Helping Distance Learners Stay Connected:The Effectiveness
of Mobile Learning via SMS at Open University Malaysia
Tina Lim Zoraini Wati Abas Mansor Fadzil
（Open University Malaysia,Malaysia）
Abstract: Distance learners often face what is known as “transactional distances” in terms of geographical, time, psychological and communication spaces (Moore,1997 ). Comparing to fulltime campus students, these adult learners who mostly hold fulltime jobs and have family commitments face a daunting task in juggling study, work and family. They often struggle to find extra time and space to fit in their studies and frequently need to exert extra effort to ensure that they remain connected to the university, their tutors and their peers. This paper describes the efforts of Open University Malaysia in actively supporting learners in their studies through the use of text messaging technology, the simplest and most widely used of all mobile technology applications available. Further, it illustrates how mobile technology enhances the blended approach to instruction and lends more flexibility and ubiquity to the learning process. It also examines the effectiveness of the initiative in terms of helping learners to review/locate/remember course facts easily,discuss online,manage their learning,persevere in their studies, and remember important dates and actions to be taken related to the course. Both quantitative and qualitative data are presented.
Key words: mobile learning;distance education;short messaging service
The Authors: Dr.Tina Lim is currently Director of the Institute of Quality, Research & Innovation, Open University Malaysia. She is responsible for leading and managing the team involved in the Mobile Learning via SMS project at Open University Malaysia. Besides that, she is actively involved in research on Continuous Professional Development, and Online Learning. Prof.Mansor Fadzil is the Senior Vice President of Open University Malaysia. He acts as the Advisor to the Mobile Learning Project at the University. Prof.Dr Zoraini Wati Abas is a Professor at the Faculty of Education and Languages, Open University Malaysia. Her areas of interest include learning2.0, mobile learning and learning effectiveness.
蒂娜·利姆 左莱尼·瓦提·阿巴斯 曼瑟·法济勒