Technical and design

mashpeemoveMobile - Wireless

Nov 24, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)


Technical and design
issues in implementation

Dr. Mohamed Ally

Director and Professor

Centre for Distance Education

Athabasca University


New Zealand Presentation

January 2010

Examples of Educational Activities

using Mobile Technology

Make a concept map summarizing a chapter

Keep track of class schedules, assignments, and

Increase content accessibility for those with

Use a tutorial for self

Take part in a collaborative simulation

Do research on the web

Participate in a collaborative project

Track a community service learning project

How mobile technology help

in Education

Education is more than one way delivery
of information




Practical application

Build learning communities


in Learning

Object interactivity (proactive inquiry)


objects (buttons, people, things) are activated
by using a keypad or other pointing device.

Linear interactivity (reactive pacing)


the user
is able to move (forwards or backwards)
through a predetermined linear sequence.

Support interactivity (reactive inquiry)


generalized and context
sensitive support
(help messages and tutorial supports).

Interactivity (cont’d)

Update Interactivity


individual application
components or events in which a dialogue is
initiated between the learner and mobile
generated content (practice with feedback)

Construct Interactivity


the creation of an
instructional environment in which the learner is
required to manipulate component objects to
achieve specific goals (assemble an apparatus).

Reflective Interactivity


text responses to prompts
or questions where learners can reflect on their
response and make their own judgment as to its
accuracy or correctness.

Interactivity (cont’d)

Simulation Interactivity


extends the
role of the learner to that of controller or
operator, where individual selections
determine the learning sequence.

Hyperlinked Interactivity


the learner has access to a
wealth of information, and may "travel"
at will through that knowledge base.

Interactivity (cont’d)

Immersive Contextual Interactivity


extends the various interactive levels into a
complete virtual learning environment
(mutual elaboration) in which the learner is
able to work in a meaningful, job

Immersive Virtual Interactivity


provides an
interactive environment in which the learner
is projected into a complete mobile
generated world which responds to
individual movement and actions.

Why Mobile Learning

at Athabasca University

Course material accessible on mobile

Need to find out if this was meeting
student requirements.

The purpose of this study was to
determine the devices being used by
students, their experience with course
materials access, and how useful they
thought using mobile devices to access
course materials was.

Delivering to Specific Devices

Device detection had been problematic because new
devices and mobile OSs and browsers were constantly
coming on stream.

Created problems for the device detection scheme used
to determine the mobile device:

String user_agent = request.getHeader("user

Changed to JavaScript to determine screen real estate:

if (screen.width >= 800) {

document.write('<style type=

Stylesheet Delivery

If the screen size is >= 800,
delivers the full stylesheet

If screen size <
800, delivers
style sheet meant
for mobile device

Multimedia Displays

Device detection also
implemented for
applets, flash, large
graphics, etc.

Delivery of
alternate graphics
to mobile devices

Research Project

Intelligent Agent to Adapt Course
Materials for Mobile Learners

In mobile learning students use mobile
devices to access course materials;
however, these devices operate in
different ways and have different

Need a system to identify the device so
course material to be delivered in
heterogeneous computing platforms

This project developed an intelligent
software agent capable of adapting to the
heterogeneous mobile computing

Agent Characteristics

The agent can search for a conversion tool
according to the desired format and
convert the course materials automatically.

The agent is able to understand mobile
clients’ capabilities.


Jena as an RDF (Resource Description
Framework) parser was used to obtain the
device information, providing a query language
called Resource Description Query Language
(RDQL, 2005) to query for device information.

Sun's Wireless Toolkit and PalmOS Emulator
were used as the testing environment.

An open and service
oriented architecture was
used to develop the agent and open application
interfaces to enable interaction and integration
seamlessly between learning objects repository,
course repository, and learning services.

Design Considerations

Software Portability.

A Java
based cross
software framework is one of the most important features
in this project.

Limited Computing Power and Memory Consumption.
We designed computing intensive tasks to execute on
the server side. The portable computing devices act as
a thin client.

Display Properties.
The system provides support for
different devices by separating the presentation layer
from the data content. A number of different devices can
be supported without the need of modifying
programming logic and data content.

Design Flexibility and Scalability.

The system is
designed in a distributed architecture that
prevents a single point of failure, improves
structural scalability and performance.

Caching to Save on Limited Resources.

the support of the caching design, users can
read the cached course notes on the device to
avoid additional downloads.

Software Agent Support.

Software agents can
be used to facilitate automated routine tasks,
residing in both the client device and the server

The overall architectural diagram

Activity Diagram: Client Server Negotiation

Questions for the Component
Attribute Criteria

Attribute Criteria / Question

Sample Answer / Settings

1. Vendor Name?

E.g. Eri

2. Model Number?

E.g. T68R1

3. Is this device image capable?

E.g. Yes/No

4. Can this device display color?

E.g. Yes/No

5. Can your device output sound?

E.g. Yes/No

6. Can your device accept downloadable software?

E.g. Yes/No

Steps in the Device Recognition

The server agent will try to recognize the
device by its vendor and device names. If
the server agent cannot find that device
directly from the database, it will try to
recognize the device by the component

What is Next?

Mobile Libraries

Mobile social software

Personal learning spaces

LMS integration (Moodle)

Student modeling and adaptive learning


Must deliver courses on a variety of

Cater for the younger generations

Improve access with mobile learning

Reach out to the indigenous and remote