mlearningJust because they end in learning doesn’t mean e-learning and m-learning are the same. The first thing you should note is that m-learning is not e-learning slapped into a mobile device. A traditional e-learning course put into a tablet is a missed opportunity. While e-learning still has a role, compliance training for example, m-learning can become a tool that is actively used on a regular basis that just a single use.

M-learning is a reference tool. For example, when you buy a new car, you check the owner’s manual to learn how to use all the new systems on the dashboard and get an overview of the maintenance schedule. Then you usually put it away until an unexpected warning light appears and you need to check what that means. This is the moment you use the manual again.

M-learning on a mobile app is similar. You’re not teaching a course on car maintenance. You’re presenting reference material with an overview to give it context.

One scenario for the use of m-learning is in a sales position. Your sales person may need to be informed of a better approach to a current product or brought up to speed on a new one. The m-learning app can be used here. But that’s not the only use. It can also provide resources for just-in-time brushing up on details prior to a client call or even house marketing materials to use in a client-facing situation.

Keep the content basic with emphasis on small chunks of content that can be referenced as needed. Don’t load it down with too much instruction to keep the app nimble.

The emphasis is on information rather than instruction so it is critical to create a good user experience. There’s a movement out of traditional instructional design into a new skill set so it may be better to bring in mobile development partner to turn your training needs into a an app with excellent user experience and interface.

M-learning is not just a branch of e-learning, it is different. This means more work to back up and start redesigning the way we deliver training. The result is reaching people at their time of need, when they are ready to learn and to find informational that will support them.