Location-based mobile learning games (LBMLG’s) contain stories and interaction tasks to motivate, engage, and assist retention and recollection of knowledge. Our project has identified three areas to research.

  • How the design elements for a LBMLG impacts on user experience and learning.
  • How LBMLG’s can be successfully integrated into authentic educational activities that are relevant to a student’s work and that enrich their learning experience.
  • Is there a positive effect on learning associated with students designing LBMLG’s compared with the learning associated with students playing LBMLG’s.

Our project has built upon research and focusses on identifying the pedagogical benefits of both playing and designing LBMLG’s across disciplines. The finding of our research will inform the development of a University wide mobile learning framework.

Location-based mobile learning game design impacts on student experience and learning. Our first objective has been to deliver active learning in an authentic context using LBMLG’s with differing design parameters. By varying narratives, physical locations, multimedia and gamification techniques in each LBMLG we examined how each design element contributes to student engagement, motivation and learning. Our second objective is to integrate the LBMLG’s into courses across different disciplines (Business, Education, Science, Humanities) and in different ways, whilst aiming to maintain their pedagogical benefits. This includes the integration of LBMLG’s into part of a tutorial, as the sole activity of a tutorial, as part of a lecture and as a student initiated activity (pre, during and post a field excursion). A third objective was to investigate if there is a positive effect on learning associated with students designing LBMLG’s compared with the learning associated with students playing LBMLG’s.

Finally, the longer-term objective is to draw upon these findings to develop a University wide mobile learning framework. The framework will provide academics with a tool to integrate mobile learning into their courses.

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