Learning Services have been awarded a Mobile Innovation Award as part of the 2013 Blackboard Catalyst Award programme. This exciting achievement recognises the impressive growth of mobile enhanced provision and practice at Edge Hill University and specifically, Learning Services’ strategic approach to supporting all staff and students to embrace the educational affordances of mobile technology.
In September 2011, evidence of increasing mobile device ownership and student feedback about the potential of mobile technology led the university to invest in the Blackboard Mobile Learn app and our journey to mobility began! Following installation, set-up and testing, a strong communication and marketing campaign was initiated to promote and encourage uptake. Resource guides and support events like the technology roadshow mobile clinics were provided to help students and staff get started downloading apps, connecting to the campus wifi and using the vast range of mobile compatible library resources, such as the Library Catalogue app, Discover more and Ebrary eBooks. Concurrently a comprehensive staff development programme, which included innovative workshops like ‘A Mobile Field Trip’ & ‘Help My Mobile Is Smarter Than Me’, began, in order to support the effective adaptation and development of new mobile friendly teaching and learning practices – with areas such as Postgraduate Clinical Education, HEA4065 Clinical Research, SENCo, Dyslexia, and Sports Therapy leading the way to design and develop course environments that work seamlessly with the Mobile Learn app and enable their students to engage and learn at a time and place that is convenient to them.
Over the last 18 months mobile usage has increased dramatically and pockets of mobile friendly practices are expanding to become the standard modus operandi, accordingly both the service and the university have continued to invest in a portfolio of mobile facilities and activities to develop staffing expertise in order to positively enhance the student experience.
Figure 1. Yearly Comparison 2011-12 2012-13 : – Number of Mobile Learn app users
Figure 2. Yearly Comparison 2011-12 2012-13 : Number of visits to the VLE via Mobile Learn
The mobile landscape continues to shift and provide new opportunities to enhance education and we’re working to build on these strong foundations to explore and exploit these exciting developments. (Augmented reality is next on our agenda so watch this space!) Ongoing evaluation through analytics, user feedback, research and benchmarking is helping to ensure we are in a position to respond to changing behaviours and continue to implement a progressive mobile strategy.
This Blackboard Catalyst Mobile Innovation Award celebrates the hard work and achievement of many colleagues and students across the university. The product of constructive relationships and collaboration makes innovation and transformative teaching and learning practices possible- so this award goes to everyone at Edge Hill who is involved, engaged and working together to embrace mobile learning!
The awards ceremony will take place amongst a global community of peers at the Blackboard World 2013 Education Technology Conference this July in Las Vegas. As Learning Technology Development Manager I have been lucky enough to be invited to represent Edge Hill and Learning Services to accept this prestigious Mobile Innovation Award.
Congratulations everyone – keep up the good work!
Learning Technology Development Manager
The Blackboard Catalyst Mobile Innovation awards honour those who have pushed boundaries and embraced mobility to positively impact the educational experience at their institution.
For more information about the award visit the Blackboard Catalyst Awards web pages.