Evaluating the feasibility of collaborative mobile learning systems in environmental science


Universities are increasingly using mobile and digital technologies in teaching and the extent of these tools has accelerated owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mobile technologies have the potential to provide students with opportunities for flexible and collaborative learning and are increasingly attractive to field-based environmental science and ecology disciplines.

However, there is a lack of coherent systematic data describing how mobile learning technologies are used in these disciplines, and their feasibility and sustainability over the longer term. Cochrane (2012) identified six critical factors for mobile learning project success that included the integration of technology into the curriculum, the pedagogical and technological capacity of instructors, and adequate provision of support.


This research will explore the feasibility and suitability of mobile learning initiatives across The University of Melbourne, Hong Kong University and the University of Johannesburg within the context an existing project in coastal ecology. This will be done through a systematic literature review of recent mobile learning projects in environmental science, analysis of strategy and curriculum documents and qualitative evaluation of instructors’ capacity and aptitude for integrating mobile and digital technologies. These data will be utilised to further inform the mobile learning evaluations and provide recommendations for practitioners and institutions.


  • Dr Elisa Bone, The University of Melbourne


Melbourne Graduate School of Education Researcher Development Scheme


Proposed outcomes include progress towards a predictive framework (early 2022), software development to update a custom-built mobile application (early 2022), a policy briefing paper and journal article (mid-2022).

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Dr Elisa Bone, Melbourne CSHE, The University of Melbourne