Title: Exploring self-directed learning and the role of virtual badges in a mobile social learning platform

Authors: Ivica Boticki; Jelena Baksa; Peter Seow; Chee-Kit Looi

Addresses: Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia ' Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia ' National Institute of Education, 1 Nanyang Walk, 637616 Singapore ' National Institute of Education, 1 Nanyang Walk, 637616 Singapore

Abstract: This paper presents experiences from a seamless mobile learning project in Singapore. It describes SamEx mobile learning application design by focusing on the possibilities for self-directed learning and the role of virtual badges gathered by the students during their one year SamEx usage. All the activities were structured by the teachers and scaffolded by the SamEx system tools such as contextually triggered questions and prompts. The paper describes experiences from the one-year SamEx usage period, gives an elaborate example of students learning experience during the period, and concludes by examining the effects of such an approach when it comes to summative exam results. The paper concludes that platforms such as SamEx have the potential of nurturing self-directed and collaborative learning and that badges can only motivate students to learn meaningfully when the teachers provide the suitable learning contexts.

Keywords: virtual badges; 1:1 mobile learning; m-learning; informal learning; self-directed learning; social learning; Singapore; learning experience; student learning; exam results; collaborative learning; learning motivation; learning contexts.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2015.074518

International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation, 2015 Vol.9 No.4, pp.289 - 300

Received: 13 Mar 2015
Accepted: 11 Oct 2015

Published online: 02 Feb 2016 *

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