The phenomenal development of technology has transformed the way online medium is accessed. With each passing generation, learning trends have shifted from classroom training to eLearning and now to Responsive learning.
Each one of us has a different device preferences. Some of us find it easy to access information using their smartphones, some tend to choose tablets over smartphones, while some like to stick to desktops or laptops. Often, we also tend to switch between these devices, depending upon our comfort, mood, or availability of the devices. We also have our own preferences regarding the orientation of the devices. This means that to ensure a great user experience, any information that we intent our learners to access, should render itself according to the user’s preferred mode, be it landscape or portrait.
Therefore, it’s the need of the hour to design and develop courses that work uniformly well on all devices!
experience regardless of the device they use?
The solution lies in Responsive Learning. Let’s first demystify the word ‘Responsive’.
The word ‘Responsive’ typically means responding sympathetically or positively to any influencer. In terms of design, “Responsive Design refers to a design that responds to the size, orientation and platform of the target device by restricting the content.”
For example, a smartphone screen has lesser space than a desktop screen. A Non-responsive Design would render the same content on both the screens, whereas a responsive design may rearrange or omit certain elements when rendering on a smaller screen as compared to the desktop screen.
benefits that are today’s must-have features!
Access anytime from anywhere!
Responsive learning is a powerful solution, offering logical learning experiences across devices. With this outstanding feature, e-learners are provided with an easy access to the skills they need, at any time and from anywhere they please.
One size fits all
A single eLearning course can be accessed from a multitude of devices with varying screen sizes. Does this mean that content needs to be created and maintained for all types of devices? Does it require a different instructional and visual strategy?
The answer is “No!”.
Responsive learning allows us to build a single version of the course that can be formatted based on the device used by the learner. This eliminates the difficulties associated with tracking and updating the multiple versions.
Optimal viewing experience
Responsive learning makes reading and navigation easier with minimum horizontal scrolling and resizing across a wide range of devices. Its flexible layout feature allows delivering different layouts for different devices to ensure a better user experience and viewing comfort for the users.
With Responsive learning, we can move seamlessly from one device to another. This means that a user can access eLearning courses from their smartphone while travelling to work and continue the course using their desktop, picking up from where they had stopped. This feature also supports the increasing trend at the workplace – Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) that encourages employees to bring their owned devices at work.
Cost and Time Effective
The advantages of having a single output that can be accommodated for multiple devices are countless. Responsive learning cuts down the additional cost of creating multiple platform-specific versions without compromising on user experience. The beauty of having a responsive output is that edits made to a page will be automatically reflected on all the devices. This will substantially save our time by maintaining only one source code!
One more advantage is: Readily available frameworks help us design and publish responsive courses, e.g. Storyline 360, Captivate 9, Adapt.
Adopt Mobile First Approach
Mobile First approach involves designing the user experience for mobile portrait mode, before designing the experience for landscape mode, desktop devices and the web. With this approach, we meet the most basic user requirements of mobile users and ensure a good user experience notwithstanding the limitations placed by the smaller screen size and connectivity-dependent performance. Once the design for mobile profile mode is in place, designing for other devices such as tablet, laptop, and desktop becomes a lot easier.
Have Meaningful Navigation
Make ease of navigation a priority when designing a responsive course. Lack of meaningful navigation and presence of unnecessary interactivities are the recipe for a frustrating user experience.
A few navigational options such as a link might appear user friendly on a mobile, however, it might not have the same effect on the laptop. Therefore, it is important to primarily focus on the navigational flow that is suitable for all the devices instead of keeping any one device in mind.
Always consider simplifying the navigational features to avoid confusing the user and lead them in the right direction.
Keeping in mind that the course would be viewed on various screen sizes, it is advisable to include simple user interactions in the course. This will ensure that all users have a great learning experience without facing any technical issues, regardless of the device they choose for accessing the course.
It’s all about giving learners the freedom to decide how and when they want to learn. Today’s learners expect content to be available at their fingertips, 24 X 7. The availability of varied device choices empowers them to access trainings as per their convenience. With the evolving learning needs and technology requirements, it is certain that demand for Responsive learning is increasing. To match with these expectations, we need to gear up to create effective responsive eLearning courses, because the future of learning is responsive eLearning!