Friday, September 21, 2012

eLearning; mLearning; uLearning; xLearning....


It's been a whirlwind tour in mobimooc this year.  Week 2 is almost done (I count my weeks by a 5-day weekday, rather than 7 days) and only one more week to go! I feel that I have not been as active in MobiMOOC this year as I was in the previous year.  Perhaps it's because MobiMOOC is only half of the duration of last year's MOOC.  It would be interesting to see how often I posted last year (per week) and this year :-)

In any case, what has come up this year (that I think wasn't there last year) is a discussion on the nuances of mLearning and what constitutes mLearning, as compared to other types of learning (I call these xLearning) such as uLearning (ubiquitous), eLearning (electronic), oLearning (online),  iLearning (internet) and so on. Here are some questions and points that were posed to spark discussion on the topic:

In the discussion forum I claimed that mLearning is just a sub-class of eLearning, but I think that this requires some clarification.  I don't see eLearning as defined as asynchronous self-paced CBT or WBT.  I know that historically eLearning has been conceived as a (generally) solitary activity of going through (or grinding in gamer parlance) certain readily available learning modules in a self-paced way.  For me, however, eLearning means learning that can be attained or achieved through the mediation of any electronic tool or implement in a purposeful and concerted way. Thus, if I am using a computer to learn (such as using an LMS online), this is eLearning.  If I am using my mobile to snap a photo of a QR code in order to learn something and move on to my next learning task, this is eLearning.

Now, since eLearning is the superclass, it tends to be a bit amorphous because it contains the general attributes that are applicable to the subclasses that inherit some common traits from eLearning.  Then, the subclasses (uLearning, mLearning, iLearning, etc.) have characteristics of their own which set them apart from their relative subclasses (classes derived from the same superclass). Thus, I would say, that anything that is mLearning is also eLearning, however something that is eLearning might not necessarily be mLearning.

Your thoughts and ideas?
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