The practitioner's perspective

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Students using a USB device.
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Strengthening learner involvement

Mobile devices have proved their worth in maintaining contact with learners, strengthening the links between them and course leaders, or with the institution itself. Reported benefits also include an increased sense of ownership over the learning process:

Just-in-time information. Alerting/reminding learners of essential course or health and safety information via SMS messages maintains contact with learners.
Ownership of learning. Learners' sense of ownership of the learning process can be developed by providing learning materials on a personal mobile device, e.g. USB storage device.
Mentor/tutor support. Rapid responses via text and email can strengthen learners' involvement in course activities.

An example

A case study, A digital key to productive learningfrom the University of Sussex, illustrates pedagogical uses of the USB storage device which have encouraged student ownership of digital resources, promoted active participation in learning, and provided innovative opportunities for formative assessment.