We conducted two studies to investigate the student’s perspective both as users and designers considering the:

  • Suitability and quality of the content of the games
  • Functionality of the mobile app and the support required
  • Impact of LBMLG’s on their engagement and learning
  • Social benefits of the LBMLG’s
  • Challenges and problems that students may encounter

In Study 1, games were developed in four undergraduate courses and across four discipline areas (Business, Science, Education and Humanities). Online educational designers worked with academics to interpret their needs into requirements about what their LBMLG should deliver to ensure relevance and integration into courses. These ideas/inputs were translated into a conceptual model to capture what the game would do, how it would behave and its look and feel. All games differed in terms of content, location and duration. Storytelling, augmented reality and multimedia were integrated to deliver meaning, persuasion and an emotional connection to the experience. Gamification elements were introduced to convert tasks into play to capture a student’s ™ attention and retain their interest. Games were introduced to students in a lecture, then played outdoors soon after as part of a tutorial or field excursion.

In Study 2, the project team worked with postgraduate students developing a LBMLG for tourists to play at an international destination. Students went outdoors to play a local LBMLG then returned to class where its design and development was deconstructed and the process for creating a LBMLG was demonstrated. Students formed teams, chose a destination and began storyboarding the concept, scope, narratives, places, media, interactivity and gameplay in a template provided. They were directed to online tutorials, infographics and presentations to assist them. Each team received a director’s licence to the online GameMaker to digitize their game. Students had 2 weeks to design and develop their game receiving ongoing email support from the project team.

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