mLearning simply stands for mobile learning. It is also known as mobile-assisted learning or mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) that especially refers to the use of mobile in language learning.
eLearning vs mLearning
In my personal opinion, both refer to the same process as well as method but different in terms of medium which is used. If eLearning applies computer or laptop, mLearning applies smart-phone or mobile phone as medium. So, the discussion about mLearning cannot be separated with the discussion of eLearning as medium is the only thing that makes them different.
Implementation: The Case of Language Learning
In its implementation, especially in language learning, materials or contents are stored on either website or mobile applications or on both website and mobile apps. A friend of mine who adopts mLearning as her research variable in her dissertation project applies WhatsApp to teach speaking for university students. Another friend of mine applies mobile application that facilitates his students in learning English. Those are some examples of mLearning in foreign language learning. unfortunately, I could not reveal research results of both in specific because the research studies are still on progress. However, those examples describe how mLearning is executed in real world.
What research studies inform about mLearning?
Well, mLearning has been popularly applied in many situations. It has been set as research variable by many researchers around the world. The literature confirm that mLearning has great potential to be either adopted or adapted in formal learning. Here are some research studies say about mLearning.
Keegan (2003) in “The Future of Learning: From Learning to mLearning” argues that mLearning will provide the future of learning. The results of a study which investigated mLearning through experimental design indicates that the experimental group receiving instruction through cell-phone based audiobooks outperforms control group on listening comprehension (Azar & Nasiri, 2014). Chen, et.al (2019) proclaim that parents support their children in learning by using mobile technology. Furthermore, they reveal differences in technology access and appropriation based on diverse cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic status. In addition, Soleimani, et.al (2014) reveal that mLearning or mobile learning is accepted by their research participants for its convenience, practical and easy way of assisting ESL learners in enhancing their ESL learning.
Research Idea on mLearning
If you are here to find inspiration about your new research study, conducting a research on the application and utilization of mobile technology during Covid-19 pandemic would be great as well as interesting. There are myriad literature on the internet published by major journal publisher that can be set as foundation of the research. As we know that during the break due to Covid-19, face to face meeting is not allowed. Then it would be interesting to see how students learn through the help of technology especially smart-phone which has now widely used among students.