Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

A Jigsaw-Based Cooperative Learning Approach to Improve Learning Outcomes for Mobile Situated Learning

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

A Jigsaw-Based Cooperative Learning Approach to Improve Learning Outcomes for Mobile Situated Learning

Article excerpt

Introduction

Ubiquitous mobile learning is now receiving increasing attention after that paid to distance and e-learning (Pownell & Bailey, 2001; Hwang, Tsai, & Yang, 2008; Wu, Hwang, Su & Huang, 2012). Quinn (2000) noted that m-learning is using mobile computing devices for learning, and as such it primarily relies on portable devices and a wireless network environment to enable users to access information (Seppala & Alamaki, 2003). Several studies have started to explore the benefits of handheld devices, such as smart phones and Tablet PCs, when applied to learning. For example, Huang, Lin, and Cheng (2010) found that they can increase learning motivation, and effectively enhance the resulting learning effects when combined with appropriate instructional strategies.

With the rapid evolution of information technology, many novel types of information technology equipments were used in learning environment (Huang, Liang & Chiu, 2013; Liu & Shen, 2011; Liu, Huang, Kinshuk & Wen, 2013). For example, handheld devices are continually being upgraded, and Tablet PCs have gradually started to replace more traditional m-learning devices, such as mobile phones and PDAs (Huang, Liang, Su & Chen, 2012). Since Tablet PCs support a broader range of multimedia audiovisual functions and have larger screens than either, PDAs or smart phones, they offer much better operational and learning environments than these other devices. Moreover, many learners already have a high degree of usage acceptance for Tablet PCs. Sommerich et al. (2007) suggested that another advantage of such devices is the diverse presentation of knowledge that they allow, with the digital information they present being easy to save, compress, browse, and carry. Ozoka et al. (2008) pointed out that the time and cost involved in printing traditional books is rather high, and thus Tablet PCs have the further benefit of lowering publishing costs. Moreover, Leeson (2006) indicated that using Tablet PCs to read articles is just as comfortable and convenient as using paper. Therefore, Tablet PCs have become the most promising devices for using in m-learning contexts.

In addition to the m-learning devices used, scholars have also noted the importance of constructing reliable learning activities based on real situations (Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989; Wenger, 1997; Shih, Chuang & Hwang, 2010; Huang, Huang, Huang & Lin, 2012). When people encounter problems they generally seek solutions to them, or ask more experienced people for help, and attempt to learn how to deal with the situation through a process of exploration (Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989). For this reason, situated learning emphasizes that learning should take place in real situations, as if only general abstract knowledge thus presented is being transmitted without the support of real situations, the knowledge is inert and difficult to transfer and assimilate. Meaningful learning should thus occur in real contexts, allowing learners to construct their own knowledge and solutions (Huang, Chiu, Liu & Chen, 2011). Some studies have also pointed out that if natural science courses carried out in an m-learning environment do not have suitable learning strategies and tools, then it may be too difficult for students to simultaneously deal with the challenges of the actual environment and also use the digital learning resources, and thus they may have disappointing learning outcomes (Hwang, Chu, Shih, Huang & Tsai, 2010), a view echoed in studies carried out in other m-learning contexts (Chen & Li, 2009; Liu, Peng, Wu & Lin, 2009). The question is thus how to combine real situational environments and digital learning resources to achieve the optimal learning effects in an m-learning environment.

While many recent studies focusing on m-learning and u-learning environments show that it is possible to achieve genuinely personalized learning using such approaches (Evans, 2008; Uzunboylu, Cavus & Ercag, 2009), few works explore the use of cooperative learning activities in such environments. …

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