Greetings from Unitec, New Zealand, and welcome to our presentation.


Below you will find the core of our paper for the conference, with embedded media and links to various illustrative media (YouTube VODCasts etc...). Click the links to view the resources.

We also invite you to discuss the paper and surrounding issues with us by posting comments and questions to the 'discussion' page at the top of this wiki page. Note: you'll need to create your own login to the wiki server - this is freely open for you.

You can also follow us on Twitter:

Thom Cochrane, thomcochrane@twitter.com

Roger Bateman, rbateman@twitter.com


Intro from Thom Cochrane (YouTube): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFBfBflzTw0

Critical Success factors

Based on the experiences gathered from the previous eight mobile learning trials over the last three years (Cochrane, 2008a) the researcher has short-listed several pedagogical critical success factors. Several of these are also corroborated by the ‘nine critical success factors’ of authentic learning (Anthony Herrington & Herrington, 2007, 2006).
  1. The level of pedagogical integration of the technology into the course criteria and assessment.
  2. The level of lecturer modelling of the pedagogical use of the tools.
  3. The use of regular formative feedback from both Lecturers and student peers.
  4. Appropriate choice of mobile devices and software.
  5. Technological and pedagogical support.

These success factors were identified across several mobile web 2.0 projects by:<br>
  • The level of student engagement and satisfaction achieved – as evidenced in evaluative surveys and focus group feedback.
  • The level of moblogging (mobile blogging) achieved by students in the courses.
  • Lecturer reflective feedback.
Therefore the integration of the mobile web 2.0 technologies into lecturers’ daily workflow and integration into course activities and assessment are critical success factors, as is the establishment of a collaborative learning environment.The following three mlearning case studies illustrate examples of this integration within three different tertiary course contexts, using a variety of different wireless mobile devices (WMDs).

Mobile Affordances

The core activity of each of the projects is the creation and maintenance of a reflective Blog as part of a course group project, effectively creating student eportfolios. However the smartphone or netbook can be used to enhance almost any aspect of the course, as was illustrated by the range of activities used in the 2007/2008 projects. Several affordances of the new generation of smartphones are focused on in the 2009 projects (an outline of these projects and the proposed mobile affordances are available online at http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dchr4rgg_3d5wv977k&hl=en_GB). These affordances facilitate student created content and formative lecturer and peer feedback.

2009 MLearning Projects Overview

The projects are guided and supported by weekly “technology sessions” (Communities of Practice, or COP) facilitated by a ‘technology steward’ (Wenger et al., 2005) investigating the potential of mobile web 2.0 technologies for integration within each course. The COPs are a collaborative partnership between the researcher (as the 'technology steward'), the course lecturers, and their students. The mlearning projects prior to 2009 had comprised small groups of students from select courses that volunteered to participate in the projects, while the breadth of funding secured for the 2009 projects enabled all students in each course to voluntarily participate if they chose. All participants (both lecturers and students) are provided with either (and in some cases both) an appropriate smartphone or 3G enabled netbook for the duration of their courses in 2009.

The following sections outline three illustrative mobile web 2.0 case studies:

  • A collaborative sustainable house design project between a third year Product Design course and a second year Landscape Design course. The Ning (http://www.ning.com) social network is used to facilitate collaboration between the two different courses (http://designprojects.ning.com).
  • Product Design students using Nokia N95 smartphones and folding Bluetooth keyboards to capture and share design ideas and reflections on design via the use of an online blog/eportfolio.
  • Landscape Design students using 3G enabled netbooks to facilitate the development of a collaborative design process via Ning forums, and online media sharing sites such as Flickr (http://www.flickr.com) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com).
  • Contemporary Music students using iPhones as tools to record and share environmental sounds from a variety of off-campus contexts, as well as creating online profiles on Vox (http://www.vox.com ) and MySpace (http://www.myspace.com), evaluating the use of new technologies for music generation, sharing, marketing, and distribution.

MLearning Scenario1: Bachelor of Product Design


Mlearning integration plan for 2009

Throughout the duration of the final year of Product Design, students are required to integrate web 2.0 into their studio practice. To this end, the programme is providing smart phones (Nokia N95) and a weekly community of practice meeting that focuses on understanding and experimenting with web 2.0 tools and technologies. Whereas in 2008 students were given a 1GB data plan for the duration of the course this year they are funding the data and voice connection plans themselves.


The Sustainable Habitat Challenge (SHaC09) is a national competition in the form of a collaborative project for teams around New Zealand to design, develop, and build sustainable housing in their local community (http://www.shac.org.nz ). Throughout the SHaC09 project, data sharing has been enabled through a range of software applications. Staff and students have made project work and resources available to the rest of the world online, via blogs, wikis and other web 2.0 applications. The following diagram illustrates the range of web 2.0 tools used and the types of interaction between the project members facilitated by these tools.

Good project management, collaborative working and cross departmental communication were vital to the success of the project. Within the context of SHaC09 departmental specific academic briefs were developed collaboratively by lecturers in the Departments of Design, Landscape Design, Commuication and Applied Trades. Web 2.0 tools including Vox, Ning and Flickr were used to develop the briefs and supplement in person meetings during the writing stage. As an example, a SHac09 building site introduction is available at: http://www.flixwagon.com/watch/1537511.

Product Design students have been working in one of 5 groups each of which is focusing on a specific SHaC09 design challenge. Students have been required to carry out aspects of research in their group, sharing information via group meetings and web 2.0 tools.</p>

Nomadic Studio Session

Social software tools can be effectively integrated into both face-to-face and online environments; the most promising settings for a pedagogy that capitalizes on the capabilities of these tools are fully online or blended so that students can engage with peers, instructors, and the community in creating and sharing ideas (McLoughlin, Lee. Future Learning Landscape 2008, p3). Moving further away from the Atelier Method and building upon the work carried out in 2008 our research focus for 2009 is focused on the seamless integration of web2.0 into the Bachelor of Product Design as well as augmenting the level of flexibility for students to allow them to choose to work in virtually any context on and off campus. In the second semester of 2009 students will be required to undertake a regular 'nomadic' session where they work away from the studio, but continue collaborating and learning conversations via mobile web 2.0 connectivity.

During the 'nomadic' studio session students will be expected to:
  • Be online via MSN or following their tutor & classmates on Twitter
  • Make at least one relevant Blog post summarising their work
  • Upload some multimedia content capturing what they are doing - e.g. a Qik or Flixwagon videostream, a recorded VODCast, geotag & upload a photo to Flickr etc...

Lecturer and student feedback on the project are available on YouTube:

Shac09 Web2 Concept Map:


MLearning Scenario2: Diploma of Landscape Design

This year in the second year landscape design course, experimentation into the efficacy of e-learning technology for group research projects for the SHaC09 sustainable house project was undertaken. This was a collaborative project with students and staff from Product Design and with the support of Thom Cochrane from Te Puna AKO as the 'technology steward' for the project. The intent with this project was to provide a combination of mobile devices, including smart phones and netbook computers for each student to enable them to post entries in a mobile environment. The project intention was to begin with the provision of 3G and WiFi capable netbooks for all of the students in the course during semester one, facilitating the setup and establishment of their online web 2.0 eportfolios, followed by the introduction of smartphones for bridging anytime anywhere learning contexts in semester two. Due to delays with the supply of the devices, the personalised mobile aspect of the project was compromised. However the delay in the arrival of the netbooks was mitigated by the use of a loan set of wireless laptops when the students met face-to-face weekly to engage in tutorials and individual and group posting sessions, with additional posting throughout the week.

Landscape Design and SHaC09

Students in the Diploma in Landscape Design were given a studio brief to design the garden for the Unitec entry to the Sustainable Habitat Challenge – SHaC09, http://www.shac.org.nz.

Description of M-learning component:

Collaboration between multiple student teams was an important aspect of the SHaC09 project, particularly so in the preliminary research phase. Collaboration was achieved through group work in this class, and via communication with project participants in the other departments. Web 2.0 was employed to permit real-time updating of research data and progress and to enable speedy acquisition and build-up of relevant information. Effective collaboration and the use of the communication technology for on-line journaling contributed to student grades. Academic staff surveyed the class at the beginning of the project to gauge an appropriate level of engagement in Web 2.0 tools and technology.

During their completion of the SHaC09 tasks, Landscape students were asked to research into sustainable technologies suitable for residential houses and gardens and based on six distinct areas; water, waste, landscape materials, renewable energy production and plants (for mitigation and food production). Students recorded their findings and discussed them on-line, with a summary statement produced at the end of the process http://designprojects.ning.com/forum/topics/landscape-research-summaries. The research phase of the SHaC09 project was facilitated by a weekly 1-2 hour Web 2.0 COP.

Landscape Ning Group

Tutor1 Reflection

Tutor2 Reflection

Initial Student Reactions

example COP support session1

example COP support session2




MLearning Scenario3: Diploma of Contemporary Music


Mlearning integration plan for 2009

MLearning has been integrated into the Web Technologies paper (PASA5011) for the second year of the course. All students in the paper are issued with iPhones for use within the course throughout 2009, and are also encouraged to personalise the use of the iPhone into their daily routines. Internet access is available for free via the campus WiFi network, but students and staff are responsible for any voice and 3G data costs encurred. Several assessed projects within the course involve the direct use of the iPhone and web 2.0 tools, e.g:

PASA5011 Music Technology and the Web: Recording Project (20%)

Using the iPhone with an audio recording application (or another approved device), record a series of environmental sounds, and use these to create a piece of ‘organised sound’ in Logic Pro. Your work should be at least 3 minutes long.

You must produce the following:

  • Your piece of ‘organised sound’, saved as both an audio file and a Logic Pro project.
  • A compilation of your source material, with audio commentary on each sample, saved as both an audio file and a Logic Pro project.
  • A series of geo-tagged pictures, posted to your VOX blog (or through other approved means), identifying the locations of your source recordings.
  • Blog postings outlining the progress on your work, including at least one video.
  • A written outline of the steps you undertook in creating the work, a discussion of any technical and artistic difficulties you faced, and an explanation of what you were trying to do in your composition.


Tutor reflections

Project Overview and some Student Reflections

Student iPhone Reflections

Example Blogs

Course Blog

Example Student Blog

Example AudioBoo Blog

Example student use of Twitter:



The three case studies overviewed herein serve to illustrate the flexibility of mobile web 2.0 scenarios within tertiary education, providing examples of the integration of mlearning within three different discipline contexts. In comparison to previous mlearning projects instigated at Unitec since 2006, the 2009 projects have so far demonstrated higher student engagement within each respective course, and more effective collaborative learning environments than more traditional group work activities. The use of social networking sites such as Ning can significantly enhance the level of peer to peer collaboration and learning especially where cross disciplinary and multi stakeholder projects are concerned. Furthermore, the use of mobile Web 2.0 technologies helps to focus students on a shared interest as a material consideration: the community of interest becomes the over-riding factor.

The level of integration of the technologies within each course is a key, and involves the use and modeling of the technologies by the course lecturers. As the lecturers have become familiar with the affordances of mobile web 2.0 technologies over the past 2-3 years, and they have become more comfortable using these technologies on a daily basis, they have been able to better conceptualise how to integrate these technologies into the course curriculum and assesment. More traditional assesment activites have been translated and transformed into more engaging social constructivist activities facilitated via mobile web 2.0. Students are generally keen to use these technologies, and with their integration into the course assesment criteria they value these technologies beyond the novelty factor. The use of embedded technology support via an intentional community of practice model has proven very sucessful in both supporting the lecturers, and scaffolding the students in their appropriation of the technologies. A clear, explicit foundational pedagogy based on social constructivism guides the choice of technologies and the ways in which they are utilised within each course - focusing upon student created content, reflection, sharing and critique. The projects have been made manageable by the supply of a specified smartphone or netbook for each course, keeping the technological support requirements to a minimum. However, it is believed that the best long-term scenario is to move to student-owned devices, and just as many institutions specify set requirements for laptops for courses, the same would apply for student-owned wireless mobile devices such as smartphones.


Today’s learners exist in a digital age. This implies access to, and use of, a range of Social Web tools and software that provide gateways to a multiplicity of interactive resources for information, entertainment and, not least, communication. (JISC, 2009)

Over the last two and a half years the researchers working on the integration of mobile web 2.0 technologies into selected Unitec courses and programmes have found the trials to be very successful. As our case studies show the student and lecturer experience within the programmes have been enhanced through the facilitation of a social constructivist environment that bridges multiple contexts and significant changes in pedagogical approach and levels of student engagement have been realised.

Our key findings show:<br>
  • Sucessful implementation of mobile web 2.0 projects require careful, planned integration into the course curriculum and assessment.
  • To support students in Web 2.0 teaching and learning, staff need to become proficient users of an appropriate range of Web 2.0 tools and technologies, the teaching of which must be incorporated into ongoing training and professional development programmes


[1] Chan, S. (2007, 19 February). Mlearning and the workplace learner: Integrating mlearning eportfolios with moodle. Paper presented at the Conference on Mobile Learning technologies and Applications (MOLTA), Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.

[2] Cochrane, T. (2008a, 8-10 October). Designing mobile learning environments: Mobile trials at unitec 2008. Paper presented at the MLearn08: The bridge from text to context, University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and IT.

[3] Cochrane, T. (2008b, 1 - 4 December). Mobile web2.0 the new frontier. Paper presented at the ASCILITE 2008, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

[4] Herrington, A. (2008, 1 - 4 December). Adult educators' authentic use of smartphones to create digital teaching resources. Paper presented at the ASCILITE 2008, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

[5] Herrington, A., & Herrington, J. (2007). Authentic mobile learning in higher education. Paper presented at the AARE 2007 International Educational Research Conference, Fremantle, Australia.

[6] Herrington, A., & Herrington, J. (Eds.). (2006). Authentic learning environments in higher education. Hershy: Information Science Publishing.

[7] Herrington, J., Mantei, J., Herrington, A., Olney, I., & Ferry, B. (2008, 1 - 4 December). New technologies, new pedagogies: Mobile technologies and new ways of teaching and learning. Paper presented at the ASCILITE 2008, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

[8] International Association for Mobile Learning. (2008). Mobile learning projects. Retrieved December, 2008, from http://mlearning.noe-kaleidoscope.org/projects/

[9] JISC. (2009). Higher education in a web 2.0 world (http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/documents/heweb2.aspx): JISC.

[10] McLoughlin, C., & Lee, M. J. W. (2008). Future learning landscapes: Transforming pedagogy through social software. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 4(5).

[11] O'Reilly, T. (2005). What is web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved March, 2006, from http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html

[12] Wadsworth, Y. (1998). What is participatory action research? Retrieved May 3, 2002, from http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/gcm/ar/ari/p-ywadsworth98.html

[13] Wenger, E., White, N., Smith, J., & spa, K. R.-. (2005). Technology for communities. Retrieved 14 July, 2006, from http://technologyforcommunities.com/