mLearning Lessons Learned June 18, 2008Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: Design, Development, eLearning, Learning, mLearning, MobileLearning, technology
I’m in an interesting position right now: I get to work on designing our organization’s mobile learning (mLearning) strategy and I get to develop mLearning applications, but things aren’t working 100% as I would’ve imagined. I’m finding there are more roadblocks that I expected and they’re popping up in unusual places. I want to document my experience here…and I appreciate any feedback / tips you can provide.
So, here’s what I’ve recently learned:
- If you’re thinking about implementing mLearning, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Don’t use mLearning because you think it would be cool, or because somebody else is doing it. Otherwise you’ll find yourself wandering around with the proverbial hammer, looking for nails to hit. I recommend that you research mLearning a bit and then see it as another tool in your toolbox. Use it when it is the best solution for the situation.
- The hardest part isn’t the technology. The hardest part has to do with politics, logistics, and security. Be prepared to involve several departments and get ready to face barriers. Just stay creative and look for ways to work around these road blocks. Read case studies to see how other companies have overcome obstacles and seek out blogs, articles, etc. Share the info with peers (ahem). 🙂
- To SCORM or not to SCORM, that is the question. When developing mLearning applications, decide early on if you need to track usage in your LMS. If so, you’ll need to research something like Pocket SCORM or OnPoint’s CellCast Solution. Fair warning, though, this definitely adds complexity to your project. You may even want to consider the SCORM tracking to be the second phase of your mLearning deployment.
- Know your audience and the devices they own. Create your mLearning solutions based on this info. If your learners have a wide array of devices, aim for the lowest common denominator: Use voice and text-based solutions rather than fancy animations, web-based content, and downloadable applications. There are podcasting solutions that allow for delivery via phone call, and there are SMS text-based learning solutions that can be quite effective, too. Remember Occam’s razor: "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best."
I hope all of this doesn’t come off as being too negative, but I’m trying to be very open about my experience. Please chime in – I’d love to hear your thoughts!