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Pokémon Go – Lessons for the M-learning Designer

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Pokémon Go - Lessons for the M-learning Designer

Pokémon Go — a mobile game that has taken the world by storm. This augmented reality app has caught the imagination of people of all ages and from all walks of life. As an online learning professional, I believe m-learning designers can learn 3 valuable lessons from the creators of this highly successful game.

Lesson 1: Keep the functionality and UI simple

You don’t need anyone to teach you how to play Pokémon Go, do you? Its intuitive interface and familiar map-based functionality have gone a long way in ensuring the success of the game.

M-learning designers too need to emulate this example and ensure the user-interface (UI) and functionality of the course is simple. This is important because learners become frustrated if they find the UI and/or functionality confusing. You need to ensure the focus of the learners is on learning the subject-matter and not figuring out how to use the course.

Lesson 2: Make the best use of augmented reality

Pokémon Go is a fine example of the effective use of augmented reality. The designers of this super hit game have made the best use of the emerging technology to deliver wonderful experiences to players.

In a similar fashion, m-learning designers need to use the technology of augmented reality to create effective learning experiences. Some organizations have already started using augmented reality based mobile apps to impart good training and provide high quality performance support. For instance, the German automaker Volkswagen has developed performance support apps based on augmented reality for its service technicians, which can be seamlessly accessed on tablets.

Lesson 3: Harness the full potential of the GPS

Another useful technology used by the designers of Pokémon Go is the Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS has been used with a high degree of success to help players of the game “track and locate locale-specific ghosts“. For instance, the ghost Magmar is most likely found near the volcano Sakurajima in Japan, while the ice-bird-like Pokémon Articuno can be found in the vicinity of Mount Fuji.

Likewise, the designers of m-learning courses need to make the best use of GPS to facilitate effective location-based information support. Consider the following scenario.

An insurance salesman is interacting with a prospect in The Bronx, trying to convince the latter buy a life insurance policy. The prospect asks the salesman whether any of his neighbors have purchased the policy. The sales rep gets the necessary information, accessing a location-aware performance support tool on his iPad.

M-learning designers need to ensure the GUI and functionality of their courses are simple and learner-friendly. They need to make good use of augmented reality to deliver better training and enhance performance. They need to leverage the power of GPS to impart effective location-based knowledge support. What did you learn from Pokémon Go? We’d love to know.

View E-book on Unleashing the Power of iPads and Other Tablets in E-learning


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