Mark Pegrum – University of Western Australia (Australia)
Associate Professor Mark Pegrum is a Lecturer in Digital Learning in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Western Australia in Perth, where he is also the Deputy Head of School (International). In his courses, he specialises in digital technologies in education, with a particular focus on mobile learning. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and his teaching has been recognised through Faculty and University Excellence in Teaching Awards, as well as a 2010 national Australian Learning & Teaching Council (ALTC) Excellence in Teaching Award. His current research focuses on mobile technologies, digital literacies, augmented reality, and mobile learning trails and games. His books include: Brave New Classrooms: Democratic Education and the Internet (co-edited with Joe Lockard, 2007); From Blogs to Bombs: The Future of Digital Technologies in Education (2009); Digital Literacies (co-authored with Gavin Dudeney & Nicky Hockly, 2013); Mobile Learning: Languages, Literacies and Cultures (2014); and Mobile Lenses on Learning: Languages and Literacies on the Move (2019).
This paper explores the potential of gamified mobile learning trails to help students acquire language and literacy skills in a variety of real-world settings. Following a theoretical introduction, it presents three brief and contrasting case studies of successful mobile augmented reality (AR) trails which incorporate elements of language and literacy learning. The theoretical introduction draws on Pegrum’s (2014, 2019) 3 Mobilities Framework, Burden & Kearney’s (2018) iPAC Mobile Pedagogical Framework, and Clandfield & Hadfield’s (2017) Weak & Strong Interaction Model, suggesting that the richest and most motivating mobile learning designs involve activities where the devices, the learners, and the learning experiences are all mobile; where the three dimensions of personalisation, collaboration, and authenticity are foregrounded; and where both weak and strong interaction are present. It is argued that AR learning trails are an ideal format for such learning, especially to the extent that they are partially or wholly gamified. Following a brief review of past mobile AR learning games and trails, there will be a focus on recent, successful gamified learning trails involving varying degrees of authentic learning, i.e., learning which is embedded and embodied in real-world settings. Brief case studies will be presented of projects including the Japanese Fukuchiyama Castle Rally; the Singaporean iHTs (Interactive Heritage Trails); and the Hong Kong TIEs (Trails of Integrity and Ethics), highlighting the latest developments in these and other related projects. It will be shown that the more actively students become involved in creating with mobile technologies, potentially even teaching their peers through these technologies, the richer the resulting learning experiences.