Context-Aware Ubiquitous Learning in Science Museum with iBeacon Technology

  • Guang Chen
  • Yuanjing ZhangEmail author
  • Nian-Shing Chen
  • Zhengcheng Fan
Living reference work entry


The rapid development of context-aware mobile technologies had created many new applications in various areas. One of the promising applications is for learning in museum environments with Bluetooth low energy (LE) devices and iBeacon technology. This technology had been adopted in many business venues; however, its application in education is still unexplored.

This study developed a context-aware ubiquitous learning system using iBeacon, wireless network, and mobile applications in science museum. The system delivers learning resources through the Bluetooth base stations to a learner’s mobile device triggered by the object where the learner is currently visiting. An empirical study was conducted with 33 junior high school students who were assigned to two experimental groups and one control group. Participants in two experimental groups were both equipped with guiding applications running on mobile devices. The application for experimental group 1 had context-aware push notification, while the experimental group 2 had not. The control group was a free-tour group without using any mobile devices. The results showed that with the help of guiding application using iBeacon technology, participants in experimental group 1’s learning outcome and visiting experience (in dimensions of Knowledge/Learning and Meaningful Experience) were significantly improved compared to the control group. Simply using mobile app without iBeacon technology could not effectively improve learning outcome or visiting experience. At the same time, the follow-up interviews showed that iBeacon guided-tour enhanced the interaction between the visitors and the exhibits.


Context-aware learning iBeacon Context-aware push notification Ubiquitous learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guang Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuanjing Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nian-Shing Chen
    • 3
  • Zhengcheng Fan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Educational Technology (SET), Faculty of EducationBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Key Laboratory of Education TechnologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Information ManagementNational Sun Yat-sen UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan

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