Beyond Delivery Modes and Apps: A Case Study on Mobile Blended Learning in Higher Education

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9307)


Mobile learning has received an increasing attention by the TEL community since 2010. While much research is available on the effectiveness of individual apps and educational approaches and despite that many higher education institutions introduced special mobile learning apps, relatively little is known about the rationale of scaling up mobile learning in higher education institutions. It reports on a case study, in which a mobile app solution has been integrated into a lecture at a major Swiss university. The study analyses the student’s use of mobile media and the use of a smart-phone app in a mobile blended learning setting. The results indicate that today’s students live in a multi device environment and are likely to use mobile apps in new contexts and settings if this is supported by an app. They also show that mobiles will not replace other delivery modes or technologies. Instead, the findings indicate that students used the mobile learning solution for extending and enriching their learning environment. Therefore, this study suggests that mobile learning needs to blend into rich learning environments, in which they co-exist with paper books, classroom experiences, laptops, and tablets. The insights define new requirements for both, mobile apps and virtual learning environments, in order to meet the future challenges of TEL in higher education.


Blended learning Case-study Device ecologies Device usage Educational design Evaluation Higher education Mobile learning Seamless learning 



The research presented in this paper was partially supported by the IIL funds of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Zurich. The authors thank Prof. Frank Esser and Nicole Ernst for supporting this study in their lecture.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Blended Learning CenterHTW ChurChurSwitzerland
  2. 2.Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.IPMZUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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