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Mobile Learning in a Large Blended Computer Science Classroom: System Function, Pedagogies, and Their Impact on Learning

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IEEE Transactions on Education Volume 52, Number 4, ISSN 0018-9359


The computer science classes in China's institutions of higher education often have large numbers of students. In addition, many institutions offer "blended" classes that include both on-campus and online students. These large blended classrooms have long suffered from a lack of interactivity. Many online classes simply provide recorded instructor lectures to which distance students listen after downloading. This format only reinforces the negative effects of passive nonparticipatory learning. At a major university in Shanghai, researchers and developers actively seek technological interventions that can greatly increase interactivity in blended classes. They have developed a cutting-edge mobile learning system that can deliver live broadcasts of real-time classroom teaching to online students with mobile devices. Their system allows students to customize their means of content-reception, based on when and where the students are tuning into the broadcast. The system also supports short text-messaging and instant polls. Through these features, students can ask questions and make suggestions in real time, and the instructor can respond immediately. This paper describes this system in detail and also reports results from a formal implementation of the system with a blended classroom of 562 students (of whom 90% were online). (Contains 5 tables and 2 figures.)


Shen, R., Wang, M., Gao, W., Novak, D. & Tang, L. (2009). Mobile Learning in a Large Blended Computer Science Classroom: System Function, Pedagogies, and Their Impact on Learning. IEEE Transactions on Education, 52(4), 538-546. Retrieved August 18, 2019 from .

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