When we think of mobile learning we tend to get a picture of the commuter working their way through the morning train ride, and while this is accurate, there is so much more to mobile learning.

For the first time ever we have a platform that allows users to maximize their time and find the moments that work best for their own unique needs.

It’s really a simple equation:

Mobile Learning = Multitasking

So here in the E-Learning community our job is to help our participants succeed and make the most out of each and every initiative.  What we have to realize is that mobile learning is very different that what we are used to.  And, if we want to be effective then we need to learn how to work within the realities of the tools that we have.  With that in mind here are my 5 best tips for effective mobile learning.

1). Keep it Short, Keep it Simple

When building a new initiative it can feel like we need to force all of our information into a single session.  This is the kiss of death for mobile learning.  Remember, by its very definition your users will most likely be on the go when they log in to work their way through their content.

So keep it simple. No longer than 10 to 15 minutes.

It is much better to break up the course into several smaller modules or lessons than to try and cover too much in a single sitting.

2). Minimize your Multimedia

The mobile learning platform has opened up so many amazing possibilities in terms of multimedia and how we can utilize these tools in our learning initiatives. And I say go for it!  Just don’t go overboard. If you overload the presentation with too many extras your participants may never get past the opening screen.

Remember, you want them to succeed.  So hold yourself back and only add the extras when they truly add value to what you are trying to say. You want to enhance the content, not just the file size.

3). Limit your Key Points

Limiting key points is a great way to limit the size and scope of each lesson.  If you choose a manageable number of points, say 3, and then stick with it, you will keep each lesson right where it needs to be in terms of time.  With mobile learning it is much better to offer 10 smaller, shorter lessons than one long stretch that is not feasible on this type of platform.

4). Watch your Graphics

Graphics are a great way to add style and interest to any presentation, but with mobile learning you have some unique limitations to keep in mind.

First, be mindful of different screen sizes and resolutions. There is often no guarantee as to the types of devices each user will have. So you want to keep your graphics in a format that is widely recognized.  Ditto for file type. Make sure that your file tags are common and supported by a wide rage of devices.

Also, keep in mind that most mobile devices recognize about 65k colors.  The iPhone and Nokia offer more but, again, there is no guarantee as to what type of device your users will have.

5). Be Interactive

To make the most of the mobile learning format you will want your participants involved in the lessons. And with so much freedom you can do things in this format that have never been possible before. So be interactive. Include links to call other participants. Ask for collaboration. Open up a chat function. Link to various websites. Truly the options are endless.

So get creative.  Mobile learning is here to stay. In fact, it is only going to get more and more prevalent. So, how are you going to put your own spin on it? I can’t wait to find out.