By the end of last year, I came across several reports stating how mobile devices are going to take the world by storm and how organizations are looking to implementing mLearning in their organizations in the following year and so on. Here are some statistics that were widely circulated.
- There were nearly 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2011 (ITU, 2011)
- 375 million tablets are likely to be purchased globally by 2016. (Forrester, 2012)
- The US market for Mobile Learning products and services was $958.7 million in 2010 and with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 13.7%, revenues are expected to reach $1.82 billion by 2015. (Ambient, 2010)
- Sale of tablet computers are expected to outsell PCs as early as 2016 (NPD, 2012)
- 51% of companies planned to do more mLearning in 2011 (eLearning Guild, 2011)
Despite the initial euphoria, mLearning has not been widely adopted in organizations. A blog published in Eduriser points out that many businesses who have adopted mobile learning have not performed up to potential. The blog reasons out that it could be due to economic, technological factors, content-related factors or poor user response to the initiative. Yet others have adopted it as a one-off initiative on an experimental basis.
Assuming all these issues are overcome in the years to come, it is unlikely that mLearning will shut down eLearning in organizations. Here are my reasons:
- M-learning does not suit all audiences and may not cater to varied learning preferences and learning styles of individual learners. Some employees might not be comfortable operating on a device which has a limited screen size. They may still like to use their keyboard and mouse to navigate around the course.
- Just-in-time learning or creation of tools for performance support works best for mobile devices. A full-fledged knowledge transfer may not be possible as learning modules cannot be beyond 5-7 mins duration. Content has to be crisp and to the point which will work great to reinforce learning rather than a stand-alone learning material.
- There are many design restrictions (browser & software compatibility issues) due to which it is difficult to implement learning design strategies for maximum impact. Organizations still will have to depend on eLearning courseware for such knowledge transfer.
Many skeptics have pronounced the death of radio after television became a common phenomenon. However, reality proved otherwise. Radio and television coexist serving different purposes and different audiences at different locations! Same is true with mLearning; it is an additional means of knowledge transfer. E-learning and mLearning can complement each other but cannot replace each other.
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Gamification is the use of the game theory and game-based mechanics in a non-gaming contexts such as education, work, and so on to facilitate better engagement. The main idea of using gamification in eLearning is to create a fun-filled learning environment that helps learners acquire knowledge and skills better.
Title: Best Practices of Visualization for an E-learning course
“Something is happening. We are becoming a visually mediated society. For many, understanding of the world is being accomplished, not through words, but by reading images.” – Paul Martin Lester, “Syntactic Theory of Visual Communication”.
In my previous blog, Checklist for content standardization in eLearning- Part 1, I have discussed the grammatical rules that every instructional designer (ID) should follow while developing a storyboard. In this blog, I would like to share some guidelines on sentence structuring, style and important elements of an online course.
Gen-Y people or millennials are those who are born between 1976 and 1998. They have grown up with technology, and their attention span is 2 minutes or less. They prefer learning through digital media to books.
One of the adult learning principles states that adult learners don’t like to be directed, but wish to explore and acquire knowledge themselves. In an eLearning course, the main purpose of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) is to enable learners to navigate seamlessly and tell them ‘where they are’ in the course, how many slides they have completed, how many more do they need to complete and so on. The GUI of a typical online training course contains buttons such as Play, Pause, Replay, Previous, and Next. It also has the progress bar and a menu which contains options to turn the audio on/off, seek help online, access the glossary and resources and exit the eLearning course. Depending upon our requirements, we can skip or add some of the elements described above.
People expect to be bored by eLearning – let’s show them it doesn’t have to be like that!”
– Cammy Bean
The ultimate challenge that every eLearning course designer faces is engaging the adult learner in the online learning environment. To overcome this challenge, they need to have a clear idea of the strategy they are going to use.
Effective audio narration goes a long way in enhancing the efficacy of an eLearning course by reducing the cognitive load. The modality principle states that the learner can learn better from animations and narration than just animations and on-screen text.
Designing the prototype of an eLearning course and getting it approved before developing the course plays a key role in the smooth execution of the online course development project. Having a prototype allows the client and the developer to be on the same page, and this helps reduce rework in the later stages of the project.
Numerous classroom training sessions over the years would have resulted in you accumulating a vast knowledge bank on various topics in your organization. The material could be in the form of PowerPoint presentations, MS-Word documents, or PDF files – all reviewed, finalized and signed off by your Subject-matter Experts (SMEs).
Welcome to today’s blog post. Aviation industry is one of the first industries to adapt eLearning and define clear standards for the development of CBTs (AICC). Having worked on several projects for the industry, I have understood the significance of these standards. Developing an eLearning program for the aviation industry is different from any other industry and requires great attention to details. Today, we will look at the three parameters that will help ensure the safe landing of your aviation CBTs.