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Acceptability of an asynchronous learning forum on mobile devices

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Mobile learning has recently become noteworthy because mobile devices have become popular. To construct an asynchronous learning forum on mobile devices is important because an asynchronous learning forum is always an essential part of networked asynchronous distance learning. However, the input interface in handheld learning devices, which is generally handwritten, is not efficient. Hence, most learners do not attempt to use online asynchronous learning forums on a handheld learning device. Although the wireless internet learning device (WILD) can recommend proper online learning partners depending on the level of a learner, the mechanism is similar to a synchronous learning forum, such as a chat room. In other words, learners should be online at the same time to chat with each other. For a learning community with few learners, there is not always a learner online for the synchronous learning forum. Consequently, the degree of interaction among learners must be decreased without an easy-to-use, asynchronous learning forum. This study constructs an audio-based asynchronous learning forum on a WILD and is supported by streaming media technology. Furthermore, this study used technology acceptance model (TAM) to measure learners' degree of subjective satisfaction of an asynchronous learning forum on a WILD. The preliminary results show that learners' acceptance of audio-based input is not significantly higher than handwritten input on a WILD for the asynchronous discussion. However, learners' perceived usefulness is higher than handwritten input on a WILD. Most important of all, the mechanism of audio-based input can enrich the processes of interaction in a learning environment with WILD activities.
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Keywords: audio-based input; handheld learning device; learning forums; technology acceptance model

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Information and Learning Technology, National University of Tainan, Tainan, Taiwan

Publication date: 01 January 2010

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