Helping Distance Learners Stay Connected:The Effectiveness

of Mobile Learning via SMS at Open University Malaysia


Tina Lim Zoraini Wati Abas Mansor Fadzil


Open University Malaysia,Malaysia


Abstract: Distance learners often face what is known as transactional distances in terms of geographical, time, psychological and communication spaces (Moore,1997 ).  Comparing to fulltime campus students, these adult learners who mostly hold fulltime jobs and have family commitments face a daunting task in juggling study, work and family.  They often struggle to find extra time and space to fit in their studies and frequently need to exert extra effort to ensure that they remain connected to the university, their tutors and their peers. This paper describes the efforts of Open University Malaysia in actively supporting learners in their studies through the use of text messaging technology, the simplest and most widely used of all mobile technology applications available.  Further, it illustrates how mobile technology enhances the blended approach to instruction and lends more flexibility and ubiquity to the learning process.  It also examines the effectiveness of the initiative in terms of helping learners to  review/locate/remember course facts easily,discuss online,manage their learning,persevere in their studies, and remember important dates and actions to be taken related to the course.  Both quantitative and qualitative data are presented.

Key words: mobile learning;distance education;short messaging service

CLC numbersG434

Document codeA

Article ID1007-2179(2011)01-0086-06

The Authors: Dr.Tina Lim is currently Director of the Institute of Quality, Research & Innovation, Open University Malaysia.  She is responsible for leading and managing the team involved in the Mobile Learning via SMS project at Open University Malaysia. Besides that, she is actively involved in research on Continuous Professional Development, and Online Learning. Prof.Mansor Fadzil is the Senior Vice President of Open University Malaysia. He acts as the Advisor to the Mobile Learning Project at the University. Prof.Dr Zoraini Wati Abas is a Professor at the Faculty of Education and Languages, Open University Malaysia. Her areas of interest include learning2.0, mobile learning and learning effectiveness. 




蒂娜·利姆 左莱尼·瓦提·阿巴斯 曼瑟·法济勒




【摘要】远程学习者经常面临地理、时间、心理、沟通空间等方面的交互距离(Moore, 1997)。相对于全职学生来说,这些有着全职工作、家庭责任的成人学生,在平衡学业、工作和家庭方面往往面临艰巨任务。他们经常需要努力寻找额外的时间和空间进行学习,经常需要付出额外的努力以确保他们与大学、辅导教师、同学保持联系。本文介绍了马来西亚开放大学通过利用文本信息这一最简单、广泛应用的技术,积极支持学生完成学业的探索,展示了如何利用移动技术促进混合教学方法,并为学习过程提供更多的灵活性和普遍性。文章利用定量研究和定性研究方法,探索了这一创新在帮助学习者更容易地回顾/定位/记忆课程内容、在线讨论、管理学习、坚持学习、记住与课程相关的重要日期和活动等方面的有效性。