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WED: Does the device a learner uses, affect their interaction with the online learning platform? (Matt Endean)
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30 December 2016
Working as a learning in a distance based education system can at times be a hard challenge. The advent of MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) which have seen a huge rise in availability and participation, has forced education curriculum designers to re-think how they design their course content and how to make best use of the many new online tools.
However this change in presentation from traditional paper based courses to online based learning, does require the learner to have access to the internet and an internet enabled device. There is now a massive range of devices within which the learner can choose to access the online learning content. This presents the online content creator with an issue, how does the type of device a learner uses, affect their interaction with the online learning platform.
There are two issues here in action, the first is a more technical issue can the learner fully access and interact with the learning platform and engage in discussions with fellow students. The second one is based around learner motivation.
If the first issue presents the learner with a technical difficulty then it is likely to affect the second issue in question learner motivation. These two could be seen to be closely interlinked.
If we look at the first issue, we can see that Kukulska-Hulme found that :-
It is possible to claim that the devices learners use are hardly relevant; what is
important is the notion of mobility and the construction of learning conversations in
that process. Any discussion focusing on the primacy of technology is then liable to be
perceived as a techno-centric perspective on education. However, anyone who becomes
involved in mobile learning will quickly notice that, at the present time, it really matters
which devices learners are using.
If we presume that the learner is experiencing some form of technical interaction difficulties then we can reasonably assume that this is likely to have a negative effect on the motivation of the learner.
Learner motivation is a real issue for all learning platforms online or not, however the online learning platform has additional issues for the course designer to deal with. Firstly the learner is nearly always operating on their own, this means that for effective online learning to occur there is a need for an effective online learning community which engages with all learners. Secondly this needs to work on a number of different platforms and devices, which learners are likely to have access to.
Today there are multiple types of device a learner could use to access their online learning, these include mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other internet enabled devices like games consoles or even ‘Smart’ TV’s.
My research will continue to look into the issues surrounding the ideas behind how the type of device a learner use affect their interaction with the learning platform, and therefore their levels of interaction with the learning materials provided.
For more information about this please view my conference poster about this at :-