Tuesday, January 19, 2010

mLearning Content Types - Overview & Intro

To assist regular readers of this site in better understanding what's possible in the mobile learning space, the next seven posts will all be part of a series exploring the various mLearning content types and delivery methods we are seeing in the enterprise space. We hope these posts prove informative as well as instructional and we plan to include illustrative examples to better "tell the story" of what's possible and practical. We'll begin today with the first two posts including an series introduction followed by a exploration of simple message-based content.


mLearning Content Types & Delivery Modalities- Series Intro

There are three classes of mobile devices – basic cell phones, advanced smartphones, and ultra-portable netbook computers – and these devices vary greatly in the type of content they can receive and display. To better understand the array of content that can be authored and delivered to these three classes of devices, the Mobile Learning Content Delivery Model (Table 1 below) outlines six unique types of mobile-friendly content typically deployed to mobile learners, spanning simple message-based notifications and alerts accessible by anyone at Level 1, to highly engaging on-device or streaming media services only accessible via smartphones and netbooks at Level 6.

As shown in Table 1 below, mlearning content at Levels 1 - 3 works with any mobile phone (basic or smartphone) while mlearning content from Levels 4 - 6 requires a smartphone or netbook device and wired/wireless data service. There are also stark differences in the time, effort and expense required to create and deliver mlearning content at each of these levels (with some interesting surprises too).

Obviously, if your environment has 100% smartphones and/or netbooks, you can feel confident that all content types discussed herein can be supported. However, if your audience includes a mix of device types including basic cellphones, you’ll need to consider what type of content you will be able to deliver for each class of device to be supported. There is no “one size fits all” solution in the mobile content arena.

In the next post, we’ll take a more in-depth look at the six levels to better understand how each contributes to a well-conceived overall mobile delivery strategy.

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