Title: Beyond potential: a two-year study of iPod use in a Japanese university

Authors: Michael Vallance; Hiroshi Numata

Addresses: Department of Media Architecture, Future University Hakodate, 116-2 Kamedanakano, Hakodate, Hokkaido, T041-8655, Japan. ' Department of Complex Systems, Future University Hakodate, 116-2 Kamedanakano, Hakodate, Hokkaido, T041-8655, Japan

Abstract: There is much literature on implementing mobile technologies for higher education teaching and learning. Positive statements derived from student surveys about the potential of so-called mobile learning can be read in a number of academic papers and the media. Unfortunately, academic surveys and media commentaries are too often interpreted as evidence of learning. Empirical research reveals otherwise. This paper describes a two-year study of Japanese students using iPods in a communications course during which they accessed and recorded audio podcasts. The results of pre and post standardised tests revealed no significant difference in scores. Moreover, the quantitative data disputes the students' survey statements in both 2008 and 2009 cohorts. It is posited that institutional, academic and media statements of the 'potential' of mobile learning and anytime/anywhere access to information need to be explicitly supported with empirical evidence.

Keywords: podcasts; iPods; Japan; TOEIC test; communication; science; pre-test; post-test; quasi-experimental design; iPod use; higher education; university students; m-learning; mobile learning; communications education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2011.044627

International Journal of Learning Technology, 2011 Vol.6 No.4, pp.324 - 340

Published online: 20 Oct 2014 *

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