TCM Feedback: Evaluation of interactive eBooks and mobile learning on the iPad

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Lynda Davies
7 March 2011

Abstract: As part of the Building Mobile Learning Capacity project at the OU, we will report on progress on two aspects of our work. An overview of the fast developing field of interactive eBooks, using the iPad as a proxy eBook reader, and the use of the iPad for mobile learning by individuals and groups. This is an ongoing project involving 12 associate lecturers from across 5 faculties. The aims of the session are to share and discuss reports of user experiences, and to consider broader implications for the future of electronic publishing and mobile learning at the OU.

 Presenters: Dr Martin Smith, Anna Page (IET)  Rob Parsons, Clive Sexton (ARTS)

Date:  2 November 2011

Location: Jennie Lee Building Meeting Room 1 Ground Floor

Twitter hashtag: #ouTCM

Link to TCM 2011 Schedule:

"TCM YouTube Podcasts"

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Yishay Mor
10:52am 15 November 2011

Martin and Anna's presentation was highly informative, although it would have been nice to hear their  views on emerging devices (e.g. Kobo) and how these would change the scene.

The second presentation (sorry, I don't think the presenter's name is listed above) was a bit of a sales pitch for the iPad, and a bit disapointing in that sense. The actual demonstration did not show much more than the potential of interactive content (vs. staticc text), and was not very convincing at that. 

The third presentation ws nice, but a bit too long. It would have been much better to have shorter presentations and more time for discussion.


Elizabeth FitzGerald
12:32pm 15 November 2011

I really liked seeing the potential use for iPads for learning and I think this presentation made some very good points e.g. "creating time".

However there also seemed to be some confusion between modes of presentation/visualisations and what is unique to an iPad. For example, there were some lovely visualisations of key biological information, but the fact it was presented on an iPad doesn't mean it can't be presented on a desktop PC or laptop - as far as I'm aware. It's classic case of confusing the interface with the functionality (I think I've got that right?). Computers have always been good at multimedia (and multimodality of information) and iPads are not necessarily better than other computers for this.

I also think that there were maybe a few too many video clips shown in the presentation, that didn't add much after the initial one was shown - but it is easy to get carried away with the evident and joyful enthusiasm of the presenters. Many thanks for sharing your experiences - I look forward to hearing about the next stage of the work :-)

Lynda Davies
11:00am 16 November 2011

This was a really well attended session that was very interesting - particularly the first AL speaker. The two ALs who then did a double act over ran their time considerably - but more to the point, it wasn't clear that what they were showing us was as sharply focused in terms of the impact on student learning as it should have been. I couldn't work out whether students would ever have seen the material they had rpepared or whether this was for their own preparation prior to the tutorial/session with students. The moral is always to agree with speakers that there will be some kind of sign to them to show when their time is nearly up and the commit to cutting short if necessary to keep within time. However experienced the speakers this always has to be done!

Mary Thorpe (IET

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