OVERVIEW

This project is implementing location-based mobile learning games (LBMLG) across different disciplines in higher education programs. Our initial objective is to identify the pedagogical benefits of playing and designing LBMLG’s, then using the results of our research to inform the development of a University wide contextually-based mobile learning framework.

The project has found that LBMLG’s provide an active, engaging educational experience for students playing LBMLG’s and additional pedagogical benefits when certain design guidelines and implementation strategies are met.  Their impact on learning is increased further when students are involved in designing the LBMLG’s themselves. By following sound integration principles we have found no significant issues while maintaining all these benefits across disciplines.

The framework being developed will allow us to understand how mobile learning can enable students to learn more effectively in context and how this knowledge, skills and experience of those involved in this project can be efficiently shared. These interim findings will contribute to international scholarly discussion about the pedagogical advantages of playing and designing and LBMLG’s in higher education.

The project has received funding from a teaching and learning grant from the University of South Australia Digital Learning Strategy.

More information

Research will be published in the International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning (IJMBL) in 2017 and presented at the International mlearn2016 conference and the HERGA2016 conference.

Publications
Edmonds R and Smith S (2016) Location-Based Mobile Learning Games: Motivation for and Engagement with the Learning Process. Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning 2016, Sydney, Australia

Testimonials
There has been nothing but praise from Councilors and Members of the Australian Institute of Training and Development for your presentation on the Mobile Learning Application. Your continued references to students, university lecturers and staff, and adult workers from a variety of workplaces certainly resonated with our L&D and HRD-centric audience.
Gair Bethley , President, Australian Institute of Training and Development (SA Division)
The significance of this research is that, it has burned a trail for easily developing mobile learning games for real education courses by using an existing platform. A relatively large scale user evaluation was followed to prove the effectiveness of the developed games and the results were analysed and used to provide directions for future development.
Independent Reviewer, mlearn2016 Conference
It was such a creative idea that made the whole excursion more engaging and also challenged us with questions that we had to work together to answer. It was very well thought out and provided some extra information that has been found extremely useful!
Anonymous Student, UniSA
I really enjoyed walking around Adelaide and reading/learning things that normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to. It was good doing this activity as a class because we could all work together and have some fun at the same time.
Anonymous Student, UniSA
The app was really fun and overall easy to do in a group task. The photos were of a really good quality and I learnt a lot about South Australia, a good walk and a really good idea especially for exchange students who are able to understand the history behind SA.
Anonymous Student, UniSA
Geo-information is the lifeblood of tourism and allowing students to design and use a mobile app in their tourism course significantly added to their learning experience. Students had to design a touristic map of a tailored made tourism thematic journey by adding layers on the map interpreting tourism attractions. By doing this, students had the opportunity to better understand the use and impact of mobile technologies and geo-information on tourists’ behaviour and appreciate the value of integrating mobile apps in tourism business operations.

The mobile game had to be designed from scratch. I highly appreciate the guidance and support from the project team, specifically Roger and Simon, for their consultation but also practical help and assistance in implementing the infrastructure, training and supporting students to design their own mobile mobile app.

Professor Marianna Sigala, Professor in Tourism, UniSA
It is a wonderful way to interact with the campus and the students in a fun interactive way. It was easy to use and understand. The back story set the scene which made it all the more exciting to play and uncover the mystery.
Anonymous Student, UniSA
I found the challenge a really good team activity that allowed me to work with others in my course in order to complete
Anonymous Student, UniSA
I think that the app is a fun way to get students motivated and to get them outside for a bit. I loved the idea of “the hunt”, and thoroughly enjoyed the secret message Loved the creepy music too.
Anonymous Student, UniSA
I believe activities similar to this one would be a good interactive activity in schools for an outside activity which would help children discover using applications for learning.
Anonymous Student, UniSA
I found that it was an easy way to make new friends and to be able to work cooperatively as a team. Not only that, but we learned more about the history of buildings and their connections to Adelaide. It was nice to learn about a particular piece of history in somewhere I grew up, that I had no idea about.
Anonymous Student, UniSA
The real world interactions enabled by the game were invaluable because they opened up new ways of seeing and thinking about the world and your place in it. These have the potential to carry over into other activities and daily life – learning to look up above street level, for example, and thinking about the aims and values of different business models. Ideally, the game’s introduction to these sorts of ideas and places also needs to be processed and extended and could be built upon to produce another rich learning experience so that the mobile activity becomes the seed of something more.
Anonymous Student, UniSA
Location-based mobile learning games are an engaging addition to hands-on exercises designed to get students experiencing the challenges and stimulation of learning geology in the field. They enable both reconnaissance and reflection on the key scientific concepts and relationships that we explore. This adds significant value to critical learning done in the field, and as a course coordinator I have found the project team very willing to create and implement innovative ideas to achieve this goal.
Dr Tom Raimondo, Senior Lecturer, School of Natural and Built Environments, UniSA
The Local Enterprise App is likely to be a key reason for high student satisfaction in Business and Society as it links the course with the mindset of “Generation Mobile”. If all courses were as contemporary in linking course content and personal technology it would ensure that students engage at the highest possible level and learn in sustainable ways.
Professor Thomas Maak, Professor in Responsible Leadership, UniSA
The location-based mobile learning game that the team from the University of South Australia presented at mLearn2016 was one of the highlights of the conference. The activity, that I and other conference participants took part in, was highly engaging while at the same time highly effective in promoting our learning about the local history of the area. It did this by focusing on active learning in an authentic, real-life context. I can think of many other disciplines and situations that this tool could be applied to enhance student engagement and students’ learning outcomes.
Students can benefit from LBMLGs by simultaneously learning and having fun. With LBMLGs, students can become enthralled in the plot of an adventure and perform actions just as they would with a regular computer game. Perhaps the greatest part of LBMLGs is in the practicality – they are free and easily accessible. Students can also vastly broaden their knowledge in history, geography, mathematics, English, entertainment, and many more fields, without the need to commit countless hours of study.
Anonymous Student, UniSA
One benefit I believe that is fantastic for students is that it would be achievable for students to go off and play LBMLGs on their own or in small groups. With the use of hints, it would allow students to critically think and work out solutions for themselves which in turn will begin to create students as critical thinkers and learners. Another benefit is learning within the technology world. It is widely known that technology is coming into the classroom more and more, and that soon a lot more coding and creating will be introduced as that is the way the world is heading for the future. So I think designing and playing LBMLGs is stepping forward into the future, and is aiding in the development of technology based learning.
Anonymous Student, UniSA
Location-based mobile games are a great tool to use in teaching and learning to enhance learning and development. As we live in a technology savvy world LBMLGs can provide life-long learning to children and its users. It can teach children to understand how to further use a mobile phone and its navigations. LBMLGs provide fun games which can further develop hand-eye coordination skills by browsing, clicking, tapping, scrolling and general navigation. Learning is the implicit objective to most games therefore LBMLGs can help children to think fast and problem solve. This is fantastic because it assists children to develop higher order thinking skills later in life such as: decision making, problem solving, evaluating, creativeness and accuracy.
Anonymous Student, UniSA