1 University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UNITED STATES)
2 The University of Malta (MALTA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 1280-1284
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.0313
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Teaching has taken on new challenges in recent years with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many users have found the value of using mobile devices in the education process, however, it presents many challenges. The objective of this paper will explore the mobile learning environment, security and privacy challenges, the creation of learning materials for mobile devices, and effective measurement of mobile learning.

The work presented in this paper is based on research and data collection conducted in 2020 at two colleges in the Chicago, Illinois area using a mixed methodology that sought to answer the research question “How can users, mobile devices, wireless networks, learning management systems, and computer networks support a secure mobile learning environment?” Survey questions and case study methodology were employed to gather information to help inform as to the answer of the research question. Survey questions were sent out via an online survey tool to four sets of users-students, instructors, learning management system and computer network administrators. The types of questions that were asked included what type of mobile devices are used, duration of online session time via their mobile device, if any of the users or administrators have ever had a security breach or identity theft that was related to their mobile device. Key findings were that users logged into their online learning content three times per day on average using a mobile phone, most users and administrators have not experienced a security breach, both Wi-Fi campus networks did not require the use of a password to join their Wi-Fi network, and regular backups of learning management system data were occurring. It was during this research that Dr Sletten developed an original concept called The Five Elements in a Mobile Learning Environment which includes the user, the mobile device, the wireless network, the learning management system, and the computer network(s) that support the wireless network and/or the learning management system, all of which is continually surrounded by risks and threats, which is presented and discussed in this paper. Some important conclusions from the research included that all users should have frequent and regular security awareness training, Wi-Fi networks should have required password and other security configuration settings, and that mobile learning environments have become ubiquitous which then results in consequences for security within that mobile learning environment.

Creating content for mobile learning and teaching in a mobile learning environment also presents challenges. It is important to ensure that learning content is created so that it will render properly on a majority of popular mobile devices (Apple, Android) and also for tablets, notebook, and desktop computers. Determining how content is created and delivery mode can help to inform teachers how to teach effectively. Another question is who provides the mobile device, or is it user owned? The question of how to measure effectiveness in mobile learning provides challenges in evaluation such as how learning occurs, assessment of learning processes and outcomes, ethics and privacy, and mobile device limitations.

Together with tangible answers and propositions, we present numerous insights that provide valuable recommendations and significant conclusions to assist educators and administrators in providing secure, ubiquitous learning experiences over mobile devices.
Mobile, Learning, Effectiveness