Mobile Learning

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The research project „Mobile Learning“ conducted at Kassel University deals with innovative learning scenarios in university contexts that are realized with the help of mobile devices. For this reason students will be granted access to about 190 iPads and 50 laptops/netbook every term since the winter term 2010/2011. For this period students may use the devices in the University as well as for private purposes at home.

The chair of Information Systems (Prof. Dr. Jan Marco Leimeister) supports the project by developing a didactical scenario for a large scale lecture. Intelligent usage of Information and Communication Technologies is supposed to create new possibilities like interactive task assignments during the lecture, taking part in the lecture in real time at home via Internet or learning with Videos and Web Based Trainings anywhere and anytime.  

The mobile devices are used to enable completely new ways of learning – the students choose whether they take part in the classroom lecture, watch the live-stream at home or use all the learning materials offered to learn anywhere, any time

We create these new learning arrangements from a service development perspective. Thus we apply Service Engineering methods in order to create productive (which means didactically effective and at the same time economically efficient) learning designs. These integrate the intelligent automation of processes as well as stronger participation of the learner. Concrete examples are the following:

  • Polls and discussions are conducted with the mobile devices which guarantees a high degree of interaction in spite of the large number of students
  • As part of the lecture the students develop their own learning materials that are shared on the online platform
  • Technologies like Video-Chat enable a stronger relation between the students and the lecturer

Activities used in the course

Learning materials consist of Live-Streams, Videos and electronic scripts. In addition we offer Web Based Trainings that enable self-paced learning. These interactive learning modules that take about 20-30 minutes to complete can be downloaded by the students and used whenever they like – between two lectures, in a café or in the train. In this way we enable learning in social (online and face-to-face) as well as individual contexts.

Activation during the lectures

As large scale lectures suffer from a lack of interaction the mobile devices are used for interactive assignments. Tablet PCs like iPads are especially helpful  for activating students during lectures:

We call our assignments “Peer Discussion” and “Co-Create Your Exam!”

Peer Discussion:
The lecturer asks a question and offers several possible answers. Each student thinks about it and then makes a decision via the device. Afterwards students discuss their answers with their peers and may change their decision. They vote again and the results are displayed and discussed by the lecturer.

Co-Create Your Exam: In this assignment students are asked to create three statements regarding the contents of the lecture. Each of these statements is supposed to be either true or false. Afterwards they hand their device over to a peer who solves the tasks. These statements are then stored and uploaded to the learning platform where they can be used as learning materials and be discussed further.

To start one of the assignment students just need to tap on the appropriate icon on their iPads.

The graphic shows how the „Peer Discussion“ works on an iPad – students tap the icon, vote and see the results

The project addresses several important research questions. We will evaluate whether more interaction and individualization enabled through large scale usage of mobile devices will have a positive impact on learner satisfaction and learning outcomes. We also hope to get insights into the influence of the “fun-factor” a device like the iPad might have on the students’ media usage behavior. In addition we take into account the effort that is needed for creating this new learning scenario. All in all we will gather data regarding learning outcomes, learner satisfaction, media usage and different input factors (e.g. time needed for creating interactive assignments) referred to the teacher.

The project is the logical follow-up of our development of innovative, IT-supported learning services of the future that have already been implemented in the BISEBS-Projects.

An example of a Web Based Training can be viewed here:


Contact Persons

  • Prof. Dr. Jan Marco Leimeister
  • Jan Martin Persch


  • Project BISEBS:

Press links (in German)