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Establishing Requirements for a mobile learning system

Helen Sharp, Josie Taylor, Diane Evans and Debra Haley, The Open University


MobiLearn was a European-funded research and development project that explored new ways of using mobile environments to meet the needs of learners working by themselves and with others. It developed a new m-learning architecture to support the creation, brokerage, delivery, and tracking of learning and information content, using ambient intelligence, locationdependence, personalization, multimedia, instant messaging (text, video), and distributed databases. Establishing the requirements for such a project was a complex task, involving many methods and notations.

MobiLearn revolved around three different learning scenarios: one focused on museum visitors, one focused on MBA students, and one focused on first aid workers. Data to establish the requirements was gathered using future technology workshops (see Box 10.6 in Interaction Design), questionnaires, direct observation, and interviews. The requirements were captured using the Volere shell but the project team found that the shell needed to be tailored by adding two fields: title and status.

This case study explains the project’s use of scenarios and the Volere shell to document and evolve a set of requirements. It also discusses some of the issues faced by large distributed project teams.

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