Differentiating Between Mlearning and Elearning

Designing Digitally


Difference between Mlearning and Elearning

Gen-Y workers are quickly taking over the workforce. These are people who have been born into technology. They are tech-savvy and want to use technology for all aspects of their life, including learning. If you want them to upskill, then you have to provide them with learning opportunities in the format they prefer. Many organizations have included online learning in their training strategy. But, there is a minor problem. Certain organizations still think that mlearning and elearning are the same thing and can be used interchangeably.

That is not true, and it is crucial that they understand that both are different in so many ways. The ‘e’ in elearning denotes electronic, where learning is delivered via electronic devices like desktops and laptops. The ‘m’ in mlearning refers to mobile, where the learning is delivered over mobile devices. There are several other differences between the two that organizations and learners need to understand. Here are just a few of them.

#1: Purpose

Elearning is geared towards imparting exhaustive information on a particular topic, for example, teaching your employees to operate a machine or work on a tool. It is a structured and formal program that will help you achieve this objective. Mlearning, on the other hand, is used to support the ongoing learning process. This format is suitable for on-demand learning. For example, if the employee is traveling and has about five minutes on hand, then they can utilize that time to learn about something of their choice. Or, if they are stuck while working on a task and need immediate assistance, then they can reference  mlearning modules for help.

#2: Design

For elearning, learners use their computers and laptops. They are longer sessions than mlearning, so it is better that the learner has a comfortable place to sit. In mlearning, learners use their mobile devices to learn. Since they are small modules, the learners can take them even while traveling. Tablets and smartphones have smaller screens than computers. So, you need to make sure that the content is designed and formatted in a way that is easy to view, irrespective of the screen size. You need to use simple images. The navigation and buttons should be straightforward. Each screen should focus only on one idea. Also, keep the bandwidth in mind when you include media elements.

#3: Information

In elearning courses, the information delivered is detailed. The learner can expect to receive in-depth data about the topic being taught. The courses can range from 30 to 60 minutes. In mlearning, the learner receives information that is to the point. When they need to perform a particular task and need help, mlearning can provide the precise information to the learner. They are short bite-sized nuggets that only last up to five minutes.

#4: Assessments

In elearning, usually the learner goes through the course first and later applies the knowledge gained to their work. There is a significant time gap between these two activities. But, if the learner is accessing training on their mobile device, they likely need immediate help and are seeking the required knowledge. The shorter the gap between learning and application, the easier it is to measure the success of the material.

#5: Content access

Mlearning is available anytime and anywhere if you have a mobile device. In fact, the learning is designed to be accessed on mobile devices only. Of course, connectivity and bandwidth are major factors to be considered. elearning can sometimes be downloaded and stored for offline access, but not always. Also, collaborative learning is easier in mlearning as most of the apps can be linked seamlessly.

Both elearning and mlearning have several differences, but they are equally cherished. You will need to decide which one you opt for based on the context of learning and your learner preferences. Make sure you have analyzed the learning objectives, infrastructure, audience profile, and available resources before choosing a particular format.

The differences between mlearning and elearning do not determine the success of your learning modules. How effective your learning solutions are depends on how relevant the content and the design are. Of course, the delivery format also matters depending on the preference of your audience.

By having Designing Digitally develop your custom learning solution, you can supply your employees with the freedom to access course content on their tablets and smartphones while on the move, or from desktops and laptops.

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