: Digitized learning, with the help of using mobile computing devices, is what makes mobile learning stand out from the traditional learning model. Currently, it is supported by mobile learning devices including laptops, smartphones, PDA, pad and so on.

4. Fragmentation: Mobile state learning and fixed state learning are fundamentally different. Moving, though important, gives the mobile learner a very fragmented experience. This characteristic must be recognized by curriculum development and mobile learning design.

5. Autonomy: Mobile learning is a personal and emotional process. Learning is a sensitive process, and mobile learning in particular depends on the learner having a safe, nurturing psychological environment. Resources in the development of mobile learning interfaces emphasize simplicity and elegance. [3]