Learning is no longer associated with a classroom and similarly, e-learning is not limited to a desktop only. Many of the contemporary learners prefer to access their online courses via different devices and therefore it is important to create modules that meet this desire. To develop and deliver e-learning courses that are compatible with the various smart tools that we use is beneficial for all parties.
In order to build such courses, however, the professionals should answer a series of important questions and find the best solutions that work both for them and for the market they are targeting. Still, there are three main aspects that are the core of the successful multi-device e-learning, which can be explored by finding the What, Why and How of multi-device e-learning.
What does Multi-Device E-learning Mean?
Before we start discussing the pros and cons of multi-device e-learning it is crucial to understand the term. The first glimpse of our multi-device world is presented in Google’s study from August 2012 “The New Multi-Screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior.” One of its main conclusions is that: “Multiple screens make us feel more efficient because we can act spontaneously and get a sense of accomplishment.” Even though the world has changed a lot since this publication, it is still valid that we like using multiple devices, however, the context no longer determines which screen we prefer. Users want to be able to open e-learning modules on their smartphones that offer the same high quality as those viewed at the desktop. There was a need for the line between mobile learning (m-learning) and computer-only learning to disappear and this is how multi-device e-learning was born. In its essence, these are courses that offer the same experiences for the learner regardless of the device used to access them.
When considering e-learning suitable for multiple devices, we can have three types of learner experience in mind: Consistent, Continuous, and Complementary. They are defined by Michal Levin in the book Designing Multi Device Experiences and basically encompass the following:
- Consistent experience
Experience is replicated across different devices in terms of content, flow, structure and core feature set. This guarantees that you get all the features of the course regardless of the device you use. There are some adjustments made to accommodate screen size and interaction model.
- Continuous experience
Experience is shifted between devices and can be either continuation of the same action or progressing along a sequence of actions. In this case, you can start a module on your laptop but finish it using your smartphone while commuting to work.
- Complementary experience
To create complementary experience devices complement each other as a connected group in terms of information and functionality. There are two types of relations in this setting – collaboration and control depending on how the devices collaborate with each other.
Quite often these experiences overlap and you can have both consistent and continuous, or continuous and complementary experience with the same type of learning.
Why is Multi-Device E-learning Efficient?
Creating multi-device e-learning courses empowers the learners to seek information and gain knowledge and skills at the very moment they need it. No matter if you are at work, at the beach or on the go, you can reach for the nearest device and educate yourself. Nowadays, learners do not simply want courses that can work on smartphones or tablets with the same quality as on computers, they expect it. Offering such a product is beneficial both for the provider and the end user.
When talking about company training, it is essential to create it in such a way that it answers the needs of all the employees. It should take into account their knowledge of and access to various devices. Providing a multi-device e-learning course gives the learners the opportunity to choose the device that they feel more comfortable with, which can enhance the overall engagement and efficiency of the training.
Creating Multiple Devices E-learning
Creating multi-device e-learning courses is now simpler than ever as the authoring tools have evolved to the point to offer such options. Selecting the right authoring tool is very importance for the creation of an attractive and successful module.
Articulate Storyline 360 will also assist with the translation of the e-learning course along with making it compatible with various devices. It is fairly easy to use its tools and the results will most certainly meet your criteria. There are other authoring tools on the market that can help you build a multi-device course. Make sure to check what options they offer and always choose the one that facilitates your work at the most. Pay attention to details such as – do you need to manually tweak each slide of your course so that it works well on smaller devices or the app does it for you? Some benefits like a free gallery of images, videos, photos or icons are also important when it comes to the design of the modules.
In a nutshell, to create a multi-device e-learning course may take you exactly the same time as delivering a computer-based module only. It is a matter of selecting the right authoring tool, so invest some time in research before you pick up yours.
It is important to be well prepared in order to create gorgeous e-learning modules that are compatible with any screen and device the learners use. Knowing the level of readiness of the end user – an organization or an individual learner can help you offer a tailor-made product, answering their specific needs. Being aware of the latest tendencies and best practices in the industry is one of the best ways to meet the increasing demand of high-quality multi-device e-learning courses that are translated and localized according to the preferences of the target audience.