mLearning vs. eLearning: Do You Have to Choose?

Lisa Ramsey
Posted: August 26, 2016

Do you have to choose between mLearning and eLearning?

Are you confused about that? Let me explain.

No, you do not necessarily have to choose between the two methods, because mLearning (mobile learning) is a subset of eLearning (electronic learning). They are both acceptable platforms to meet your objectives, and, they can be used together.

e-learning and m-learning both have their value, but is there a place for both of them in your organization? Click through to read more about how utilizing both of these training techniques work for different scenarios within your organization.

But what is valuable is to choose is what is appropriate for your particular instructional scenario. On occasion, this could mean you do have to choose between eLearning and mLearning, and here’s why:

The use of eLearning is good for instruction with greater depth and detailed interactions. If the content takes longer than 10 minutes to communicate, eLearning is recommended. For example, a client requesting training for employee mental health and wellness in the workplace would be better suited using eLearning to communicate complex and detailed learning.

On the other hand, mLearning is advantageous for content that is simpler in nature (one idea per screen, for example) and will take less than 10 minutes to communicate. A media company requiring learning for its technicians in the field would benefit from mLearning. Quick videos on the technicians’ devices would provide necessary training and troubleshooting guides for successful product delivery.

It is valuable to know what devices your clients will be using in their learning. Clients using mainly desktop computers or laptops should use eLearning and focus on including details and interactions on the larger screen. Clients mainly using mobile devices such as phones and tablets would profit from mLearning to utilize their mobility best.

But remember, you can use both. A blended learning platform using both eLearning and mLearning might be the best combination for many clients. Using eLearning for broader instruction and mLearning for on-demand instruction as a combination could be the perfect solution to help the client’s employees focus on in-depth training in the office while pursuing in-the-moment training on the job site. A large corporation might use detailed eLearning courses to train its employees in company vision and objectives, but it also might provide technical service employees with quick access to helpful materials (FAQs, troubleshooting guides, short videos) through the use of mLearning. Both types of learning provide valuable training for employees.

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So the answer to, “Do you have to choose between mLearning and eLearning?” is “possibly,” but choose wisely. Analyze your choice against content, devices, and simplicity, and then choose what is best for your clients’ needs.


About the Author

Lisa has been an educator for over 20 years in various settings. As an educator and tech nerd, she loves to create engaging learning for all. Lisa and her husband, Russ, have four kids and live in Nashville, TN.