Will authoring tools change for mobile learning?
Dynamic eLearning primarily concentrates on user-friendly design backed with engaging learning strategies so that a learner stays hooked and comes back to the learning time and again. In today’s multi screen, multi platform and multi device world, the idea of customizing the same learning experience for all devices might not be the right strategy.
Mobile learning, by that logic, is not equivalent to eLearning on mobiles. Expecting all e-learning courses designed for desktops to work equally well on mobiles is against the thinking of ubiquitous learning, since each of these devices is perfected for different needs, and possesses unique features. It is more useful for performance support and just-in-time learning. Augmented with the powerful functionalities of mobile devices (such as AR, Bluetooth, WIFI, Geo-location, Geo-tagging, Geo-fencing), learning can become really powerful.
The major aspect of learning among multiple devices should primarily be driven by context. The best mLearning should make use of the device-specific features (basically, all sensors) for delivery of content. The content, more than just being ‘responsive’ for the sake of the size of the device, adapts to these ever growing functionalities. Think of yourself as an ID who’s developing a short course on London meant for the first time traveler to the city. Your job is to tell him about the culture, the behavior, the history and the major landmarks of the city. Now, think of how you will be creating a course that uses the mobile functionalities to drive the best possible learner experience.
In the present scenario most of the rapid e-learning development tools in the market do not support fast designing of courses for mobiles. On the other hand the rapid app-authoring tools are becoming more and more frequent allowing novice developers to self develop their apps without coding. So, we are waiting for interesting times, when mobile learning will go the app authoring way for the instructional designer, and rapid authoring of mobile learning will be possible without losing on the engagement quotient of the module.