The FRAME Model for developing mobile learning products

The FRAME Model for developing mobile learning products

The Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME) is a useful analytical lens to develop engaging, pedagogically-sound learning via mobile phones. It provides an understanding of the context of the learners as well as being a tool to test existing assumptions. These assumptions could include the types of devices learners have (feature phone, smartphone or both), the access they have to these devices and the level of connectivity and appetite for data usage they may have. The social aspect of the learners use of mobile devices is also a primarily concern, particularly in relation to their potential learning.

Marguerite L. Koole developed the FRAME model (2009) as a methodology to examine the benefits and challenges involved in designing and delivering mobile learning. The model examines the technical affordances of the mobile phone in relation to the social and personal characteristics involved in teaching and learning. Mobile learning exists within an information context. Learners consume this information through the mediated experience of technology (the mobile phone) and this interaction is what makes the information meaningful. Koole proposes three main areas of investigation, the device (D), learner (L), and social (S) aspects as well as their intersections with each other. The intersection between between these three share attributes from both aspects with the affordances of mobile technology indicated by the interaction between learner/social and device and the intersection between learner and social describing the instructional or learning three. Where all three intersect, as illustrated in the Venn diagram below, is where an ideal mobile learning experience occurs.

The model can be used by practitioners to design effective mobile learning experiences or by researchers wishing to analyse the effectiveness of a mobile learning intervention. Koole and Ally write that effective mobile learning is “defined by the integration of the device usability, learner and social aspects” (ND). Mobile learning “provides enhanced collaboration among learners, access to information, and a deeper contextualization of learning” (ND).


Koole, M and Ally, M. ND. Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME) Model: Revising the ABCs of Educational Practices. EDN4502w: Research and Evaluation of Emerging Technologies in Education 2014 Course Reader. Cape Town: University of Cape Town.

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