Stop and think: Exploring mobile notifications to foster reflective practice on meta-learning

Bernardo Tabuenca*, Marco Kalz, Stefaan Ternier, Marcus Specht

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Nowadays, smartphone users are constantly receiving notifications from applications that provide feedback, as reminders, recommendations or announcements. Nevertheless, there is little research on the effects of mobile notifications to foster meta-learning. This paper explores the effectiveness of mobile notifications to foster reflection on meta-learning by presenting the results of two studies: 1) a formative study with 37 secondary school students offering a daily reflection and reporting exercise about their learning experience during the day; 2) an experiment involving 60 adults to read an eBook on energy-efficient driving for one hour. During that time the participants received mobile notifications inviting them to reflect in-action. On the one hand, the results from the first study show that students do not have a habit to see themselves as learners and to develop a "professional" awareness about their daily activity at work/school. On the other hand, the second study explores the effects of different notification types on knowledge gain and motivation. Results envision a higher knowledge gain and motivation for the group assigned with the least complex interactions with mobile devices during the reflection exercise. Finally, these results are discussed and important research questions for future research on mobile notifications are raised.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)124-135
    Number of pages12
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies. Special Issue on Seamless, Ubiquitous, and Contextual Learning
    Issue number1
    Early online date18 Dec 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • lifelong learning
    • meta-learning
    • mobile learning
    • notifications
    • reflection
    • seamless learning


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