Academic Technology Faculty Pilot Project
The Mobile Course Pilot Project - iTunes U Courses
GOAL: Test an open layout course management system that will work in a mobile learning environment.
PROJECT RESEARCH QUESTION: What action can I take to discover the impact of a mobile course management system on academic collaboration between faculty and students beyond the walls of the classroom?
PURPOSE: The purpose of this action research project is to discover the impact of an open layout course management system on academic collaboration between faculty and students working together on Northern Europe off campus program.
SPECIFIC RESEARCH QUESTION: If I set up a iTunes U courses account for a traveling study abroad program using only iPad mini tablets, how would this impact the academic collaboration between these faculty and their students?
ACTION: Last year we looked at the impact of using only iPad mini tablets on a study abroad program as part of a research project on the impact of mobile media technologies on academic collaboration beyond the walls of the classroom. (Read the report) This year the program once again uses only iPad mini tablets but this time an open source course management system provide by Apple is being employed. iTunes U Courses is not a full LMS (Learning Management System) but is an open layout course communication and content delivery tool that works only in an iOS environment.
The professors in this research group were aided in setting up a specific course using iTunes U course manager. The content was added and the students were sent invitation emails to connect to this course. Once the student accepted the invitation, all of the course material was immediately available to them on their iPad. The first time a student opened a document or file, it downloaded to their device. The benefits of this are optimized performance as opposed to streaming the content from the clout and the availability of the content when the device was not online. This second part was most beneficial to this group as their learning adventure often brought them to places that had no internet connectivity. One survey polls near the end of the semester was collected with the data analyzed to evaluate the impact of this research.
EVALUATION: The combination of iTunes U Courses web app and sole use of iPad Mini tablets in this study abroad program could have been a distraction or limitation to these students and faculty or ... could have given them a greater freedom of expression in a learning environment where they were always on the move.
The survey poll results that students responded to showed their perspective on how this mobile tool (iPad Mini tablet) and agile web app (iTunes U courses) had a positive impact on their academic collaboration beyond the walls of the classroom. (view results)
The responses about show a clear ...