Understanding the basics of Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy application in eLearning


While the usage of Bloom’s Taxonomy (BT) to nail the learning outcomes has been used for training over several decades, the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (RBT) brings in an added dimension that enables it to be used more effectively to design eLearning.

In this blog, I touch upon the basics of Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (in contrast to Bloom’s Taxonomy). Then I move on to showcase how can you use RBT to design the learning architecture of eLearning courses. Specifically, I touch upon how you can use RBT to bring in behavioural change.

What are the changes that were made to Bloom’s Taxonomy to create the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy?

The Bloom’s Taxonomy was revised by Lorin Anderson and others. This is reflected as following two changes:

  1. Replacement of the nouns with appropriate verbs
  2. Change in the order of verbs (the last two levels were interchanged)

The figure illustrates the revised structure. For an easy reference, the Bloom’s Taxonomy is shared along side.

Blooms taxonomy and revised blooms taxonomy

Let’s see both these revisions in detail.

  1. Remembering: Recall information and exhibit the memory of previously learned material, information or knowledge (could be facts, terms, basic concepts or answers to questions).
  2. Understanding: Demonstrate understanding of facts and ideas by organising, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions and stating the main ideas.
  3. Applying: Use information in new or familiar situations to resolve problems by using the acquired facts, knowledge, rules and techniques.
  4. Analysing: Examine and slice information into portions by understanding causes or motives; make inferences and find evidence to support generalisations.
  5. Evaluating: Express and defend opinions through judgements about information, authenticity of ideas or work quality, according to certain criteria.
  6. Creating: Organise, integrate and utilise the concepts into a plan, product or proposal that is new; compile information together in a different way.

How can Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (RBT) be used in designing eLearning courses?

The learning architecture of the eLearning course is crafted using RBT.

RBT guides the creation of an online learning solution based on the kind of knowledge and the level of cognitive/affective complexity of the course. The process of mapping the course creation to RBT ensures the learning experience is crafted as per an accepted and ratified framework. It also allows more time to craft an engaging online learning experience.

Application of RBT

  1. During the initial phase of a project life cycle, appropriate Revised Bloom’s verbs are applied to write the Terminal Learning Outcomes (TLOs) and the Enabling Learning Outcomes (ELOs) of the course.
  2. Once the TLOs and ELOs have been determined, the RBT also guides in determining the presentation style for individual frames in the content.

NOTE: The second aspect is the significant value-add that RBT provides to create eLearning courses. We can tag the content to various content types (Fact, Principle, Process, Procedure and so on). Looking at the nature of the content, we can identify how it should be presented in the online format (as static information, an interactive frame or a knowledge check that reinforces learning or validates the required cognition level).

Can Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (RBT) be used to create or impact behavioural change?

The Affective Domain addresses interests, attitudes, opinions, appreciations, values and emotional sets.

If your aim is to bring about a behavioural or attitude change through the learning, then structure the information to progress through the levels of the Affective domain, as shown here:

  1. Receiving: Focus of attention and simple response to stimuli
  2. Responding: Active participation and reaction
  3. Valuing: Ascribing a value to an object, phenomenon or concept; ranges from acceptance to commitment
  4. Organising: Bringing together different values, resolving clashes among them and starting to build an internally consistent value system
  5. Internalising: Acquiring a value system that has governed the learner’s behaviour for a sufficiently long time

Please refer to the table that lists the action verbs corresponding to the Affective Domains that can be used to create the learning objectives in eLearning courses.

Affective Complexity Behavioral Terms
Receiving Asks, chooses, identifies, locates, points to, sits erect
Responding Replies, complies, describes, aids, performs, practices, reads, reports, writes assists, presents
Valuing Differentiates, explains, initiates, justifies, proposes, shares
Organising Arranges, combines, compares, generalises, integrates, modifies, organises, synthesises
Internalising Acts, discriminates, displays, influences, listens, modifies, performs, practices, proposes, qualifies, questions, revises, serves, solves, verifies balance

I hope this blog gives you the required cues on what is Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (RBT) and, in contrast to Bloom’s Taxonomy (BT), how is it more effective in creating the learning architecture of eLearning courses.

Need More?

Want more insights on the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (RBT) and how to use it to design eLearning courses?

Schedule a call with our Solutions Architecting Team.

Additionally, you can take our online course on Instructional Design Fundamentals, one of the 15 Instructional Design courses from the first suite of our ‘InSight’ product line. For more details and to buy the course, click here.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/understanding-basics-revised-blooms-taxonomy-application-elearning/

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Build Effective Courses That Put the Learners in Charge

effective e-learning tips

Here’s part two of a recent presentation I did on letting learners drive. It presented foundational ideas on how to build engaging e-learning courses and then focused on tips that help make the courses more learner-centric.

In part one, we looked at how to create engaging training. And in this part, we’ll look at how to make it effective.

Generally speaking, most training is info-centric where content plays the main role. Obviously, content is important. But when it comes to building a course, content in a meaningful context is what matters.

Here are some tips on how to create courses that focus on the learner’s context.

Effective Courses Creating Relevant Context

effective courses are relevant

As we mentioned in the previous post, content needs context and that context needs to be relevant to the end user. How is the content used in what they do in real life situations?

Effective Courses Address Diverse Learner Needs

effective courses

Some people come to the courses as experts and some as novices. Thus, courses can’t all be one size fits all. Do a user analysis to understand the learners and their needs. Then build mechanisms in the course that give them the freedom to learn where it works best for them.

Effective Courses Give the Learners Control

effective courses let users choose

Think of your course live a textbook. Many are designed to flow in a linear path, but most people jump around topics for reference. They don’t always read everything. They usually just read to learn what they need.

That’s how it works online, as well. Want to learn something? Do a  search on YouTube.

effective courses free navigational control

My guess is you jump right into the heart of the matter and skip over a lot of nice-to-know content that wasn’t critical to your search objective.

Why not design the learning experience more like that? Why does it have to be linear?

Effective Courses Expose the Need for Learning

effective courses expose the need to learn

We tend to push content out, but we want the learner to pull it in. But we need to give them a reason to pull. One way is to expose the need to acquire content. We could challenge what they know—challenge their understanding.

This could happen with a simple assessment upfront. Not designed to pass or fail them, but instead, it’s designed to expose their need to know more. Or the assessment can be more complex like an interactive scenario.

Effective Courses Let the Learners Explore

effective courses let learners explore content

The learning experience is more than just presenting information. Information needs to be used in context. A great way to do this is to allow the learner to explore and discover content. Of course, they need to have a reason to explore.

Effective Courses Provide Contextual Scenarios

effective courses decision-making scenarios

One way to get learners to pull in contact is to have them make decisions. Create decision-making scenarios where they have to solve a problem or take some sort of action. Then use that as a way to present content they can explore, collect, and consume to make the best decision.

Effective Courses Sort Learners by Experience

effective courses sort learners

One way to provide better learning experiences is to sort learners. This can be by role, tenure, or competency. The sorting process can be simple or complex, adaptive learning paths. In either case, it helps you build a better course and it creates a better experience for the one who has to go through it.

Effective Courses Sort by Understanding

effective courses sort by understanding and competency

An easy way to sort learners is by how much they understand. This is an effective way to design annual compliance training. At the front end, challenge their level of understanding. If they demonstrate competency, then move them past content (or to the end). If they can’t demonstrate competency, move them through the content.

Effective Courses Sort by Experience or Role

effective courses sort by experience

Another common way to build the learning path is by role or experience. Create a mechanism at the front end to sort learners and then create a path that adapts to how they were sorted. If there are places where this is common content, put that up front and then branch them once they get past it.

There’s a lot that goes into building effective courses. It all starts will clear objectives that can be measured. From there, create meaningful and contextual decision-making opportunities. Ultimately, a course is designed for learning, so giving the learner as much control as possible in the process will only make it that much more effective.

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Top 5 Tips For Innovative eLearning Development

Amongst the challenges that Learning and Development teams and Learning Consultants face today, the top 2 pertaining to training would be: 1) How to increase the efficacy of training?, and 2) What learning strategies should be adopted to ensure that the learning and business mandates are met? In this article I will outline 5 tips for innovative eLearning development that will help organizations improve efficacy of training by making the learning stick.

Innovative eLearning Development

Did you know?

In 1885, Herman Ebbinghaus, a German Psychologist defined the exponential nature of forgetting. As you see from this diagram featuring the “Forgetting Curve”, we forget 80% of what we learned in 30 days!


How can we improve stickiness of learning?

By following innovative learning strategies outlined in this article, you will be able to create the required “Chain of Impact”.


How can we improve stickiness of learning?

To create the “Chain of Impact,” we need to adopt ways to ensure the learning sticks. Sticky learning is the learning that lasts over time.

This can be achieved through many approaches. One of the significant approaches is adopting learning strategies that:

    1. Focus on action (“to do” things rather than “seeing” how they should be done)
    2. Build on the current schema of the learners (draw upon what they know)
    3. Allow exploration (enable self-discovery)

5 Tips to improve stickiness of learning through innovative eLearning development

We have a range of solutions that improve learning, recall, and retention. These are rendered through our innovative eLearning development framework.

My top 5 tips are:

1. Use Gamification for learning

You can use the power of games to deliver specific learning outcomes in your learning and performance strategy. You can opt for:

    1. Overlay of a gamification concept on your content to have the whole course gamified through levels, board games, or challenges
    2. Partial Gamification of inline checks and assessments


2. Use Interactive videos (particularly for micro-learning)

Today, several options are available to convert linear videos to interactive videos that can create an immersive and engaging experience. The passivity of the videos can be overcome by providing learning interactions, knowledge checks, and feedback.


3. Use Decision-making branching simulations

You can use branching scenario simulations to move the learning process from mere knowledge acquisition to its application. These simulations can complement the scenario-based approach and should be used when learners need to deep dive into multiple related facets or handle a far more complex situation.

This approach helps learners work in a safe environment (where they can practice and also easily recover from the mistakes they may have made). They can evaluate different aspects and get a sense of what impact their choices can have.


4. Use Story based learning (Storytorials)

A proven approach, the story-based approach (Storytorial) combines the principles of Instructional Design with the compelling power of a story. The dual impact enhances the quality of learning, resulting in an immersive learning experience.

Storytorials are strung together in a fictional narrative and generally have a beginning, body and an end. While a story may have multiple plots based on the content, you need to make sure that the central theme of the story sticks to the content and avoid redundant material that has little or no contribution to make to the training.


5. Use Scenario based learning

As per ATD (Association of Talent Development), Scenario-Based Learning (SBL) is a proven method to build expertise in tasks that are unsafe or infrequent in the workplace or to build critical thinking skills.

You can use scenarios to create learning activities where learners are presented with a real life situation or problem and they must work through it to achieve their goals. Although most of these interactions help hone learners’ cognitive skills, there is always the option of adding an emotional element for greater learner engagement. An example of this would be simulating a real-life situation where every decision that the learners make has a direct bearing on themselves or their colleagues.


I hope this article featuring innovative eLearning development provides the required cues that you can practically apply to create a “learning retention and recall curve” for your organization.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/top-5-tips-for-innovative-elearning-development-2/

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How to Create Engaging E-Learning Courses

engaging e-learning checklist

Here’s a presentation from a previous workshop on how to create interactive e-learning. For this workshop, I focused on how to create an engaging e-learning experience for the end-user.

Here are a few core points from the presentation on how to create engaging e-learning courses.

Engaging E-Learning Starts with Not Building a Course

engaging e-learning future learners are bored

That’s probably not the right heading but it is the right position to take when it comes to building e-learning courses.

Often the client defaults to training as a solution. But there are more things at play than just training. Good performance consulting helps root that out.

  • What are your goals?
  • Why aren’t they being met currently?
  • Is training the right solution?

Sometimes, people don’t have the right tools, systems, or management to meet objectives. Building an e-learning course may help them learn something, but that something they learn may not help meet the real objectives.

Engaging E-Learning Starts with the Right Content

engaging e-learning ROI

Not all courses are created equal. Some focus on performance where there are clear, measurable objectives. And some are more about information or awareness. Understanding the type of course required helps you allocate your resources.

Sometimes a simple, linear course is perfect for an awareness campaign. Or perhaps, it’s just a matter of presenting a relevant case study. And other times, a course requires interactive decision-making.

You have limited resources so spend them wisely. Don’t waste them on a course that doesn’t require it.

Engaging E-Learning Meets the Needs of Many

As a course designer, you’re a bridge between the organization or client that wants a course and the learner who has to take it.

For the client, you need to be cost-effective and build courses that meet some measurable objective. And for the learner, you need to build a course that engages them, doesn’t waste time, and helps them learn.

Ideally, the client and learner have the same objectives, but this isn’t always the case, especially with many of those compliance courses that are often pointless for the person who has to take it, but a necessity for the organization trying to set standards and communicate policies.

Engaging E-Learning Mimics the Real World

engaging e-learning relevant context

Do you want people to learn? Put the information in a context that mirrors the real world. Don’t tell them about policies. Instead, build activities where they develop competencies by using the policies to make the right decisions.

  • Find out how they’ll use the information in the course.
  • Give them ways to practice the same things they need to do to be successful on the job.
  • Provide feedback to help them learn and make the adjustments they need to make.

The key to creating effective and engaging e-learning is to build meaningful courses. They need to be meaningful for the client, thus they need to be cost-effective and meet objectives. And they need to be meaningful for the end learner by actually teaching something relevant and worth learning.

Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

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Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

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Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

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15 Types Of Microlearning For Formal And Informal Learning In The Workplace

Formal And Informal Learning In The Workplace: 15 Types Of Microlearning

A lot has been said about the challenge of dwindling attention spans. In fact, a recent study by Microsoft pegs that the human attention span at 8 seconds in contrast to a goldfish whose attention span stands at 9 seconds.

While I don’t necessarily buy the data of this report, the fact is that we all are multi-tasking, we live in a world of distractions, and we have limited attention span. Alongside high pressure at work (often with long hours that compete with our personal time), we need to find the time and do justice to training. In the last 2-3 years, microlearning has emerged as an effective approach that L&D teams can use to address some of these challenges.

What Is Microlearning?

As the name suggests, it is a short, focused training. It is normally 2-5 mins in run length (normally not exceeding 7 mins). Although it is short, it is designed to meet a specific learning outcome.

It has the following key characteristics:

  • Multi-device support
  • Rich media formats
  • Action-oriented (wherein learners learn, practice or apply for the job)

What Is Not Microlearning?

Microlearning is more than splitting the larger eLearning course into shorter nuggets. As I have highlighted, it is aligned to a specific learning outcome and should trigger the learner to act.

How Can Microlearning Be Used?

Microlearning is short, focused, available on mobile devices and can be adapted to offer both formal and informal training. Here are a few options:

  1. Formal training
    You can transform your traditional eLearning format or microlearning format to a series of microlearning nuggets that are connected seamlessly through a learning path. These are designed for mobile learning or mLearning format giving the flexibility to the learners to consume them on the device of their choice and at a pace that works best for them.
  2. Supplement formal training
    You can also use types of microlearning to supplement your formal training.

    • It can be offered as nuggets to provide a reinforcement to the primary, formal training. Alternately, you can offer a series of nuggets to challenge the learners (micro quizzes).
    • You can also design them as a series of nuggets for practice and eventual mastery.
    • You can also use it to supplement your Instructor-Led Training (for instance, for online pre/post workshop material or practices sessions).
  3. Performance Support Tools (PSTs) or job aids
    Microlearning finds a perfect match to offer performance support to the learners. PSTs are just-in-time learning aids that are available in the learner’s work-flow and are designed to address certain needs. They could offer a quick fix, a ready reckoner to support their task, or a checklist that enables them to create the output with the required quality. Microlearning can be used very effectively to meet these specific just-in-time learning needs.

What Are The Various Types Of Microlearning?


1. Infographics

They are a great fit to summarize the key takeaways. The visual approach to summarize the key aspects leads to higher recall and retention.


2. Interactive Infographics

Like infographics (in terms of visual-based approach), the interactivity enables you to layer information and pack more details. As an extension, they can be used as short learning guides.

Interactive Infographics

3. PDFs

This is probably the most common format for microlearning and can be used to provide quick and just-in-time access to specific information.

microlearning - PDF

4. Interactive PDFs

The more current avatar of the traditional PDFs, that allow longer reams of data to be packaged in meaningful info groups that the learner can browse through easily.

Interactive eBook

5. eBooks And Flipbooks

They make handy job aids wherein you can pack great visual appeal and interactivities. They are multi-device and can generate HTML5 output. You can also integrate audio and video to further enhance the impact.


View (Video-Based Learning)

1. Animated Videos

A popular format that can be adapted to create a variety of learning aids. It can also be a part of a traditional eLearning (context-setting or learning summary).

microlearning-animated video

2. Whiteboard Animation

A picture is worth a thousand words. Explaining concepts through pictures (featuring illustrations, animations, and audio) creates a high engagement, and the image stays with the learners well past the learning interaction.

microlearning - whiteboard animation

3. Kinetic Text-Based Animation

Sometimes, when minimalism scores instead of visuals, the animation of text (with sound effects) can be used to convey the required message.

microlearning - Kinetic animation

4. Explainer Videos

As the name suggests, these are great to introduce a concept in an easy to understand visual manner. Sharp and focused, they can be aligned to meet a specific outcome very effectively.

microlearning - explainer video

5. Interactive Videos

While video-based learning is great, you can top it up through interactive video-based learning. You can add interactions (matching the learning interactions of eLearning courses) to create high impact learning experiences.

Interactive Video Sample

6. Expert Videos, Webinars/Recorded Webinar

We look forward to expert advice and insights. Using this approach makes them accessible to learners when they want to review or at the moment of their need.


7. Webcast/Podcasts

These are again very useful formats that can be accessed on demand by the learner at the moment of their need.

microlearning - webcast


1. Interactive Parallax-Based Scrolling

Another very interesting format that uses the parallax approach that is commonly used in websites. It uses the same technique to simulate a learning path that the learner can “scroll through”. Alongside the learning path, interactions and quizzes can be added.

Parallax eLearning example 2

2. Mobile Apps

A very powerful approach to offer learning is through a mobile app that is being talked about as the “future of learning”. Not only is it the right fit for learning on the go; it brings in the added advantage to do both online and offline viewing (when there is no internet access).

EI Design Mobile Apps For Microlearning Based Training

3. Complex Branching Scenarios

When you need to simulate complex, real-life situations that learners need to handle and gain mastery on, this format is the right fit.


Take a look at this video to know the 15 types of microlearning that you can use for formal and informal learning:

I hope this article provides you enough and more choices to select types of microlearning that would work in your organization for both formal and informal learning. If you have any queries, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/15-types-microlearning-formal-informal-learning-workplace/

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Here’s How I Built This 3D Pop-Out in PowerPoint

PowerPoint graphics

In a recent post, I showed how I use PowerPoint to build the graphics for my Rise courses. I had a few questions on how to create the person sticking out of the circle image (apparently that is popular).  So today’s post shows how to do this. It’s pretty easy.

How to Create a 3D Pop-Out Graphic in PowerPoint

PowerPoint graphics Content Library

  • Insert a character and crop it until it is square.
  • Insert a circle.
  • The circle and image should be a similar size.
  • Crop the image to a circle shape.
  • Position the character over the circle.
  • Scale it up to suit your need for the overhanging image.
  • Duplicate the character.
  • Crop the first image to fit in the circle.
  • Crop the second image and place on top of the first image to cover.
  • Group together so you don’t accidentally nudge them out of place.

PowerPoint graphic steps

As you can see, it’s relatively simple to do. Then whatever you build in PowerPoint can be saved as an image. Either right-click it and save as .PNG or save the slide itself as .PNG.

Watch the tutorial below to get more of the specific detail. And here’s a bonus tutorial on how I created the 3D pop-out header image above.

Click here to view the YouTube tutorial.

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The Benefits Of Custom Mobile Learning Solutions For Your Company

In one of my earlier articles, “Top 5 Tips For Innovative eLearning Development”, I had touched upon two significant challenges that Learning and Development teams face today. First is, how to enhance efficacy of learning; second being what learning strategies should be adopted to ensure both learning and business mandates are met. Adopting custom mobile learning solutions for your company could be one of the measures to mitigate these challenges.

The post The Benefits Of Custom Mobile Learning Solutions For Your Company appeared first on eLearning.

A Simple Way to Build PowerPoint Graphics for Mobile Learning

PowerPoint graphics

In a previous post, I shared how I built an interactive scenario in Rise. I’ve gotten lots of emails asking how I built the graphics like the headers and the flashcard interactions for the interactive scenario. So in today’s post, I’m going to show you a simple way to build graphics for your Rise e-learning courses.

PowerPoint graphics headers for Rise blocks

PowerPoint graphics flashcard interaction

Understanding the Image Blocks in Rise

Rise offers a number of blocks that support inserted images (such as image, gallery, and some of the interactions). Most them work perfectly in one of two aspect ratios:

  • 1:1 (square)
  • 16:9 (rectangle)

There are a few blocks that have text overlay where the image is scaled. Those are mostly decorative images so we won’t worry about them.

Understanding PowerPoint Slides

PowerPoint is easy-to-use screen and with some practice, you can build almost any type of visual. Because of this, I build my simple graphics in PowerPoint and save the slides as images.

In PowerPoint, we need to do two things: set slide size and then whatever we build we export as an image.

  • Go to Design>Slide Size and modify the slide size.
  • To save the slide as an image, go to Save As and choose an image format. You can save a single slide or all slides. I usually save in PNG format.

Create PowerPoint Graphics to Use in Rise

Since there are two aspect ratios, I create two PowerPoint files for my Rise graphics. One is 1:1 and the other is 16:9. You can see the PowerPoint files I created for the scenario demo.

PowerPoint graphics example of file

PowerPoint is a freeform slide. I can build virtually anything I need quickly. In the interactive scenario, I created 1:1 images for the flashcards. One side of the flashcard has the question text and the other has the feedback.

I used the various image editing features in PowerPoint to colorize the graphics. I also used the emjoi features to create some simple feedback graphics. While it’s easy enough to build these graphics with other tools I just find PowerPoint to be easy and fast. However you’re not confined to PowerPoint, you can use the tool of your choice.

PowerPoint graphics flashcard questions

PowerPoint graphics flashcard answers

The images above are relatively simple. The images below required a bit more work. I had to build it so the character extends out of the frame. You can see that I created a couple of versions. I opted for the lighter version because it made the Rise screen seem more open with more white space.

PowerPoint graphics header image

When you’re all done building your slides, save the slides as images rather than a .pptx file. Then you’ll have a folder of images that work with your Rise courses.

Bonus PowerPoint Graphics Tip

With Articulate 360, you get Studio 360 that includes Presenter and works with PowerPoint. That means you have access to all of the Content Library characters and templates. So if you want the same Content Library characters in Rise, use PowerPoint slides to build the graphics like I did above.

Here’s another example I mocked up for the blog post using the same techniques.

PowerPoint graphics interactive scenario 2

So there you have it. In the first, post we looked at how to build the interactive scenario in Rise. And in this one, we reviewed how to use PowerPoint to quickly build the graphics you need.

Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

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Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

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Custom Mobile Learning Solutions: 5 Common Misconceptions

The popularity of mobile learning or mLearning continues to grow. Interestingly, integration of mobile devices into corporate learning strategies has been triggered largely by learners who want the flexibility of device they want to learn on. As a result, many corporates worldwide now have Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in place and have embraced custom mobile learning or mLearning solutions in the last 2-3 years. Yet there are several misconceptions around the effectiveness of custom mobile learning or mLearning solutions. In this article I will outline five of the common misconceptions on custom mobile learning solutions. More specifically, I will share some pointers on how you can address some of these challenges and create an effective custom mobile learning solution that will work for you.

5 Common Misconceptions About Custom Mobile Learning Solutions

As I had mentioned earlier, with the increased usage of mobile devices as the preferred device for learning (particularly tablets and in recent times smartphones), mobile learning, and as an extension, custom mobile learning solutions are on an upswing.

Integration of Tablets and Smartphones provides increased flexibility to learners as they can access the same course across multiple devices. Technology allows them a seamless learning across devices.

In spite of this momentum, custom mobile learning solutions do face certain challenges and this often leads to elusive success factors. I will outline the 5 common misconceptions that I have seen so far and will provide pointers on a work-around for you to overcome them.

1. Mobile learning is eLearning lite.

This is probably the biggest misconception and often the reason why custom mobile learning solutions fail to hit the mark. Mobile learning is not eLearning lite and when you opt for custom mobile learning solutions, you need to extensively revamp your learning strategy.

2. One size fits all.

I see this as the second biggest misconception and it is related to the first misconception. When you opt for a custom mobile learning solution, you need to identify which devices would be used to access mLearning solutions. Essentially, there are two options:

  • Adaptive.
    These are multi-device custom mobile learning solutions that support PCs, laptops, and tablets.
  • Responsive.
    These are multi-device custom mobile learning solutions that support PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

The inclusion of smartphones needs a reassessment of how your custom mobile learning solution needs to be designed. There are certain trade-offs in the overall learning experience when you design for the limited viewing area of a smartphone and this needs to be factored during the learning design phase. If the percentage of users opting for smartphones is very low, I would recommend the adaptive approach rather than a responsive approach. This will ensure that there is no trade-off and the same learning experience that is offered to PC/laptop users will also be available on tablets.

3. Need to factor for technology (HTML5 support), otherwise the same content and same learning strategy would work on all devices (including mobile devices).

This is another misconception that often causes a gap in the desired and the actual learning experience. While custom mobile learning solutions factor for the technology (HTML5 output), this alone is not adequate to craft the learning strategy. Mobile devices require bite-sized learning that certainly needs repurposing of the content. Similarly, you need to have user interactions that are intrinsic to mobile devices but they are equally intuitive for usage on PC/laptop. Only then can the learning experience on mobile devices be meaningful for the learners.

4. Tablets and smartphones both support HTML5, so the same learning strategy should work.

Yes, from a technology perspective, both tablets and smartphones support HTML5. The need for distinct learning strategies that should be part of your custom mobile learning solutions arises from two factors. The first one is the fact that there is a limited viewable area in a smartphone. There is another associated challenge of providing flexibility in portrait and landscape viewing on smartphones that is not very relevant for tablet users. So, the custom mobile learning solution should be crafted bottom up; that is, begin with smartphone and then move up to tablets and finally to laptops/PCs. This approach will ensure that the learners will get the same learning experience as they move across devices on the same course.

5. A complete learning experience cannot be delivered on smartphones.

This is a misconception that is very common. A complete learning experience can be delivered on smartphones provided your custom mobile learning solution factors for their limitations and builds on how learners are likely to use them in their overall learning journey.


Like all new approaches, an effective and successful implementation of mobile learning or mLearning needs a different learning strategy. I hope with the clarity on the common 5 misconceptions and, more specifically, my pointers on how you could handle the intrinsic challenges, you will be able to create custom mobile learning solutions that work.

Over the last 6+ years, we have crafted custom mobile learning solutions of over 800 hours for both formal and informal learning (Performance Support Tools). We have crafted learning strategies that work for both individual learners as well as for collaborative (social) learning. If you have any questions on how you can successfully integrate mobile learning into your current learning strategy, do reach out to me.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/custom-mobile-learning-solutions-5-common-misconceptions/

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