Instructional Design

Adding mLearning on the Menu: The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Course

Think of eLearning as a meal: Each component on its own is great, but the gourmet effects are more likely to occur when different elements are mixed together to create a true culinary masterpiece. Take mobile learning –mLearning–for example: On its own, it’s pretty great, but when combined with instructor-led live training? That’s appetizing eLearning at its best. Perhaps mLearning is the perfect complement to go with a main course that revolves around live training.

Before (The Appetizer)

If you want to whet learners’ appetites for training, it needs to happen before they ever set foot in a classroom setting. Mobile learning applications are ideal for highlighting important information that may be covered in class, so more time can be devoted to hands-on activities that really make a difference. Mobile learning can also give instructors an idea of where each learner is individually, using quick quizzes or polls to see where learners are already proficient and where they could use extra attention.

Using mLearning as a precursor to a live class sets the general tone for the material. Instead of starting from scratch, learners come prepped and ready for the meat of the training.

During (The Main Course)

It’s up to the instructor to decide how in-class time is used, but too often, it’s spent rehashing information that learners already know. By using pre-class assessments via mobile applications, surveys, polls, and quizzes, instructors can spend more time on the necessary stuff in class.

But just because you’re covering material in person doesn’t mean you have to scrap mLearning altogether. Mobile learning is ideal for sharing media and information among large groups of people. Most learners already have smartphones and tablets and already know how to utilize them to watch videos, page through a presentation, or even complete short games or missions in a group setting. By saving class time for the most important topics (and those topics that require more time or demonstration) you don’t have to waste what little face-to-face interaction you have going over unnecessary information.

After (The Dessert)

Promoting recall is one of the most effective ways to ensure learners’ brains convert information to memory, but too often instructors believe their job is done when students file out of the classroom. By utilizing mLearning, it’s possible to engage learners and encourage recall for better results. Whether it’s a video update packed with reminders, a quick bullet-point list shared via social media, or even a forum or group chat dedicated to discussing covered topics, mLearning makes for the ultimate indulgence after a training session.

It’s also possible to make presentation and training materials available for mobile devices. A pared-down version with simple graphics and easy-to-access text means learners can bring up information and search past lessons whenever, wherever.

If eLearning is like a three-course meal, then mLearning acts as the secret sauce that makes the difference between fast food and gourmet dining. A dash of mobile-optimized information and a pinch of mobile media means delectable knowledge transfer–and a learner who craves more.