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An extensive user requirements study was carried out to define the scope of functionality for the applications of m-learning with the potential to enhance the student performance and experience within the BSc Multimedia Technology and Design (MMTD) course at the School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, United Kingdom. Based on participatory action research and user-centered design, the study involved 58 students attending the course at Level 2. All students participated in three sequential study sessions. The first session included a presentation of the concept of m-learning and a selection of related applications and underlying technologies. The second session consisted of 13 moderated semistructured focus groups. The groups were steered to specify their ideas as to how m-learning could best contribute to the MMTD course. In the third session, working in the same groups as in the second, the students were briefed to refine the ideas arising from the focus group discussions and "translate?? them into the concept of the single m-learning application (one per group) that was seen as being potentially the most beneficial for the course. The 13 smart-phone-based m--learning applications that were thus generated were subsequently analyzed and their individual functions broken down and grouped into five main functionality themes. These themes, outlining the scope of functionality for m-learning in the context of education of multimedia technologists and designers at the university level, are: administration, presentation, feedback, motivation, and innovation.
Date of Publication: Jan.-March 2010