Preparing for the future: ODL based on m-Learning

A good understanding of open distance learning (ODL) based on mobile learning (m-Learning) can be gleaned through the experiences of Korea National Open University (KNOU).

Prof Tae Rim Lee, from KNOU’s Department of Information Statistics, presented a lecture on ‘Mobile e-book for Open & Distance Learning’ to WOU staff today, in which she shared the history, experiences and lessons from KNOU’s m-Learning project. 

Explaining the history of mobile learning in Korea National Open University.

Explaining the history of mobile learning in Korea National Open University.

She elaborated on the components of m-Learning namely the contents, technology, service and the learners.  Contents are raw data or original draft, technology is learning management system or multimedia, while service is training, delivery methods, operation, system, and reference.

She informed that the m-Learning or ‘campus in hand’ of KNOU has a main menu comprising Campus Information (MyPage, Academic Calendar, Phone Book),  Administrative Information (Enrolment, Courses, Grade, Register) and Learning Service (VOD Lecture, AOD Lecture). She demonstrated on how to access mobile e-book and run the application using her smartphone.

Prof Tae making a point.

Prof Tae making a point.

According to Prof Tae, KNOU built its e-Learning hub site, e-campus, in 2002, and kicked off its m-Learning hub site, U-campus, in December 2008 with 17 departments of online graduate school.  The university began employing OER for ODL in 2011 and commenced MOOCs in 2014. KNOU presently has 13 regional campuses nationwide and its own cable television network, which proves useful for web lectures.

She said the initial u-KNOU service or mobile campus in hand provided students with instant access to video lectures, multimedia lectures, and their academic information while they move with their 3G cellular phones. Following user feedback, the improved u-KNOU service was expanded to various mobile devices and a variety of service networks, with upgraded interface and display methods. Other service functions like ID and password, seamless display, variation of play speed, etc were added.

Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan and Grace Lau (2nd and 3rd from left) at the talk.

Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan and Grace Lau (2nd and 3rd from left) at the talk.

Among those who attended the talk at the main campus were Chairman of WOU’s Board of Governors, Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan, School of Science & Technology (SST) Dean Dr Wendy Bong Chin Wei, Educational Technology &   Publishing Director Grace Lau Pee Hoay, and Educational Technologist Assoc Prof Dr Ramesh Sharma.

Earlier, Prof Tae recounted the evolution of ICT in higher education, remarking that e-learning and m-Learning affords a good opportunity for busy people to study during their spare time.