Mobile learning has been built upon the premise that we can transform traditional classroom or computer-based learning activities into a more ubiquitous and connected form of learning. Tentative outcomes from this assertion have been witnessed in many collaborative learning activities, but few analytic observations on what triggers this collaboration have so far been made. However Social Flow, a concept framework that extends Csikszentmihalyi's flow theory, may help us to partially explain the triggering mechanism of collaborative mobile learning. Our case study in this article, where learners together explore a built environment as part of a simulated security guard training programme, describes how the concept of social flow in a collaborative learning space might sketch out what triggers an optimal learning experience in collaboration and what can be additionally achieved in a collaborative learning experience. In this learning context, collaborative mobile learning might be seen to prompt more knowledge generation and extra learning tasks by fostering greater motivation than other learning environments. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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