location-based mlearning reminders

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  • 1.Bjrn Hedin Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, Sweden [email_address] http://twitter.com/bjornh Slides available athttp://tinyurl.com/iadis09 Location-based mLearning reminders

2. Quick overview In this study we have

  • Built a J2ME application to study chemistry on mobile phones
  • Built a J2ME application to remind students to use the chemistry application when they leave or arrive at places they have chosen are suitable for mobile studies
  • Evaluated the use in two university level chemistry courses

3. Research questions

  • What are students attitudes to Location Based Reminders for mLearning?
  • How well can learning opportunities be detected using such a system?
  • Which places are added, what strategies are used to detect learning opportunities?
  • What are students attitudes to a simple (flashcard) system for mobile learning?

4. Background Previous studies/projects

  • MUSIS project- Various content pushed to university students' mobile phones
    • Education related reminders most popular content (more than fun videos, music etc)
  • SimpleLearn - Reminders to study sent via email and SMS at times determined by an algorithm.
    • Flashcard system for mobiles/desktop
    • Reminders often occurred at inconvenient times

5. Idea The objectives of this study

  • Why not try to send mLearning reminders based on location rather than time
  • Easier to determine that "when I am on the bus on my way to the university" is a good time to study than "at 8.43 AM".
  • Location can be determined using positioning of the student's mobile phone

6. Determining your location Mobile positioning

  • Location Based Services for mobile phones is a rapidly growing area
  • GPS often used but...
    • No coverage indoors or underground
    • Drains battery very rapidly
  • Position of current GSM cell an alternative
    • Available on low-end phones
    • Coverage everywhere
    • Low power consumption
    • but less precise location (or not even a location at all)

7. Level of precision needed? Do we need 5, 50 or 500 meter accuracy?

  • Symbolic places more important than coordinates, i.e. "At home", "At the university" or "On the metro
  • Changes are important, i.e. "when I leave home and enter the metro
    • Especially the metro is easy to detect
  • For this functionality GSM cell based location could work out fine for Location Based Reminders (LBR)

8. The reminder application Basic functionality

  • Detects places through GSM cell id (no coordinates)
  • Students can add places (or meaningful locations)
    • The phone searches for nearby GSM cells, and the students attaches a label to them (At home, Metro )
  • Attach study reminders to places for arrive-, at- or leave-events.
  • Next time the student enters or leaves such a place, a reminder is triggered asking if the student would like to study using the chemistry application

9. The reminder application Adding a new place 10. The chemistry application Basic functionality

  • Flashcard-like system
    • See a question
    • Press button to see answer
    • Self assessmentKnew answer well, to some extent or not at all
  • Session of 10 questions
    • Questions you didnt know answer to will appear again next time, questions you know will be replaced by new questions

11. The chemistry application Picture questions + self assessment 12. The chemistry application Text questions with short answers 13. The chemistry application Text questions with long answers 14. Results

  • Technical problems encountered
  • Results from user study
    • 11 university students in two courses
    • Content adapted for the courses
    • Used applications for one week
  • Suggested improvements

15. Implementation issues

  • APIs to get cell information not available on all Java implementations and/or platforms
  • Problems with implementing sound- and vibration alerts from Java programs running in the background
  • Autostart of application

16. Problems with places One place associated with several cells

  • Cell changes can be changed several times per minute even if the phone remains stationary
  • Some cells appear very rarely, thereby making them difficult to detect
  • Right: One hour at my office (red dot). Three cells detected. Five cells during whole day
  • (Scale: Smaller circles = 500m)

17. Problems with places(2) One cell associated with several places

  • The cells to the right can be connected to
    • the university
    • Metro station Tekniska Hgskolan
    • Bus 4
  • Difficult to know whether I arrived at the university or if I am just passing by in a bus

18. User study results Reminders

  • Sometimes forgot to start application ->Autostart would be a good feature.
  • Long time to detect departures from less densely populated areas (with large cells)
  • Most appreciated reminders: When travelling by public transport.
  • On-place-reminders not used much

19. User study results Places

  • Most places added were informal learning environments
  • The university was only added to be reminded when leaving the campus
  • Everyone added at home
  • Detecting places worked fairly well

20. User study results Suitable mLearning places

  • Public transport was considered best
    • Phone size convenient in cramped places
    • Felt it was Bonus study timethey dont do much else useful anyway
  • Home
    • N ice break from other activities
    • Easier to study on phone for 10 minutes than to open your books

21. User study results Motivation

  • Bonus timestudy at places not possible otherwise
  • F un way to learn
  • Promotes regular studies
  • Microlearning possible

22. Suggested improvements

  • Add questions/flashcards of your own
  • Share questions/flashcards with friends
  • Let learning content be anything accessible via a URL
    • Mobile web, v ideo, audio, Evernote, Google Docs, eBooks, local files
  • Web interface + synchronization for easier editing of tags/URLs
  • Learning portal with learning content/activities to choose from

23. Suggested improvements(2)

  • Make it possible to attach several tags to one cell
  • Implement add tag to current cell
  • Implement continuous tagging mode
  • Add time restrictions, i.e. Only weekdays between 8 A.M. and 8 P.M.
  • Adaptive reminders, i.e. if reminders dont trigger actions, remind less often

24. Discussion

  • Do we really want students to get such reminders?
    • Planning yourself?
  • Increased stress?
  • Perha ps very infrequent reminders could be good?
    • You took the exam XXX six months ago. Would you like to review the exam questions?

25. Thats itQuestions?

  • Slides available athttp://tinyurl.com /iadis09
  • Follow me on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/bjornh
  • Contact me via email at[email_address]