Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Mobile Learning and The Affective Context Model

by Işıl Boy, Işıl Boy’s Blog : Mobile Learning & The Affective Context Model (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND)

Mockus et al. (2011: 5) defines mLearning as “knowledge on the move”, and it is claimed that mobile learning, in addition to motivating learners, helps them to learn anywhere anytime since learning is now available to the learners’ in their own environments and is not restricted to (physical) classroom settings.

So, what is the relation between mobile learning and the ‘Affective Context Model’?

If people can learn things when they need to, then it is likely to be more effective. In this context, Jones (2010) discusses the ‘Affective Context Model, and describes learning as a process by which people attach importance to information. He states that people learn the things that matter to them. According to the ‘Affective Context Model’, there is a crucial difference between ‘pull type’ of learning (informal learning) and ‘push type’ of learning (formal learning). The ‘Affective Context Model’ is sustained by the learner in the pull type of learning whereas learners are indifferent to the information in the push type of learning.

mobile learning

Rosenberg (2010) also underlines the importance of informal learning and considers it as a cause factor for mLearning. With the help of mLearning, we are learning anytime/anywhere, which becomes a form of informal learning process, so pull type of learning is easily achieved. Nowadays, even when we are not searching for information, it is supplied to us via mobile phones. For instance, we can learn a lot of useful information if we use Twitter and follow educators who share great resources or websites.

Mobile learning provides intrinsic motivation, which comes from within an individual, since it makes learning more fun and meaningful. As we do not usually buy our mobile phones or tablet devices for our studies, we may nevertheless, consider them as fun tools to use. According to the study carried by Mockus et al. (2011), mLearning motivated students to learn, and most of the students stated that they found it beneficial, fun, and meaningful.

Siemens (2004) claims that informal learning has gained momentum; that people learn through personal learning networks, or when they are busy with some other tasks. He further states that learning and work-related tasks are interwoven, not separate; and the tools we use change the way we think since technology has a power over us to change the way we learn and process information. He also notes that knowing where to find the information is now more important than the knowledge itself.

Please watch the video below if you want to learn more about the ‘Affective Context Model’.


Jones, N (2010). Towards a Working Theory of Learning: The Affective Context Model. Available at:

Mockus, L., Dawson, H., Edel-Malizia, S., Shaffer, D., An, J., & Swaggerty, A. (2011). The Impact of Mobile Access on Motivation: Distance. Education Student Perceptions. Retrieved April 29, 2012 from:

Rosenberg, M. J. (2010). Marc my words: Thinking about mobile learning in the age of iPad.Learning Solutions Magazine. Retrieved April 28, 2012 from

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, Retrieved May 14, 2012 from


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2 Responses »


  1. Mobile Learning and The Affective Context Model | Marketing and communication in higher education |
  2. (Infographic) Mobile Learning is the Future of Workplace Learning | Classroom Aid

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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