Instructional Design for mLearning

Posted by Jan Ananian on 7/23/12 5:42 PM
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This is a quick mobile learning (mLearning) quiz. You're stuck in a very long line while waiting to order your morning coffee, so you grab your smartphone and:

(a) Play Word games and inwardly complain that your virtual opponent's 40-point word isn't a real word

(b) Check stock quotes or sports scores and alternately groan or celebrate

(c) Read the latest news headlines

(d) Open a 100-page module on anatomy and physiology and begin reading at page 1

I may be going out on a limb here, but the chances of you choosing option (d) are very slim.  However, what if I change the quiz slightly to read:

(a) Play Word games and inwardly complain that your virtual opponent's 40-point word isn't a real word

(b) Check stock quotes or sports scores and alternately groan or celebrate

(c) Read the latest news headlines

(d) Refresh your knowledge of a specific topic you need to know for an upcoming conversation with a client

Has your vision of option (d) changed at all? Granted, you may still prefer to review the sports scores, but this new option (d) no longer seems so farfetched an option. Why is that? It's all about matching the appropriate content with the device, or take the conversation out of the coffee line and into the classroom—paying attention to instructional design for mobile learning.

In terms of content, mobile devices best lend themselves to improving performance through bite-sized bits of information. As learners, we choose what's important and relevant to us—we are self-directed learners, picking and choosing what we need to know to make us better at what we do. It's far easier to pick and choose from a selection of short topics than it is from a full module of content. It's also more fun to participate in competitive games that test your skills with an opponent—and if  you could play an online game with a co-worker that also helps prepare you for an upcoming conversation with a client, all the better. Your vocabulary may not improve, but your sales just might!

So when you're thinking about designing learning for mobile devices, make sure that instructional design drives the end product. Base the design of your content on how people learn, and take advantage of the benefits of mobile devices that allow people to learn that content anywhere at any time...even in that slow-moving coffee line.

To learn more about our mLearning, click here.

Topics: mLearning Designing Learning Mobile Learning Instructional Design