June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Educational Research and Methods
23.908.1 - 23.908.12
Mobile Teaching: Merging Smart Phones, Cloud, and Desktop to Achieve Content-specific Instruction in a Generic Environment.Many educational institutions face a similar problem today: the necessity to reorganize teaching and labspace to improve facility utilization. [school] made the difficult decision to eliminate dedicated labs andclassrooms for content-specific instruction. Labs and classrooms previously equipped with privatenetworks and custom operating systems were replaced with a single large classroom equipped withthin-client Windows-based computers.Student demand for Linux instruction has grown eight-fold in four years at [school]. In fall 2012, seatswere limited to 60 students, and more students were involuntarily dropped. This begs the question,"How do large classes of students learn the intricate details of the Linux operating system in aWindows-based classroom with no lab?" The obvious answer is cloud-based Linux images, but cloudaccess alone is not a learning environment. The authors implemented a mobile virtual environmentwhich included a new textbook, new learning aides, and an immersive hands-on regimen. Before andafter metric-based learning outcome assessment will be presented in the paper. Before data has beencompiled, and after data will be compiled at the close of the fall 2012 semester.Methodology: The key concept is "Linux learning, anywhere, anytime." The implementation beganwith a new electronic textbook designed to present topics and tasks in five-minute sections targetedtoward mobile device access. This approach was enthusiastically received by students accustomed toinstant access, self-paced learning, and instant gratification. Students perceive reading assignmentsalmost as a game to be completed on their smart phone while walking to class or connected to the wi-fihotspot. Each short lesson is followed by individual hands-on exercises. Students use Secure Shell(SSH) to access multiple physical and cloud-based Linux servers directly from their mobile device. Ona separate server, flashcards geared to each topic allow students to reinforce their learning throughdirected repetition.In the classroom, mini-lectures expand upon the reading, and selected five-minute, hands-on practicesessions reinforce the mini-lectures and accommodate limited attention spans. Students use personalwi-fi connected smart phones, tablets, laptops, and the desktop Windows thin clients in the classroom.Key to the desktop usage is the Firefox web browser with FireSSH and epub-reader add-ons. Studentsuse multiple windows to have a side-by-side textbook and Linux command line interface available, aswell as access to the [school] content management system. The command-line interface to a commongroup of servers engages students in an electronic collaborative environment that emulates theprofessional global enterprise IT environment. The seamless, mobile-oriented environment providesstudents with 24/7 course access from almost any device or operating system.Outcome assessment: Specific exercises have been designed over several semesters to assess[accreditation agency] outcomes. This historical record allows retrospective analysis of the impact ofdelivery methodology on specific outcomes.Larger impact: This methodology can be applied to other content-specific technology instruction.Successful application of this methodology can improve student learning outcomes, improve facilityutilization, and reduce instructional cost.
Burton, L., & Cobb, R., & Kateeb, I. A., & Tsay, L., & Seay, C., & Graham, T. E., & Bousaba, C. (2013, June), Mobile Teaching: Merging Smart Phones, Cloud, and Desktop to Achieve Content-specific Instruction in a Generic Environment Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22293
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