How To Modernize eLearning For Mobile Adoption

How To Modernize eLearning For Mobile Adoption
Summary: The number 1 reason companies want eLearning modernization is for mobile learning (mLearning) compatibility, but if you want to modernize eLearning for mobile you need to know it takes more than just changing formats. The Instructional Design itself must be modernized for the characteristics of the mobile learner.

Why Should You Modernize eLearning For Mobile Adoption?

Since the dawn of the palm pilot, Infopro Learning has been building mobile learning (mLearning) experiences. Back then, mobile learning was experimental cutting-edge technology, but mobile devices were not widely adopted and there were not enough users for the technology to take off.

Today, 77% of Americans own a smartphone [1] that is 100 times more capable than a palm pilot. This unlocks the potential for a redefined learning experience using mobile learning. Or it should, but that has not been the case.

According to the most recent ATD State of the Industry report [2], technology-based methods of learning delivery grouped together account for 42% of formal learning hours available, but only 2.73% of total learning hours are available via mobile learning. And of those who have adopted mobile learning, many have been disappointed with the results.

Here at Infopro Learning, we believe that this is not a problem with mobile technology, but the application of the learning platform and a lack of a solid use case.

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mLearning Modernization Is More Than HTML 5

We recently worked with a Fortune 500 publishing content (possibly the largest publishing company in the world) who was struggling with the very issue of mobile learning engagement.

This publishing company is a leader in creating academic content for higher education. They were pioneers with the transformation from traditional print publishing to digital, by providing eBook, eLearning, and virtual classroom materials to their customers.

We had worked with them several years earlier migrating their eLearning portfolio from Flash to HTML 5. That migration project enabled them to be the first publishing company to support content on mobile/tablet.

But with further research and insights into the best practice in mobile learning, the publishing company realized that simply converting content into a mobile format was not maximizing the power of mobile learning. Instead, they needed to align their content with the characteristics of a mobile learner.

Converting eLearning For Mobile Learners

One of the keys that we have found for mobile learners is that the traditional 30-60 minute eLearning course is too much time on a mobile device. Instead, mobile learners prefer shorter, bite-sized chunks of content. And videos. Mobile learners love videos!

In addition, mobile learning enables learners to learn on-the-go which provides the opportunity for on-demand microlearning (For more on meeting critical moments of learning need with mobile learning, see our infographic mLearning in-the-Moment).

Put that all together and you have short, microlearning videos on mobile, which we call Mobisodes.


Infopro Learning’s Mobisodes are short videos designed specifically for mobile learning. The videos are MP4 to be system agnostic, between 3-5 minutes to be easy to watch in 1 sitting, and are a series of videos covering a single topic for easy search-ability. For more on mobisodes see this video on the basics of a mobisode.

The Mobilize Approach

Remember that publishing company from above; we partnered with them to modernize eLearning for mobile learning using what we call the Mobilize approach. Mobilize is a cost-effective way to provide mobile learning to your employees. The approach leverages your existing training portfolio to rapidly chunk, templatize, meta-tag, and deploy a library of Mobisodes.

Auditing Source Content

The first step of the Mobilize approach involves auditing the content that will be transformed into mobile content, much like the first step of modernize. For the publishing company, the source content was a large portfolio of eLearning content, PowerPoint slides, and assessments.

Deriving Concepts And Topics

The next step in the Mobilize approach is to derive a list of concepts and topics that are contained in the source content. This step will produce an inventory of subject matter covered in the source content library.

From this inventory, we worked with the publishing company to help them determine which of the concepts and topics needed to be transformed into Mobile Learning modules and which were best left in the original formats. Each mobile learning module contained one topic. For example;

Mobisode Storyboarding

Once we worked with the publishing company to decide which modules were good sections for mobile learning, storyboards for the Mobisodes were produced.

We were able to storyboard over 250 modules for the publishing company. These storyboards were each reviewed by them in accordance with our agile delivery model.

Each storyboard defined the content to be displayed as part of the Mobisode, along with a script for the voice over recording which would accompany the module. The storyboards identified where and when source content would be leveraged and where new content may need to be produced. The storyboards followed the Mobisode Instructional Model we’ve developed.

Mobisode Production

Once we storyboarded the Mobisodes, we proceeded to develop each of the modules. For the publishing company, we utilized a variety of tools to ultimately produce the finalized Mobisodes.

Video editing tools were predominantly used to capture the screens of source content, and then combined with the new content created by Infopro Learning instructional designers. Once the video was finalized, the video and script was sent to a voice over artist who produced the voice over recording. The audio was then synchronized with the video and published as the final Mobisode.

Publishing The Content

To maximize the delivery channels, Mobisodes are published as MP4 videos. In this particular case, the publishing company published content for:

  1. Their proprietary Learning Management System.
  2. YouTube/other video streaming services.
  3. Distribution via email and other messaging services.

Mobilize: Modernizing eLearning To mLearning

And that’s how we modernized eLearning the publishing company's courses for mLearning. The Mobilize approach we used decreased mobile course production expense and time to a completion by months for their expansive library of mobile learning modules. The publishing company achieved a tremendous ROI from the project due to the differentiation over their competition who was selling comparable content, but without the mobile modules.

Furthermore, the mobile modules were modernized from eLearning courses with the characteristics of mobile learners in mind.

If you would like to read more on Modernizing content see our strategy guide Modernize for the overall business strategy, or Modernize For Engagement for the 5 steps that we use to modernize old content for better engagement.

Related articles:

1. The First Step To Modernizing Your eLearning Content

2. "Do I Need eLearning Modernization?" 5 Questions To Ask

3. The 2 Parts Of A Successful Content Modernization Strategy

4. Free eBook - Modernize For Engagement: 5-Step Guide For Breathing Life Back Into Stale Content


  1. Mobile Fact Sheet
  2. State of the Industry