INCREASING ELEARNING ENGAGEMENT USING MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES
Web-based Learning Management Systems (LMS) have made their way into the methods that students, lecturers and generally the education community communicates, stores, shares and collaborates. Although technically they seem to provide an ideal environment for deploying constructive eLearning activities, yet, research indicates that they seem to fail producing and maintaining a critical mass of engaged learners to such implementations. Eventually, they end up being used as learning related content repositories instead of learning enablers. This paper presents a novel mobile application prototype design that has been positively evaluated by students, instructors and eLearning experts to contribute to learning by drastically increasing the engagement of learners to institutional web-based eLearning platforms. The novelty of the prototype lies in the integration of current popular on-line services (including but not limited to social media, messenger services, SMS, email, etc.) where learners, as research proves, are already engaged. Taking advantage of the unique features of mobile devices and their impressive market penetration, the prototype achieves providing the designs for a ubiquitous application that blends a variety of on-line and mobile technologies towards the aim to increase up datedness of learners with respect to eLearning activities. In addition to that, the mobile application makes eLearning implementations optimally available to directly and easily interact with, without time and geographic restrictions and also without device limitations. Additionally, extensive device interoperability is offered by transferring content from the mobile device to a PC, smart TV, projector, etc., directly from within the preferred application used by the learner. Cutting edge technologies in semantics, speech recognition and a user friendly UI (User Interface) are embedded in the prototype design aiming to positively leverage interaction.