Tuesday, March 27

How to mix your mobile learning cocktail with some traditional ingredients?

We have been getting a lot of recent interest from mainstream, traditional e-learning providers who are trying to understand how they can add a mobile dimension to what they already have.

This is of course great news, because in my book, "the more formats the better". Why prescribe where and how your learners will access their learning if you don't have to.

I stumbled over an American site today that specialises in creating audio stories, by interviewing customers / employees / managers, editing them and delivering them as podcasts. What especially caught my eye, though, was an excerpt from a presentation they gave, where they summarised the most important things they have learned about creating desireable learning resources.

The most important thing we have learned is that in order to deliver value we must deliver ALL of the following:
  • Compelling content. If the content is not interesting, it well never get used and consumed. (Instructionally sound content is not necessarily compelling or interesting)
  • Multiple mediums and delivery methods. Web, CDs, Podcasting, elearning – all offer value, but nothing works for everyone.
  • Client and user support. The greatest product in the world goes nowhere unless it is promoted, supported and measured properly. This is an area we are still learning about, but we have learned a lot.

This matches pretty much exactly with our finding in www.m-learning.org as well as many other recent projects we have done, and certainly spans well beyond podcasts to embrace PocketPC, Java Games, SMS quizzes and other technologies as well.

And how does this link back to the e-learning service providers I mentioned at the start? Well. to me it helps to put m-learning into a useful context, as well as perhaps challenging the types of learning that are currently in many large, online learning environments.

  • Is the content really compelling? (harder to do than it sounds)
  • What is my learner wants to view the content on their phone. Can they?
  • Are there mobile-ready tutors available to support them?

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