Innovation in Workplace and Language Training: The Athabasca University Mobile Workplace
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Abstract of Workshop #2: Empowering Learners with Mobile Learning Anytime and anywhere learning is here with mobile learning. The use of mobile technologies will allow adult learners to access learning materials and support from anywhere and at anytime. Adult learners work full-time or have other obligations that could interfere with their learning. At the same time, some adults are mobile in their work and personal life. Mobile technology will empower learners by placing learning in the hands (pockets) of adults. However, in order for mobile learning to be effective, the learning materials must be designed properly and adequate support must be provided. This workshop will present guidelines for designing learning materials for mobile learning, demonstrate examples of mobile learning projects, and describe strategies to provide support for learners and how to implement successful mobile learning projects. Also, results of mobile learning research projects will be presented so that workshop participants can learn from the experience of previous projects. Abstract of paper: The need for studies on learning via mobile device, particularly how workplace and language training might be conducted, grows in importance as more and more people become mobile device users. The Athabasca University (AU) Library has initiated a mobile workplace English project to explore the effectiveness of mobile devices such as the Iphone in delivering interactive and multimedia content for the development of language and workplace skills for workers. It is an extension of a previous CNIE award winning project that applied text‐based materials to mobile technology for delivery of English grammar lessons for ESL learners. The mobile workplace English project develops and tests innovative approaches to workplace language training using mobile devices in a variety of learning contexts. Students are able to access learning resources, in interactive module formats with multimedia rich content (such as text, audio, and video) on demand, with the goal of increasing their motivation and interest while facilitating self‐directed study. The project supports research on how one‐to‐one mobile computing can improve language learning and workplace skills development, promote innovative professional practices and life‐long learning. The presentation discusses the design, implementation and evaluation of the project. Benefits, opportunity and challenges of mobile workplace training will also be presented.