Identifying Emerging Issues in Mobile Learning in Higher and Further Education

Jocelyn Wishart, David Green

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This report describes the results of a series of discussion workshops where experts and experienced practitioners explored visions of how mobile technologies and devices will influence practice in Higher Education (HE) and Further Education (FE) in the near future. The workshop series was funded by the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) as part of the Emerge Community within JISC’s own Users and Innovation research programme. This exploration focused on identifying emerging issues for the sector arising from the increasingly likely large scale use of Smartphones, PDAs and camera phones by learners in HE and FE, both on campus and in the workplace. This was carried out through scenario generation using three different futures prediction tools in three workshops. The following issues were identified as being the most likely to appear in the future of mobile learning five years from now:

 the increasing use of ‘just in time’ and ‘as and when necessary’ training.
 the need for always on affordable connectivity and power.
 increased support for an approach to teaching and learning that is more collaborative than didactic.
 concerns over scalability; learning communities are divided over whether there is a role for mobile devices in formal teaching, especially in large groups and lectures.
 concerns over the merging of personal and vocational information and practice.
 the strong match between affordances of mobile devices and learning opportunities in work based and experiential learning across the board.
 increased peer to peer networking and collaboration.
 the need for design specifications for a secure online all-purpose data repository accessible by different browsers according to device at hand.

Other emerging issues for mobile learning in HE and FE include both ethical and practical implications.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherJISC (Joint Information Systems Committee)
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • mobile learning


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