Concordia University Chicago was proud to host the 17th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (known in the industry as mLearn), November 11-14, 2018. mLearn is the leading international conference on mobile and contextual learning and typically attracts participants from more than 60 countries to its annual conferences. mLearn 2018 explored the theme, “Mobilized Learning: Pedagogical and Technological Innovation for Teaching and Learning.” The conference provided a forum for researchers, policy makers, professionals and educators from higher education, school education and vocational education, government departments, industries and international organizations as well as IT developers and solutions providers to share knowledge, research and practices and debate critical issues pertaining to sustainable futures for mobilized learning.
Concordia-Chicago staff members Prof. Richard Richter, Assistant Professor of Instructional Design and Technology, and Dr. Helga Hambrock, Senior Instructional Designer, both of whom are members of the professional association IAmLearn, served as resident hosts for the conference.
Dr. Thomas Jandris, Dean of Concordia-Chicago’s College of Innovation and Professional Programs and Senior Vice President of Educational Innovation, welcomed conference attendees and delivered the keynote address.
Other plenary session presentations were proffered by Dr. Helen Crompton, Assistant Professor of Teaching and Learning at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and Dr. Rob Power, President of IAmLearn and member of the faculty at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. The conference program was rounded out by workshops on the timely topics of gamification and artificial intelligence.
For the first time, the 2018 conference supported virtual as well as in-person attendance. To facilitate interaction by both types of attendees, mLearn introduced a bot called CONNIE (Connecting of Neuron Networks in Exploration), introducing a gamified approach to collaboration and communication among conference participants before and during the conference. A worldwide research project was launched at the conference; its results will be published in journals, a book and a comprehensive report with suggestions for further research.
“It was an honor for Concordia-Chicago to host this conference,” said Dr. Hambrock. “We received a group of highly esteemed and well-known researchers from 12 countries including Brazil, Canada, Italy, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.”
“The conference delegates were highly impressed by the excellent service and well organized facilities which they experienced at the conference,” reflected Professor Richter. “Concordia-Chicago staff members Pete Becker, Amy Miller and Sodexo food service were incredibly helpful--and made the extra effort to ensure that the flags of each country represented by the delegates were hoisted on the flag posts.”
The conference proceedings have been published by LearnTechLib, which has a readership of 100,000 members.
Shortly after the conclusion of the conference, Dr. Hambrock was elected vice-president of the International Association of Mobile Learning. She will lead the planned global research project for 2019.
The next conference World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning will be held in Delft, Netherlands, in September 2019.