Don’t attempt to convert e-Learning to m-Learning – they’re different.

Posted on : April 11th, 2012

Recently I participated in a LinkedIn discussion started by one of the Learning and Development Managers in my LinkedIn Group – The eLearning Guild.

The question raised by the member was – “What are the key challenges in developing e-Learning content for mobile devices?” If you want to participate in the discussion, here is the way to go.

Here are my key takeaways based on the comments by several community members, each having vast experience in the e-Learning industry.

    • m-Learning is important because most of us carry at least one mobile and use it extensively. So learning content that is available on mobile devices will have much wider reach than any other kind of learning. If used judiciously, it can play an important role in your learning strategy.
    • The biggest challenge with mobile-based instructions (MBI) is the reading area, which is very small even on a big smartphone. Instructional Designers have to ensure that MBI has only vital and precise information – neither less nor more.
    • m-Learning content needs to be broken up into “bite-sized learning chunks”. Don’t attempt to convert a desktop course to MBI even if, from a technical perspective, all of the components work on a mobile device.
    • At its best, m-Learning can act as a learning re-enforcement mechanism. One large training company used m-Learning as part of its blended learning solution. Learners trained in classrooms were offered a mobile-accessible library of the same training, to refresh the knowledge they were about to apply in their profession.
    • Mobile devices carry both limitations as well as advantages compared with standard desktop/laptop computing. One should use these devices when they provide an advantage – like as a job aid for someone in the field who does not have a laptop available.
    • m-Learning is good for small trainings. For lengthy trainings, it is a terrible platform.
    • Tablets and smartphones capable of rich media presentations have only been in general use for a couple of years. Unfortunately one mature, generally accepted presentation platform – Adobe Flash – does not exist for many of the mobile devices and mobile OS versions. Everybody is betting / depending on HTML5 to deliver some great standardization. But only a few are hopeful that it will happen in a few years time.
  • The prevalence of mobile devices provides great potential to the Learning and Development community. But to realize that potential, we need good authoring tools. Until we have some kind of rapid m-learning environment that allows us easy access to mobile phone/tablet features – such as the gyroscope, GPS, camera, etc. – it’s very unlikely that many will be able to create cost-effective m-Learning that uses these features.
  • There is a need to create an LMS that can better capture the learner activity on mobile devices and give as good reports as available for desktop-based e-Learning modules (btw G-Cube offers mobile version of its WiZDOM LMS).

The LinkedIn discussion is still on, and group members will continue to add value to the global community that strives to take m-Learning to its next level and avenues.

If you are looking to convert your existing e-Learning content to mobile platform or planning to develop fresh m-Learning content, G-Cube can help you achieve the desired results. Please click here to contact our m-Learning team.

Arunima Majumdar

Arunima is the Marketing Head at G-Cube. She loves exploring and blogging about innovations in training & learning for the new-age corporate sector.


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