mLearning or mobile learning is digital training that is taken primarily on a mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablet. Traditional eLearning involves creating digital training that is taken on a laptop or PC and typically involves the learner is taking the training on a large screen most likely at home or at the office. mLearning however is taken on devices with much smaller screens and could be anywhere, when designing mLearning it is important to take into consideration the difference with eLearning.
Below are some things to consider when developing mLearning.
1. Length of time
When creating traditional eLearning it can vary in length, some eLearning courses are very short e.g 10-20 minutes whereas others could be an hour or longer, when making traditional eLearning this can work as learners are most likely at the office or at home and have set aside time to sit down and take the eLearning course. With mLearning however you have to factor in that training can be taken anywhere, as mLearning is taken primarily on mobile devices chances are learners will be on the go while taking it, this might be on a train, at a bus stop or while waiting for something, this isn’t to say learners will only be taking mLearning while on the go but it opens the possibility that they could be. As a result this means learners have smaller blocks of time they can dedicate to training at any one time, therefore when designing content for mLearning think about ways to break up content so that it is easier for learners to digest on the go and with smaller chunks of time.
2. Not utilising mobile
Another mistake to avoid when creating mLearning is to not utilise the way people use mobile devices. On a mobile device its very intuitive to share things, for most applications there is typically a button/icon you can click on that will allow you to share content in any way that suits you. When developing mLearnng thing how you can integrate social learning into your courses, is there a way for learners to easily share pieces of content, ask questions or interact with peers who are taking the same course. Social learning can be an effective way to help learners retain and solidify things they have learnt, using the functionality of mobile devices can be an effective way to implement this.
3. Not designing for mobile
When designing mLearning it can be vey different when compared to eLearning, with mLearning the screen space you have is much smaller and you have much less room to work with, with eLearning however you have the luxury of large screens which means you can spread out text, images and buttons easier without issue. During the design stage think about how much content you want to display on screen, don’t overload a page with too much content as you may have users scrolling for a long time, when designing navigation ensure that the buttons are big and intuitive enough that a learner can easily interact with it on a small screen such as a smartphone.
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