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Although auditory information in mobile learning (m-learning) can be an important resource for delivering knowledge and information, the importance of guidelines for designing auditory instructions has largely been overlooked. Therefore, this study considered the characteristics of m-learning, mobility and personalization, with the aim of developing and validating auditory design guidelines to improve learning on mobile phones. The present study covers m-learning with cellphones only. Auditory design guidelines were developed and revised using an iterative educational design research process. The auditory design guidelines were developed by analyzing previous studies related to m-learning and auditory interface design, and revised using three validation methods. The expert reviews and usability evaluations were conducted as an internal validation method, and a field evaluation was used as an external validation method to confirm the feasibility and educational effects. The results showed that the auditory design guidelines could be applied effectively to the design of audio instructions delivered on smart phones. Finally, a total of ten guidelines were developed, three for auditory-only design, four for attention design, and three for personalization design. This paper discusses the theoretical, empirical and practical aspects of the design guidelines presented.
6. Discussion and conclusion
Although the auditory information in m-learning can be an important resource for delivering knowledge and information, there has been little research on how to design auditory instructions. In this respect, this study contributes to the auditory design research field in a little explored area. In particular, this study adds to the field by considering how the affordability and limitations of different devices affect the design. This study showed that the auditory design guidelines reflecting the mobility and personalization of m-learning were both effective and satisfactory. The final revised guidelines are as shown in Table 7. These guidelines emerged from a thorough process of the development of the initial guidelines, 1st and 2nd expert reviews, usability evaluation, 3rd expert review, and field evaluation. Expert reviews and usability evaluation were conducted for an internal validation, and the auditory design guidelines were modified and supplemented in the academic and practical perspectives of the experts and instructional designers. The revised guidelines form-learning content and their effectiveness in supporting learning underwent an external validation. The field evaluation method used in this study can be useful for examining the learning effects considering the mobility and personalization of m-learning. Previous studies were conducted mostly in laboratory settings or while walking outside (Brewster, 2002; Walker & Brewster, 2000), but these attempts did not involve natural settings and they failed to consider the wide range of factors in the external environment. Therefore, they may be unsuitable for examining a mobile environment. Accordingly, the research participants were recruited and asked to learn with a specific m-learning application either while on the move or in public places, such as a cafe. Considering that the aim of study was to develop auditory design guidelines based on the mobility and personalization of the m-learning environment occurring in public places, the field evaluation method, although unable to control the individual learning environment, can provide more meaningful information than a laboratory setting.