Added by Jill Gengler, last edited by Confluence Admin on May 28, 2009  (view change)


Enter labels to add to this page:
Wait Image 
Looking for a label? Just start typing.

LIS590UL: Graduate Seminar in Ubiquitous Learning

Concept Mapping


  • Coordinators:
    • Michael Twidale (twidale at illinois dot edu)
    • Caroline Haythornthwaite (haythorn at illinois dot edu)
    • Bill Cope (billcope at illinois dot edu)
    • Nick Burbules (burbules at illinois dot edu)
  • Semester: Spring 2009
  • Prerequisites: Doctoral student status; Non-doctoral students may enroll by emailing the coordinators to obtain permission
  • Times & Places: See the Schedule for details on how meetings will be structured. Students enrolled in the course will receive and email before the first week of classes determining an initial time for introductions and organization of future face-to-face meeting times. The course will also make extensive use of the GSLIS Moodle (online learning) space for 590 UL for discussion, meeting notifications, posting of materials, etc. The site requires a GSLIS signin.
  • Assessment: A series of homework exercises and short assignments and a final paper, attendance and participation on offline meetings and online discussion.

Course Overview

This graduate level seminar will look at issues of learning in a world moving towards ubiquitous computing.
The seminar will explore this new area of research and practice. As such it will be led by the interests of the participants, uncovering topics, examples, theories, issues and implications for use as we go.

This will allow students to make sense of this new and rapidly changing field of study, and understand how it interacts with existing research and practice. It will also allow interested students to set up a research agenda, or consider how analysis of past and current work can inform the design of better learning experiences.


Follow this link to see details on the schedule for LIS 590 UL.


Follow this link for readings for the course. Login to GSLIS Moodle required.


A place to share resources about Ubiquitous Learning

What is Ubiquitous Learning?

That is a question we will continually be asking throughout the semester. One aim of the seminar is to be able to provide better answers to that question. For now, here is a description from Prof. Burbules: "The widespread availability of handheld and mobile devices, along with almost constant network accessibility, has changed communication, social networking, information accessing and entertainment. But we haven't talked enough about their implications for learning."

Slogans like "anytime, anywhere" learning only begin to capture what is changing. Social and cultural changes are reinforcing technological changes. Our current language of "online education" or even "e-learning" don't always address the significance of these shifts, or the ways in which learning processes themselves may be changing. Some are using the term "m-learning" (for mobile learning), but ubiquity means something even more than mobility. For example, WHAT people need to learn may be different given the more or less constant availability of networked technologies; it is less important, perhaps, that people be able to carry certain kinds of knowledge around in their heads if they have immediate access to information and/or to knowledgeable experts via networked technologies.

This seminar is intended to open up a discussion about the where, when, what, and how of ubiquitous learning, and what it might mean for schools, universities, organizations, individuals and society, in contexts as varied as formal education, the workplace, leisure, health, social interaction and politics.

Another Definition of Ubiquitous Learning

Some Topics the Seminar Will Explore

These and other approaches will allow us to look at the idea of Ubiquitous Learning from multiple perspectives:

  • Theories of teaching and learning and how they can inform the selection, appropriation, tailoring and design of useful and usable information technologies
  • Studies of the use of technologies for learning
  • Methods of study and analysis of technology-supported learning
  • Different learning contexts: different ages, different settings, different approaches: formal and informal learning, different subjects being learned; distributed and co-located learning contexts
  • Learning with technologies vs learning how to use technologies
  • Mixing information and communication technologies with other styles and resources
  • The impact of technology use on the learning process
  • Metalearning: learning how to learn in a technology rich environment
  • Available and upcoming ubiquitous computing technologies that may be or already are used in a learning context.

Who Is This Class Intended For?

This is a Graduate Seminar open to students from any department.

Students are not required to be programmers or systems developers, but students should expect to take part in activities where we try and learn how to use a particular technology and then discuss and plan how it might be incorporated in designing a learning experience. Naturally all confusions and difficulties in learning how to use these technologies become valuable data for reflecting on the learning experience and considering how it can be improved. Those students with a technical background will be able to make valuable contributions to our ongoing discussions.

Equally it is not a requirement that students have a strong background in educational theory or cognitive psychology. We will explore such theory and related research methods, but without assuming prior experience. Those students with particular theoretical backgrounds will be able to make valuable contributions to our ongoing discussions.

The technologies, learning experiences, studies, analyses and theories that will be covered have often been developed and used in the context of interdisciplinary work and so likewise it is hoped that we will have students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, with different kinds of useful expertise. By careful discussion and working together on various activities short projects we will learn from each other how different disciplines and research traditions can inform work in this area.

Useful Pages