M-learning, which is used to supplement ILT and eLearning programs, is evolving rapidly. This is because of incredible devices like smartphones, iPads, etc. that are flooding the market. These devices have completely changed the way information is conceived, and it is difficult to ignore them.
Now, let’s look at various strategies that need to be formulated while developing mLearning courses:
Instructional design strategy: As an instructional designer, you must be conversant with all phases of the ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation) model. As an instructional designer it is advisable that you:
- Analyze your audience, their training needs and the learning content.
- Identify the parts of the content that can be delivered through mLearning
- Ensure that the duration of each mLearning module is not more than 7 minutes
Visual design strategy: It is well-known that a picture is worth a thousand words. Effective use of visuals goes a long way in enhancing the effectiveness of mLearning courses. So, as a visual designer, you should:
- Use minimal GUI
- Keep the content simple and to the point, bearing in mind the small screen sizes
- Avoid too much of graphics and images
- Use self-explanatory and user-friendly icons
- Avoid photographs of high resolution
- Do not use background images or patterns
- Avoid scrolling within the same page
- Use info-graphics of low resolution
- Use clear fonts and colors
Audio strategy: Audio becomes very vital as it persuades the learners with its user-friendly and conversational tone. Consider the following things while using audio in mLearning courses:
- Use audio if you include discussions, podcasts and interviews
- Don’t use background music
- Limit the file size and sound effects
- Convert the Flash objects into mobile compatible media formats
Multimedia strategy: Appropriate use of multimedia such as videos, animations and games grabs the attention of learners and enhances the efficacy of mLearning courses. So, keep the following points in mind while using multimedia in mLearning courses:
- Keep the videos, animations, and games short and simple
- Include only important information
- Keep user-limitations in mind
- Try to use the minimum number of interactivities on the screen
- Avoid complex animatronics
- Restructure the Flash content
- Videos should be compressed and have smaller dimensions
Assessment Strategy: Assessments are an essential part of any training program. Assessments in mLearning courses can be in the form of games, puzzles, quizzes, etc. Consider the following points while developing assessments for your mLearning courses:
- Questions need to be short
- Feedback should be provided to the learners immediately
- Users should not be allowed to enter more than 5 words in a “writing field”
Technical Strategy: HTML5 and Responsive Design (RD) are the two major technologies that need to be considered while developing a mLearning course. Courses published to HTML5 can be accessed on all mobile devices, irrespective of screen-size and platform, whereas responsive design automatically adjusts the online courses to different screen sizes of various devices.
We can also deliver training through mobile applications. Mobile applications are of two types –native apps and web apps. For more information on native apps and web apps, refer to the blog web apps and native apps for mobile learning.
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