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Tips: Applying Learning Theory to Mobile Learning

By studying the roles of instructor and learner, taking into consideration what each of the theories—behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism—is best at teaching, you can use appropriate mobile learning apps to expand your training repertoire.

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Fri Jan 09 2015

Tips: Applying Learning Theory to Mobile Learning
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Learning theories—how learning takes place—guide the instructional strategies that we use to help people learn. By studying the roles of instructor and learner, taking into consideration what each of the theories—behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism—is best at teaching, you can use appropriate mobile learning apps to expand your training repertoire.

Drill and practice is one technique for behaviorist learning theory. Behaviorist techniques can be used with learners in recalling facts and procedures. An example of m-learning capability of this technique is with the project manager professional certification, PMP Exam Prep, which provides mobile flashcards and serves up 10 questions at a time to chunk learning.

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Cognitivist learning theory focuses on how information is received, organized, stored, and retrieved by learners. One technique behind cognitivism is based on dual coding, which argues that recall and recognition are better if both verbal and visual channels are engaged. A mobile app based on that theory is CPR Tempo, which provides audio and visual cues to assist with the timing of chest compressions in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

And constructivist learning theory, whereby learners construct their own meaning and negotiate that meaning with others, can be taught via apps that use context-specific, location-based scenarios. An example is Mentira, a game to help Spanish-language students learn in the "real-world" context of the Los Griegos neighborhood.

These tips were taken from the January 2015 issue of TD at Work, "Applying Learning Theory to Mobile Learning," by Margaret Driscoll and Angela van Barneveld.

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