How Mobile Technology Promotes Effective Learning

A.M. Sølvberg, M. Rismark, A. Stømme, and L.M. Hokstad (Norway)


Mobile learning, intersubjectivity, university education, and virtual learning environments


In this paper we present findings from a study of students' use of mobile technology in a biology course at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). A main issue was to determine how mobile technology may work as a mediating tool to bring about shared focus of attention (intersubjectivity) ahead of lectures to promote effective learning. The arrangements allowed the students to use mobile phones or PCs to reach learning material at the universities LMS. Short videos of upcoming lectures presented main themes and some key elements for the students to look into. These learning arrangements paved the way for intersubjectivity at different levels. At a basic level, students were provided with ‘shared focus of attention’ and ‘communication expectations’. A higher level of intersubjectivity was brought about by a ‘preparation focus’. The preparation focus provided starting cues and selection cues. This enabled students to move smoothly through the preparation phase with intersubjectivity about how to prepare and what subject matters to concentrate on. In this way the basic concept ‘intersubjectivity’ functioned as an analytical tool in the search for knowledge about how the use of technology may promote effective learning.

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