Leveraging Mobile Devices to Support Authentic Learning

Seminar Date: July 22, 2015


Ownership of mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets continues to rise amongst college students. Incorporating these devices in coursework can facilitate authentic learning, with students connecting what is taught in the course to real-world issues and applications. This can be especially powerful in online learning environments, allowing students to capture experiences in the field and share with others in the class. Although instructors may express an interest in incorporating a mobile element, they are often unsure how to design course activities that are not only engaging, but also effectively support authentic learning. In this session, issues of mobile design, assessment, and support will be discussed. Specifically, an instructor’s experience of integrating mobile devices to support authentic learning in a mixed-mode (blended) course will be showcased.


Rick Brunson, M.A.

Associate Instructor of Journalism
Department of Journalism
Nicholson School of Communication
University of Central Florida

Rick Brunson is an Associate Instructor of Journalism in the Nicholson School of Communication. He developed and teaches the Nicholson School’s Mobile Journalism course, which trains aspiring journalists how to use mobile devices to produce breaking news content in the field. A professional journalist with more than 30 years of experience as a reporter and editor, Brunson won a national teaching innovation award in 2011 from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication for mobile news best practices and now teaches them across the country at seminars sponsored by the AEJMC, Broadcast Education Association, the Associated Press Sports Editors, the Florida Scholastic Press Association, and many others.

Ryan Seilhamer, M.A.

Instructional Designer
Center for Distributed Learning
University of Central Florida

Ryan Seilhamer is an Instructional Designer in the Center for Distributed Learning, assisting instructors with the design, development, and delivery of online and mixed-mode courses. He has been the lead of the CDL Mobile Initiative for five years. Seilhamer’s research focuses on mobile learning best practices, design, and integration with online courses. Results have been published in journals such as the Journal of Educational Computing Research, Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, and Educause Review.

Session Recordings and Supporting Materials


Streamed Podcast Session:

Presentation Materials

  • Presentation PPT - [6.4 MB; PDF]
  • Sample Rubric - [57 KB; PDF] - Used by Rick Brunson to assess mobile projects.
  • Mobile Essentials: Online professional development course open to UCF instructors, which provides an overview of mobile learning, discusses mobile devices and apps, addresses common barriers to integration, and provides practical guides and examples that help individuals learn to integrate mobile technologies in their courses.
  • CDL Mobile Blog: All presentations and publications by the Mobile Team, as well as opinion pieces, Canvas Mobile updates, and faculty spotlights.
  • Mobile App checklist: Runs through features, accessibility, cost, support and other factors when selecting an app.
  • Mobile Online Tools & Taxonomy Resource (M-OTTR): Guides instructors to search for apps that align with their learning objectives.
  • Mobile Course Check: UCF instructional designers review courses and give UCF instructors a report that outlines the needed student support documentation and summarizes the course's ease of usability and access on a mobile device.

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