Mobile Learning for Online Practical Science Modules in Higher Education

Nicholas, Victoria (2015). Mobile Learning for Online Practical Science Modules in Higher Education. In: Crompton, Helen and John, Traxler eds. Mobile Learning and STEM: Case Studies in Practice. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 234–243.



The Open University (OU) is a world leader in delivering online practical science to a global audience, notably through the Open Science Laboratory and through many Science Faculty modules. Our modules can be accessed via different forms of mobile learning. For the purposes of this chapter mobile learning is defined as "Learning across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, using personal electronic devices" (Crompton, 2013).

There are many reasons why science modules require and desire a practical element to their design. There is an underlying conviction that hands-on experience is integral to learning about a science subject (Nersassian, 1991). Some other reasons are: to align with regulatory frameworks, to provide transferable skills, to encourage team working, and to develop employability skills. Many of these practical skills can be developed via mobile learning

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