Road to Mobile Learning
To meet the needs of students, and fulfill Athabasca University‘s mission to remove barriers to learning, Athabasca University (AU) Library has initiated a number of mobile learning projects.The poster ―Road to Mobile Learning‖ examines some of the reasons why AU undertook these projects, a brief summary of some of the content, guidelines and features of AU projects, and some of the challenges and opportunities in the future. There is a new generation of students that are technologically savvy, can adapt to technology, and want to access information quickly. To meet the needs of these students Athabasca University Library has initiated a number of mobile language projects. The first of these projects was the English as a Second Language project (http://eslau.ca).This project delivered content to very basic mobile devices. The content was mostly text based with few images and no video or audio. Following up on ESLAU, the Workplace English website (http://wpeau.ca) was created in response to feedback on the ESL site. On this site, 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 French as a Second Language site (http://fslau.ca), contains lessons, interactive exercises, and audio clips. It was also developed in our Mobile Knowledge Management System (MKMS) which allows for dynamic editing of content. The MKMS was a significant advance as it is now possible for anyone to create a mobile website with little effort and no specialized knowledge. Future development offers both possibilities and challenges. Devices are becoming much more powerful and capable allowing for full multimedia content. Applications are also a good way of connecting users to content. Unfortunately, applications are fragmented between different devices and developing for all is very expensive.