Analysing mobile learning designs: A framework for transforming learning post-COVID


  • Thomas Donald Cochrane CSHE, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Vickel Narayan Massey University
  • Stephen Aiello Auckland University of Technology
  • Mehrasa Alizadeh International Professional University of Technology
  • James Birt Bond University
  • Elisa Bone University of Melbourne
  • Neil Cowie Okayama University
  • Michael Cowling CQUniversity
  • Chris Deneen University of South Australia
  • Paul Goldacre The American University in Cairo
  • David Sinfield Auckland University of Technology
  • Todd Stretton Auckland University of Technology
  • Tom Worthington Australian National University



mobile learning, activity theory, learner agency, post-COVID learning design, heutagogy


Mobile learning is well established in literature and practice, but under-evolved from a rigorous learning design perspective. Activity theory presents a sophisticated way of mapping and understanding learning design, but for mobile learning this does not always translate into change in practice. The reported research addresses this by coupling a mobile learning specific approach to activity theory with a practice-based framework: the design for transformative mobile learning framework mapped to the pedagogy-andragogy-heutagogy continuum matrix (the DTML-PAH Matrix). Seven case studies are analysed using this approach and presented narratively along with framework informed analysis. Findings include that the DTML-PAH Matrix can be used to provide clearer implications and guidance for mobile learning practice, and that the DTML-PAH Matrix can also be guided by the practice over time. Implications for further research and practice are discussed.

Implications for practice or policy:

  • Provide technological and pedagogical scaffolds to students.
  • Learning designs should focus upon enabling elements of learner agency and creativity.
  • To develop learning solutions to real world problems utilise a design-based research approach.
  • Create authentic collaborative learning activities and tasks.
  • Integrate mobile learning affordances in the design of the course and curriculum.


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Author Biography

Thomas Donald Cochrane, CSHE, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr Thomas Cochrane:Associate Professor, Technology Enhanced Learning in Higher Education, in the Centre for the Study of Higher education (CSHE), University of Melbourne. Thomas has expertise in Qualitative research in technology-enhanced learning, with a focus upon action research, and design based research methodologies.

His specialisations include mobile learning, designing mixed reality learning environments, heutagogy (self-regulated learning), communities of practice, and the scholarship of technology enhanced learning. His research portfolio includes over 50 peer reviewed journal articles, 32 book chapters, and over 150 conference proceedings. BE, BD, GDHE, MTS, MComp, PHD (Monash), SCMALT.

Twitter: @thomcochrane




How to Cite

Cochrane, T. D., Narayan, V., Aiello, S., Alizadeh, M., Birt, J., Bone, E., Cowie, N., Cowling, M., Deneen, C., Goldacre, P., Sinfield, D., Stretton, T., & Worthington, T. (2022). Analysing mobile learning designs: A framework for transforming learning post-COVID. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 38(4), 1–21.