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5 Differences Between eLearning and mLearning

by | Dec 3, 2015 | eLearning Tools

DigitalChalk: 5 Differences Between eLearning and mLearning

Mobile devices are finding their way into the everyday lives of more and more individuals as the time goes on and this is no different when it comes to learning. More and more business leaders are turning to mobile devices for learning solutions within their companies (though myths and misunderstandings with the medium do exist). Elearning and mlearning allow for this technological advancement in learning to work to a business’ advantage, however, elearning and mlearning are two completely different types of learning. One type of program is not necessarily better than the other type. Both elearning and mlearning have a place in the workplace learning environment when used correctly. Below are five differences between elearning and mLearning.

1. Time gap between assessment

In most cases there is a significant time period between when an individual will take an elearning solutions course and then put what is learned to practice. When a user is learning through mLearning, the context is typically applied immediately, sometimes even within minutes from finishing the module. The shorter gap between learning and putting the learned material into practice, the easier it is for business leaders to assess the overall comprehension of the learned material.

2. The size of the device you are learning on

Elearning is a learning environment that allows individuals to use their computer to further their education. Mlearning is the use of a mobile phone or tablet to learn. Programs have to be designed differently depending upon if it is an elearning program or an mlearning program. Programs must be designed for either the larger computer screen, or formatted for the smaller screen of a mobile device. Mlearning programs must be designed with a more simple format due to the inability to run large graphics within the program.

3. The time designated to learn

Elearning programs are not only more complex in the manner of graphics. These programs are also designed for the user to sit down and study for longer periods of time. mlearning is designed for mobile applications, and the programs are typically designed for the user to be able to start and stop at any given time, in any given place. A typical elearning module can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, where a typical mlearning module usually lasts 10 minutes or less.

4. How much information is given

An example of an elearning course would be a marketing course where the program takes the user from start to finish. Mlearning programs are designed more to give particular pieces of information at the exact time given. Instead of providing a complete course like an elearning program does, many mlearning programs make it simple for users to look up the particular bit of information needed at that time.

5. The context being taught

Many elearning programs are led by an instructor and have to develop the overall context being taught. Individuals using elearning have to be taught the importance of the context that is being established. In most cases, mlearning programs are designed to only reinforce the context that has already been established.

There are a wide array of differences between elearning and mlearning programs. Elearning and mlearning both have advantages and disadvantages. Just because these programs are different does not mean that one type of program is better than the other. Every individual learning through one of these types of programs is different, and one program type might work better for one individual where the other program type will work better for another individual. Both elearning and mlearning are incredible learning programs when used in the correct situation.

Written by: Brigg Patten

Brigg Patten writes in the business and tech spaces. He’s a fan of podcasts, bokeh and smooth jazz. His time is mostly spent learning the piano and watching his Golden Retriever Julian chase a stick.

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