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Learning Enhancement and Development

Active Mobile Learning via Wireless Collaboration

Principal investigator: Dominic Pates

Mobile computing technologies have long been having an impact on learning (Traxler, 2008), but their usage in higher educational learning spaces is typically a personal experience. Given that learning can be considered as much a social activity as a personal one, this suggests a paradox that can be roughly summarised as 'mobile is mostly personal, whereas learning is also social'. The field of mobile learning has only fairly recently begun to look at how applying mobile technologies can enhance collaborative learning (Jaldemark et al., 2018), thus attempts to bridge this gap are in their relative infancy.

This research aims to gather qualitative experiences from staff and student users in order to inform the wider integration and adoption of wireless collaboration technologies in City's learning spaces. It is an expansion of investigations that LEaD have been undertaking since 2014 to enable staff and students to make more effective use of mobile devices in learning spaces. For shorthand, we are using the term 'wireless collaboration' to collectively encompass these varying scenarios, as this is an increasingly common term used by technology vendors. Building on work already done in enhancing Engineering lab teaching, this investigation focuses on supporting wireless presenting in varying types of learning space.

The study draws on two frameworks for designing the research approach. The Substitution-Augmentation-Modification-Redefinition (SAMR) framework is commonly used in evaluating technology-enhanced learning contexts, and can be well applied for mobile learning (Romrell et al, 2014). The Pedagogy-Space-Technology (PST) framework (Radcliffe et al, 2009) is a model commonly used in learning spaces-related research that considers how these three elements equally influence each other in reciprocal ways. The PST framework was deployed in the earlier wireless collaboration evaluation that this builds on, whereas using the SAMR framework is a new approach.

This research will be guided by the following questions:

  • What impact does introducing wireless collaboration into learning spaces have on teaching and learning
  • What do wireless collaboration technologies afford staff and students to do in face-to-face situations that they can't easily do without them
  • Do wireless collaboration technologies bring something new to teaching and learning
  • Can wireless collaboration technologies bring improvements to existing approaches
  • What are staff and students’ experiences of AML via wireless collaboration technology


Jaldemark, J., Hrastinski, S., Olofsson, A. D., & Öberg, L-M. (2018). Editorial Introduction: Collaborative Learning Enhanced by Mobile Technologies. British Journal of Educational Technology. Vol. 49. No. 2, pp 201-206.

Radcliffe, D; Wilson, H; Powell, D; Tibbetts, B (2009). Learning Spaces in Higher Education: Positive Outcomes by Design. Proceedings of the Next Generation Learning Spaces 2008 Colloquium. University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Romrell, D; Kidder, L C; Wood, E (2014). The SAMR Model as a Framework for Evaluating mLearning. Online Learning, 18(2). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v18i2.435

Traxler, J. (2008). Learning in a Mobile Age, International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, Vol. 1. No. 1, pp 1-12.