Suppose you are foreigner exploring Austria. You come across a magnificent castle but it is closed for public view and no information seems to be available nearby. What can you do? You want to come by the next day and take a look but you need more information about this castle which will let you decide if it is worth taking that effort. How can you get more information?
You hold your smartphone up and take a snap of the castle. The in-built GPS system will figure out your location and match the photo you took to the several images in its database. Soon, the castle is identified and detailed information is delivered to you on your phone – enough information to let you decide if you would like to come by the next day to explore the interiors of the castle.
This is pretty much what “Augmented Reality” is all about. The image of physical, real-world environment is augmented with additional information with the help of sensory inputs such as images, sound or GPS data, making it more useful to the user.
Using Augmented Reality for contextual mLearning sounds too futuristic – a phenomenon that is being experimented in universities and research centers across the world. Wikipedia defines Augmented reality (AR) as a live, copy, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is rather hard for a non-technical person to perceive the implication of this definition in a learning situation.
However, when you come across a report that says
- 864 million high-end cell phones could be AR enabled in 2014,
- 103 million automobiles will have AR technology by 2020, (Ref: Semico)
You can’t ignore Augmented Reality (AR). You need to stop, to understand what it all means. That’s when I came across an article by Jason Haag, who spoke at DevLearn 13 on Augmented Reality in mobile learning. Published at Advanced Distributed Learning website, it lists some cool examples in the form of videos about AR in action. The video from the link given below is one of them; it truly helped me conceive the idea of AR in a learning context.
By the end of the video, I thought of several instances, where such AR apps could be put to use for contextual mobile learning. Here are some of them.
- Help service engineers on the field to troubleshoot a problem in a piece of machinery.
- Give product knowledge to sales personnel or highlight specific product features that help them sell better.
- Aid customers familiarize with a new gadget they have recently purchased and maximize on their investment.
- Assist tourists to navigate around the city on their own or educate them about various tourist spots in the city.
- Support new employees as a part of their induction training – helping them find their way around the new office environment. Treasure hunt apps could be a great idea for the purpose.
These are some preliminary ideas that crossed my mind, thanks to the inspirational video. Can you think of other situations where AR in contextual mobile learning could be a great idea? Do share your thoughts in the comments column below.
Subscribe to Our eLearning Design Blogs
Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. In order to adhere to food safety regulations, one of our clients came up with a requirement for an e-learning course.
E-learning and m-learning are powerful learning methods; both are dynamic and effective ways to teach people. So then, what are the differences between and e-learning and m-learning methods?
E-learning involves a series of modules with in-depth subject-matter while m-learning involves smaller chunks of information which can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Modules are designed differently, depending on the kind of format used to learn. M-learning breaks the barriers of time and place and provides easy access to courses. E-learning also enables learners to access information anytime, anywhere through a laptop, and a stable environment is needed for the learner to take training.
As a college student, I had an opportunity to read Wings of Fire, the autobiography of the former Indian president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The story of the “missile man” who rose to great heights from humble beginnings is truly inspiring.
The sudden demise of this eminent scientist is a great loss to the country and has saddened millions. The life of Dr. Kalam is a testimony to the fact that determination and hard work can overcome the shackles of financial and other constraints.
There were a few letters marked “Never sent. Never signed” that were discovered in Abraham Lincoln’s desk after his death. When he was upset with someone he would write a letter expressing his anger but would refrain from sending it to the intended person. This practice allowed him to vent his anger, yet not allow needless or unpleasant consequences. One of the famous unsent letters was to Gen. George G Meade, who was blamed for letting Robert E Lee escape after Gettysburg. Unfortunately, in today’s age of social media, people have “lost the art of the unsent angry letter” – an expression used in a NY times article by Maria Konnikova.
It is common knowledge that good assessments play a key role in the making of an effective online course. They not only help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of the subject-matter, but also reinforce the learning effectively.
We all know the e-learning industry is full of acronyms. Even the word e-learning itself is the shorthand for electronic learning. As an e-learning professional, it is important to be familiar with various acronyms used in the field of e-learning. Here, I would like to share some acronyms that are commonly used in e-learning.
E-learning is increasingly used by organizations as online courses are effective, affordable and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. But, many organizations are not able to realize these benefits offered by the online training medium due to a serious problem – high dropout rates.
Day-by-day, the demand for rapid e-learning is increasing, and so, everyone is using rapid authoring tools to develop online courses. There are many authoring tools available in the market but a few became very popular. Most of our customers and prospects prefer Articulate Storyline to other rapid authoring tools such as Captivate and Lectora. Developing courses in Storyline is very easy, and the tool offers a lot of flexibility to customize the features or look and feel of the online course.
When it comes to mobile learning, HTML5 with responsive design is required to provide the best learning experience on mobiles, especially on smart-phones with small screens. Courses developed in Storyline and Lectora work fine on mobile devices such as iPads and other tablets, but it is difficult to view them in smart-phones. Captivate has a responsive design feature. So, we must choose it if we need to develop courses for all mobile devices. Captivate is not very intuitive and flexible to develop customized features. We can also build mobile- compatible courses using manual coding but it is time-consuming and expensive.
Recently, I read the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design” and in it, I saw the great news for which I was waiting for a while. I thought I should share it with you all. The developers of Articulate Storyline, Lectora Inspire, Lectora Online and other authoring tools are in the process of adding responsive design feature by the end of 2015.
Here is some information from the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design”.
|Scales to multiple screen sizes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Responsive design features||Coming by end of 2015||Yes||Coming by end of 2015|
2016 will be a watershed year for mobile learning as all courses may be made compatible to all mobile devices. Storyline may become the first choice to develop e-learning or m-learning courses because of its intuitiveness. This may force all learning management systems to be compatible with mobile devices. MOODLE is ahead in this regard, and it has a responsive design feature and works on all the mobile devices.
Hope you find this post useful. Do share your views.
Despite today’s technology and a connected world, classroom training is still an effective method to impart training to all employees. But, instructor-led teaching may not be appropriate for all training needs. Suppose there is a requirement for an organisation to train its employees spread across the globe, on a particular product, in a month’s time, classroom training will not serve the purpose. Here, e-learning serves as a good option to train employees, at comparatively lower costs, within a given schedule. Due to improvements in reliability and speed, converting classroom training materials into online courses has become a justified and cost-effective opportunity.