implementations of m-learning

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Implementations of M-Learning in Higher Education in IndonesiaAndry Alamsyah, Gadang RamantokoInstitut Manajemen Telkom

Abstract: Mobile phone experiencing unprecedented growth of technology and usability inIndonesia. The very high penetration, mobility, ubiquity and its flexibility make it as a natural choice for learning tool in higher education. Mobile learning (m-learning) is an extension of electronic learning (e-learning), which is part of a learning management system that widely used in universities today. In addition, the nature of m-learning and the advantages of newer technology will draw interest, engagement and higher rate of adoption among young generation including students. The purpose of this research is to determine the elements of forming and supporting of implementations of m-learning in higher education in Indonesia.

Keywords: m-learning, e-learning, ubiquitous, pedagogy, university The revolution of mobile device technology in the past 10 years changes 3 basic things in our everyday communications, connected to anywhere in the world, anytime anyplace connectivity, and resources can be accessed anywhere and anytime. We sum up those three points into three keywords for mobile device characteristic mobility, ubiquity and flexibility. These characteristics drive mobile devices as a natural choice for mobile learning. Indonesia have high penetration of mobile phone user, it is 85,9 % from 254 million population as march 2011 and 34 million internet users according data from Mobile Network Operator [1] and Asia Digital Marketing Association [2]. The number indicates unprecedented growth of mobile device, which contributed by the fact that mobile phone, has been part of many Indonesian lifestyles. The characteristics of mobile phone that show ubiquity and personalized device is also another advantage as a learning tools comparing to other devices. Mobile learning (m-learning) itself is an extension of electronic learning (elearning), which is part of a Learning Management System (LMS) that widely used in universities today. A successful e-learning implementation drives the development of mlearning, because the nature of m-learning itself and the advantages of newer technology will draw interest, engagement and higher rate of adoption among young generation including students. Pachler et al [3] illustrate mobile devices as resources for learning, adoption trends, characteristics, constraints and challenge. By understanding trend and pattern of mobile usage, we conclude that mobile adoption for learning is an inevitable for the future. In Task Force

Report of National Science Foundation of America on Cyberlearning Borgman et al [4] traces the historical advances learning in ICT for human interaction [Fig. 1]. They discern five waves of resources, which increase complexity of the media from basic, physical interaction around transient oral communication towards social networking and Web 2.0 characteristic by cybernetic mediation, cloud computing, sensor networks, etc. The report argues that the set of actions and interactions possible has changed with each new waves of mediating technologies. Mobile technologies and devices very much have to be seen as part of this development trajectory.

Fig. 1. Advances of Communication and Information Resources for Human Interaction

Woodill et al [5] explain the business drivers for mobile learning, we apply those drivers factor into education perspective and we conclude: 1. Widespread deployment or higher penetration of mobile computing means that infrastructure for mobile learning is already in place and cost of mobile access to the internet is being reduced each year. 2. On modern perspective, teaching and learning are not fixed in the class, these processes can happen anytime, anywhere while students are on the move. 3. The technology allows student to work on their task away from the campus, and submit their work to the teacher by email, chat, FTP, web, SMS, etc. 4. Students and young people have higher rate of adoption to new technology. Mobile communication is firmly embedded in their personal lives, they are quickly learn and use mobile technology and expected the technology is also part of their learning process.

Mobile Learning Ecosystem

Fig. 2. Mobile Learning Ecosystem

In today context, mobile learning is the ability of any given person to use networked mobile technology to access relevant information or store new information, regardless of their physical location. A more precise, according Woodill et al [5], technical definition might look like this: mobile learning is personalized learning that unites the learners context with cloud computing using a mobile device. Mobile learning is the opposite of learning that takes place in a traditional classroom where the learner sits, immobilized, paying attention to an instructor who stands at the front of the room. The networked mobile technology system that supports mobile learning is a complex mix of multiple forms of mobility, many different mobile technologies, a diversity of carriers, a variety of learners, a multitude of learning contexts, teachers with all levels of experience with mobile learning, and many approaches to the design of mobile content and teaching methods. To understand this complex system, it helps to think of it as a mobile learning ecosystem made up of people embedded in a particular cultural context using mobile technologies on a network to access or store information as part of a learning experience. Illustration of mobile learning ecosystem is shown at [Fig. 2]. By observations, we identify mobile learning ecosystem adapted to higher education in Indonesia condition divided into 6 categories as follows:

1. Devices: Practically many of the newest mobile gadgets fall into this category.

Smartphone, tablet, e-book reader have all the capabilities to support m-learning activities. Some devices are developed beyond their initial objective with help of mobile applications, for example: location-based services application developed using GPS technology. 2. Infrastructures: Mobile technology infrastructures is consist of several development of telecommunication technology such as 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, GSM, TDMA, LTE or Wimax. The mobile network operator in Indonesia today is supported mobile speed up to 3.5G/HSDPA, therefore it may be the major limitation to support full multimedia or 2 ways teleconference in m-learning. Smart implementation of infrastructures to overcome bandwidth limitation for mobile service is one of big challenge for m-learning implementation. 3. Concepts: Several concepts are adaptable to support m-learning activities such as Near Field Communication for tagging, collecting data, student identification and personalize content, Augmented Reality for providing sense, visualization and increasing user experience for learning content. 4. Content: Learning content could be in different forms start from simple form such as SMS or text based messaging service to interactive multimedia. The implementation of every form chosen is depend on the necessity and the budget, the more advanced form the more bandwidth needed. 5. Platforms: The development of mobile application to support m-learning have to consider mobile operating system platform. Several platforms that widely used today notably are Android, iOS, and blackberry. The right decision about what platform should be used for development based is important, as the development cost is high. 6. Tools: Many tools are available to support development system for m-learning, its all depend on what type of application to build. Today, HTML5 is the promising tool to support interactive multimedia and with the help of application converter, we can convert HTML5 document into mobile application native language, it will help us to cut learning curve with native language and create more application easily. The ecosystem is important mapping to understand how we implement m-learning to higher education in Indonesia. By understanding the ecosystem, we can identify the specific need, determine our concept and use the right technology, tools, and platform to deliver mlearning content material.

Learning Management SystemAs we stated before, e-learning is a part of Learning Management System (LMS) in university. E-learning is widely used as added value or extension of pedagogies or teaching

methods. Universities with comprehensive e-learning system support enrichment of their intellectual property / knowledge management. Logically, with all course materials, curriculum, publications, and other important information are integrated, easy to access, then it would be easier to link universities and industries. In other aspects, webometric, which is system for the universities based on a composite indicator that takes into account both the volume of the Web contents (number of web pages and files) and the visibility and impact of these web publications according to the number of external inlinks (site citations) they received, it means webometric measures openness access to university resource, industry connectivity and international activities. In Indonesia, there are no common rules and guidance in The Ministry of Education on how e-learning should be implemented, but practically many universities have implemented LMS in different level of adoption. From about 3070 private and public higher education, its only around 50 higher education registered their e-learning system in Direktorat Jendral Perguruan Tinggi (, as per March 2012). We observe and gathering data how is the implementation of e-learning and LMS in general. We observe and interviews two universities as our case study, Bina Nusantara University and ITB. implement e-learning and gained positive feedback of their LMS. Bina Nusantara University (Binus)


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