A Personalized Approach to Learning Across Time and Space
Keywords:Personalised Learning, GETAMEL, Technology Acceptance Model, Flexible Learning, Mobile App
In a higher education environment massively disrupted by the pandemic, the importance of exploring the efficacy of purposeful, flexible, online learning is essential. Research shows that blended approaches to learning can be active, flexible, and student-centred. However, this research suggests that without human intervention or a bespoke context, there can also be very poor engagement. As such, this study presents the successes and challenges of introducing a personalised mobile-learning resource in a supported, personalized environment. The resource was designed and developed in 2019 and integrated in 2020 and 2021 into a large (n=200+) communication design class at an Australian university. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the app using measures drawn from Abdullah & Ward’s (2016) take on the Technology Acceptance Model. Their model, GETAMEL (general extended technology acceptance model for e-learning) measures technology acceptance factors in eLearning such as enthusiasm, self-efficacy, and student enjoyment of technology in relation to contextual purpose. This paper also considers the value of self-directed learning and co-curricular activities in the context of additional learning to support core curriculum. This paper presents an evaluation of student experience drawn from a class-wide survey and analysis of usage data. We conclude that the use of a personalised app fosters an autonomously supportive experience that leads to intrinsic motivation and improves overall learning (Baker & Goodboy, 2018). The app provides additional support for students unable to attend tutorials and enabled students to remain engaged and abreast of the general topics each week and provided some additional prompts about self-directed learning activities they could engage in, that they wouldn’t have otherwise had. Enjoyment, as one of the key factors of the GETAMEL model, was explicitly mentioned by students. While a personalised tool is labour intensive and expensive in cost and time, this study concludes that the rewards regarding student experience make it worthwhile.