Field activity and the pedagogy of simultaneity to support mobile learning in the open

Michael Gallagher, Pekka Ihanainen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Field activities are presented in this chapter as a mechanism for enacting learning in the ‘open’, either in response to formal disciplinary learning activities or to support those moored in informal learning practices. Field activity represents a disciplinary model found across the (field) sciences and throughout the humanities. Mobile technology has accelerated the process and potential for “coming to know” in the field by allowing the learner to engage multiple layers of meaning, social presence, time, and place simultaneously. This chapter identifies three continuums in which this simultaneous activity is taking place, continuums that emerged from the learning activities conducted in Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Edinburgh, London, and Seoul: the serendipity-intentionality of learner orientation, the informal-formal activity structure and the initiative-seduction-sense of intervals continuum of human presence. All three speak to the variety of learner engagements that occur as a result of mobile learning and field activity. All three, although not exclusive, need to be considered when developing learning activity situated outside the classroom.

This chapter advances the belief that new pedagogical approaches are needed to account and make use of these continuums of activity. These continuums overlap and are simultaneously engaged in by the learner to generate context and understanding in mobile, open spaces. The Pedagogy of Simultaneity is proposed to account for these layers of overlap and simultaneity. In this pedagogical model, learning in open space is enacted through trust, discussion, and collage. Teachers can generate field activities that emphasize this layered environment for learning. This pedagogy addresses the complexity and simultaneity present in mobile learning, particularly mobile learning in the open spaces of the everyday.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch, Boundaries, and Policy in Networked Learning
EditorsThomas Ryberg, Christine Sinclair, Sian Bayne, Maarten de Laat
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-31130-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-31128-9
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2016

Publication series

NameResearch in Networked Learning
PublisherSpringer, Cham


  • mobile learning
  • open learning
  • digital education
  • open boundaries
  • pedagogy


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