Six Mistakes to Avoid When Converting eLearning to mLearning

Lesley Rogers

mLearning—short for mobile learning—is picking up steam with health systems due to a workforce on the move. I often see companies try to shrink their eLearning courseware to fit pocket-sized devices. But mLearning isn’t just miniaturized eLearning as I discussed in my previous post on how to tell when eLearning or mLearning is a better choice.

Do your mobile-learners a favor ̶ avoid these six common mistakes as you convert existing eLearning to mLearning:

  1. Migrating an eLearning course as-is to the mobile platform. Evaluate your eLearning content and use storyboards to plan for smaller screen sizes. Advanced planning can show changes you’ll need for a course to succeed as mLearning. With eLearning, a course is likely to be 20 minutes or longer. The recommended length for mLearning is three to 10 minutes. Break your content into bite-sized chunks, with each screen conveying a single idea, and each lesson having a small learning objective.
  2. Ignoring the context of mobile learners. Employees are likely to access mLearning on the go. You can’t count on their undivided attention. They may use it for 10 minutes over a cup of coffee or while waiting in an airport. Their environment could be crowded, noisy and subject to interruption. Design your content so it can be consumed in short bursts.
  3. Designing for one device only. Learners may access mLearning from a plethora of portable electronic devices: mobile phones, tablets and digital readers of all sizes. Who knows what the future has in store? Design your content so it works on multiple devices.
  4. Ignoring the constraints of mobile devices. Keep in mind that your learners will be staring at a small screen. The detail you can display in an eLearning graphic will disappear on mobile. You’ll need to redesign your graphics, such as breaking a graph down into multiple screens. Will bandwidth-hogging video work if learners have spotty Wi-Fi connections or low batteries? Keep animations and interactions to a minimum. Not all devices support Flash content, so consider republishing the source files to HTML5.
  5. Making learners type a lot or point with precision. Your learners will be using on-screen keyboards and pointing with their fingers. Avoid having the user enter text ̶ it takes too long and is prone to error on a small device. You may need to redesign or eliminate activities that rely on a mouse.
  6. Launching without adequate testing. Don’t make your users suffer through your mistakes. Find them yourself before you go live. Give yourself plenty of time for testing ̶ on multiple devices or on simulators.What’s your biggest mLearning win? Post a comment to share how you’re meeting the training needs of your mobile employees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *