Learning in Motion! Addressing the Mobility Learning Preferences of Today’s Learners

Dr. Stephen E. Gareau, Department of Computer Information Systems Graduate Program in Educational Technology, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, USA

Teach an educational technology programme.

Started looking at this area because taught in the evening, students were tired and stressed, course is tough, different needs of generation y learners – all meant that needed to consider different teaching methods and learning environment.

Mobility learning is a mode of learning when visit a museum etc. other types of informal learning environments.

Exploring these ideas with teachers on programme. Many students with high mobility needs are often medicated when if they were allowed to get up and move around their ‘problems’ could be resolved.

Challenging traditional teaching methods is vital to meet diversity of learning preferences including mobility. Many teachers just teach in the way they were taught. Ideas around incubation and creativity are pertinent here . Get best ideas in shower, out jogging, at conferences in foreign locations etc. Letting subconscious mind incubate on ideas then can push through to conscious minds at those ‘ah ha’ moments.

Used variety of scavenger hunts (eg on design principles on campus), some online and a field trip. Asked students to keep weekly learning diaries and also used data from observations and surveys.4 Online scavenger hunt called atlasquest.com to simulate data transfer. Museum scavenger hunt – had to find things in a museum, take images, document moults and create a presentation.


  • Motivation of students increased
  • Journal entries and feedback expressed positive feelings about these activities
  • Informal evaluation via group discussions and debriefings afterwards
  • Formal evaluation was questionnaires too
  • Builds community of learners

“Traditional student” (ie students who like to do one task at a time with high structure etc) doesn’t exist. Students like to learn in a variety of settings, need to educate teachers to teach in different ways and explore these different techniques to engage and motivate students. Learning not necessarily more effective, but is a more enjoyable and a lot more effective for motivation . Attempt to seek variation in instructional process.

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