Graphic: American Research Institute

Graphic: American Research Institute

Anyone who reads this blog knows I am am big supporter of just-in-time learning.  The popularity of mobile devices (e.g., smart phones and tablet computers) has provided a platform for delivering learning at the point of need.  This morning I received a link to an article that provides tips for designing mobile learning.  The article is authored by the co-founder of Allen Interactions.  Based on work I’ve done with them in the past, I can vouch for their technical expertise and the high instructional design standards they have (which are unavoidably evident in the article).  Not all of it is relevant or even worth reading if you are not ready to make the leap into mobile learning.

With that in mind, I have selected some excerpts and given my thoughts on each.

“If you are developing mobile learning that must be taken prior to actual job performance, then the learning moment is different from the performance moment.  Therefore, retention and application should be the goal.”
My thoughtsThis point helps to differentiate between learning and information.  The author correctly points out that the design must account for retention.   Retention also implies practice and assessment is involved in the design.

“[I]f the learning moment can be taken during the performance moment, then the mobile learning should be designed as a performance support tool.  This means designing an intuitive and efficient interface with well indexed, searchable content that allows the learner to access snippets of information specifically targeted for unique situations.”
My thoughts: I believe much value can be realized within an organization if it had a strategy for cataloging and making its institutional knowledge widely available to its employees.  Social media enables people to share knowledge in ways that could not have been anticipated or dreamed of in the not-so-distant past.  Additionally, the same tools used to access mobile learning can be used to create it.

He goes on to provide practical advice for developers.  I don’t expect a non-learning professional to care much about that, especially if you aren’t currently considering mobile learning.  There are other implications with mobile learning that I won’t take time to discuss now.  I hope this helps stimulate some thought on the subject.