Research Strand - Mobile


Tuesday January 11th - James Watt Room


Mobile learning research continues to mature as a field, as evidenced by the increasing volume of projects, publications, and presentations covering a range of topics, learners, and tools. The inaugural research strand at Handheld Learning 2008 consisted of a selection of quality research papers from three different continents, and at the 2009 conference the strand expanded to a full day of presentations and discussion. Entering its third incarnation in 2011 as part of the expanded Learning Without Frontiers Festival, this strand brings together first-class mobile learning researchers and their work from across the globe.




10:00-10:10    Welcome (van ‘t Hooft)

10:10-10:30    Long Paper 1
(Attewell: Research Findings and Key Messages from the 40,000 Learner MoLeNET Initiative)

10:30-10:50    Long Paper 2
(Royle: Netbooks: From Posh Pens to Freedom to Learn with Digital Learning Tools)

10:50-11:30    Break

11:30-11:35    Instructions for Roundtables

11:35-11:55        Late breaking papers (roundtable style, round 1)

  • Arrigo: What Have We Learned About Lifelong Mobile Learning?
  • Bedall-Hill: Using an iPhone 3GS in Mobile Ethnography: A Rich and Novel Tool for Field Research
  • Palmer: Distance Learning in the Cloud: Using Mobile Computing to Support Rural Medical Educatio
  • Perkins: Engaging Faculty in a Campus-Wide Initiative: Perspectives on Abilene Christian University's Mobile Learning Program
  • Smith: Enabling Collaborative Visualization to Augment Learning within Mixed Reality Environments

11:55-12:00    switch

12:00-12:20    Late breaking papers (roundtable style round 2)

12:20-12:40    Short Paper 1
(Pearson: Supporting Language Learning with Mobile Phones for Hard-to-Reach Groups)

13:00-14:00    Lunch

14:00-14:20    Long Paper 3
(Dearnley: Mobile Enabled Disabled Students: An Overview)

14:20-14:40    Long Paper 4
(Taylor: The Learner's Perspective of "Going Mobile": Evaluation of a Large Scale Mobile Learning Solution for Health and Social Care Practice)

14:40-15:00    Long Paper 5 (Specht: Mobile Augmented Reality for Learning)

15:00-15:30    Wrap-up discussion (Graves-Wolf)  


Presenter Biographies



Marco Arrigo is Coordinator and Research Scientist at the Institute for Educational Technologies of the Italian National Research Council where he is responsible for several national and international projects on Educational Technologies. He researches new technologies in distance education, co-operative learning systems, and intelligent agents. Currently, he works on the application of ICTs in the educational field; in particular he is working both on mobile learning applications (technologies and methodologies) and on speech application to allow blind people to access online learning environments. Marco is also a senior developer who is responsible for the design and development of several educational software prototypes.



Jill Attewell is the MoLeNET Programme Manager and manages the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Research Centre. LSN’s Technology for Learning team focus on the use of ICTs to facilitate, enhance, support or improve access to teaching and learning.  A particular focus of the TEL Research Centre’s work is emerging technologies for learning including handheld technologies, computer games and interactive digital television. Jill’s experience includes 16 years in education, mostly with LSN and predecessor agencies, and 10 years in the IT industry in the UK and the Far East.  She led m-learning (2001-2004) the first large mobile learning project funded by the EU and is Vice President of the International Association for Mobile Learning.




Nicola Beddall-Hill is currently in her final year of an ESRC funded PhD at City University, London. It is a TLRP TEL linked studentship under the project Ensemble ( Her area of research has focused on mobile devices and learning on field trips in higher education. Having been on three weeklong field-trips she is feeling quite seasoned and hopes that all the data she has gathered will begin to make some sense soon as she writes her thesis. Prior to beginning the PhD in 2008 Nicola has been a sixth form psychology teacher, head of physical education and a horse-riding instructor. Her deep interest in learning stems from these experiences and her own prior university studies of Post-compulsory education (PGCE), Sports and Exercise Science (MSc) both at Sheffield Hallam University and Social Sciences (BA Hons) at Nottingham Trent University. Nicola hopes to continue working in the technology-enhanced learning and education field after her PhD with a clear mission of enhancing learning not replacing transmissive methods of teaching.



Chris has a keen interest and a comprehensive research portfolio in learning and assessment for health care practitioners. Her early work was applied to open and distance learning and her interest in the potential of eLearning and more recently mobile learning, in helping students learn how to learn, has built on this work. Her main area of research is Pedagogy for the Practice of Health & Social Care, specifically:

  • Components of Independent learning & the implications for students, tutors and the NHS.
  • Independent learning & its relationship with personal and professional development.
  • Learning technologies that promote inclusivity and support independent learning for all students.



Mark van 't Hooft, Ph.D., is a former teacher and technology specialist, and currently a researcher at Kent State University’s Research Center for Educational Technology. He is a founding member and current chair of the Special Interest Group for mobile learning (SIGML) for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). His research focuses on ubiquitous computing and the use of mobile technology in K-12 education, especially in the social studies.



Ryan Palmer, MFA, is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education at Portland State University. His dissertation work will  explore how emergent web technologies have changed the relationship between learners and information, and how new teaching pedagogy can best serve the unique learning needs brought about by this change.  Ryan is Administrative Director for the Principles of Clinical Medicine course at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Distance Learning Manager for the OHSU Rural Scholars Program.



Laura Pearson is Project Director for Anspear, part of a small company committed to the development of interactive learning software for mobile phones to support vulnerable groups. This paper sets out the findings of a project, funded by the Government's Digital Inclusion Team, to use English language learning software to engage an isolated Bangladeshi community in the heart of London. The results of the 10 week project were extremely positive, with a high proportion of participants who had not undertaken any formal education and training now enrolled on formal English classes as a result of increased confidence levels in the use of English language.



Dr. Scott Perkins is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and serves Abilene Christian University as the Director of Research. He completed graduate work Clinical Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University and a residency in Pediatrics/Neuropsychology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He has published and presented widely during his 20+ years at ACU with the majority of his research focusing on topics in psychological assessment, depressive symptomatology, neuropsychological deficits and rehabilitation, and adolescent mental health and suicidology.  In his role as Director of Research, Perkins oversees faculty grant processes and the University’s IRB. For the past two years he has also served as ACU's Coordinator of Mobile Learning Research and has written and presented widely on the impact of converged technologies on student engagement and faculty incorporation.



Karl Royle is Principal Lecturer for Curriculum Innovation and Knowledge Transfer at the Centre for Development and Research in Education (CDaRE), University of Wolverhampton where he works as a research project director A former teacher in inner city schooling and manager in post-16 education, Karl is a teacher educator and advocate of immersive and collaborative learning. Karl specialises in integrating active and project-based learning, literacy and language development into vocational subjects and latterly video games and digital spaces. His research involves integrating the educational analogue with learners’ digital habits. His teaching involves CPD around his MA module, Learning in the digital age.



Carl Smith (PGDip, MA) is a developer and researcher for the Learning Technology Research Institute. His recent work has concentrated on exploiting the various ways that computer-based modelling can be used in the design, construction and generation of learning environments and resources. His primary research involves the investigation of these micro forms of learning from the point of view of their units of construction - to see across the whole range of constituent parts, schemas and key narratives involved in their successful development and application. He uses visualization techniques to produce interactive and engaging learning resources for both the web and mobile devices. His other research interests include: augmented reality, intermediality, visualization as interface, open source learning, and the emerging practice within the arts and sciences that merges digital virtual experiences and technologies with physical spatial experiences. He was previously employed at the Humanities Computing departments at Glasgow and Sheffield Universities.



Prof. Marcus Specht is Professor for Advanced Learning Technologies at the Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies at the Open University of the Netherlands. He is currently involved in several national and international research projects on competence based life-long learning, personalized information support and contextualized learning. He received his Diploma in Psychology in 1995 and a Dissertation from the University of Trier in 1998 on adaptive information technology. From 1998 until 2001 he worked as senior researcher at the GMD research center on HCI and mobile information technology. From 2001 he headed the department "Mobile Knowledge" at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT). From 2005 he was Associated Professor at the Open University of the Netherlands and working on competence based education, learning content engineering and management, and personalization for learning. Currently he is working on Mobile and Contextualized Learning Technologies, Learning Network Services, and Social and Immersive Media for Learning.



Dr Jill Taylor is a National Teaching Fellow with a long track record in both medical and educational research. In particular she has energetically promoted the adoption of student centred styles of learning using technology. As a Co-Director of the Leeds Metropolitan University Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team she has a strategic role leading the adoption and embedding of TEL across the University. She has been the partner site lead for a number of successful externally funded research and development projects relating to e-portfolios, Web 2.0, learning object repositories, digital story telling and more recently mobile learning.