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New study on the behavioural effects of mobile learning launches


Four colleges in South East England are undertaking a 12-week pilot to study how the use of mobile learning applications among students influences behaviour.

Trials taking place at Barnfield, Aylesbury, Oxford and Cherwell Valley and North Herts Colleges will see 500 apprentice students being issued with Research in Motion’s Blackberry devices to understand whether being able to access applications while on the move helps them complete their qualifications more quickly and effectively.
The pilot is also assessing whether the use of mobile devices could have a formal role to play in supporting the UK’s qualification awarding bodies’ assessment processes.
The applications, developed by online learning firm X:OR, enable course tutors to create content, tests and knowledge-based resources, which learners, studying a range of vocational subjects, can then access via the mobile devices.
Terry Salt, head of computing, IT and elearning at Barnfield College said: “Initially, we’re focusing efforts in areas like plumbing or hairdressing where skills are often developed outside of the college and in the workplace. It’s here we believe the new mobile education apps will demonstrate greatest benefit first.”
The trials will take place throughout the summer before the findings are assessed by both employers and tutors. A final report and recommendations will be published in the autumn.

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