How Mobile Learning fits into Learning Theories


Behaviourist: According to the behaviorist theory, learners' responses to environmental stimuli shapes their behavior. Learners are encouraged to have more control over how they learn.

Class response system activities, from companies like Qwizdom enable instructors to present a question or problem to the class where students must answer each question using a specific device. Making “the learner an active participant in the learning process, not active in the sense that the learners have control of the process, but in the sense that they need to respond overtly and thoughtfully at frequent intervals, requiring them to stay engaged with the material” (Januszewski and Molenda, 2008, pg 24).

Constructivist: Constructivist theory believes that people generate knowledge through experiences. Engaged learning experiences such as simulators allow learner to create knowledge and apply their knowledge in a practical setting. Environmental Detectives http://education.mit.edu/ar/ed.html is an augmented reality game aimed at high school and university students. In this game students play the role of environmental engineers given various scenarios where they must collect information and look for a solution to a problem. Another example is Apple iTunes U, which allows for the distribution of digital lessons. It is used by many universities such as U.B.C.UBC on iTunes U.

Situated Learning: Situated Learning is defined by wikipedia as a, “social process whereby knowledge is co-constructed; learning is situated in a specific context and embedded within a particular social and physical environment” (wikipedia). Mobile devices make situated learning feasible. Museums, galleries city art tours use mobile learning devices to convey information about the exhibits or surroundings.

Collaborative Learning promotes learning through social interaction. Morgan, Butler and Power (2007) describe how portable devices can be used collaboratively for educational activities. One application for the Nintendo DS , called Pictochat, which allows up to 16 people to paint chat with each other by using keyboard, text, writing and drawings. The context-aware device also supports situated learning by detecting if players playing the same game title are in the area.