Learning Content

Think Differently

Much of the knowledge that instructional designers use for e-learning will transfer to mobile learning, but not all. Think outside the course. The power of mobile learning is definitely not a shrunken e-learning course. The most successful mobile designers are able to think differently.
In Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs (Basic Books, 2003) he states, “The mobile internet... will not be just a way to do old things while moving. It will be a way to do things that couldn’t be done before.” We now have the mobile tools to make a difference.
Perhaps the most significant potential of mobile learning is the ability to achieve what many performance support advocates believe has long been the learning profession's Mount Everest. As MIT professor and artificial intelligence pioneer Seymour Papert said, "You can't teach people everything they need to know. The best you can do is position them where they can find what they need to know when they need to know it."
Sophisticated users know it is now possible to deliver media-rich, interactive learning content to almost any smartphone. However, at the moment of need, the user may only need a checklist or reminder.
Design is the biggest differentiator between mobile learning success and failure. It is the link between learning and performance support, the tie between formal and informal learning.
It’s not about devices – it’s about capabilities
It’s not about the technology – it’s about the experience

Spaced Learning

Research over the past one hundred years has proven that learning retention can be improved by spacing out the learning and providing repetition and an opportunity for reflection.
Value of Repetition
  • Helps us absorb information we missed earlier
  • Helps us remember things we’d forgotten
  • Strengthens and enriches what we know
  • Spacing may slow learning, but it improves remembering.
Mobile devices provide inexpensive capabilities to deploy reminders and refresher materials.
Sample text4baby screen

Spaced learning can provide information to the user at the time of need. One of the most interesting current projects is Text4Baby at text4baby.org, which delivers appropriate SMS messages to pregnant women depending upon where they are in their term, and continues the service for the first year of their baby’s life.
Consider how spaced or timed, relevant learning could be beneficial to your learners.