The Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS), a joint programme between five higher education institutions in the north of England, has partnered with T-Mobile to roll out an innovative new method of "mobile learning and assessment".

ALPS is providing 900 students from the health and social
care faculties at the universities of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan, Bradford, Huddersfield and York St John, with T-Mobile MDA Varios to support their learning
and assessment whilst out on work placements.

Tutors will be able to upload customised assessments to the T-Mobile MDA Vario for students to fill in while they are taking part in work placements.

Using T-Mobile's Web'n'walk service, students can also use the MDA Vario to access learning resources from a central virtual learning repository, and can reflect on their work experience on a blog built into the assessment programme.

Finally, an assessor will use the MDA Vario to log in to a secure area, connected to the university's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) teaching and business systems,
to record and store the student's assessment.

This will be the first major project to use mobile technology to improve higher education assessment techniques and student skills and if it's successful, it may be rolled out to all of the 9000 students that currently study in the health and social care faculties of these universities over the next 3 years.