Mobile learning has the potential to revolutionize current training systems. Since its very nature is adaptable and personalized, it can transcend limitations of distance and schedule. The international mobile learning market is showing rapid growth. However, mobile learning is more than just e-learning on a mobile device. A great number of considerations must come into play when designing a quality mobile learning course. In this article, we will explore the necessary components of an effective mobile learning course.
First, consider instructional design strategy. The essential elements include determining who the target audience is, examining and analyzing their unique needs and requirements. How do they learn best? What will it take to engage them emotionally with the material? It's helpful at this stage to imagine oneself as the learner in question. Innovative training methods include creative treatment of material. Which creative treatments will be most effective?
Next, we move on to visual design strategy. A design that works well on a desktop won't necessarily transfer well to a mobile design. In order to create an effective mobile learning course, determine how the information will be accessed and what the optimal screen view and mobile interface layout are. One should take into consideration the user's location and network connection as well as the user's device itself. Visual design affects usability and a visually awkward design will take time and effort to fix. It's better to start out with a quality, effective design.
The next step is to create an audio design strategy. Instructional audio should be clear and understandable and the audio scripts convey should the core messages effectively. The tone of the audio should be friendly and conversational, inviting the user to actively engage in the learning process. Other audio options include peer to peer chat among team members and even background music for the learning modules.
A variety of multimedia formats can be incorporated where appropriate to appeal to different types of learners. Developing media for the mobile learning course can be an exciting and creative experience. Animations, videos, puzzles, music and games can all be used to enliven lessons and advance understanding of the subject matter. One caveat to keep in mind is the learner's requirements and limitations. Is the target audience tech-savvy? Will the mobile learning course be easily navigated with the multimedia elements added?
Then we consider an assessment strategy. An assessment at the end of each mobile learning unit or module to measure the user's comprehension of the material is essential. Quizzes, puzzles, games, interactive scenarios and simulations can all be used to quantify the learner's mastery of the course material. Having clear learning objectives is crucial to creating assessments.
After having considered instructional design, visual, audio, multimedia and assessment strategies, the final element in our discussion is one of technical strategy, which involves the actual implementation of the course design. Here, utilizing HTML5 and responsive design are key. Designing a quality mobile learning course involves an approach maximizing easy reading and simple navigation, with minimal scrolling and resizing of pages, presenting the user with a clean and clear layout that adapts seamlessly to any device, whether a netbook, tablet, or smartphone. Keeping in mind the end user's network and device limitations, it is key to minimize file sizes and loading times.
The corporate world has gone mobile and there's no stopping it. Mobile technologies offer advantages of accessibility and affordability that ensure rapid adoption. They offer a competitive edge that will spur organizations to invest in mobile learning technology like never before. This is a field with enormous potential for advancement and unlimited opportunities.
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