Wednesday, August 29, 2007

e-Learning Guild Mobile Learning Report

The e-Learning Guild presentation of the most recent 360 Research Report on Mobile Learning.

Presenters include:
  • Steve Wexler: e-Learning Guild's research guru
  • Brent Schlenker: e-Learning Guild Evangelist. Blogger. Has been in the Educational Technology field for 10+ years (mostly at Intel). Passionate about new technologies and how we use them in the learning and training space.
  • Judy Brown: University of Wisconsin.
  • David Metcalf: in Sweden, but usually in Florida. Researcher at the Institute for Simulation & Training in Southern Florida. Wrote a book on mobile learning (M-Learning: Mobile E-Learning). Has been working with Judy Brown, who is also quite passionate about m-learning.
  • Clark Quinn: Has been doing this for 30 years. Loves any new technologies that helps us achieve our goals. Mobile helps us meet needs that we haven't been able to touch before.
  • Angela van Barneveld: Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Corporate Training Space -- technical training. Her company has implemented mobile access to data. She's beenl looking into mobile learning for the past 3-4 years.

250 page report crammed into 45 minutes of banter and 15 minutes of questions.

Note: surveys are ALWAYS available, so always getting new data. And if you haven't completed the survey, you can do it right now. And you can update your data as you implement new approaches.

What is m-Learning? (Panel)

Committee couldn't really decide if they should include laptops in the survey discussion.

Content that helps people perform their tasks better.

Taking content you're already developing and delivering it on a mobile's not about putting a full course on a thing. Reusing your content in flexible ways.

Definition of mLearning:

"An activity that allows individuals to be more productive when consuming, interacting, or creating information, mediated through a compact digital portable device that the individual carries on a regular basis and has reliable connectivity and fits in a pocket or purse."

Survey Findings (Steve)

Text messaging used much more outside of US and Canada.
64.39% used text messaging on their mobile/smart phone.

Adoption within organization:

  • 33% say they have no plans to do m-learning in their organization (international said 24%, u.s. said 35%, canada said 37%) -- Steve predicts these numbers will change over the next year.
Any industries leading the charge? Telecommunications, Healthcare were at the top, although there were others.

Barriers to adoption:
  • Screens are too small (31%) -- the iPhone may make that issue go away, especially when it gets Flash & Flash Lite
  • Content developed for other media does not transfer well (43%)
Increase learner/user access and availability (46%)
Accomodate leaner/user needs (31%)
Reduce costs (20%)

Do you believe you have received a good ROI (Very good ROI 20%)

What members want:
  • A standard set of tools to develop m-learning (63%)
  • Auto-adapt to diff devices (56%) - that what you develop will work across multiple devices.
  • Great examples of m-learning (55%)
  • How to integrate m-learning with LMS (60%) -- included in the report as a Case Study.

Examples (David/Judy)

  • Performance Support -- the way to go and the proper place for m-learning
  • Review or Reinforcement -- following models of Will Thalheimer for optimal reinforcement to use m-learning as an adjunct to main delivery of training.
  • Knowledge Acquisition -- searches
  • Coaching or Mentoring -- reaching out to other people and connecting to other people (not just repositories of inf..knowing who to talk to).
  • Quick Updates
  • Data Collection -- producer of information
  • Audio/Video Instruction -- where appropriate (iPod)
  • Decision Support -- expert systems or artificial intelligence (AI) or a step-by-step process that is interactive to give you info that you need.
Showed some screen shots of examples.
  • Performance Support: Sify eLearning
  • see more examples at
  • Review or reinforcement: StudyCell Flashcard
  • Pilots doing 30 days test that report back to their LM -- pocket Scorm.
  • Knowledge acquisition: C-Shock Mobile Game (integrates a game being developed in the UK to combat culture shock for international students...opensource...could be used for new employee hires, campus tours, etc.)
  • Knowledge acquisition: Mobile Panflu Prep (carrier specific ) -- created for healthcare workers and is available for downloads.
  • iPod examples
  • Business English in Japan

Report includes examples and case studies.

Design Considerations (Clark)
How do you redesign the way that you design?

  • Not about putting an entire course onto a mobile device. Don't want to make user go through a large amount of content. Instead, take elements (intro, practice, exit) -- and think about how you can reuse them in creative ways. Could you stream out a motivating example to learners before they come to a learning event?
  • Could you provide reference charts available for reference out in the field?
  • Scaffolded practice -- what is the optimum time to space it out? We know that spacing it out over time can lead to greater retention?
  • Can we make job aids available through mobile devices?
  • Can you call someone up after the event in the realworld -- get mentorship and guidance?
  • Reactivation: pump out some extra practice or stories showing how it's working (to remind user).

Small packets (learning objects): repackaged to provide just-in-time.

Problem Solving: what might we do proactively to meet needs in the field? Can you make answers available through mobile device (as people Google, prarie-dogging in a cubicle farm to ask someone the question). If the answer doesn't exist, can you help them solve it? Could you take a picture of a situation and upload it to someone to collaborate on how to solve a problem? Bring in collaborators to help you solve a problem? Can you quickly upload the info so that others can quickly find it? (e.g., blogging from your iPhone).

It's just Different Ways to think about it. Ways to help people be much more productive.

What would make them (your learners) more productive?
  • Can we send quick txt messaging - doesn't need to be perfect prose. Shouldn't be highly dense, more bulleted.
  • What media can you show -- a video about repair?
  • Sales people can't remember all the products -- can you provide a quick tool to find the right product for a customer?
The idea is that we need to think differently about the content and how we can support the learners using these devices.

Business Drivers -- Why Do This? (David)
  • There will be 9x more smart phones in 2011 than there are today (PDAs, blackberries)
  • M-Learning supports best practices in pedagogy (being able to reinforce content)
  • Just-in-time vs. formal learning
  • From mobile consumer to mobile producer
  • It's a key issue to be able to integrate with many back-end business systems.

The iPhone (Brent -- of course!)

Where does the iPhone fit into this connected puzzle of technologies -- to improve the effectiveness of our learning.

No longer about seat time -- how long we make people sit and page through content. M-Learning gives us another way to deliver content to people when they need it.
  • Brent's iPhone worked flawlessly out of the box (vs. his old Treo)
  • Everything goes in and out of your Internet connection -- and you want to have a consistent and great experience whether you're connecting at your desktop or your mobile device.
  •'s not perfect....can't do Flash right now and javascript is limited....but it's the best solution right now for getting content to people.
  • The iPod for "passing" learning.
  • The iPod is now integrated with the iPhone, so you have one device. You can listen to a podcast, get your data -- and then connect to the Internet to find the URL that's mentioned in the podcast.
  • The NEXT iPod will be even better...
Getting up to Speed (Angela)
When should I use m-learning and when shouldn't I use it?

Primary challenge is to change how you're thinking. Old paradigm of what learning is -- we're moving away from a formal learning event to what person needs right now to perform and do.

Technology is unbelievable and can be overwhelming.

How to get up to speed:
  • See/read what others have been doing
  • Play with examples and tools
  • Ask questions
  • Participate

Words of wisdom from those who have gone before us:
  • Make sure people know how to use the device
  • Make access to info easy
  • Keep learning bits short
  • Not everything should be ported to mobile device (can be way too congested).
  • Instructional Design still applies -- focus first on performance needs, then the technology.

Future of m-Learning (David)
  • Mobile consumer vs. mobile producer
  • Things you could not do before -- use of multimedia and personalization...
  • Augmented reality --- so you can have location based learning (point your camera at a starbucks cup, hit send, it will send you the closest locations -- or financial info)
  • Just-in-time, just-in-place learning in mixed media

Can the US catch up? Why is the US so far behind?
  • Too many standards
  • Pricing models (in Sweden, they don't pay for incoming calls, just outgoing calls).

How to Get Free Stuff (Brent)

If you take the online survey, you get a free summary of the report....

  • Go to the elearning Guild website
  • You must be logged in (so sign up today to be a free associate member of the elearning Guild)
  • Go into your profile and find the Mobile Learning Survey for free.
Check out mLearnopedia.

In July, I wrote a post with notes from the eLearning Guild's Synchronous Learning Report.


Karl Kapp said...


You are an amazing note taker.:)

Kate Foy said...

HI Cammy
this has been really useful! Thanks for the notes.

FYI in Australia we also only pay for outgoing calls. When I was in Canada a year or so ago, couldn't believe you also had to pay for incomings. WOW!

I agree the way to get on board any new learning technology is the 4-step process mentioned in your post: see and read; play, question and participate. Works for me.

Meantime, we're hanging out to get the iPhone downunder! :>

Brent Schlenker said...

Cammy, can I have you sit in on ALL of my meetings ;-)

This is amazing!
Many thanks!

Cammy Bean said...

I'm glad to be able to provide an accurate typing service for the general good of the e-learning community! I think I must have been a stenographer in another life....

@ Kate...It has always seemed wrong that incoming calls count against one's cell phone minutes. It's never worked that way on a land line. But I suppose the Verizons and other monsters of the telecom world have figured out a way to squeeze the most dollars out of us americans. Is this a matter of regulation?

I'm interested in hearing more stories of how companies are implementing mobile learning. Examples examples examples.