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May 2016 #Obsidianchat Summary

Time: 2:00 – 2:30PM 5/17/2016

May’s Obsidian Chat topic was mobile learning. We had mLearning expert Chad Udell from Float join us to share his knowledge and insight on the topic. Chad is well known throughout the eLearning and mobile learning communities as a leading expert. Who better to join in than an expert, right?

Q1. How are you using mlearning in your courses?

Your boss may have asked you “to incorporate mLearning into your courses,” but huh? Wha? Am I doing this right?

Chad Udell (@visualrinse) spelled it out for us
At @gowithfloat, we’re not focused on courses. We design and build custom point solutions that integrate with existing tech. We realize that @gowithfloat is a little different breed, so we play with microlearning and providing utility/usefulness. We’re really focused on extending enterprise tech into learning and vice versa”.

The consensus among others in the chat, @mpsavage, @Lubosj, and @DuncanWIV, was that mLearning is a great performance support tool. However, it can also standalone if designed well.

Q2. When should you use mlearning? When shouldn’t you?

The million dollar questions, right? Everywhere we look in our industry right now, people are talking about mLearning. You need it, you want it, you must implement it! Not so fast… Remember that technology only benefits your learners if used at the right time, right place, and right application.

Chad Udell tweeted
“IMHO mobile learning is great if you have employees that are on the go. It doesn’t make sense when they’re stuck at desks.”

@mpsavage agreed that
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.” @lubosj added “If knowing why, when or where helps make the content more valuable, then mobile helps.

Chad continued with
When context matters, mlearning can help. A better way to look at it - when the process is mobilized, maybe “learning” is no longer needed.

@DuncanWIV wrote
Mobile is great for just in time performance support, social interactions, field assessments etc. Depending on the audience and content, mobile may not be a great fit for foundation skills.

Q3. What tools are you using to implement mlearning?

@visualrinse answered with
We use human-centered design with custom application development to build experiences that fit the user’s needs perfectly.

@DuncanWIV addressed ramp up time
Using the inherent mobile tools allows users to move from one app to the next with a short learning curve.

Some food for thought when deciding on mLearning from @mpsavage
Are tablets becoming less mobile from a learning design perspective? Do we look at the phone differently?.

Q4. What budget considerations should you have for mlearning?

As in with any project, there are multiple factors that will affect your specific project costs. However, as a general rule.

@visualrinse tweeted
Plan that the initial release of a mobile learning effort is probably only about 20-30% of the TCO. Maintenance & updates! Move to product management mentality away from a project management mentality. Software lifecycle. Measurement & iteration. Pay more for design now, and save on design and revisions later. Survey, research and understand your users.

@DuncanWIV asked
“so @visualrinse , a more agile approach establishing base features and then enhancing based on use?” to which Chad responded “You can can always improve. Avoid overbuilding.

Q5. Where do you see mlearning heading in the future?

To this question, we were grateful to have Chad Udell’s insight as to what he sees as the future of mLearning. He tweeted, “Mobile learning needs to focus on utility and usefulness. Point solutions built on microservices will gain importance. Old conventions like a course and trite assessments will give way to true performance measurement. Learning becomes working, working becomes learning. Line blurred just like work/life balance is today. People realize that good instructional design is really good information design is good UX design. All linked, all important. Bots will learn what we don’t need to. Making “always available learning” there whether you want it or not.

And there you have it, folks! We would like to thank everyone who participated in #ObsidianChat this month. Sharing information is what makes us learn and grow in an ever changing field. A very sincere thank you to Chad Udell with Float for lending his expertise.

We look forward to chatting with everyone for next month’s #obsidianchat, which will be on June 21st from 2:00 – 3:00pm CST. Want to learn more about mobile learning? eLearning? Gamification? Check out our blog:

23 June,2018 The Obsidian Blog | May 2016 #Obsidianchat Summary Obsidian Learning