A comprehensive framework for designing and evaluating vocabulary learning apps from multiple perspectives

Yuge TU, Di ZOU*, Ruofei ZHANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The integration of emerging mobile technology into the education domain has become increasingly ubiquitous. This research reviewed the advantages and challenges of mobile learning, discussed the key factors that promote effective vocabulary learning and conducted a survey to investigate and identify the ten most popular word learning apps. Based on the results, we analysed the key features of the popular apps and summarised the elements that play crucial roles in leading to successful learning. Based on such analyses, we also developed a comprehensive framework for designing and evaluating vocabulary learning apps, covering dimensions, such as content quality, multimodal presentation, engagement, personalisation, repetition and usability. A popular app, Vocabulary.com, was also assessed utilising the proposed framework. Users, evaluators, designers and developers of word-learning apps are expected to benefit from this research by being provided with a comprehensive understanding of app-facilitated vocabulary learning and essential features of effective word learning apps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-397
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation
Issue number3
Early online date4 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research received grants from the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (EDB(LE)/P&R/EL/175/2), the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Funding Support to ECS Proposal Rated 3.5 (RG16/2018-2019R), and the Internal Research Grant (RG93/2018-2019R), The Education University of Hong Kong.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.


  • Engagement
  • Mobile learning
  • Multimedia learning
  • Personalisation
  • Repetition
  • Second language vocabulary acquisition
  • Technology-enhanced language learning
  • Usability
  • Vocabulary learning
  • Word learning apps


Dive into the research topics of 'A comprehensive framework for designing and evaluating vocabulary learning apps from multiple perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this