Exploring bluetooth beacon use cases in teaching and learning: Increasing the sustainability of physical learning spaces

Sion Griffiths, Man Sing Wong, Coco Yin Tung Kwok, Roy Kam, Simon Ching Lam, Lin Yang, Tsz Leung Yip, Joon Heo, Benedict Shing Bun Chan, Guanjing Xiong, Keru Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Considering the surge in e-learning growth over the last decade and the proliferation of mobile devices in the Bring Your Own Device generation, this paper reviews selected use cases of Bluetooth beacons in educational situations. We review the contribution of Bluetooth beacons to a mixed pedagogy that uses digital and physical learning spaces, and we discuss the pilot deployment of Bluetooth beacons at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, to enhance physical learning spaces. Our work represents one of the first deployments of Bluetooth beacons in a university teaching and learning capacity and provides a starting point for others attempting to utilise beacon-enabled location-based services to enhance learner experiences. The widespread adoption of beacon technology in educational institutions has not yet occurred, and the most common usage of beacon transmitters and systems in education is for attendance-taking and dissemination of teaching material. Mobile applications are constantly being developed to utilise the location-based services provided by beacons to enhance student learning and effectiveness. This paper also discusses the sustainability benefits of beacon systems, especially in the contexts of smart campus and smart city development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4005
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This project was supported in part by “New Mobile Learning Scenarios Enabler—Development of Location-based Driven Application for Innovative and Technology-assisted Teaching and Learning Using iBeacon Technology” from the eLearning and Blended Learning Development Fund 2014–17, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong; and “Augmenting Physical Learning Spaces with Location-based Services Using iBeacon Technology for Engaging Learning Experiences”, UGC Funding Scheme for Teaching and Learning Related Proposals (2016–19 Triennium), University Grants Committee, Hong Kong.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The authors would like to acknowledge the funding support from the University Grants Committee, Hong Kong; and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University; and the support of experiments by numerous student helpers.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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