Building E-Learning for Mobile: Lessons Learned?

Mobile learning (or m-learning) is obviously here to stay. Tablets, smart phones, phablets (yes! That's a word!) are more and more commonplace, so it only makes sense.

I'd love to hear from community members who have built e-learning content for mobile devices: What's the top thing  you've learned, and what piece of advice would you pass on to someone who is new to mobile learning and designing their first course. 

Thanks in advance!

9 Replies
Ashlee Smith

~ Hello Community! ~

My top piece of advice would be to design for the specific Device in question ~if~ you can. I had to create some courses to be accessed by iPhones 4 and So I Created a Layout that was best-suited for that specific resolution size.

Also Big buttons that are to press But not to close together. Also use ~ very small ~ Chunks of text.

Jerson  Campos

I've been doing some research on good mobile design because our company is looking to start developing for mobile devices later this year. I have found these great bits of resources. Although they are not specific to eLearning, you can adapt many of these ideas to your development.

http://www.google.com/think/multiscreen/whitepaper-sitedesign.html

http://www.google.com/design/spec/material-design/introduction.html

 

Tom Kuhlmann

Context is import. Why/how someone uses a smart phone is usually different than what they do with tablet/PC when it comes to training related content. From my conversations with some developers, smart phone courses tend to be more about just in time access and point of learning needs. They don't tend to build compliance training for the smart phone.

The course is a solution to meet a need. I recommend stepping away from the solution, understand the need, and then build the appropriate solution to be successful. A lot of organizations do mobile like they do accessible. They want to create a one size fits all solution. Which usually means you get a solution that tends to be subpar for everyone.

Nicole Legault

Very practical advice, Tom! Thank you!

It reminded me of an article I wrote a few weeks back about that very topic: Considerations for Designing E-Learning for Tablets vs. Smartphones. Talks a bit about how the use case for various devices can be very different, and it's so important to keep that in mind! 

Zsolt Olah

Completely agree with Tom about the need. 

There was a time when a prominent company asked me how long it would take for me to put their current 50 page onboarding PDF online because that's the future. Going online. I said it would take me 2 minutes... But why would I do that?

We often push technology forefront as a solution to challenges we haven't even solved otherwise. Rapid prototyping allows us to quickly create and publish learning solutions, now to mobile devices as well. Rapid is good, don't get me wrong, but it's like speed dating. Just because you meet more people in less amount of time you won't get more handsome. If the problem we're trying to solve is making more creative, interactive, engaging learning, the platform and rapid development won't help. Would rapid development tools help you create more engaging solutions? No, it would help you create the same boring courses, just faster.

In short, my three cents is that you really have to define the advantages of each device and play to those. Technology is not a solution, it's a vehicle that takes us closer to the solution if used appropriately but you need to have a solid map where you want to go. And why.