By Jocelyn Wishart, University of Bristol, UK



Ethical issues in researching mobile learning are a concern as:
• handheld, personal devices such as mobile phones provide multiple opportunities for access to personal information including images;
• their portability creates issues with boundaries such as those between home and school or college;
• they link both real and virtual contexts including social media and
• the full range of their capabilities are often poorly understood.

In addition, the classic approach of adhering to a fixed professional code of conduct or having your proposed methods first evaluated by an ethics committee does not deal well with the rapidly changing contexts so often found in mobile learning research. Previous work (Andrews, Dyson & Wishart, 2015) concludes that collaborative scenario generation framed by an agreed ethics structure is an effective way forward for supporting researchers planning data collections in mobile learning contexts. This proposed tutorial will introduce researchers to current ethical questions relevant to researching mobile learning and educational uses of social media using specific case studies. The participants will then work collaboratively to learn how to generate an appropriate contemporary ethics framework to be used to support the development of potential scenarios. The intended outcome is a deeper understanding of the ethical concerns that should first be considered when a researcher, who may well also be a class teacher, designs or investigates any learning opportunity that involves mobile devices and online tools including social media.

Keywords: Ethics, mobile devices, learning

Andrews , T, Dyson, L.E. and Wishart, J. (2015) Advancing ethics frameworks and scenario-based learning to support educational research into mobile learning, International Journal of Research & Method in Education, Vol. 38, Iss. 3, pp. 320-334.