Everyday patterns in lifelong learners to build personal learning ecologies

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This article presents the results from a questionnaire filled out by 147 lifelong learners. The primary aim of the questionnaire is to analyse learning practices of adults, and to recognize patterns of lifelong learners in order to support them with technology. These patterns capture the context in which lifelong learners are more willing to learn, that is, the day of the week, duration, location, activity being performed, type of device being used, way to interact with their devices and how these aspects can affect when an adult student takes the initiative to learn. Moreover, this article examines previous publications on surveys, questionnaires and information collected with the same objective, to corroborate and contrast the findings. The contribution of this paper is identifying and describing patterns in which lifelong learners are more willing to build personal learning ecologies when supported by mobile devices.


  • 1. Everyday patterns in lifelong learners to build personal learning ecologies Bernardo Tabuenca, Stefaan Ternier and Marcus Specht 11th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning October 2012, Helsinki (Finland) Open University of the Netherlands page 1
  • 2. Contents Problem definition Patterns based on type of Aim of the research learning activity Aim of this survey Patterns based on contents Working definitions Behaviour checking The experiment notifications Method Linking locations, activities in physical spaces Demographics Conclusions Lifelong learning References Type of mobile device Motivation Patterns based on type of devicepage 2
  • 3. Problem definition The involvement of adults in lifelong learning activities in Europe has been decreasing between 2005 and 2010 (Eurostat, 2011). Lifelong learners are confronted with a broad range of activities they have to manage everyday: Learning Working Everyday life throughout the day Lifelong learning contexts: Traditional formal programs Non-formal education Informal learning Job trainingpage 3
  • 4. Problem definition Wong L-H (2010) Identified ten seams by which learning experiences are disrupted: No support of informal and formal learning activities No support for learning activities across locations, devices and environoments. Lack of support for ubiquitous knowledge access. No suppport for multiple learning tasks and switching between them Linking learning activities with everyday life activities and the physical world objectspage 4
  • 5. Aim of my research Development of integrated personal learning ecologies for efficient lifelong learning support. This research is focused on the combined and simultaneous use of several devices and information channels: 1. Devices need to be aware about the other devices and interfaces that are present in the same setting. 2. An underlying educational design needs to be defined in a way that it can make use of multiple interfaces or information channels. 3. Interfaces must get appropriately integrated in order to facilitate seamless interaction in a personal learning ecology.page 5
  • 6. Aim of this survey Identify patterns in which lifelong learners are more willing to build personal learning ecologies. Analyse learning practices in adults. Day of the week Duration Location Activity being performed Type of device being used Way to interact with mobile devices Contrast our results with previous publicationspage 6
  • 7. Working deni6ons Learning Taking the initiative to learn something actively. It can be related to work, current studies or self-fulfilmentLearning activity (Vavoula & Sharples 2002) The distinct acts that the person carries out during reading, discussing, listening and making notesMobile device regular phone, smartphone, tablet, multimedia player and laptop when used not always in the same placePersonal Learning Ecology integrated information technology devices and objects that are present in the physical environment of learners and couples these devices and objects with learning activitiespage 7
  • 8. Method Topics of the questions: 4 about demographicsAn introduction section was 3 about mobile usage patternsincluded in order to explain theaim of the questionnaire and 2 about how timing and content are relatedworking definitions 7 questions linking activities, locations, and ways ofThe questionnaire is composed interaction with mobile devicesby 21 items: 1 identifying difficulties when 5 multiple choice questions learning with mobile devices, 6 single select questions 3 about motivation, 9 matrix selection questions 1 how familiar are they with 1 open answer question the concept of lifelong learning Are we sharing the data? Yes!page 8 http://hdl.handle.net/1820/4296
  • 9. Survey demographics 100 100 90 86 90 80 80 70 70 61 60 60 # lifelong learners # lifelong learners 50 50 50 43 40 40 30 30 27 20 20 14 13 10 10 0 0 0 Male Female 65 Gender Age
  • 10. Survey demographics 100 99 % lifelong learners; N=147 90 80 70 # lifelong learners 60 Computer sciences 50 48 22% 27% Engineering Natural sciences 40 2% HumaniFes