Design Considerations for eLearning on Mobile Devices

Design Considerations for eLearning on Mobile Devices

Design Considerations for eLearning on Mobile Devices

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.

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