Title: Location-based communication techniques in parallel learning between the classroom and the field

Authors: Kirsti Saaskilahti, Outi Sippola, Timo Partala, Mika Luimula, Juha Yli-Hemminki

Addresses: Oulu Southern Institute, University of Oulu; CENTRIA Research and Development, RFMedia Laboratory, Vierimaantie 5, Ylivieska, FIN-84100, Finland. ' Oulu Southern Institute, University of Oulu, RFMedia Laboratory, Vierimaantie 5, Ylivieska, FIN-84100, Finland. ' Oulu Southern Institute, University of Oulu, RFMedia Laboratory, Vierimaantie 5, Ylivieska, FIN-84100, Finland. ' CENTRIA Research and Development, RFMedia Laboratory, Vierimaantie 5, Ylivieska, FIN-84100, Finland. ' CENTRIA Research and Development, RFMedia Laboratory, Vierimaantie 5, Ylivieska, FIN-84100, Finland

Abstract: In the current paper, we report a study on parallel collaborative learning between students in the classroom using a desktop computer and students in the field using a mobile device. The students were provided with location-based communication techniques including route tracking, chat messaging, photo transmission, information points and a drawing tool. The experimental system was evaluated by 12 students, who participated both in the classroom and in the field. The students rated the communication support, learning support and usability of the developed techniques. The results showed that the techniques supported the students| interaction and learning well, and were highly usable. The results also suggest that the students| theoretical knowledge provided by classroom teaching can be extended by facilitating practical understanding with parallel learning using mobile communications. We suggest that the current approach is a fruitful combination of many contemporary learning paradigms such as collaborative learning, situated learning and problem-based learning.

Keywords: mobile learning; m-learning; parallel learning; location-aware systems; location-based communication; field evaluation; collaborative learning; mobile communications; situated learning; problem-based learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2010.031646

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2010 Vol.20 No.1, pp.21 - 39

Published online: 16 Feb 2010 *

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