The Open UniversitySkip to content

Mobile learning: research, practice and challenges

Sharples, Mike (2013). Mobile learning: research, practice and challenges. Distance Education in China, 3(5) pp. 5–11.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (162kB) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Over the past ten years mobile learning has grown from small-scale studies to large national and international projects, but it still lacks an evidence base of comparative studies and research into large-scale deployment. Existing systems can be described along a dimension of ‘formality’, ranging from mobile devices in fixed settings such as classrooms managed by a teacher, to highly mobile learning applications in informal learning, controlled by the learner. Recent research has investigated the concept of‘seamless learning’ with the aim of supporting a continuity of learning across contexts and devices, for example to connect learning in classrooms and on school museum visits. Factors influencing the success of mobile learning include: availability of technology, institutional support, connectivity, integration into everyday life, and ownership by the learners. Some challenges for the future include improving the usability of mobile learning technology, designing new forms of informal learning supported by personal mobile devices, and evaluating learning that occurs outdoors and across locations.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 Distance Education in China
ISSN: 1009-458X
Keywords: mobile technology; informal learning; evaluation; one-to-one classrooms; personalisation; ownership
Academic Unit/School: Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 37510
Depositing User: Mike Sharples
Date Deposited: 16 May 2013 09:51
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2019 09:50
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU