Mobile Learning

Mobile Learning @ AU


A Mobile Learning Task Force (with faculty, CTRL, OIT, the Library, and UCM representatives) worked over the past year with faculty and students to explore mobile learning opportunities at American University. The task force met intensively for two days in June 2013 and mapped out core principles for a mobile learning strategy based on what was learned from colleagues at AU and at other universities. These principles are: 

  • Facilitate engagement, interactivity, collaboration, and other learning opportunities in and out of scheduled courses. 
  • Ensure the technology is accessible, operational, and powered on campus. 
  • Provide training opportunities for both students and faculty. 
  • Tailor specific technologies and techniques for particular educational purposes (e.g., instant student feedback during a class, collaborative writing, research presentations). 
  • Enable students to incorporate their personal mobile technologies into their university education. 
  • Address the challenge of student temptation to use mobile devices in class for personal uses. 
  • Develop opportunities for all faculty to use mobile learning tools, regardless of course format (e.g., face-to-face, hybrid, online) or personal teaching style. 

The primary goals of the mobile learning initiative are expanding student learning opportunities, enhancing student interaction and engagement, and building learning communities through use of mobile digital tools. By "learning communities" we mean collaborative work occurring anywhere in the educational process, including preparing for class, during class, and in subsequent external activities.

Here are a few samples how mobile learning tools could be used:
  • Engagement (e.g., social media comments/likes/shares) 
  • Interaction and collaboration (e.g., Google Hangout for group meetings) 
  • Building and sharing content resources (e.g., collaboratively-built eText) 
  • Organization tools (e.g., calendars, schedules, reminders) 
  • Drill apps (e.g., mobile flashcards for math, science, foreign language) 
  • Bringing the outside world into the course (e.g., Twitter feeds, Instagram) 
  • Work done outside the classroom (e.g., field work using mobile technologies) 
  • Making use of Washington as a resource (e.g., augmented reality)
  • In-lecture assessment (e.g., Poll Everywhere or Hotseat) 
  • Projects that highlight AU's educational uniqueness 
  • Virtual office hours (e.g., synchronous chats through Skype, Google, Piazza)