Evolution of Mobile Education: Learning from the Failure of a 1-to-1 iPad Program

Concurrent Session 7

Brief Abstract

Dartmouth College adopted a 1-to-1 ipad program for a hybrid graduate degree program to serve as a common platform and an ecosystem for innovation. After 6 years of trying to integrate the ipad into this learning environment, the 1-tio-1 program was abandoned. Come discuss key lessons from this failure.


Ano helped to launch the Master of Health Care Delivery Science (MHCDS) program at Dartmouth College. This program was the world's first degree program in this new field of inquiry, and Dartmouth College's first foray into low-residency, online education. Part of the MHCDS's leadership team, Ano is responsible for all educational operations, managing a team of learning designers, educational technologists and teaching assistants who support faculty and students in all aspects of course development and delivery. Ano has a Masters of Public Health from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and lives in Central Vermont.

Extended Abstract

The Master of Health Care Delivery Science (MHCDS) program at Dartmouth College is an executive online degree program that delivers “concierge,” relationship-based, experiential learning for leaders in health care. The program adopted a 1-to-1 iPad program in 2012 that was central to the program’s mobile strategy, aimed at providing a common platform in an otherwise BYOD program, mobile-first content delivery, and an ecosystem for innovative interactive curriculum. Over the next 6 years the program worked to integrate the mobile device into its unique learning environment, earning recognition as an Apple Distinguished program from 2015 to 2017. In 2018 the iPad program was abandoned, after failing to achieve basic program objectives, and balancing the support needs with educational benefits. A new, student-centered mobile strategy has replaced what had previously been a delivery and platform-centered strategy. This highly interactive session will explore what the MHCDS program learned in its efforts to run an online iPad program, and seek input from participants to help diagnose what went wrong, and what a more effective mobile strategy entails.