Universidade de Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 2627-2633
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Within the business context, communication and interaction tends to be considerably rooted in the use of English (as lingua franca), as well as in ICT use. Thus, professionals have to be able to speak the English language, resorting to specific, internationally recognised terminology and be proficient in the use of manifold ICT tools. In fact, the tendency is for the great majority of higher education (HE) students to own mobile devices (laptops, smartphones and/or tablets) and use them to access information and communicate/interact with content and other people – and this alone should to make teachers consider whether and how the power of these devices can be leveraged for the students’ learning (Hopkins, 2015).

Bearing this in mind, a teaching and learning strategy was designed, in which m-learning (i.e. learning in which the delivery platform is a mobile device) was used to approach Business English Terminology (BET). The strategy was labelled as ‘BET on Top Hat’, once selected application was Top Hat ( and the idea was for students to face as if it were a game/challenge. In fact, gamification often increases the students’ intrinsic motivation to learn and this may empower them to develop more autonomy as to their own learning process (Shi & Cristea, 2014).

In this scenario, the main goal of this exploratory study was to find evidence as to: i) the utility of using m-learning for business English teaching/learning, ii) the impact m-learning tasks in the students’ learning motivation and monitoring, and iii) the impact m-learning tasks in the students’ performance/assessment. Participants (n= 56) were students enrolled in two business- and management-related courses (English applied to Management II and English II) at Águeda School of Technology and Management – University of Aveiro (2014/15 edition). Students were told, from the beginning, that their results would be taken into account in terms of assessment, but participation was not mandatory. Each activity consisted of an online three minute quiz, focussed on BET taught/learned in a previous face-to-face session.

The data gathered included: i) the students’ results in the initial three-question quizzes and in the two final quizzes, which encompassed every question previously asked, and ii) the students’ answers to a short questionnaire regarding their experience with BET on Top Hat. Consequently, data were treated and analysed resorting to quantitative technique – descriptive statistical analysis –, and in the latter a qualitative technique – content analysis – was also used. A first glimpse over the results unveils that, on the one hand, the strategy had a clear positive impact on the students intrinsic motivation and, on the other hand, the students’ performance as to BET use tended to improve over time.

[1] Shi, L. & Cristea, A. (2014). Making it game-like: Topolor 2 and gamified social e-learning. Proceedings of 22nd Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP 2014), Aalborg, Denmark, 7-11 Jul 2014.
[2] Hopkins, D. (2015). The really useful #EdTechbook. Retrieved from: (accessed 19.03.2015).
Business English terminology, m-learning.