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The effectiveness of a bespoke mobile learning application in a laboratory-based, practical skills undergraduate unit

Gough, Peter George (2014) The effectiveness of a bespoke mobile learning application in a laboratory-based, practical skills undergraduate unit. Masters thesis (MSc), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Statement of Problem The teaching of dental technology requires significant face-to-face teaching leading to high staff loading and variability in learning experience. Smartphones, which are now ubiquitous powerful and affordable with excellent communication capability offer the possibility of individualised learning. Purpose To design and evaluate a bespoke learning application for the teaching of partial denture manufacture. Methods The traditional learning process for partial denture construction was analysed and a database-driven mobile learning application using streaming video and text was designed and written using XCode software for Apple iOS devices to deliver student-directed learning in an undergraduate dental technology programme. Results The results indicated high student engagement with the App and a highly significant improvement in the performance of students in course work using the application. However, examination performance was unaffected. Student satisfaction surveys indicated an improvement. Conclusions Interactive video using mobile learning applications reduced staff time and improved student performance. However, students can develop dependence. The broader implications of the study indicate that mobile learning applications have a place in the learning environment whilst their global range offers great opportunities for the delivery of dental technology and other subjects in the future.

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