The trend in miniaturization extends to eLearning. Today’s rush to MOBILE LEARNING (MLEARNING) proves that less can be more. Blackboards, whiteboards and screens that dominated schoolrooms and conference halls have mostly landed in the dustbins of history. Much of today’s learning takes place on a smartphone or other mobile device that travels with its owner—BYOD for “bring your own device.” Designing an effective module for the small screen isn’t a matter of shrinking text and graphics—it’s a shift in paradigm to microlearning.

Think of mLearning as the CASUAL FRIDAY OF ELEARNING. Any employee with a smartphone can gain access to a library of information night or day, calling up explanations of simple tasks, a quick learning module or a flash-card review. mLearning can convey the same information as an in-depth course, one sliver at a time.

Think crisp and snappy for MLEARNING DESIGN. Sometimes a 2-minute tutorial is all someone needs to complete the current task. Longer sessions of 10–15 minutes can incorporate simple interactivity and even audio or video if they’re compressed and optimized—but only when it serves a function. Best practices for designing mLearning include keeping text to a minimum, nixing redundancy, designing mostly for landscape orientation and avoiding scrolling when possible.