it has overlay of another header above

Top 20 elearning services solutions and learning management system

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter

Making use of the basics in m-learning – utilizing the strength of an SMS

The benefits of mobile learning, or m-learning, are many. Learning-content is available for the learner at all times, creating an opportunity to learn ‘just-in-time’. Also, learning is learner-driven, providing a learning opportunity whenever the learner needs it the most. In the last few years, m-learning has made immense progress – both in content as well as the technology needed to support the content. But amidst all this progress, the biggest benefit that stands out is the ubiquitous support that the mobile platform provides for the learner.

Searching for some early adaptations to harness just-in-time learning through the mobile platform, I came upon an interesting article on utilizing SMS to cater to the immediate learning needs of learners. The paper titled ‘Approaches to Just-in-Time learning with mobile phones: a case study of support for tourists’ language needs’ by Anita Pincas of the University of London illustrates how mobile technology can be utilized to provide language support for a tourist in a foreign land.

The process of delivery was straightforward:

  • Language Support Information booklets were given at airports, hotels and other popular tourist haunts.
  • In addition to the information, a few basic introductory phrases were included in the booklets.
  • The tourists were required to register their numbers to receive SMS updates.
  • The updates were then sent to their mobiles on a regular basis.
  • They could also request a translation of a particular phrase to or from the language and will receive an instant reply.

The brilliance was in HOW it was delivered:

  • To begin with, the learning objective was clearly defined. It was clear that they did not set out to achieve huge linguistic milestones. The knowledge of the language should be just enough for the tourist to feel comfortable in his new environment and be able to self-sustain. A repository of words and phrases were created that would best benefit a short-time tourist. This included basics like ‘Please’, Thank-You’, ‘Airport’, ‘Train’, ‘How much?’, ‘Cheap/Expensive’, and so on.
  • These words were regularly sent out to the tourists, several times a day. The assumption was that the tourist will look forward to the opportunity of trying the words out and feel encouraged to talk more to the locals. By reading out the words several times a day, the learner would slowly become comfortable using them in practical scenarios.
  • However, keeping the realities of learner retention in mind, the information was also available on demand when the learner is on the verge of interacting with a local. This was made possible by making the repository of words and phrase searchable. The tourist makes a request to search a particular word/phrase and sends it. The word/phrase is directed to the database and searched. The relevant translation is then sent back via SMS.

There were a number of benefits that the learners derived out of the service:

  • While this was not a way to learn the language, even at an elementary level, it could be the stepping stone to learn it in earnest.
  • The messages were saved on the learner’s phone, which could be accessed later to refresh – while travelling through the country or even when back at home.
  • Accessing SMS was not too intrusive within their daily doings. The length of the SMS was also kept very short so that it could be read comfortably – anywhere anytime.
  • Though standard rates applied for outgoing SMS, incoming SMS did not cost the learners anything extra. While almost all of them were used to unsolicited messages, it was a pleasant surprise for all to receive something of that they could actually utilize – and that too free of cost.
  • For the host country too, it spelled good fortune. Tourists were now more comfortable and were encouraged to try out more. It provided the tourists a better all-round experience – something that they took back and surely recommended to friends and family.

Mobile technologies have now come a long way and just-in-time learning has also evolved by leaps and bounds. While even a few years ago, a simple SMS was utilized to impart just-in-time learning, vidoes and podcasts are now being shared over the mobile platform. The philosophy behind it, however, remains unchanged – that the mobile platform is a powerful medium to impart continuous support. Efforts are continuing to fully utilize this medium for ubiquitous learning.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter

Related Blogs

Advance Your Learning Strategy

Connect With Our Learning Consultant Today

Advance Your Learning Strategy

Connect With Our Learning Consultant Today

Ready to get started?

Get in touch, or Request A Demo

Ready to get started?

Get in touch, or Request A Demo

view learning sample

schedule a demo

Contact Us

Download Infograhic

Thank You !

Thank you for writing to us. We got your request and within 2 business days, we will get in touch. Meanwhile, take a look at our blog. We’ve selected, especially for you, a few of our top articles.

Thank You !

Thank you for writing to us. We got your request and within 2 business days, we will get in touch. Meanwhile, take a look at our blog. We’ve selected, especially for you, a few of our top articles.

Thank You !

Thank you for writing to us. We got your request and within 2 business days, we will get in touch. Meanwhile, take a look at our blog. We’ve selected, especially for you, a few of our top articles.