Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Instructional Design for Mobile Learning #id4mlearning

These are my live blogged notes from a webinar today with Float Learning: Instructional Design for Mobile #id4mlearning. Advance apologies for typos or incoherence…

Brought to us today by:

  • Adam Bockler, Float
  • Gary Woodill, Sr. Analyst at Float @gwoodill
  • Jeff Tillet mLearning Strategist and Evangelist at Float (formerly ID at T-mobile) @mojotillett
  • Chad Udell at Float @visualrinse

www.floatlearning.com 18 month old company with focus on mobile. @floatlearning

Agenda: conversation points

  • Where we came from
  • Where we are at?
  • Where’s it going?


  • Gary Woodill’s The Mobile Learning Edge
  • Clark Quinn, Designing mLearning
  • Barbara Ballard, Designing the Mobile User Experience

(We can tell a field is about to take off because there’s a big rash of books!)

What is instruction?

It’s a two way street.  But instruction tends to not be an equal relationship – there’s a power differential.

What makes good instruction is often a willing student.

So often people treat ID as just organizing information on a page.

A Brief History of Instruction

The modern classroom, 1770’s in Prussia – you faced the teacher who was the expert and the storehouse of knowledge.

Same metaphor applies to a lot of elearning – starting at a screen = staring at a teacher.

“Classrooms immobilized us…mobile devices now mobilizes us.”

We can use devices in the classroom to mobilize us – get kids out from behind their desks and moving around, gathering information.

Mobile learning starts to encourage diversity in learning (as opposed to traditional classroom which encourages conformity.)

Nowadays, there’s just way too much information.  Teachers can’t keep up.  In the workforce it’s overwhelming. 

The “just in case” model of learning isn’t very efficient. Now I need it where I need it and when I need it.

Moving from competency based learning to task based learning. Now learning according to what the task at hand is.

The last 50 years of ID

  • Behaviorism (very simple, little bits) and Programmed Instruction. 1940s
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy 1956
  • Mager Learning Objectives 1962
  • Gagne 9 Events 1965
  • ADDIE…1975
  • ADDIE and the 5 Rules of Zen 2002

The affordances of mobile devices are many – need to think about training and ID in new ways.

Growth of the Corporate University movement (represented a shift from hallway training and apprentice movement) – the increasing professionalization of training – and now we’re getting ready to move away from it. (We’ve tried to fit adults into this classroom model – shows a picture of some elderly gents looking uncomfortable whilst staring at the front of a classroom).

We’re not dismissing those old ways of learning – we’re finding additional ways.

We’ve tried to use all these old school metaphors (e.g., raise your hand while interacting with a CD ROM).

Technology Advancements: Here’s what’s changed…

  • Computers
  • Internet
  • Gaming & Interactive
  • Social or Informal

Use these tools/strategies/realities – differently.

Gamification and “Engagification”

"Bad ID with badges is still bad ID. Bad ID with badges is still bad ID."  (Chad Udell @visualrinse)

Saatchi and Saatchi study on gamification: http://www.slideshare.net/Saatchi_S/gamification-study

Here's a great presentation on the use of gamification and how it still needs an emotional aspect in order to be effective: http://www.slideshare.net/avantgame/we-dont-need-no-stinkin-badges-how-to-reinvent-reality-without-gamification

Augmented Reality

Take a picture of an environment and text labels appear in the picture. Or add images/objects onto the environment…



Is it performance support?

Some of the new things around mobile:

Physically, we learn better when there’s blood moving around – when we’re mobile. http://www.brainrules.net/

If you’re moving around and in the environment, you’re in context.  This may spark the need to learn more about something (e.g., if you’re in Venice, you want to learn more about Venice)

A brief history of Mobile Learning

Clark Quinn – early definition of mobile learning in 2001

Europe has done more around mobile

Commercial side starting to develop (e.g., mobile focused vendors like Float)

Four Conventional Learning Applications for Mobile Devices

  1. Instructional support uses (elearning on a small screen – lectures, video, audio clips, notes)
  2. Personal Organizers
  3. Learning Management Systems on a mobile
  4. Assessments

New Learning Application Categories

1. microblogging and text messaging “social media” (see: http://www.twitip.com/twitter-the-real-time-answer-engine/)

2. Research tool – data collection (go out into the environment and track things, collect data, then bring it back to the classroom for discussion)

3. Trend tracking and analysis

4. just in time information retrieval (Alerts go out when a bakery takes fresh bread out of the oven.  )

5. augmented reality

6. mobile gaming and virtual words (gamification…)

7. contextual learning – personalization and location (you know the person, where they’re located, what their needs and habits are and what they need at a certain place)

8. user controlled media/production/playback (use your personal devices for your own productions - “looking from the bottom up”)

9. performance support and coaching

10. Social networking and communities

11. environmental controls

12. haptic feedback

13. first person documentation

14. coordination and cooperation

15. collaboration

16. collective behavior…

“Unplanned learning. Do we have to plan all the ways that people learn? Maybe we relax…and lose control.” IDs in the mobile world

“We learn a lot from our peers – back to the apprenticeship model.”

So what does Float do?


  • Basic research and strategies
  • Analysis on what’s going on within your companies
  • Prototyping and building solutions


Adam Bockler said...


Thanks for sharing your live thoughts from the session. You must have been busy, typing this and your comments in the chat.

I wanted to let you and everybody else know that we have posted the slides with some additional quotes on our blog: http://floatlearning.com/2011/10/instructional-design-for-mobile-learning/

I know we're all glad you enjoyed the conversation, and we hope you will join us for our next session in November.

Jason Willensky said...

Great notes, Cammy. Thanks for sharing.