2012-08-13

E-learning - Access Device Commutative

Paradigm shift


The future of e-learning is not mobile, it is Access Device Commutative (ADC). Much is written about the perceived challenges of e-learning and mobile deployment, however, two issues are largely overlooked:

Television and Tablet

  1. E-learning is largely accessed via a web browser. Historically, developers of web-based assets were concerned with available screen size. This is no longer the case as anyone, who has used multi-touch 'zoom' gestures on a smart device, will know. Additionally, W3C developed standards to ensure all web browsers display content in the same way, however, some browser developers have failed to fully comply. Consequently, web asset developers must code expensive work-arounds. This is common. Web based assets, such as e-learning, designed to be standards compliant, will display logically at any screen size, in any browser. They will be no more expensive to develop as the development costs of work-arounds for non-compliant assets, will not be incurred.
  2. With screen sizes that cannot be predicted, this issue is a combination of page and navigation design. Programmatically, the ability to handle such variation has existed almost since the web was invented. Developers will need to deploy only standards compliant assets.Users will need to adopt standards compliant browsers."What about my right to choose the browser I want?" I hear you protest at this proposed infringement of your Human Rights. What about your right to see content being displayed correctly, the way it is intended? The challenge is ours, you and me, the GUI and Instructional Designers. We must be concerned with ensuring the e-learning (and its GUI) we design is as easy to use on a 1650 mm TV as a tablet.

Conclusion
Software used to build learning objects will need to be W3C/coding standards compliant, and not pander to non-compliance work-arounds. Page and navigation design must accommodate any access device format. This will require a change in how we think about the use of text and non-text assets, both within the learning content and the GUI.

One size can fit all with effective development criteria and good design. Creating one learning object for TV and PC and another for Tablets, means something is wrong.

ADC e-learning is a necessity, ensure it is accessible wherever, whenever, and however the user wishes.

Question
Do you really see any point in trying to make e-learning, in the sense of the current SCORM object, accessible via a mobile phone? Surely, a tablet will do?

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