Category Archives: Mobile Learning

The picture test for e-learning

when-to-use-visuals-in-learning-content-26012017Feel free to use this graphic as is anywhere, for personal or commercial purposes.

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How to design micro-learning content in 4 easy steps

“We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless, and where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention” – Satya Nadella.

Micro-learning caters to this reality and helps in planning out content to be delivered in the most effective manner. (5 reasons why micro-learning is perfect for today’s workforce)

So how does one design micro-learning content?

Using the Criticality Analysis – a 4-step approach inspired from the INCITE Micro-learning Framework.

Step 1 – Collate

As a first step to designing micro-learning content, the learning material needs to be collated from across various sources. Look out for wiki articles, whitepapers, pdfs, blogs, presentations for raw content. Given the plentiful resources found on the internet and other sources, one could end up collating an incredibly large amount of information. The trick to collection is knowing what to pick. Remember, micro-learning is about bite-sized content, and that is where the collation focus should be.

Step 2 – Curate

Once all the content has been collated, as a logical next step, remove all duplicate or near-duplicate information. Post this step, classify the content nuggets into one of these 5 categories – Facts, Concepts, Processes, Procedures and Principles. This will help you in figuring out how to present the content.

Step 3 – Chunking

Chunking involves reducing information that can be difficult to remember, down into shorter and more manageable chunks. The typical rule of thumb for the length of a micro-learning topic is approximately 15 minutes. In our experience, this is enough time to cover 30-40 points at a maximum for a topic.

Step 4 – Compose

The next step is to organize the chunked content into a logical flow. Subsequent to that, each point is to be deconstructed into its critical import and additional information. The critical information has to be front and center in the micro-learning flow, while the additional information should be made discretionary in terms of access for the learner. This output should ideally be first organized into an instructional design storyboard.

And finally, even though this is not a part of the process, it is a critical thing – an authoring tool for composing your content into consumable learning blocks. This will largely be determined by the micro-learning technology you decide on. (Design a micro-learning system for your organization)

Hope this should get you started with your micro-learning content. Have any queries? Mention in the comments below!

 

microlearning framework

5 reasons why micro-learning is perfect for today’s workforce

Do you know that the attention span of an average human is shorter than a goldfish? (Source: Microsoft Canada, 2015). A goldfish can focus for nine seconds; people are down to a mere eight seconds.

So, the million-dollar question is – how do you design learning which caters to such a short attention span and ensure that it is effective as well?

Micro-learning is the way out!

Micro-learning deals with relatively small learning units and short-term-focused activities (Hug, 2005). In the e-learning context, it refers to a learner’s short interaction with learning matter broken down to very small bits of content.

Here are 5 reasons why micro-learning is perfect for today’s mobile-oriented workforce.

  1. Easy on memory: Learners are routinely overburdened by unfocused, information-heavy content. Micro-learning reduces cognitive load, making it easier for learners to process.
  2. Low on space: Since micro-learning takes up less digital space, you can avoid digital real estate issues that come with storing and displaying media files – especially on mobile devices.
  3. More focused: Micro-learning is more focused in scope, making it easier for a learner to tie what they learn directly to specific on-the-job actions.
  4. Cost-effective: Short content is cheaper and faster to produce and update, so you can continually test and experiment, even on the tightest budgets.
  5. Learning throughout the day: Micro-learning forces us to consider the small learning moments and opportunities that happen continuously throughout an employee’s day.

If you could think of more reasons, share with me in the comments below!

 

microlearning-framework

INCITE – A Micro-learning Framework

Millennials constitute a majority of today’s workforce.The US Bureau of Labor statistics estimates that this group already exceed 50% of the total employee pool and will cross 75% by 2030. Raised in an era of ‘instant access’, this generation consumes information primarily in the form of multimedia, and their most preferred method of communication is their mobile device.

Devising learning solutions for this mobile oriented workforce requires a completely different approach i.e. Micro-Learning. INCITE is one such Micro-Learning framework, developed through the author’s work with over 40 large companies helping them create Micro-Learning systems.

Download your FREE copy of INCITE to get a unique and effective perspective on Micro-Learning – http://goo.gl/qxlokL

Mobile Learning is not E-Learning on the Mobile…

The other day, I found myself sitting across the learning manager of a large pharmaceutical company. He was faced with a daunting task – training his company’s medical reps, and if there’s one thing we all know about medical reps it is that they are always on the move. 2,000 medical reps running around the entire western zone are not a pleasant lot to get together in a room for training.

E-learning had naturally been the top suggestion internally, and our creds were impressive enough for him to ask for my suggestions on the matter. I hesitated for a bit (It was a sitter of a large deal if we just churned out the e-learning they wanted) and then suggested that a possible potent solution for the problem could be mobile learning. What surprised me though was the response I received…

“Well, we are planning to build a robust e-learning course with a specific focus on product knowledge and to host it on our internal LMS. I think it has a mobile interface as well. Won’t that be enough?”

For those of you who think that the solution is viable, do consider the difference between e-learning and mobile learning before any implementation.

  • For starters, the purpose of e-learning is to provide in-depth knowledge on a subject, while that of mobile learning (m-learning) is to support an on-going learning process where the learner needs quick access to information, usually on the go.
  • M-learning is designed for smartphones and tablets with each screen having not more than 1 idea, while e-learning is designed for consumption on a large screen that has the space for complex and detailed information.
  • Lastly, m-learning is designed to be completed in 3 – 10 minute bursts, while e-learning requires the learner to go through each module with an average duration of 20 – 30 minutes.

I explicitly stated these differences to the manager, and not surprisingly, he took the point. Now, convincing his company is another matter, but he seemed up to the task. Whether the deal goes through or not finally, I am inclined to believe that it is better to do it right or not at all. Everybody should know that mobile learning requires expertise and specificity of thought and design. It is not simply e-learning on the mobile. It is not.

What is Mobile Learning?

Mobile Learning, also known as Mlearning, is at present, the most confused term, if not misused, in the world of elearning. People often describe mobile learning as what is done on your laptop, as you can do it anywhere. But this certainly cannot be categorized as mobile learning.

So, what is Mobile Learning?

Here’s how eLearning Guild describes Mobile Learning:

“Any activity that allows individuals to be more productive when consuming, interacting with, or creating information, mediated through a compact digital portable device that the individual carries on a regular basis, has reliable connectivity, and fits in a pocket or purse.”

Let me simplify it further for you.

M-learning is any kind of learning that takes place via a portable, hand-held electronic device.

And in most cases, mobile phones, PDAs and Tablets.

Mobile learning is a form of distance learning and can be formal or informal, structured or unstructured.