Responsive e-learning is a design that provides optimal views to learners across multiple devices and screen sizes. It is inspired from a responsive web design, where the website is designed in such a way that navigation, minimum panning, resizing and scrolling on PC’s, mobiles, smartphones become easy and thus covers a wide variety of devices. Responsive design has the potential to make a vast difference in the world of corporate learning. Employees in most multinational organizations use multiple devices and undergo training at times where they could comfortably focus on learning.
Content automatically aligns itself according to the size of the device screen. This approach also negates the developers’ challenge with regards to developing a course for individual devices. The responsive design becomes relevant and a single course may simultaneously cater to multiple screen sizes.
Advantages of responsive e-learning design:
- Users may learn content from different browsers and devices. It enhances the learning experience of the user.
- Corporate training is made highly cost effective, as it facilitates a single online course to various devices.
- Learning goes wherever the learner goes. This design helps eliminate the challenges associated with developing different versions, as a single version automatically suits all screen sizes.
- It is easy to manage, as there is one source file that may be updated as and when changes take place.
- Since courses may be accessed on any device, organizations have the option to encourage their employees to participate in the bring your own device (BYOD) policy. This means that they may bring the device of their choice to access the learning content. This substantially reduces costs for the organization.
- Learners may also access the courses offline. This is because of the offline browsing capabilities of HTML5. Initially, the content may have to be downloaded and then can be viewed offline.
- Responsive design enables sequential screening. This means that the learner may start taking the course on one device and may want to resume it using another device where he or she stopped and continue with training. This makes the online course highly flexible and user friendly.
- It enhances the learning experience of the learner.
Designing and developing responsive e-learning courses.
1. A simple layout may be designed with the help of HTML5. The guidelines should be followed as prescribed.
2. You may use flexible grids that use columns organizing the learning content, a relative width may be used in order to adapt to the viewport size.
3. You may proceed bearing the screen sizes in mind. The screen sizes may be categorized into the following groups:
- Less than 320 pixels (for low-resolution devices)
- Less than 480 pixels (for first generation smart phones)
- Less than 768 pixels (for high-end smartphones and portraits iPads)
- Greater than 768 pixels and Less than 1024 pixels (for landscape iPads and devices)
- Greater than 1024 pixels (for desktop computers)
4. Media query is a CSS3 module that places content on the desired screen size effectively. Media query, as a tool, changes the presentation style.
5. The length of the page should be essentially considered before you cut down on images. The strategy you follow to present images should be based on the following aspects:
- Organizing interactivities in the course and checking on how they fit in.
- Presenting the core content on smartphones. Most of them choose to upload the key content first.
Considering the learners’ preferences for mobile learning, it is very essential to be mindful of the technicalities when designing and developing online courses for responsive and effective online learning.