The Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (Frame) Model: An Evaluation of Mobile Devices for Distance Education
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Mobile technology is a new and promising area of research in distance education. Currently, there are few if any descriptive models of mobile learning that can be used to develop appropriate pedagogical practices. This thesis has two main purposes: to develop a theoretical model of mobile learning and to use the model to evaluate a set of mobile devices. The Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME) model describes mobile learning as a process resulting from the convergence of mobile technologies, human learning characteristics, and social interaction. The devices included in this study were equipped with wireless networking capacity, but varied in size, weight, processing power, interface design, portability, as well as input and output capabilities. This study is both theoretical and evaluative, relying on a small panel of experts to review the devices. During the first phase of data collection, the experts individually evaluated each device. In the second phase, they shared their observations in a face-to-face discussion. All questionnaires and discussion questions were based on the FRAME model. The study culminates in a discussion of some of the most significant factors likely to affect mobile device usability in distance education. It also outlines other areas of research suggested by the FRAME model.