This paper describes the development of two mobile applications to disseminate course and module information to university students by sending notifications and electronic updates to their mobile devices. The two mobile applications are based on RSS and Twitter and provide notifications to users which are similar in format and transmission mode to these Web 2.0 entities. The aim of this study is to understand the potential benefits of using the mobile applications as assistive technologies to the existing virtual learning environment. The study uses the ARCS model of motivational design and instruction theory (attention, relevance, confidence, satisfaction) as a tool to enhance students’ experience and their subject engagement. User feedback revealed that although users were given flexibility with regards to temporal updates, they preferred temporal updates at specific times and not in real time. A lack of wireless access in some areas commonly used by students proved a further limitation.