Educators have indicated the need to foster students' ability to solve problems by acquiring up-to-date knowledge as well as promoting their competences for making decisions from diverse perspectives based on the acquired knowledge. Traditional courses mainly use lecture-based instruction without providing sufficient opportunities for students to practice and interact with the teacher; therefore, it is difficult to deliver such up-to-date knowledge via traditional instruction, not to mention fostering students' critical thinking. In this study, the Mobile technology?supported Decision, Reflection and Exercise (MDRE) model is proposed to address this problem. Moreover, a learning system is developed based on the proposed approach. To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, a quasi-experiment was conducted in a university with a two-group pretest posttest design to assess participants' learning achievement, critical thinking and learning satisfaction. The participants were two classes of undergraduate students. One class with 37 students was the experimental group learning with the MDRE learning approach, whereas the other class with 37 students was the control group learning with the conventional technology-based learning approach. Analysis of covariance was performed to evaluate the effect of the intervention on the target outcomes. It was found that the experimental group showed better learning achievement, critical thinking and learning satisfaction than the control group. This implies that the MDRE approach has good potential in helping learners think from diverse perspectives and promoting their learning performance and engagement, which is important in higher education aimed at fostering students' competence of acquiring up-to-date knowledge for solving problems. Practitioner notes What is already known about this topic Fostering students' problem-solving competence is an important educational objective. The advancement of mobile and wireless communication technologies provides opportunities for students to acquire up-to-date information for solving problems. In the conventional technology-enhanced professional learning mode, instructors generally use computers to present learning content and exemplary cases. In such a learning mode, learners have few opportunities to think in depth. What this paper adds A Mobile technology?supported Decision, Reflection and Exercise (MDRE) approach is proposed to guide students to make decisions and think from diverse perspectives via acquiring up-to-date information using a mobile application. An experiment was conducted to show the effectiveness of the proposed approach. The experimental results showed that the MDRE approach is able to boost students' creative thinking tendency and learning satisfaction as well as promoting their learning achievement. Implications for practice and/or policy The MDRE approach has great potential for professional training aiming to foster students' learning achievement, critical thinking and learning satisfaction. It is suggested that researchers and school teachers can apply the MDRE approach to other professional courses, such as nursing training programs and business planning courses.