Developing and testing an m-Learning tool to facilitate guided-informal learning in agriculture

Uvasara Dissanayeke, K.P. Hewagamage, Robert Ramberg, G.N. Wikramanayake

Abstract


Constructivism learning theory emphasis the importance of collaborations in creating shared understanding. In this research collaborations were facilitated on a mobile SMS based Twitter platform as an effort to design mobile based informal learning. The m-Learning approach (mLA) was designed in collaboration with users, following a design-based research theories. This paper explains; i) designing m-learning contents for Twitter, ii) facilitating collaborative m-Learning, and iii) effectiveness of mLA as a learning tool. Data were collected using participatory methods, questionnaires, and logged data in the mLA. Descriptive methods, network analysis methods and mean comparisons were used in the data analysis. Young farmer community from Kandy, Sri Lanka participated in the research process for two years.
Pedagogical tools, such as lessons, interactions, assessments and feedback, were designed to match with twitter functionalities and features. Participation in the mLA has improved knowledge, and created collaborative learning opportunities. Learners were generally satisfied with mLA as a guided informal learning tool. Drawbacks were mainly due to technical problems, and limitations in the SMS based platform, which has limited room in moving towards higher order learning skills. Future implementations of the mLA model need to focus on designing mobile based applications for Smartphones in creating more collaborative and interactive learning experiences.

Keywords


Mobile learning; Twitter; SMS; Collaborative learning; informal learning; farmers; Sri Lanka

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