Sera Park | Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design | Mathematics Science and Technology

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design

In the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology

Mobile Learning Application for First-time Parents: Adapting Social Networking Functions to Improve Motivation and Participation in Learning Baby Care Knowledge

Sera Park, M.A. in Communication and Education

Having accurate knowledge for baby care is important as it is directly related to a baby’s health and safety (Bornstein, 2010). However, current learning resources do not meet the needs of every parent, and many parents still rely on unprofessional and inaccurate knowledge or are prone to search for information only after something happens to their baby (Cochran & Niego, 2002; Gellin et al., 2000). Based on this problem, the main project goal is to design a mobile learning application named “READY, B” for first-time parents with the goal of providing reachable and achievable mobile learning solutions to support parents’ acquisition of basic, professional, and practical baby care knowledge. This research aims to answer two main questions: 1) Can a mobile application be an effective learning platform to deliver baby care knowledge? 2) If so, what specific elements of learning will increase parents’ motivation and participation in mastering baby care knowledge? In order to answer these research questions, key learning features of the application are presented within the application design. Also, results from user tests supports the effectiveness of this mobile learning application. With its accessibility and connectivity, mobile applications are proven to be an effective learning platform to provide course-based baby care knowledge to parents on a daily basis. Also, a personal learning map presenting proximal goals in each level and group participation through social media features can increase learners’ motivation and participation.

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