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Should my eLearning Go Mobile?

June 6, 2011 Deepali Tharkude From the Delivery Head's desk...

Everyone’s talking about mlearning – it seems to be the topmost trend in the learning industry today. Companies want to build their mlearning library, quickly and effectively to keep up with this trend. But, since mlearning is still relatively in the nascent stage and since there are so many devices to consider, here are some questions going through the minds of decision makers.

  1. Is it as effective as elearning?
  2. Would it be more expensive?
  3. What are the ups…and the downs?
  4. Which devices should we create mlearning for?
  5. Should we create using native apps or HTML5?
  6. What are the best practices/FAQs/tips and tricks?

Based on our experience in developing mlearning courseware, let me try to answer these questions over this and a few more posts coming up. So, let’s start…

Is mobile learning as effective as web-based learning (or elearning)?

The effectiveness of learning depends more on sound instructional design than on its mode of delivery, don’t you think? An appropriate design approach with contextual scenarios, good visual design and a course structure that’s easy to navigate are all ingredients for developing effective courseware. And these have nothing to do with the mode of learning delivery. However, remember that mobile learning is really “learning on the go”. So, you may want to keep a few points in mind

  • Keep it short and simple – A 15 minute chunk of learning on the mobile is probably ideal. You can cover enough information in that time and learners don’t really have to go out of their way to take out 15 minutes.
  • Use this mode for “just in time” learning – Quick references, tips and tricks, important notes, short “how-to” videos are all great for mobile learning.
  • Don’t compromise on learner “engagement” – Learners will probably be taking this outside their office hours, so make it fun for them! Use all the features you find in most smart phones these days, including podcasts, social interaction, games and many more to make your mobile learning more fun and engaging.
  • Select your topics judiciously – You may not enjoy learning the intricate and complex assembly of a product on your mobile. But you won’t mind learning about the Leave Policy of your organization as a new employee or even how to handle a difficult customer as a Sales support executive! So, choose your topics judiciously when deciding on which courses should go mobile.

As long as you apply sound practices of learning design, you won’t have to worry about the modality.

Look out for my next post that answers the second most important question – Is mobile learning more expensive than elearning?

mlearning, mobile learning,


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