Forthcoming articles

International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation

International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation (IJMLO)

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International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation (24 papers in press)

Regular Issues

  • Stakeholders Perceptions of Integrating Mobile Devices in Teaching and Learning   Order a copy of this article
    by Aisha Salim Ali Al-Harthi, Chris Campbell, Houda Abdullah Al-Hosni 
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential impact of using iPads in teaching and learning and to capture stakeholders perceptions of using iPads in an international school in the Middle East. The study uses a case study methodology and collects both quantitative and qualitative data. The results show that all stakeholders reported positive perceptions about using the iPad. IPad use may have increased students chances to communicate and ask for help from peers. Teachers reported they still need more help to plan for using iPads in their teaching. Some parents felt alienated from the types of learning their children used the iPad for. The qualitative results explain the stakeholders experience in terms of technology access, ownership, integration, connectivity and institutional support. Based on the study results, specific recommendations are provided to improve integrating mobile technology in schools.
    Keywords: iPad; technology integration; mobile learning; BYOD.

  • Effects of a mobile technology-supported peer assessment approach on students learning motivation and perceptions in a college flipped dance class   Order a copy of this article
    by Lu-Ho Hsia, Han-Yu Sung 
    Abstract: Group performances are often employed to help peers learn from each other in college dance classes. This approach can not only cultivate students dance skills, but can also expand their performing experience. The implementation of a flipped classroom can increase students opportunities to practice and to interact with peers in class, and can enhance their learning achievement. On the other hand, students often have concerns about traditional face-to-face feedback while watching videos and giving asynchronous online feedback. As a result, how to conduct peer assessment on site while at the same time taking evaluators psychological pressure into consideration is a crucial issue. The present study integrated mobile technology into a flipped dance class in order to address these problems. In addition, through the grouping in the experiment, the study aimed to understand the effects of a mobile technology-supported peer assessment approach on students motivation and self-efficacy. Through the questionnaires, we explored the correlation between self-efficacy and motivation in the flipped learning context. Finally, group interviews were employed to understand the students learning perceptions. A total of 65 university students from 2 classes were recruited for the study. The 2 classes adopted a traditional feedback approach and a mobile technology-supported peer assessment approach respectively; the flipped teaching experiment lasted for 8 weeks. The results showed that there was a significant positive correlation between students self-efficacy and motivation in the flipped teaching context. Additionally, the mobile technology-supported peer assessment approach was found to be an instructional approach with great benefits, which could significantly enhance students intrinsic motivation and strengthen their focus and reflection during activities.
    Keywords: Flipped classroom; Peer assessment; Dance education; Higher education.

  • Advancement and research trends of smart learning environments in the mobile era   Order a copy of this article
    by Gwo-Jen Hwang, Qing-Ke Fu 
    Abstract: Currently, the rapid development of modern technologies has been influencing and changing every aspect of our society, in an attempt to make our lives more convenient and intelligent. Constructing and applying smart learning environments (SLEs) is such an effort to offer learners personalized learning experiences both effectively and efficiently. In the past half century, a steady development in the literature on SLEs has been identified. Moreover, most studies have been conducted in the fields of computer science, engineering, mathematics, and social science. In the meantime, several technological components of SLEs have been identified as follows: overall, dynamic and open models of learners, mobile technologies and innovative technologies, intelligent cloud service, educational big data and learning analytics. Some salient pedagogical affordances of SLEs have also been presented, such as personalized learning content and paths, cognitive guiding, developing high-order abilities, facilitating diverse learning modes, and fostering autonomous learning and lifelong learning abilities. Finally, several future developmental trends or suggestions are proposed, such as taking learners self-assessments into consideration when making decisions on personalized guiding, investigating the implementation of strategies and the application effects of the mixed learning modes based on SLEs in different teaching contexts, and so on.
    Keywords: smart learning environments; trend analysis; educational big data; learning analytics; mobile learning.

  • Implementation of mobile game-transformed lecture-based approach to promoting C programming language learning   Order a copy of this article
    by Kannika Daungcharone, Patcharin Panjaburee, Krittawaya Thongkoo 
    Abstract: Many studies have utilized the potential of mobile games to promote students learning performance, while few have transformed compiler working steps into mobile games. In this paper, the researchers developed a mobile game by simulating the C compiler working steps with daily life situations. Afterward, the researchers applied a lecture-based learning approach to implementing the game in a Thai university C programming language course. The group implemented a mobile game-transformed lecture-based approach by comparing it to conventional lecture-based approach and mobile game approach. The findings of this study support the notion that students can better achieve the C programming language concept through a mobile game, especially when integrated with the process of lecture-based approach. The findings of this study also highlight the mobile game-transformed lecture-based approach support the studentsmotivation to learn the C programming language.
    Keywords: mobile game-based learning; teaching and learning strategies; active learning; lecture-based learning; C programming language.

  • Tablets & apps for promoting Robotics, Mathematics, STEM Education and Literacy in Early Childhood Education   Order a copy of this article
    by Pandora Dorouka, Stamatios Papadakis, Michail Kalogiannakis 
    Abstract: New interactive technologies in terms of smart mobile devices and accompanied applications (apps) attract an increasing attention in the field of preschool and early-primary education. This has risen a great amount of academic literature, and numerous implementation initiatives. Despite this widespread interest, successful integration of interactive technologies in preschool and early-primary education still faces unresolved issues and challenges. This paper refers mostly to smart mobile devices and their accompanied mobile applications (apps) at the device/platform level. Robotics, Mathematics, STEM and Literacy are discussed below, since these are the fields found to provide most opportunities in early childhood, especially promising to cultivate interests early in computing. The ultimate objective is to present a greater comprehension of the influence of new technologies on young children's learning procedure and its potential for early childhood education. The study ends up with a general analysis of the research findings and a short proposal for the extension of the under-study subject as well.
    Keywords: New interactive technologies; early childhood; preschool and early-primary education; robotics; Mathematics; STEM education; Literacy.

  • A Comprehensive Framework for Designing and Evaluating Vocabulary Learning Apps --- From Multiple Perspective   Order a copy of this article
    by Yuge Tu, Di Zou, Ruofei Zhang 
    Abstract: The integration of emerging mobile technology into the education domain has become increasingly ubiquitous. This research reviewed the advantages and challenges of mobile learning, discussed the key factors that promote effective vocabulary learning, and conducted a survey to investigate and identify the 10 most popular word learning apps. Based on the results, we analyzed the key features of the popular apps and summarized the elements that play crucial roles in leading to successful learning. Based on such analyses, we also developed a comprehensive framework for designing and evaluating vocabulary learning apps, covering dimensions, such as content quality, multimodal presentation, engagement, personalization, repetition, and usability. A popular app,, was also assessed utilizing the proposed framework. Users, evaluators, designers, and developers of word-learning apps are expected to benefit from this research by being provided with a comprehensive understanding of app-facilitated vocabulary learning and essential features of effective word learning apps.
    Keywords: word learning apps; mobile learning; vocabulary learning; technology-enhanced language learning; multimedia learning; engagement; personalization; repetition; usability; second language vocabulary acquisition.

  • Implementation of flipped classroom with personalised ubiquitous learning support system to promote the university student performance of information literacy   Order a copy of this article
    by Chuthathip Srisuwan, Patcharin Panjaburee 
    Abstract: In recent years, unfiltered information has become increasingly available to individuals. It is important to cultivate students information literacy, including evaluating, synthesizing, and using information appropriately and ethically. To reduce the limitations of course duration, this study applied the flipped-classroom pedagogy to create the in- and out-of-class learning environment in an information literacy course. Taking prior knowledge into account, a personalised ubiquitous learning support system was developed to support this pedagogy in this course. An experiment was conducted on an information literacy course at a university in Thailand to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. The experimental results highlight that, in comparison with the flipped classroom with conventional ubiquitous learning support system, the proposed approach significantly improved students information literacy performance, self-efficacy, career motivation, and grade motivation.
    Keywords: Ubiquitous learning; Learning diagnosis; Information literacy; Teaching and learning strategies.

Special Issue on: TALE2017 Innovative Engineering Education for Smarter World

  • Primary school students' intrinsic motivation to plugged and unplugged approaches to develop computational thinking   Order a copy of this article
    by Shan Jiang, Gary K.W. Wong 
    Abstract: This paper compared primary school students' intrinsic motivation to plugged and unplugged approaches to develop computational thinking using a revised Intrinsic Motivation Inventory. A total of 400 fourth-graders who have completed a school-provided coding course participated in the study. The revised instrument examined students' motivation of the two learning approaches from four dimensions: interest, perceived competence, value and relatedness. The main findings of the study are: (1) primary school students show moderate to high motivation to learn computational thinking through both plugged and unplugged approaches; (2) compared to unplugged approach, students gain higher perceived competence from plugged approach; and (3) the revised Intrinsic Motivation Inventory has good psychometric properties in the context of computational thinking except for the close correlation among different dimensions. Finally, implications for developing computational thinking with mobile devices were proposed.
    Keywords: computational thinking; coding education; programing; K-12.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2019.10021903
  • Designing instructional videos and classwork activities: teaching internet of things via flipped classroom   Order a copy of this article
    by Chi-Un Lei, Cheuk-Wang Yau, K-S. Lui, Vincent Tam, Allan H-K. Yuen, Edmund Y. Lam 
    Abstract: Internet of Things (IoT) applications demonstrates great potential to improve our quality of life and efficiency of business operations. Traditionally, students are taught engineering concepts in lectures. However, this may not be the most effective approach for teaching students IoT, since it can hardly allow students to gain exposure to relevant concepts, programming practices, and system-level design of a practical application. In order to help students get hands-on experience, an undergraduate course focusing on IoT application development was flipped recently: Classroom-based lectures were replaced by a series of student-paced online video lectures, and most weekly meetings were transformed into laboratory sessions facilitated by the course team. In this paper, we (1) discuss the rationale for designing the course structure and learning activities, (2) evaluate the course effectiveness through analysing students' video viewing behaviour and their project deliverables, and (3) propose future pedagogical development for scaling up students' learning.
    Keywords: IoT; internet of things; flipped classroom; classwork design; instructional videos; video analytics; blended learning; design project.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2019.10021920
  • An analysis of undergraduate level flipped courses based on the seven principles: a case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Jing Luo, Mansurbek Kushnazarov, Khe Foon Hew 
    Abstract: The concepts of implementing the flipped classroom approach are fundamentally the same across different disciplines, yet many teachers still consider it too difficult to switch from the traditional lecture mode to the flipped classroom approach due to the lack of a practical model. This paper mainly evaluates five different technological courses that adopted the flipped classroom approach for one semester in The University of Hong Kong based on the 'Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education' proposed by Chickering and Gamson in 1987. Good principle-guided practices from these five courses are summarised. It is aimed that the findings of this paper will motivate on-campus teachers to adopt the flipped classroom approach.
    Keywords: flipped classroom; seven principles of effective teaching; blended learning; SPOC; instructional design; learning design.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2019.10021925

Special Issue on: Pedagogical Applications of Mobile Technology and Environment in STEM Disciplines

  • On the Exploration of a Mobile Executive Functioning Coaching Solution for Students with and without Disabilities in Post-Secondary STEM Education   Order a copy of this article
    by Jingrong Xie 
    Abstract: This study investigated the insights of post-secondary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students with and without disabilities regarding their experiences with academic coaching through mobile phones and examined whether e-mentoring is effective in supporting the executive function skills (EFs) of those students. The researcher explored the design of a mobile EF coaching solution to satisfy individuals with diverse learning needs, especially students with disabilities, and to provide academic support to their post-secondary STEM gateway course. A parallel mixed methods study design was adopted. A total of seven participants completed the mobile coaching study. The pre/post-test results and the analysis of qualitative content showed improved EFs and learning strategies/skills for those students. Two levels of coding were used to analyze the qualitative data. This study added to the limited but growing research on implementing EF coaching via innovative technology tools to support students academic goals and performance.
    Keywords: students with and without disabilities; EF coaching; mobile technology; success and persistence; post-secondary STEM.

  • Integrating Research-Based Practices and Mobile Technology to Support Students with Executive Functioning Challenges in Post-Secondary STEM   Order a copy of this article
    by Jingrong Xie, James Basham, Alyse Bensel 
    Abstract: The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework addresses the diverse learning needs of students with disabilities (SWDs) in post-secondary STEM education. The authors argue that supporting executive function skills (EFs) and learning strategies for students with disabilities (SWDs) during their learning process is important to the persistence and success of SWDs in post-secondary STEM education. Reviewed research indicates that EF challenges in post-secondary STEM education are a critical area for SWDs. Understanding current studies on the effectiveness of providing research-based practices (i.e., EF coaching, e-mentoring) for SWDs in post-secondary education can support the success of SWDs in post-secondary STEM education and diversify STEM workforce. We highlight how emerging mobile platforms, integrated with research-based instructional practices, can support SWDs success and persistence in post-secondary STEM education. The implications and limitations are discussed.
    Keywords: EF challenges; research-based practices; mobile technology; success and persistence of SWDs; post-secondary STEM education.

  • Surveying China Teachers Technological Pedagogical STEM Knowledge: A Pilot Validation of STEM-TPACK Survey   Order a copy of this article
    by Ching Sing Chai, Morris Jong, Zhiming Yan 
    Abstract: As STEM education is increasingly drawing attention from different parts of the world, there is also an emerging call for STEM education to be synthesized with the TPACK framework for the purpose of teacher professional development. Unfortunately, teacher professional development for integrative STEM education anchored by engineering design has been lacking. This study attempts to integrate STEM and TPACK framework as a means to advance the state of affairs. In particular, a STEM TPACK survey was created and validated in this study. The exploratory factor analysis indicates that the four factors, i.e. the technological pedagogical science knowledge, technological pedagogical mathematics knowledge, technological pedagogical engineering knowledge and integrative STEM can be identified. The regression analysis indicates that the three TPACK factors can predict the teachers integrative STEM efficacy. In addition, teachers who have experienced teaching STEM classes are generally more efficacious in their STEM TPACK knowledge. Overall, the study indicates that teachers TPACK are associated with their efficacy in implementing STEM education. This implies that it is important to expound further teacher professional development efforts using the TPACK framework and the inclusion of mobile apps could be important.
    Keywords: Science; Technology; Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK); Teacher professional development.

  • Trends and strategies for conducting effective STEM research and applications: a mobile and ubiquitous learning perspective   Order a copy of this article
    by Gwo-Jen Hwang, Kam-Cheong Li, Chiu-Lin Lai 
    Abstract: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) has been recognized by educators as an important educational objective in the 21st century. It provides a new vision of education by encouraging school teachers to engage students in problem-solving, critical-thinking and creative-thinking tasks using the knowledge and skills learned from multiple disciplines. While the effectiveness of STEM has been recognized by educators, the challenges of applying it to school settings have also been indicated, such as the difficulties in designing cross-disciplinary tasks and measuring students learning performances. Mobile and ubiquitous technologies have been regarded as a potential facilitator which enables learners to learn across contexts with access to learning resources in anywhere and at any time. The use of these new technologies could provide new perspectives and opportunities for developing STEM activities and studies. This paper highlights the challenges as well as the strategies for implementing STEM activities in school settings and designing STEM research. It proposes several models for guiding researchers and school teachers to develop STEM learning design are proposed. In addition, it provides several strategies and measuring tools for developing in-depth experimental STEM studies.
    Keywords: STEM education; mobile learning; teaching strategies.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2020.10022182
  • A Personalized Mobile Learning System for Promoting STEM Discipline Teachers TPACK Development   Order a copy of this article
    by Tanachai Kajonmanee, Pawat Chaipidech, Niwat Srisawasdi, Kornchawal Chaipah 
    Abstract: The contemporary educational environment presents many challenges to improve teaching quality of teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. In-service teachers knowledge of instructional practices in the fields of STEM is currently considered to be crucial to deal with the challenges. To promote teaching competency for STEM teachers, the epistemology of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) is recognized as the essential qualities of knowledge for highly qualified teachers. This research proposed the design and development of a personalized mobile learning platform through computer engineering processes for improving the quality of teaching knowledge, regarding TPACK, for in-service STEM teachers. We designed algorithms to select particular digital content for learning by analysing data, consisting of in-service teachers' learning styles, TPACK-oriented problems, digital content attributes, mobile device capabilities and internet network quality to create a personalized learning system. The aim of this study is to explore an effect of the personalized mobile learning system on in-service teachers TPACK, and 78 in-service science teachers in secondary education schools located in North-eastern region of Thailand participated in this study. The results of our study indicated that the algorithms can work effectively with more than 65% of in-service science teachers satisfaction in at least good level, and more than 90% of their satisfaction in at least moderate level. Moreover, they have significantly improved learning achievements in almost all kinds of knowledge based on the TPACK framework. The results show that our system is promising to provide learning tools to improve STEM teachers proficiencies under the TPACK framework.
    Keywords: Mobile learning; personalized learning; mobile technology; TPACK; in-service teacher.

Special Issue on: Business and Social Issues in the Mobile Environment

  • Effect of information quality and system quality in information system (IS) success model as an antecedent of mobile learning in education institutions: case study in jordan   Order a copy of this article
    by Bilal Al-Nassar 
    Abstract: Educators and students in the higher institutions have reaped the benefits of wired technology in the past several years in the form of mobile learning. The main objective of the research is to develop and propose a service quality model for m-learning in university environment. The study proposed a service quality model based on the Information System (IS) Success Model for universities m-learning in a developing country, Jordan. This study was carried out through three stages; first, a questionnaire was used to obtain the perception of m-learning services among 360 students studying in different colleges of the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) and second, information quality was measured through (usefulness and adequacy), system quality (ease of use, accessibility and interactivity), and their causal relationship with learners perceived service quality. Lastly, the third stage involved the development of m-learning system prototype (MLSP) by using Rapid Application Development (RAD) technique. The prototype was then tested among students in JUST, Jordan.
    Keywords: nformation quality ; system quality ; IS success model ; usefulness and adequacy ; ease of use ; accessibility and interactivity.

  • Consumer Perception towards Corporate Social Responsibility Practices: a study of the Malaysian Banking Sector   Order a copy of this article
    by Yeo Chu May, Amy, Steve Carter 
    Abstract: Organisations can gain enormous benefits when they are perceived as being socially responsible to their stakeholders. One of the important stakeholder groups that appear to be particularly susceptible to the banks Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives is their consumers. Thus, this research aims to investigate how banks customers perceived CSR practices in the banking industry in Malaysia. Administering through a Google-form survey instrument, supplemented with a created link via Facebook and Whatsapp, a total of 240 responses were collected, resulting in a response rate of 80 per cent. Data collected were analysed using statistical tools such as descriptive statistics, correlations and multiple regressions mainly on the predictive power of the constructs in this study. The notable results indicated consumer awareness tended to be positively correlated to CSR practice and it was also one of the most important constructs contributing to the prediction of CSR with the exception of knowledge of consumers and purchasing decision. This suggests that bank managers need to take seriously consumer awareness into the next level of analysis, in which social media has an essential role to play in disseminating important information relating to CSR practices and implementation, including the use of mobile learning as an educative tool.
    Keywords: CSR practices; consumer awareness; purchase decision; consumer knowledge; Malaysian banking industry.

  • Mobile Advergame: Analysis of Flow, Attitudes, and Competitor Trait as the Moderating Variable   Order a copy of this article
    by Sri Hartini 
    Abstract: The focus of this study will be on mobile advergame as the communication media of online marketing. Mobile advergame is a video game which in some ways it contains an advertisement for a product, a service, or a company. This study examines the relationships of consumer flow, attitude toward mobile advergame, attitude toward brand and consumer characteristics, especially competitor trait as the moderating variable. This study used quantitative approach with hypothetical analysis. To collect the data, this study used purposive sampling method. Six mobile advergames, especially adventure genre were used in this study. A total of 162 game players as participants were involved in the survey. The participants were obtained when they were playing the mobile advergame. The result shows that consumer flow influences the attitude toward mobile advergame and competitor trait moderates the relationships. Attitude toward mobile advergame influences attitude toward brand. Consumer flow does not influence attitude toward brand and competitor trait does not moderate relationship flow on attitudes toward brand.
    Keywords: flow; attitude; competitor trait; mobile advergame.

Special Issue on: ICOIE 2018 Innovating Education with Mobile Technology Advancements

  • The Use of Student Response Systems with Learning Analytics: A Review of Case Studies (20082017)   Order a copy of this article
    by Kam Cheong Li, Billy Tak-Ming Wong 
    Abstract: This paper reviews the case studies on the use of student response systems (SRSs) with learning analytics. A total of 26 case studies published between 2008 and 2017 were collected from Scopus and Google Scholar. The review covers the functions of the SRSs, the learning contexts for their use, the data collected, and the use of analysis results, as well as their benefits and limitations. The findings showed an increasing use of SRSs with learning analytics in recent years, mainly in an in-class environment, for collecting students responses to exercises, quizzes or polls. The SRS use has been shown to support tracking and maintain students in-class engagement level, understand their learning experience, and evaluate the effectiveness of teaching. However, there are also constraints on the learning activities and subject disciplines which are suitable for SRS use, which calls for further work to identify the underlying factors and promote the use of SRS in a broader range of learning analytics practices.
    Keywords: student response system; classroom response system; audience response system; immediate response system; clicker; learning analytics.

  • A Mobile Application with Augmented Reality in Exploring the Natural Environment of Hong Kong   Order a copy of this article
    by Sin-Chun Ng, Ho-Chun Lee, King-Nam Cheng, Heung-Hang Ngan 
    Abstract: This paper introduces a mobile educational application using Augmented Reality called N-Trail for primary students to explore the natural environment of Hong Kong. Students studying in the primary schools in Hong Kong do not have many chances to go for a field trip in the nature parks. It will be beneficial for the students to learn outside of the classroom and explore the beauty of the nature. With the use of N-Trail, primary students can explore the Hong Kong natural environment effectively. N-Trail can provide the nearby flowering plants with the GPS function. Students can take pictures for recognition of different flowering species. The augmented reality (AR) model in N-Trail can simulate the growth of the flowering plants. Students can learn more about the flower and insect species found in Hong Kong. User evaluation revealed that N-Trail is a useful and effective tool for primary students to explore the natural environment in Hong Kong.
    Keywords: Augmented Reality (AR); Image Recognition; Mobile Application; Natural Environment of Hong Kong.

  • Using Kahoot in Law School: Differentiated Instruction for Working Adults with Diverse Learning Abilities   Order a copy of this article
    by Daniel Seah 
    Abstract: This paper explores the benefits of using Kahoot!, a game-based learning application (app), to identify and bridge the learning gaps of adult learners with diverse learning abilities at a Singapore law school. The paper proceeds as follows. First, it surveys the extant literature regarding differentiated instruction and gamification to situate the particularities of students at a law school. Second, some of the apparent limitations of applying differentiated instruction with respect to adult education are examined. Third, the paper illustrates the relevance of differentiated instruction as a theory and its limitations by illustrating how the teaching of tort and evidence law is differentiated, on grounds of the law students diverse learning abilities. By using Kahoot!, multiple-choice questions were created to test complex concepts and Kahoot! generates statistics to assess how the students fared. Finally, this paper concludes with observations as to the usefulness of differentiated instruction in adult education.
    Keywords: differentiated instruction; legal education; adult education; student-centered learning; gamification; lifelong learning.

  • Optimizing the learning process with immersive virtual reality (IVR) and non-immersive virtual reality (nIVR) in an educational environment   Order a copy of this article
    by Vivian Wing Yan Lee, Paula Hodgson, Chung Shing, Johnson Chan, Agnes Fong, Sonia Wai Ling Cheung 
    Abstract: Teachers in higher education have a growing interest in embedding virtual reality in learning and teaching. This means that students can have a virtual exploration or a simulated experience in a range of situations. They can have an immersive virtual reality (IVR) experience using their smartphones mounted with cardboard boxes. Alternatively, tablets and notebook computers can also provide a non-immersive virtual reality (nIVR) experience. Given that bandwidth can be limited in many teaching environments, educators can arrange the options for both IVR and nIVR to maximize the possibility of learning engagement. This paper reports on student experiences of two undergraduate courses Pharmacology and Therapeutics and Understanding Ecotourism, when educators deploy this innovative pedagogy. Survey and focus group interviews with students were conducted after the VR classes. These showed that students appreciated the VR experience, which broadened their awareness and knowledge.
    Keywords: Immersive virtual reality; higher education; virtual simulation; virtual exploration.

  • Voluntary participation and natural grouping with smart phones: an effective and practical approach to implement a quasi-experiment   Order a copy of this article
    by Jiyou Jia, Zhenzhen Chen 
    Abstract: As an alternative to traditionally careful organization of experiment and control group for quasi-experiments, we propose a voluntary participation approach to naturally generate experiment and control groups facilitated with data collection function of a course management system and the usage of smart phones in the students hands. As a pilot study, we applied this approach in a research of blending smart phones into the teaching of English as a foreign language in a Chinese university for one semester. All the 127 students were invited to freely use smart phones in the class and outside the class to take part in the learning activities in a web-based instruction system and their usage data were stored. The students were regarded as experiment students if they participated in at least two learning activities including pretest and posttest, otherwise as control students. The differences of the two groups in three indicators for learning behaviors, i.e. the number and score sum of participated activities indicating participation quantity, and the average score of participated activities indicating participation quality, were all statistically significant. In regular university exams, the effect size of the experiment students over the control students was increased from 0.07 in the pretest to 0.38 in the post test. The finding demonstrated that the proposed approach of voluntary participation and natural grouping is practical for implementing quasi-experiment research in education, and effective to improve university students learning with the help of smart phones.
    Keywords: quasi-experiment; voluntary participation; natural grouping; smart phone; classroom instruction; academic performance.

Special Issue on: TALE2017 Innovative Engineering Education for Smarter World

  • Students' characteristics in programming learning and the design of a mobile learning platform   Order a copy of this article
    by Chan Tong Lam, Wei Ke, Sio Kei Im, Anabela Gomes, António José Mendes, Maria José Marcelino 
    Abstract: We studied the correlations between novice students' performance in an introductory programming course and their learning characteristics and styles as well as their motivations toward this difficult area. Based on the findings, we then provided a conceptual design of a mobile learning platform for enhancing their performance, using the most prevalent messaging and social media applications (APPs) among the students. The study took place in two different academic years for students taking introductory programming courses at Macao Polytechnic Institute in Macao and the University of Coimbra in Portugal. We compared the results of the two samples and found that although we could not establish correlations in many cases, we were able to get some insights on some context and teaching aspects that might be improved. The most important factor to improve the students' performance in their first programming course is to enhance their confidence and motivation in a visual learning environment.
    Keywords: introductory computer programming; learning characteristics; motivational characterisation; learning styles; mobile learning.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2019.10021915