Multi-Device E-Learning: What? Why? How?

Every day, more and more people rely on smartphones and tablets in their work and personal lives. Did you know that, on average, mobile users check their phones about 150 times a day?1 Not only that, but 90 percent of full-time employees in the U.S. use mobile devices for work.2 So it comes as no surprise that today’s learners expect their training content to be as portable as their devices. But does this mean you should abandon computer-based e-learning courses in favor of mobile ones? Not exactly. This article will help you understand the what, why, and how of multi-device e-learning.

What Is Multi-Device E-Learning?

When smartphones and tablets first started gaining popularity, e-learning designers wanted to create e-learning courses specially for these mobile devices. They called this e-learning spin-off “mobile learning” or “m-learning.”

But after awhile, course developers realized that learners don’t need computer-only or mobile-only content. They switch from a smartphone to a tablet to a laptop and back again without blinking an eye. This reality about the way learners consume content is how multi-device learning—or online training that works on any device—was born!

Why Should You Build Multi-Device E-Learning?

Today’s learners don’t just want courses that work on smartphones, tablets, and computers. They expect it. They’re used to finding the information they need when they need it—whether they’re at home, at the office, or on the go.

Creating multi-device e-learning is a great way to improve performance by expanding the reach of your training and empowering your learners to seek out the professional skills they’re lacking at the moment of need—just like they do in their personal lives.

How Do You Create Multi-Device E-Learning?


Lucky for you, modern authoring tools have evolved to the point where making multi-device e-learning is no more challenging than making computer-only e-learning. However, every app handles multi-device e-learning a little differently, so it’s important to do some research before committing.

Apps like Rise and Articulate Storyline, for example, allow you to keep building courses like you always have, taking care of cross-device compatibility for you in the background automagically. With Rise, you can create inherently responsive e-learning courses quickly and easily—no manual tweaking required! And with Storyline, you can author your slide-based course once, publish it, and it’ll automatically look great on any device.

Be aware that some slide-based apps will require you to manually tweak each slide of your course to makes sure it works correctly on smaller devices—which can be a real time-suck. To help you evaluate the different multi-device authoring tools on the market, we created this comparison worksheet with the three main criteria you should consider. You may also want to check out this article for some additional, more general, things to think about when selecting e-learning software: Top 9 Considerations for Choosing the Right E-Learning Authoring Tool.

Additional Resources

After this introduction to multi-device e-learning, you may be feeling thirsty for more detailed information! If that’s the case, here are some other resources to help you take your knowledge to the next level:



This article is part of our E-Learning 101 email course, a series of 10 expertly curated articles that’ll help you get started with e-learning—delivered right to your inbox. You’re only a click away from becoming an e-learning pro! Sign up here to enroll.

Be the first to comment