An inquiry-based mobile learning approach to enhancing social science learning effectiveness

Ju Ling Shih, Chien Wen Chuang, Gwo Jen Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


This study presents a mobile exploration activity that guides elementary students to learn during a social science activity with digital support from mobile devices and wireless communications. The students are situated in both the real world and the virtual world to extend their learning experiences. The learning activities between the field and the digital system not only demonstrate the practices of mobile learning, which emphasizes learning that happens close to real life, but also provides digital learning content to facilitate students' field studies. To enhance the learning performance of the students, an inquiry-based mobile learning approach is employed to assist the students in constructing their own knowledge by taking cognitive load into consideration. To evaluate the effectiveness of the innovative approach, 33 fifth grade students were arranged to carry out investigations in the Peace Temple of southern Tainan with the inquiry-based mobile learning system. Through pre- and post- class questionnaires as well as observations and focus group interviews, descriptive quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. The results show significant positive results in terms of the students' learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-62
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Technology and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010


  • Cognitive load
  • Historic monument investigations
  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Mobile learning


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