Mobile Experts

Understanding Context: Adapting Content for mLearning

by WorkLearnMobile


Why WorkLearnMobile likes Chad

Why WorkLearnMobile asked Chad

As managing director of Float Learning, Chad Udell is truly at the forefront of m-learning strategy and design delivering m-learning strategies to thousands of employees across Fortune 500 companies. His core approach is to combine great design with organisational needs to deliver the best solutions. Chad is the author of Learning Everywhere: How Mobile Content Strategies Are Transforming Training and can also be found at the Float Learning blog.

What do the tricorder from Star Trek, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Michael Knight’s car KITT have in common? They all represent the ultimate in contextual m-learning.

Chad describes the importance of context thus:

“by recognizing context and restraints on design and delivery…to leverage the user’s context in order to produce effective learning experiences…”

By understanding context in all its forms we get to understand the needs of an organization and its learners prior to the provision of learning. Some of the examples Chad uses are looking at relative and absolute time, and the physical and social setting of the learner. These all enable learning to be delivered which is relevant and timely and ultimately beneficial to the learner.

Creating user personae is in itself not enough, you need to then refer back to a persona throughout the design process. Simply writing them up, then discarding them does not influence the m-learning in any real way. Taking a persona and crafting a use case is vital in defining the scope of a project.

In the last part of his presentation, Chad describes three tenets of contextual design: to be system, network, and user aware. Being system aware involves understanding the ramifications of different devices and designing to their strengths rather than being constrained by their diversity. The network, or lack of it can have a profound impact on the experience of your users. Ensure that your m-learning is optimized for available networks and for offline working, and later system integration. Finally it may be obvious but users need what they need. Leave out the irrelevancies and your company’s learners will be presented with a truly personal learning journey.

You may find the following white papers, produced by Float, interesting. They focus on the business and finance aspects of m-learning and are core reading for decision makers across organizations.



Calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) of your mobile learning initiative.

Gary Woodill & Chad Udell, Float Learning. ©2011 Float Mobile Learning

Date: 06/03/2013 Size: 2 MB Format: pdf

Completing A Requirements Analysis for a Successful Mobile Learning Strategy

Gary Woodill & Chad Udell, Float Learning. ©2011 Float Mobile Learning

Date: 06/03/2013 Size: 2 MB Format: pdf

Budgeting for Social Learning and Mobile Learning in a BYOD Environment, Gary Woodill, Ed.D. Senior Analyst, Float Mobile Learning Chad Udell Managing Director, Float Mobile Learning

©2013 Float Mobile Learning

Date: 06/03/2013 Size: 1 MB Format: pdf


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