How mLearning fits MOOC

The above mentioned characteristics, and especially the fact that it is informal, not restrained by time or place , and that a MOOC is easily contextualized brings it very close to the general specifics of mobile learning (mLearning). As Traxler (2010) pointed out “Mobile phones have created ‘simultaneity of place’; a physical space and a virtual space of conversational interaction, and an extension of physical space, through the creation and juxtaposition of a mobile ‘social space’. This affects people’s sense of time, space, place and location, their affiliation’s and loyalties to groups and communities, the ways in which they relate to other individuals and to groups, their sense of their identity, and their ethics” (p. 2).

Ensure that your resources are mobile accessible

In many regions of the world mobile access is outgrowing web access. This makes a mobile MOOC very interesting as a way to keep in touch with a large learner audience spread around these areas. In addition to that target audience, there is also the growing shift to ubiquitous learning, allowing people to access information no matter what device they are using.

However, if you consider to start a mobile MOOC, this will necessarily limit what type of resources you will be able to use (e.g. discussion groups that are mobile accessible like google groups, mobile twitter, mobile YouTube, mobile accessible wiki's...).

But beware! Think twice before diving into a mobile MOOC, for mobile internet access can bring along high costs for the user. Make sure you have a solution to keep mobile costs limited and inform your target population on how to do so.

Mobile social media tools

Most of the resources listed above are in fact mobile accessible. Or at least when we take into consideration smartphones, netbooks and tablet pc’s. Only the wiki’s and virtual synchronous classrooms are not always very mobile friendly and the one page mash-ups demand a bigger screen to keep an overview of all the content.

The mobile versions of these tools are sometimes already available on a new smartphone, otherwise they can easily be installed as mobile applications. Inform your target population on how to do so.

Use YouTube to publish reformatted recordings from synchronous sessions. This will make those synchronous events accessible through mobiles (= use the mp4 format). Here is how you could do the reformatting.