April 21st, 2015 Mobile Learning

In the elearning industry there is sometimes confusion as to the difference between elearning and “mobile learning”. In many respects elearning is mobile – so why make a distinction?

The mobile learning boom started to come about when people began to rely upon mobile technology on a more regular basis. Specifically, this referes to tablets and smartphones. The gray area of course being laptops.

In other words, learning that is not confined to a desktop (do people still use those?)…

As mobile technology has evolved, so has mobile learning – the infographic below (created by Origin Learning) reflects this.

In fact, nearly all of the 12 trends listed are the result of changes in technnology. HTML5 is preferred over Flash, gamified learning is becoming more prominent, and geo-location techniques are on the rise.

While these trends may seem superficial, they actually have a greater impact on instructional design than one would initially think.

Take geo-location for example. Because we have the technology to detect when and where someone is while taking training, we now have the ability to design our mobile learning in a way that is more relevant to the individual’s cultural environment.

This really gives us the ability to format course content a level of learner-centric context that has never been possible before!

While this piece of technology has resulted in exciting new learning development opportunities, it isn’t always so easy.

For example, the very nature of mobile learning means that learner attention spans are not as long as they are for traditional elearning. This has resulted in courses focusing on bite-sized learning, but that’s not always the best way to train people.

It’s times like these where blended learning is probably the best approach.

For more information on the trends in mobile learning, see the infographic below. To learn more about mobile learning in general, then take a look at this article.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide. He is currently founder & CEO of GapScout. Justin's Homepage | GapScout | Twitter

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You wrote:

“In other words, learning that is not confined to a desktop (do people still use those?)…”

You betcha~ Working on mobile full time is stressful when you’re combining lots of apps and have lists and ideas and sites open to CREATE elearning. I have poor eyesight, so it’s a necessity for me…but I recently asked other teachers in a MOOC who use flipped classes or do other creative things for students online, if they’d gone totally mobile. Not one had stopped using desktops. Oh, sure, they did videos and lots of other things on mobile.

But when it’s a downright complex situation—they turned to their desktop. I don’t know if this holds true in the business world. But among my fellow teacher friends learning the advanced skills of online and mobile learning—yeah, sometimes we just need more room. 😀

Desktop is still very much a part of our lives. It’s so much easier to have access to all open docs and sites and etc. to draw from as you create your lesson.

So yep! We desktop creators are still out here using it! 😉 Maybe not so much the students inthe adult world. But in my world of children, many still access my courses though desktop.

Different strokes for different folks…sounds like a song…

Oops! Neglected to mention that of course any elearning we create on the desktop is of course mobile friendly, and can be used by students that way. Goof! 🙂

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