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  OUHK to develop the first free local mobile app
to enhance language proficiency of tertiary students
13/03/2014
   
 

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The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) introduces its newly developed mobile learning modules at a media briefing held today (13 March). The modules, which are developed to enhance students' language proficiency, are first of its kind launched in Hong Kong. To further the University's mission of providing open and multi-mode education, some of the units in the modules will be available to the public for free.

Four modules on 'English for Effective Communication', 'Business Communication for Executives', 'Use of Chinese' and 'Use of Putonghua' have been developed in the project. The university level modules, designed to help stimulate students’ interest in learning language, are presented in iBook format and used context-based content and offered an interactive, multimedia method of language learning. Students can study with the modules at their own pace anywhere to enhance learning effectiveness.

Quality Enhancement Grant Scheme of Education Bureau has approved a grant of HK$1.57 million to support the project. OUHK Vice President (Academic) Prof. Danny Wong said, "Mobile devices and internet access have been widely used in teaching and learning nowadays. Mobile learning has called for a new direction in education, which enables people to study through mobile networks and devices in environments without fixed internet access and facilities. It is not only an extension of online learning, but also one of the important elements of 'open' education and it breaks the barriers to learning."

The modules had undergone a trial by student volunteers before they were officially offered. About 150 full-time students of the University were recruited to examine the learning effectiveness of the mobile modules and their attitude towards the modules. A total of 61 participants successfully completed the test and some were invited to join focus groups.

Director of Educational Technology & Publishing Dr K S Yuen said the result of the research study showed that mobile learning can effectively enhance students’ language proficiency. Performance of the participants obtained an overall average of 14.7 per cent improvement and in particular, Use of Putonghua recorded the highest score. In addition, students have a positive attitude toward the use of mobile learning and over 85 per cent of the students perceived the mobile learning modules as 'interesting, attractive, and can motivate their study'. Over 70 per cent of the students reported that they will continue the use of mobile learning modules for language enhancement in the future.



 icon Mobile Learning Modules to Enhance Language Proficiency Research Study
 

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Vice President Prof. Danny Wong says mobile learning has called for a new direction in education and it breaks the barriers to learning. 

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Students try the game-based learning activities available in the modules.

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Group photo of senior staff members and students.
   
  Media Enquiries: Public Affairs Unit
Tel : 2768 6355 E-mail: pau@ouhk.edu.hk