Mobile Xerte - Mobile Learning Spaces
Julian Tenney, University of Nottingham, UK
Conference Theme: Innovation
Summary: Mobile devices are creating new opportunities for the dissemination, repurposing and sharing of open learning resources.
Abstract: Mobile Xerte is a new addition to the award-winning Xerte Project's suite of tools. Mobile Xerte is built around the concept of ‘learning spaces’, or collections of open resources that can be subscribed to using the application. Learning spaces can also be created using Mobile Xerte, and shared with other users, allowing content to be readily adapted and re-purposed amongst peers, or between teachers and their learners. The application has native support for a subset of content authored using Xerte Online Toolkits, and is open source software, released under the GPL. Several use cases will be discussed. The simplest is a tutor creating a set of resources for consumption in Mobile Xerte to support students’ learning throughout a module or course. The content itself can be developed using Xerte Online Toolkits and the Learning Space is made available to students who subscribe to it using Mobile Xerte and consume the content on a phone or tablet. Learning Spaces can also include existing web-based resources suitable for delivery to a mobile device. Subscription to the content can be facilitated via a URL or a QR Code, and students can easily share this content with other users of the application. This use case will be the most familiar. A second use case allows Learning Spaces to be created and shared using just the device by users of the application. A Learning Space – a collection of resources – is assembled using Mobile Xerte and shared directly from the phone using the network to push the underlying data onto a web server from where it can be subscribed to and consumed by others. Learning Spaces can be adapted and re-shared by users, allowing content to be easily re-assembled, embellished and re-contextualised by the learners themselves. In this use case, the divide between the user as a teacher and the user as a learner is significantly blurred. Furthermore, as Learning Spaces are created and shared, a highly useful collection of data about collections of OER is assembled, creating interesting opportunities for the capture of data about the learning resources, such as user ratings, related resources, user comments, and to produce new opportunities to re-surface the learning resources in novel and interesting ways. Possibilities to integrate the application with existing collections of OER such as the Xpert repository are being pursued, enhancing the user’s ability to find and re-use resources. This presentation will provide a comprehensive overview of the application and discuss the experiences in its development.