This project builds on the previous project Mulle. While the subject of mathematics and more specifically geometry was in focus during Mulle, in mVisible we take a step further to explore how we can realize possibilities for learning mathematical concepts such as tables, graphs and charts.

mVisible is deriving pedagogical inspiration from the framework of Inquiry-based learning.  The aim of the learning activities that are designed is to let fifth grade students collaboratively and multi-modally investigate a natural phenomena outside of the classroom with mathematics as an analysis tool supported by mobile technology and an overall pedagogical activity design. Central learning objectives are gained understanding about the scientific inquiry process, mathematical analysis tools and concepts, and about the natural phenomena studied.

The mobile learning system is running on mobile phones and pads using Android apps. The devices can be connected to each other and to the physical environment via QR-codes.

Problem definition/areas of exploration

Reviewing research projects on location-based and contextual mobile learning, Göth (2009) argues that mobile devices distract rather than support students to reach their learning goals.  We approach this problem in from an interaction design perspective. In previous research (Eliasson, 2010, Nouri et al., 2010) we have studied geometry-learning activities where mobile devices present a GPS-based task structure, provide task-based clues, and are used as contextual tools for measuring distance. Now we want to extend the research area to location-based mobile learning that extends the virtual context.

Also, from previous research (Nouri et al., 2011), findings obtained demonstrated a set of problems associated with the orchestration of collaborative learning. In the planned study, we attempt to approach these problems from a pedagogical design perspective.

Research Questions

  • How do we design for location- based and contextual learning supported by mobile devices? -to support desirable collaborative learning processes and learning outcomes? -to avoid unwanted device focus?
  • How can we make learning contents and contexts more salient using mobile technology
  • How can we use technology in designing learning activities to make abstract natural sciences and mathematical relations in the physical environment more concrete?
  • How can the concept of an inquiry-based learning activity supported by mobile devices contribute to natural sciences and mathematics education?
  • How do we pedagogically orchestrate such an activity? (transitions between indoor and outdoor contexts, supporting essential learning processes in the outdoor activities, etc.)
  • How can two or more mobile devices be used as contextual tools for representing aspects of the physical environment?