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UWM's exploration of mobile technologies like twitter, Web Clicker (RWW), D2L 2 Go, Facebook, Augmented Reality, Mobile Apps, and more...

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April 28th, 2011 -- The UWM Learning Technology Center, Tanya Joosten and Sharon Stoerger, have received a University of Wisconsin System Curricular Redesign Grant to pilot mobile learning for teaching in learning for fall 2011 through spring 2012.

If you are interested in participating or learning more, contact stoerger@uwm.edu.


University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is looking at how mobile technologies can enhance learning in f2f, blended, and online classes. We are looking to mobile technologies, like Web Clickers (Turning Technologies Response Ware Web) and Twitter Back Channel, to increase engagement and interaction in large lecture classes through the use of students' mobile devices (laptops, iTouch, smart phones, etc.). Students can respond to thought provoking questions the instructor posts using their mobile device, which sends their response back to the instructor, who then can share the results in aggregate with the entire class. Also, students can reflect on an instructor's lecture through brief microblogs or tweets starting a discussion amongst students.

Next, we are looking at how social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook can be used to increase communication in blended and online classes using push down technology and SMS messaging. Students would be able to receive course reminders and updates on their mobile devices by subscribing to their course's Twitter or Facebook accounts. They also could receive these updates via Facebook on their wall or as an event reminder.

Third, we would like explore student created rich media through mobile devices. Student projects would include creating pictures, videos, audio recordings, and more. We would explore networking tools like YouTube EDU, Flickr, and others in their utility in the classroom.

Mobile Learning Articles, E-books, and Reports

Mobile Learning Blogs

Mobile Learning Sites

Mobile Learning Videos

UWM Mobile Social projects

Fall 2005 - Starting with the student response systems (i.e., clickers) initiative involving faculty and staff from four UW campuses, UWM led the exploration to learn how instructors could use clickers to actively engage students and facilitate student learning. This project allowed us to address the persistent issue of the lack of student engagement and active learning opportunities in large lecture courses. Two thousand eighty four students (1661 female, 1018 male, and 5 not reported) and twenty eight faculty members participated, but only twenty seven (11 female and 16 male) faculty members completed the survey. Our findings revealed that students perceived higher levels of engagement, increased student retention, and better performance in these courses, and they were reported in an ECAR bulletin. We did perform a longitudinal study over 3 years to further document the effectiveness. Currently, approximately 10,000 students and 100 courses annually are using clickers. Last year, we began pursing an exploration of using students’ mobile devices (smartphones, laptops) as clicker devices. We have had great success with 95% satisfaction and just started year 2 of the pilot.

Fall 2006 - UWM led a podcasting pilot initiative and evaluation collaborating with five UW campuses. Seventeen faculty members took part in the pilot, including 8 from UWM. Approximately 200 students participated in the study with 80 students being from UWM. The primary use of podcasting was for course content dissemination to students, but was also used for classroom recordings, field recordings, and a study support tool. Faculty and students received a survey to evaluate the impact of podcasting on teaching and learning. Students like rich digital media accessible through Desire2Learn (fun, increased learning, motivated, engaged, easy to use, etc.). While the data suggest that students did not appreciated the portability of the podcasting technology though, which we could have predicted from earlier studies, they did express a desire for more rich media accessible via D2L.

Spring 2008 - The Second Life project involves faculty from various disciplines at UWM, including Anthropology, Architecture, Communication, English, Film, and Continuing Education. This project is designed to learn how instructors can use Second Life, a virtual world, in their course in order to actively engage students and facilitate student learning. Faculty members will redesigned their courses in order to integrate learning activities that use Second Life. The impact of these activities on teaching and learning were assessed and “best practices” were distilled and shared with the other faculty on the UW-Milwaukee campus and across the University of Wisconsin System.

Spring 2010 - See http://UWMSocialMedia.wikispaces.com
Due to current budget restrictions facing campuses, social media tools are becoming a more attractive option because of their small price tags and their widespread diffusion among college students. The social media project was designed social media tools in the classroom in pedagogically effective ways to explore the impact on communication, engagement, and student learning. Approximately seven instructors and more than 400(?) students participated in this project. Many of the participants were already familiar with some of the social media tools (e.g., Facebook), so the learning curve and resources needed to train and support students was low. Sources needed to train and support students were low.

Immediate potential: Little is known about what impact, if any, mobile technologies might have on measurable educational outcomes. Also, little empirical research exists in the area of mobile learning. Many of the claims in support of mobile learning are based on anecdotal evidence. The immediate potential of this project is to use rigorous research methods and data collection instruments to assess the impact of mobile learning on students at UWM. This project will also give instructor the opportunity to enhance their curriculum with mobile solutions that are rooted in pedagogically sound practices. The course management system used within the UW System is Desire2Learn (D2L). With the exception of email, D2L does not provide any “push down” communication, meaning communication that is delivered to students’ desktop or mobile device. However, our preliminary research indicates that the majority of students would like to receive communication about their course through their mobile devices. Also, the majority of students are using social media, such as Facebook, and communicate often in those spaces.

Long term potential: This project is intended to be part of a 5 year UWM Mobile Learning initiative. While data will be collected and analyzed throughout this project, the more general and long-term outcomes cannot be measured as readily. However, this project will continue to foster inter-campus collaboration among faculty and encourage faculty to use technologies in updated and pedagogically effective ways. This enhances the quality of teaching and learning at UWM, as well as within the UW System, and fosters student achievement and excellence. The reality is that this project has the potential to affect hundreds of instructors and thousands of students in the UW System.