VCU Center for Teaching Excellence
Faculty Learning Community Program
(August 2011 – May 2012)
Using Technology to Enhance Teaching and Learning: Mobile Learning
Purpose and Description
The Using Technology to Enhance Teaching and Learning FLC is offered every
academic year to a new cohort of VCU faculty. The topical focus of this FLC
changes as compelling technologies are identified for instructional use. The core
focus of this FLC is the exploration of instructional practices that take advantage
of technology to enhance learning.
For the 2011-2012 academic year the Using Technology to Enhance Teaching
and Learning FLC will focus on the exploration of mobile learning. Mobile
learning has been described as any learning that occurs where the learner is not
constrained by a fixed or predetermined location, or when learners take
advantage of the unique affordances of mobile devices and technologies. The
advanced functionality of currently available mobile touch screen devices
combined with the development of a wide range of applications, has made
mobile learning an increasingly important topic for higher education faculty to
consider. In acknowledging the powerful potential of mobile learning, this
community will offer members the opportunity to investigate, discuss, implement,
and assess the use of mobile technology to enhance learning, as well as to
[re]conceptualize traditional notions of the “classroom.”
In order to establish a shared frame of reference to guide exploration, discussion
and inquiry, community members will use a common device – the Apple iPad2.
This common platform is intended to facilitate the sharing and evaluation of
applications, and provide opportunities to consider how compelling instructional
practices might be used in a variety of educational settings.
Meeting every 2 weeks, members of this community will spend the Fall 2011
semester engaging with the literature on mobile learning, while also devoting
time to collaborative tinkering with the iPad and applications identified as having
potential to enhance learning. Members will be encouraged to regularly share
ideas about compelling use cases as a means of contributing to the learning of
the community. In addition, each community member will be asked to investigate
and share successful mobile learning approaches being used by other faculty in
his or her own field.
In the Spring 2012 semester, each community member will identify teaching
practices and applications that promote the idea of mobile learning in one of the
courses that he or she teaches. As a group, the learning community will reflect
on, discuss, and assess these various approaches with regard to the impact on
student learning. Community members will be expected to share insights,
challenges and successes with their departmental colleagues and the wider
All community members will be expected to:
Actively contribute to the development of the community through regular
participation in FLC activities.
Work creatively and collegially to support the learning of all FLC members.
Identify and create outlets for sharing the collective knowledge generated
by the FLC.
Engage in and contribute to assessment activities related to the work of
the FLC (e.g., individual assessments, group assessments, final FLC
All full-time VCU faculty members are eligible to apply. Professional and
administrative faculty members who have teaching responsibilities are also
eligible to apply for this FLC. (This FLC will be limited to six (6) participants). A
signature from your chair or immediate supervisor indicating their support for
your participation is also required (see signature lines at the end of the
In lieu of a traditional stipend to support faculty participation in the FLC, each
community member will receive an iPad2. (Please note: Any additional costs
incurred for purchased apps will be the responsibility of each individual
A facilitator from the CTE who is trained in pedagogy and the effective use of
instructional technology to support learning will assist the community as they
explore this topic.
Please complete the following:
Dept. / School
Please list the courses you teach at VCU:
Course No. of Times Taught Number of Students
Please provide a short (1 or 2 paragraph) response to each of the following
1. Why do you wish to participate in this faculty learning community?
2. Describe how you currently use digital technology in your teaching. What
uses / practices do you think have the greatest potential for enhancing
3. What initial ideas do you have about using mobile learning technologies in
4. What are the areas in which you can contribute to the work of the FLC?
5. Describe any experience you have using the iPad platform. In addition,
please indicate whether you already have an iPad or other touch screen
6. Please share any other questions, thoughts or concerns you wish
regarding your possible involvement in this faculty learning community.
If I am selected as a participant, I agree to participate fully in the faculty learning
community activities as described.
I endorse the above applicant’s participation in the faculty/professional learning
community on Using Technology to Enhance Teaching and Learning and will
support the implementation of the curricular and pedagogical work completed.
Please send an electronic copy of your application to email@example.com
and the original paper copy with required signatures via campus mail to
Jeff Nugent at the Center for Teaching Excellence, PO Box 842015.
Applications must be received by 4pm, 20 May 2011