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Design and use of mobile technology in distance language education: matching learning practices with technologies-in-practice
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on the adaptation of formal education to people’s technology- use patterns, their technology-in-practice, where the ubiquitous use of mobile technologies is central. The research question is: How can language learning practices occuring in informal learning environments be effectively integrated with formal education through the use of mobile technology? The study investigates the technical, pedagogical, social and cultural challenges involved in a design science approach.

The thesis consists of four studies. The first study systematises MALL (mobile-assisted language learning) research. The second investigates Swedish and Chinese students’ attitudes towards the use of mobile technology in education. The third examines students’ use of technology in an online language course, with a specific focus on their learning practices in informal learning contexts and their understanding of how this use guides their learning. Based on the findings, a specifically designed MALL application was built and used in two courses. Study four analyses the app use in terms of students’ perceived level of self-regulation and structuration.

The studies show that technology itself plays a very important role in reshaping peoples’ attitudes and that new learning methods are coconstructed in a sociotechnical system. Technology’s influence on student practices is equally strong across borders. Students’ established technologies-in-practice guide the ways they approach learning. Hence, designing effective online distance education involves three interrelated elements: technology, information, and social arrangements. This thesis contributes to mobile learning research by offering empirically and theoretically grounded insights that shift the focus from technology design to design of information systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university , 2015. , 154 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Informatics, 10
Keyword [en]
online distance education, mobile learning, mobile-assisted language learning, information systems artefact, design science research, learning practices, structuration, self-regulation, technology-in-practice
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-45776ISBN: 978-91-7529-102-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-45776DiVA: diva2:852817
Public defence
2015-12-01, Hörsalen, Billbergska huset, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-09-10 Created: 2015-09-10 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Systematising the Field of Mobile Assisted Language Learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Systematising the Field of Mobile Assisted Language Learning
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, ISSN 1941-8647, E-ISSN 1941-8655, Vol. 5, no 4, 72-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study provides a systematic review of mobile assisted language (MALL) research within the specific area of second language acquisition (SLA) during the period of 2005-2012 in terms of research approaches, theories and methods, technology, and the linguistic knowledge and skills’ results. The findings show a shift from the prevailing SMS-based language learning in 2005-2008 towards the use of more advanced multimedia and intelligent learning systems in the last years. Many highly cited studies focus on design of mobile language learning systems and experimental evaluation of their effectiveness. Studies often draw on mature pedagogic models and methods. However, descriptive and small-scale experimental studies dominate. In terms of theoretical approaches and frameworks, there is a lack of specific reference to mobile learning conceptual and theoretical models, which makes it difficult to distinguish any specific mobile learning theories from other learning theories. Research has so far paid most attention to learners’ vocabulary acquisition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IGI Global, 2013
Keyword
Intelligent Language Tutoring Systems (ILTS), Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL), Mobile Devices, Mobile Learning, Mobile Learning Theory, Second Language Acquisition (SLA
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-33249 (URN)10.4018/ijmbl.2013100105 (DOI)2-s2.0-84903212673 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-01-22 Created: 2014-01-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Cross-cultural analysis of users' attitudes toward the use of mobile devices in second and foreign language learning in higher education: A case from Sweden and China
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cross-cultural analysis of users' attitudes toward the use of mobile devices in second and foreign language learning in higher education: A case from Sweden and China
2013 (English)In: Computers and education, ISSN 0360-1315, E-ISSN 1873-782X, Vol. 69, 169-180 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study examined the current state of students' attitudes toward mobile technology use in and for second and foreign language learning in higher education. Moreover, the study investigated if age, gender or cultural factors affect these attitudes. A total of 345 students from two in many aspects different countries, China (Yunnan University) and Sweden (Dalarna University) participated in this study. To access learners' perceptions toward mobile technology use, we employed Kearney's pedagogical framework to mobile learning from a socio-cultural perspective (Kearney, Schuck, Burden, & Aubusson, 2012). Hofstede's cultural dimensions were used to approach students' cultural views, as these dimensions represent some values - aspects of culture - that may affect attitudes toward technology and learning individually as well as in combination. The findings show the respondents' attitudes toward mobile learning are very positive with individualization being most positive (83%) followed by collaboration (74%), and authenticity (73%). The statistical analysis indicates that Hofstede's factors cannot explain the differences in mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) attitudes in the chosen sample. Among the personal factors, gender is identified to be a predictor to explain the differences in students' attitudes toward MALL This study shows that technology itself seems to be the most important culture-shaping factor, more important than culture inherited from the physical environment, and more important than age. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keyword
Cross-Cultural projects, Teaching/Learning strategies, Virtual reality, Distributed learning environments, Adult learning
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Information technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-32354 (URN)10.1016/j.compedu.2013.07.014 (DOI)000325600400015 ()2-s2.0-84881292662 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2013-11-14 Created: 2013-11-12 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Understanding students' learning practices: challenges for design and integration of mobile technology into distance education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding students' learning practices: challenges for design and integration of mobile technology into distance education
2017 (English)In: Learning, Media & Technology, ISSN 1743-9884, E-ISSN 1743-9892, Vol. 42, no 3, 357-377 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores the design requirements for mobile applications for second language learning in online/distance higher education settings. We investigate how students use technology and how they perceive that these technologies-in-practice facilitate their language learning. Structuration Theory is used for the analysis. Results show that design needs to consider that (i) students use their private mobile technologies frequently when conducting self-initiated learning tasks, (ii) students’ mobile technologies-in-practice are important, and course designers should design materials and tools for such use practices, and (iii) students prefer to work on their own due to the limited time they want to devote to their learning. Consequently, in regard to the pervasive nature of mobile technology integration in society and into students’ habitual use, they need various software tools on such devices to support individual learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2017
Keyword
mobile-assisted language learning, mobile applications, technology-in-practice, structurational analysis, design
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Informatics; Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-46028 (URN)10.1080/17439884.2016.1088869 (DOI)000415927800008 ()2-s2.0-84945231456 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-10-06 Created: 2015-10-06 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
4. Antecedents to Design of Software for Learning: Self-Regulation and Structuration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Antecedents to Design of Software for Learning: Self-Regulation and Structuration
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-46432 (URN)
Available from: 2015-11-12 Created: 2015-11-09 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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