Trends of mobile learning: A review of the top 100 highly cited papers
Highly cited papers can be representative of the latest changes in specific research issues, as they reflect the important issues or research trends that researchers have paid attention to recently. Through reading highly cited papers, researchers can identify some important issues for consideration in their own research, which can then catch other researchers? eyes easily and efficiently. In order to explore the feature of the latest changes in mobile learning, in this study, a review of the top 100 highly cited mobile learning papers was conducted. According to the review, four advantages were identified from the highly cited mobile learning studies: proposing new learning strategies, applying mobile learning to seldom-considered subjects, applying mobile learning to seldom-investigated domains and investigating seldom-discussed issues. It was found that the studies focused more on comparing different mobile learning modes for finding more effective mobile learning approaches rather than comparing the impacts of mobile learning with traditional instruction. Moreover, the studies focused more on learners? higher order thinking performance and learning behaviors. Some suggestions, differing from those presented by previous mobile learning reviews, are provided as reference for researchers to conduct related research. Practitioner Notes What is already known about this topic Mobile learning has been regarded as a tool for improving learners? learning and bridging students? learning in class and in the field. Research trends can be highlighted and provide a more accurate view of the publication patterns. Highly cited papers can be used to identify the advance of the research foci. What this paper adds Most highly cited studies mainly focused on comparing the different mobile learning modes to find more effective approaches for conducting mobile learning activities. The mobile learning places have changed from classrooms to real-world contexts; in addition, the number of across-context studies is increasing. The highly cited papers started to focus more on learners? higher-order thinking performance and learning behaviors. Implications for practice and/or policy Researchers can consider proposing new learning strategies, applying mobile learning to seldom-considered subjects, applying mobile learning to seldom-investigated domains, and investigating seldom-discussed issues. Adopting mixed methods is becoming the mainstream of mobile learning studies. Several seldom-discussed issues, such as higher order thinking, collaboration/communication skills, and learning behaviors are potential mobile learning research topics.