Using mobile technology for workplace learning

Fostering students' agency


  • Franziska Trede
  • Susie Macfarlane
  • Lina Markauskaite
  • Peter Goodyear
  • Celina McEwen
  • Freny Tayebjee



Workplace learning, Mobile technology, Student agency, university education


Students' agency is an importnat enabler of productive learning in complex, unpredictable workplace environments. In the study presented here, we explored how mobile technology can help students enhance their workplace learning experiences and develop their capacity to act as learners and future practitioners. We collected survey and interview data from 312 participants, which informed the development of Mobile Technology Capacity Building Framework that comprises thematic resources for students, academics and workplace educators. Its development draws on two sets of theoretical ideas: the importance of agentic learning that enables students to develop their practice capabilities; and the use of activity-centred learning design to distinguish between what can be designed ahead of time and what should be left to students' agency. This study and Framework contribute to understanding how the productive use of technologies can foster students' agency and development of deliberate professionals with a high sense of adaptive expertise.






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