Mindtool-assisted in-field learning (MAIL): An advanced ubiquitous learning project in Taiwan

Gwo Jen Hwang, Pi Hsia Hung, Nian Shing Chen, Gi Zen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Scholars have identified that learning in an authentic environment with quality contextual and procedural supports can engage students in thorough observations and knowledge construction. Moreover, the target is that students are able to experience and make sense of all of the learning activities in the real-world environment with meaningful supports, such that their learning motivation can be promoted, knowledge can be sensibly constructed, and skills can be fully developed. To develop potential tutoring strategies and learning activity models using mobile, wireless, and sensing information and communication technologies (ICT) in a real-world learning environment, a four-year national e-learning research project entitled "Mindtool-Assisted In-field Learning (MAIL)" has been funded by the National Science Council of Taiwan since 2008 in an effort to lead the development and innovation of Learning Technology. The integrated project aimed to develop Mindtool-assisted knowledge construction models, assessment models, guidance models, and reflection strategies for cutting-edge context-aware ubiquitous learning. Moreover, a series of learning activities has been conducted to examine the effectiveness of the proposed learning strategies and models. Each year, more than 1,500 students have participated in the in-field learning activities with the designed approaches. Based on the results of a series of experiments, it was found that the students' learning performance as well as their in-field inquiry ability was significantly improved, showing the effectiveness of the Mindtool-assisted ubiquitous learning approach and the success of the MAIL project. In this paper, the background, objectives, theoretical foundations, systems, research issues, applications, and findings of the MAIL project are presented. Finally, the scaling-up plan for applying these research-proven learning models to all levels of educational settings in Taiwan is also addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-16
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Technology and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Engineering(all)


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