CRITICAL USABILITY-EVALUATION OF MOBILE DEVICE APPLICATIONS FOR M-LEARNING PURPOSES
A lot of researches currently deal with the topic of mobile learning. Innovative mobile devices are presented as part of the solution idea to all learning issues. Due to mobile applications learning can take place everywhere, if there only is a cell phone nearby. Although podcasts have been well-known for years, nowadays companies like Apple start offering several e-learning applications for their devices that include more than just audio files. They integrate interactive services via touch screen and offer multimedia data to improve the learning process for the customer.
The University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien offers Bachelor and Master Degree programs in computer science. The needs of learners are highly dependent on the specific subjects they are studying. In communication skills a small video on a smart phone can be extremely useful. In programming a video on the same device is of little help, because students need a computer for practice reasons. This paper is going to form a critical study of the usability of such applications. The authors therefore use a mobile, head-mounted eye- and gaze tracker (iView X HED, SensoMotoric Instruments GmbH, Berlin) that records the eye movement of the person wearing it, while using a mobile learning application. This technology allows the researchers to detect the problems in using such interactive software for learning purposes and to critically review if there is any technology next to podcasts that really is to be used in the future of mobile learning.