Given the rate at which mobile technology is currently growing, designers of training can no longer afford to explore m-learning as an after-thought. However, the purview of design decisions has traditionally covered learning formats (web-based or instructor-led training, blended learning or standalone modules, synchronous or asynchronous training and so on); discussions then move on to the best approach for delivering the training (scenarios, stories, games, simulations, etc.). Questions around the suitability of mobile devices to deliver learning have yet to become an integral part of the design discussion.
As a designer of m-learning, there are a number of paradigms to consider – shorter attention spans, a redefinition of ‘chunks of information’, alternate navigation strategies, ingenious apps, and superior quality graphics to name a few. For your target audience to transition seamlessly from the mobile world with which they are familiar to the one in which you are embedding your training, these paradigms must be accounted for.
This paper focuses on the considerations driving the design and delivery of mobile learning. It covers the instructional design perspective, including the possibilities and challenges of designing for the medium; device usage statistics and platforms; the different types of apps and their implications for training; some design decisions governing the development of a truly mobile learning solution; suggestions for how commonly available functionalities, known as ‘accessories’, can be made an integral part of m-learning; designing accessible m-learning; and social learning using a mobile device.