Implementing collaborative learning activities in the classroom supported by one-to-one mobile computing: A design-based process

Claudio Alvarez*, Rosa Alarcon, Miguel Nussbaum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Mobile devices such as PDAs, smartphones and tablet computers are becoming increasingly popular, setting out opportunities for new ways of communicating and collaborating. Research initiatives have ascertained the potential of mobile devices in education, and particularly, the benefits of incorporating them in the classroom for eliciting collaborative learning and active student participation. However, the development of technology-supported learning environments poses challenges to education researchers, practitioners, and software technologists in creating educational tools that respond to real needs of instructors and learners, meet clearly defined didactic purposes, and are practical for the intended audience. This article reports on a technology for facilitating the implementation of collaborative learning environments in the classroom supported by one-to-one mobile computing. The approach encompasses a framework supporting the design and implementation of the mobile software, and a design-based process that guides interdisciplinary efforts utilizing the framework, towards creating effective pedagogical models based on collaborative learning. The proposed design-based process allowed us to develop pedagogical models that respond to real needs of learners and instructors, where development is grounded on rigorous scientific research, allowing to reuse both knowledge and software, and showing an improvement of the mobile software built based on continuous experimentation and evaluation. A case study illustrating the application of the technology is presented and plans for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1961-1976
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative learning
  • Design-based research
  • Domain-specific
  • Framework
  • Language
  • Mobile CSCL


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