Mobile and ubiquitous learning has been a key focus in e-learning and practising broadly worldwide. Among the research publications in this area, a majority of them focused on evaluating the effectiveness of relevant practices and reported positive outcomes. To interpret such results, the contexts in which mobile devices were used for learning and the indicators of effectiveness adopted for evaluation are of prime importance. However, the use of those indicators in relation to the contexts of practice has not been adequately studied. This paper presents a systematic review on the use of various indicators of effectiveness for the practices of mobile and ubiquitous learning. The review covers a total of 50 cases from relevant literature for the period 2007–2016. Regarding the contexts of practice, the results show that 92% of the cases involved the use of mobile devices for accessing online or offline information; 40% involved social interaction among peers or between students and teachers; and 74% involved the apps or learning materials developed for specific courses. The indicators of effectiveness revolved around 10 categories, namely learning achievements, perceived usefulness, motivation, ease of use, satisfaction, learning attitude, cognitive load, system usage, self-efficacy, and social engagement. Results also show that studies of mobile and ubiquitous learning practices mostly focused on specific courses with less than 100 participants. Based on the findings, a number of limitations in interpreting the success of mobile learning practices are discussed.
Billy T. M. Wong