Book Title: The Definitive Guide to Multi-Device E-Learning
What is the key message in this eBook?
According to a Cisco Partner Network Study, 90% of full-time employees in the U.S. use their tablets and smartphones for work. In fact, it’s quickly becoming an expectation for training to be accessible in this way. This presents a challenge to e-Learning designers moving forward. We must not only modify how we design e-Learning for mobile users but help our learners and organizations prepare to implement it successfully.
Why should you read this eBook?
In today’s world, people switch back and forth between smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops. It’s not unusual for a learner to start a course on their desktop at work and switch to their tablet or smartphone on the bus ride home. After reaching home, they might even use their laptop to take the final quiz. If you are designing e-Learning, it’s important that you understand the elements at play for designing and delivering content across all of these devices.
My key takeaways from the eBook
Know the Terms
- Mobile e-Learning vs. multi-device e-Learning: Mobile refers to devices that people use on the go (e.g., smartphones and tablets). The term multi-device e-Learning is used to describe a larger group of devices used to access training content (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops, or desktops).
Plan for Success
- It’s important to have a plan in place for implementing multi-device e-Learning across your organization as it impacts every corner of your company.
- Design/Development Group:
- Workflow design processes will change; new ways to present both existing and new material become possible; and the need to design content to function on smaller screen sizes are all possible.
- Consuming information on multiple devices with different screen sizes will require you to address learners needs in your design process.
- Executives, Managers, Information Technology (IT) Groups:
- A multi-device strategy should be discussed at the executive level. Some manager’s expectations might change when they hear learners can access content anywhere at anytime. They might expect learners to complete training faster! IT resources required to support a multi-device network is also a consideration prior to implementing multi-device learning across an organization.
- Design/Development Group:
Two Approaches for Developing Multi-Device E-Learning
- There are two approaches for developing for multiple devices: slide-based learning and web-based learning
- The learner and content dictate which approach works best
- Slide-based learning can be scaled up or down to fit different screen sizes but objects on the slide need to stay in the same position; relative to each other. Articulate Storyline 360 and Studio 360 are both designed to create this type of content.
- Web-based (responsive) learning responds to the size and shape of the device used. Articulate’s Rise product is designed to create this type of content.
Expectations for a Multi-Device Authoring Tool
- It should work on all devices (not just a limited subset or specific devices)
- It should not require you to manually adjust your content to fit every device a learner might use.
- It should use screen real estate efficiently. Navigation menus should automatically adjust (hide/minimize) so that your main content consumes most of the screen real estate on your mobile device.
The eBook also provides a very nice summary of design considerations in regard to graphic elements. Here are a few highlights but you will find much more detail in the eBook.
- If you use characters, use them sparingly. They take up a lot of screen real estate and should be there for a reason. Try removing them to see if you can still communicate your main ideas. If you don’t need them, remove them.
- When designing buttons, make them bright, bold and big. This makes it easier for people working on small devices to interact with them. When labeling buttons, go for short descriptions such as Go, Stop, or Try.
- Using 16pt font (sans serif, serif) for body text works well on mobile devices. Keep to a minimum of 2 fonts to avoid cluttering the interface!
I found this eBook to be a nice short read and full of good information when it comes to planning and design considerations for multi-device e-Learning. I hope this quick summary gives you some insights that make you want to explore this topic further. You can download and read the entire eBook here for free!
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