Harnessing Ubiquitous Technologies to Banish Barriers to Learning

By Deena Ingham.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Law and Public Administration are the safety net and contextual framework for journalists. These ‘unsexy’ and content heavy subjects, leave many students struggling with the concepts and often it is only after examinations lecturers recognise the full extent of student incomprehension.

How to teach and assess weighty, content-heavy units whilst effectively ensuring students assimilate and understand the material’s complexities, overcome fears of examinations, boredom and lack of engagement has challenged many educators.

Harnessing the ubiquitous technologies of blogs, a Virtual Learning Environment and test authoring software, students are working as individuals, and collaboratively with peers and lecturers to develop situated learning, mutual knowledge and develop effective formative and diagnostic learning which engages them and increases their involvement. Students are empowered, writing their own examination papers on an ongoing, progressive basis throughout their course of study, reinforcing their learning and turning them into educators of themselves and others.

This simple but effective approach supports both learner and tutor. It is an organic, ubiquitous process of learning being developed with learners who find increased knowledge and enhanced understanding of how they learn, which is leading them to apply this approach to other areas of study.

Keywords: Ubiquitous Learning, Content-Heavy Learning, e-Assessment, Overcome Examination Fears, Increase Engagement, Blogs, Situated Learning, Formative and Diagnostic Learning, Virtual Learning Environment, Test Authoring Software

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.165-172. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 722.013KB).

Deena Ingham

Senior Lecturer Journalism, Journalism and Communication, Bedfordshire Institute of Media and the Creative & Performing Arts, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, Bedfordshire, UK

A ‘hackademic’ journalist (hack and academic) with over 30 years experience nationally and internationally in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, online and in news agencies, I embrace my role in academia, developing my own passion for journalism within students, equipping them with the necessary skills and information to succeed in their chosen subject. Seeking ways (at the request of undergraduates and employers) of enabling students from non-traditionally academic backgrounds to engage with, and absorb content-heavy critical core modules, has led me to explore the opportunities of harnessing ubiquitous technologies to develop effective learning. This has resulted in a collaborative partnership with students engaged in developing the efficacy of the approach of interactive learning.