Converting the existing eLearning content to mobile format does not happen just on a click!
With the advent of different tools that can publish the eLearning courses to HTML 5 format, organizations started seeing mLearning as just an eLearning on smaller screen, which is not true. The design requirements of a desktop eLearning are very different from mobile Learning.
The unique aspects of mLearning, present different advantages and challenges that must be considered, when developing mLearning courses. You need to have a Learning design strategy in place, to design an effective mobile learning experience for your learners.
Here are a few considerations that you need to keep in mind, while designing mLearning courses.
1. mLearning is all about Just-in-time learning
Learners find it tedious to access learning for hours via mobiles or handheld devices, because of their small screen sizes. So you cannot offer them courses of long duration and ask them to search for the information that they need.
You need to choose only the key points (like Top tips, best practices, guidelines) and break down them into small capsules for MLearning, to help learners in their job field.
2. Learning should be concise and self-contained
The byte sized learning should address the context, but should not come with lots of content. For example, if a learner picks up a small module, he should find everything that he wants to know (graphic/ interactivity/video etc.) in that.
And if you really think that you need to have the whole content included, then chunk the content into more pages and split the lot into more number of modules.
3. Design to suit mobile browsers
When designing learning for tablets or smart phones, the learning environment must be designed to suit the differences in the user interface of a touch screen device.
- The user interface design must be simple and consistent, allowing the learners to quickly get used to it.
- The content and interactions (like Hot spots and moveable objects) should be designed for broader fingers.
- All the buttons should be sized appropriately for selection with fingers.
- Some space for text entry must be placed at the top of the screen, so that the learners can input their answers.
4. Keep the interactivities simple
You cannot push highly interactive content or flash animations via mobile devices. Instead those animations can be converted to videos and presented. As mLearning is expected to offer just-in-time learning, you can always to choose to have text with images (formats supported by the smart phone devices), keeping it simple and avoiding too many interactivities.
If you still want to have interactivities, you can have
- Simple interactivities or animations with text level explanations.
- Interactivities like roll overs can be converted to single or double click selections.
- Typical use case scenarios can be presented as videos, with questions at the end.
- Product Demos can also be presented as Videos (without audio to avoid loading issues).
- Quizzes and Assessments in HTML 5 format.
To summarize, you need to keep the interactions to a minimum and make the user experience easy. Above all these considerations, Content chunking is the key!
These are some of my insights. Please do share your thoughts.
This is the fourth post in a series of “Roadmap from eLearning to mLearning – Content, Technology and Costs“. Once you are ready with your mLearning content, you have to choose the right authoring tool for creating your mLearning courses. We will discuss the best tools available in my next post. Stay tuned for the next post on Migration from Flash to HTML5.
Subscribe to Our eLearning Design Blogs
Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:
Training enhances skills and abilities of employees to be aligned to changing business needs. It is well understood that assessments are vital components of e-learning courses. They are a medium to measure training outcomes. Assessments not only strengthen learning but also help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of a course.
It is well-known that assessments are a vital component of an e-learning course. Good assessments play an important role in enhancing the efficacy of the online course by helping evaluate the knowledge gained by the learner and reinforce the learning.
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.