The Advantages and Challenges of Mobile Learning

July 2012

Dear clients,

As the economic outlook internationally and

nationally stays grim, most organisations are trying

to do more with less. LeMaSa is in the same boat and

we understand that our clients need to carefully

consider all expenditure. That is why we work with

you to identify the most cost-effective solutions to

develop and assess your talent. Mobile learning could

be a cost-effective way of talent development and in

this edition of the LeMaSa Chronicle we review the

advantages and challenges of mobile learning.

We also provide more information on Cooperative

Learning and include an article by Robin

Probart, the President of the South African Chapter

of the American Society for Training and Development

(ASTD) on the topic. The ASTD is bringing Laurie Kagan

to South Africa to present on cooperative learning

and you have the opportunity to sponsor a teacher to

attend a workshop by her on 7 September 2012. For

more information contact

We trust that the worst of the winter is nearly over

and that you have boundless energy for the rest of

the year!

Warm regards

Sandra Schlebusch

The Advantages and Challenges of Mobile Learning
The Advantages and Challenges of Mobile Learning

One of the trends that we picked up during a recent visit to the USA is that of mobile learning. In South Africa a few years back we viewed mobile learning as learning delivered via cell phones. With the introduction of smart phones and tablets, this view has now expanded to include all mobile devices. Mobile learning now refers to the delivery of learning to different devices across multiple platforms.

Research in Britain by e-learning company Epic found mobile learning to be beneficial because it:

· Is more convenient;

· Is more relevant;

· Can take place during down time;

· Eliminates technological barriers;

· Empowers learners;

· Enhances content retention;

· Enables speedier remediation;

· Leads to improved learner confidence;

· Results in better professional decision-making;

· Makes for easier evidence collection;

· Encourages reflection;

· Affords numerous social learning opportunities.

Mobile learning does, however, also pose some challenges. Naomi Norman in an article in the T+D Journal highlights the following:

· Lack of buy-in from those resistant to mobile learning;

· How to effectively design programmes for mobile devices;

· How to incorporate flash-supported media into Apple products;

· How to prevent cheating;

· How to track learners’ progress;

· How to keep costs down while designing programmes compatible to different devices and multiple platforms.

Eventually organisations will have to explore the benefits of mobile learning for their workforces. And starting early to grapple with the practicalities, will give you an advantage that will support business strategy later!

Source: Mobile Learning made easy by Naomi Norman, T+D, December 2011

Cooperative Learning
Cooperative learning entails the involvement of all learners during instructor-lead training. Cooperative learning is generally defined as a teaching arrangement in which small, heterogeneous groups of students work together to achieve a common goal. Students encourage and support each other, assume responsibility for their own and each other's learning, employ group related social skills, and evaluate the group's progress. The basic elements are positive interdependence, equal opportunities, and individual accountability. Human beings are social creatures by nature and cooperation has been used throughout history in all aspects of our lives. Therefore, it follows that cooperative learning groups in schools would be used as a logical teaching method. Cooperative learning represents the following shifts: From... To... "A good class is a quiet class." "Learning involves healthy noise." "Keep your eyes on your paper." "Help your partner solve it." "Sit quietly." "Get up and look what others did." "Talking is cheating." "Verbalise to learn." Spencer Kagan and his daughter Laurie Kagan have designed what they call the Kagan structures to create Cooperative Learning situations. These learning structures (over 200 applications) are showing remarkable results worldwide such as improved learner retention, improved recall and learning sustainability, fun filled motivated learners and increased pass percentages. Other advantages include: · Positive inter-dependence – improved cross-gender and race relationships; · Individual accountability and improved discipline; · Equal participation for slow learners; · Enhanced Thinking Skills and Social Skills; · Improved motivation and academic outcomes; · Extended use of brain based learning techniques and using all eight intelligences. Major and Robinette reported the results of these structures in a corporate training environment. Since implementing Kagan in their classes, they have seen nearly a 20% increase in test scores coupled with increased engagement in the class and enthusiasm for the content. They report that although it takes more time to plan and prepare for classes, the results make it worthwhile.