A Review of Indicators of Success in Mobile Learning

Kam Cheong Li and Billy T M Wong
The Open University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR, China

As one of the key developments in technology-enhanced learning, mobile learning has been practised extensively worldwide in the past decade. There have been a broad range of reports on the practices, which reveal how mobile learning has been designed and practised in diverse contexts, and evaluate its success using various indicators. To what extent these indicators are applicable to a broad range of contexts, however, has not been adequately studied.

This paper presents a systematic review of mobile learning practices, covering the contexts in which mobile devices were applied and the indicators of success. A total of 50 cases in 14 countries in the period 2006 to 2015 were reviewed. As regards the applications of mobile devices for learning, 90% of the cases involved one-way access to information in online or offline modes; 52% involved social interaction; and 72% involved the use of apps or websites designed for specific courses. The indicators of successful mobile learning practices revolved around ten categories, viz. perceived usefulness, satisfaction, motivation, ease of use, learning achievements, cognitive load, self-efficacy, social engagement, system usage and learning attitude. The majority of cases used learning achievements or perceived usefulness as indicators of success. The results also show that studies of mobile learning practices focused mostly on specific courses with less than 100 participants, but the subject disciplines of the courses were not usually provided in the reports. Based on the findings, a number of limitations in interpreting the success of mobile learning practices are discussed.