Design Approaches for Adapting Content for mLearning


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E-Learning professionals have grown accustomed to the challenge of designing and developing content for learning where the content is singularly prioritized above all else. This is understandable, as the content must be accurate and engaging. But in the world of mLearning, although content is still very important, we need to pay careful attention to another word: Context. The user’s exact needs and situation at that moment are part of the context. The device's constraints, the bandwidth, and many other technology issues also feed into the user’s context that you must design for. This new design consideration is foreign to many e-Learning developers used to a corporate IT structure and typical PC platform requirements.

Published in: Technology, Design

Design Approaches for Adapting Content for mLearning

  1. 1. Design Approaches Adapting Content for mLearning
  2. 2. Intro • Chad Udell • Solutions Architect - Float Learning • Blog at and
  3. 3. What we’re going to cover • How to recognize how the user's context affects design of the content • What constraints certain contexts place on content design and delivery • How to effectively leverage your users' context to produce effective learning
  4. 4. The worst case scenario
  5. 5. What’s wrong with that? • No concept of the user experience • No curation • No guide for decisions • No context
  6. 6. A Primer on Context • The Where, When and Why of Mobile • Setting (Physical and Social) • Time (Relative and Absolute) • Intent (Reason for Access)
  7. 7. Setting • Differences between at home and on the go • At the office vs. at a client’s location • How does this change what is important?
  8. 8. Time • Relative Time • Proximity to another event • Absolute Time • 11:32AM, Wednesday June 3rd, 2010 • Three days before New Year’s Day. • 10PM Everyday
  9. 9. Intent • What does the user really want at this juncture? • Difficult to infer • Use of device sensors and usage history
  10. 10. Placing something in Context changes everything!
  11. 11. Should have checked the context before traveling
  12. 12. The perfect mLearning device?
  13. 13. Contains some useful information, mostly about towels.
  14. 14. Lets you know when there are three armed men inside the building
  15. 15. Check the controls
  16. 16. How do we start?
  17. 17. Draft the Personas
  18. 18. What’s in a Persona? • Demographics • Goals • Tasks • Device Specifics • Connectivity • Tech Familiarity • More?
  19. 19. Use them! A scene from a Yahoo! Session
  20. 20. Craft Use Cases
  21. 21. Categories of Contextual Design • System Aware • Network Aware • User Aware
  22. 22. System Aware • Adapt to device-specific interaction techniques (Touch vs. Multitouch vs. Cursor vs. Terminal) • Different display on different screens (resolution) • Functionality specific to the delivery platform
  23. 23. Network Aware • Account for differences in network access and bandwidth - Wifi vs. 3/4G vs. EDGE • Using local device storage when offline
  24. 24. User Aware • Inferrals of intent • Personalize content based on usage history • Integrate social data • Provide varying levels of service and data access
  25. 25. So, let’s try it out.
  26. 26. Scenario #1 • A Technophobe Sales • Likes Talk Radio Professional • Doesn’t mind calling • Needs access to homebase current whitepapers and soft skills training • Has an older smartphone, not • May have long drives always sure how to use it • May not always have web access • Has an iPod
  27. 27. Scenario #2 • Manager(s) for a • Has dozens of permits Construction company and regulations to check the jobsite • Needs quick info on against the machine fleet • Has some existing web • Just got top of the line apps they use, not Android phones sure about how they work on the mobile • Wants an “app for that”
  28. 28. Scenario #3 • Company has a large • Users have a large number of tech number of SKUs they professionals on the have to know about road • Product bulletins come • Needs up to the out weekly, sometimes minute info on jobsite daily conditions • A lot of employee • No single type of turnover phone
  29. 29. The only chance for assuring a successful contextual advertising system is merging it with top social networks like MySpace, Facebook, etc. where the system will better understand its users, their needs, search habits, likes and dislikes, and serve them perfect ads – ads that they will click on.
  30. 30. In Summary • 3 types of context • These types require User Focused Design approach • System, Network and User aware applications can all flow from these approaches • User focused design works regardless of the technology
  31. 31. Questions?