Zayed University launches a Mobile Enhanced Learning Project


June 4, 2014

Zayed University launched a three-year fully funded Mobile Enhanced Learning initiative in January 2014, aimed at establishing the University as an international leader in Mobile Enhanced Learning practice and research. The initiative is a comprehensive undertaking that consists of three target areas: Arabization of content, Pedagogical Integration, and Research. Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Cooperation, President of Zayed University, praised the initiative as it aligns with the Mobile Government initiative to offer opportunities for ubiquitous learning for the students and faculty alike. “Each of these taken separately are substantial areas of endeavor but to combine them into a comprehensive program of change shows our vision and commitment to student-centered and culturally appropriate learning opportunities”, says Dr Abdalla AlAmiri, Provost of Zayed University.

The Arabization of content uses a contextual approach to developing a body of content that is useful and usable by all for all. With a focus on developing content that is relevant to Zayed University students using the language, images and stories of their culture to support knowledge development students will be in a better position as they enter the UAE workforce.  Using a modular approach content development is carefully targeted to the needs of the students and the needs of their programs. Developing materials for use on mobile devices allows students to use and review material wherever and whenever they are at. By producing small consumable bits of content students can concentrate on what they need, when they need it.

This project provides the support and motivation to explore the best pedagogical strategies and techniques for Zayed University students and for their integration into the community, and uses a research framework to help understand learning and teaching issues. This framework provides a process to address these issues beginning with evidence, gathering evidence where none is available, and contributing to the knowledge base of the UAE academic community. The research framework will guide pedagogical and Arabic content development. Dissemination through peer-reviewed publication is the ultimate aim of the project as this is the best way to ensure that the evidence gained through the research will continue to be available to the region and internationally.

This project is well aligned with ZU’s strategic objectives pertaining to establishing a cutting-edge educational environment that promotes creativity and innovation, delivering high quality education which focuses on enriching students’ knowledge and skills, and upgrading the University's academic and research level.

This project is also well aligned with UAE’s strategic objectives articulated in the UAE Vision 2021.

Dr. Brad Johnson, Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Educational Innovation, who is in charge of the project on behalf of Zayed University said: “The opportunity to engage an entire university in a project of this size and scope is rare. The institutional commitment is phenomenal, the commitment and vision of the University and the UAE inspires us to success. We are very proud to be part of this initiative”.