Every time I design a course, I try to find new ways that help me present the content more effectively. Depending on the learners´ needs, the context and the information, I will approach my design with different tools, techniques or activities. I never use the same template or procedure twice because every learning experience is unique, so I´m never afraid of taking a completely new route (yes, even if it means to re-design everything from scratch) so long as it contributes to successfully achieving the overall learning goal.

This sense of curiosity has always been a part of me but lately, it has gotten stronger because of my passion for mobile learning. I strongly believe in the limitless opportunities mobile learning brings to education and training. As a result, I have decided to commit myself to an in-depth research of tools and techniques that allow me to design the utmost (m)Learning experience across different devices.  I have already reviewed other tools for creating mockups, prototyping and video-based training.

Another tool I have come across during my quest has been developed by Epic, a company that is also in pursuit of constant discovery through learning apps development and research.

Epic´s GoMo is one of the few online-based learning authoring tools created with a device-independent design strategy in mind. GoMo allows you to develop a course in a simple web editor with elements that you would normally use when developing eLearning and saves that content in an XML format. However, what makes GoMo different is its publisher component, which offers a web app output (HMTL5-based) or it can also create native apps for iOS, Android and other platforms. This means that when you publish to Apple´s iOS, the publisher exports an Objective C base code and when you publish to Android, it writes the code in ActionScript 3. Because it makes use of the native technology of each mobile device, the same content works on different platforms and it can provide a better user experience.

Fig.1. When you create a new project, you can choose the type of device you want to target.
Fig.2. The web editor allows you to include different types of media and create different types of assessment.
Fig.3. Use of hotspots to design interactions in different layers.
Fig.4. mLearning courses created with GoMo allow for the following touch gestures: tap, zoom and swipe. Images can be scaled down to suit different devices.

Once you have finished your project, the process of publishing to HTML5 is quite simple and you will be able to download your mobile content straight from GoMo portal as a zip file. The resulting package is SCORM compliant, so it can be launched from your LMS and still supports multiple screen resolutions.

The process of developing a native app is a little bit more complex and it has an additional cost. Epic can guide you throughout the processes of creation, testing, packaging, security certification and distribution though the app store, a weblink or as a download from your LMS.

Another innovate features of this tool is that the learning content can be reviewed on the device you are targeting with a preview app for Apple and Android devices.

Fig.5. GoMo´s Publishing Options: Steps to publish a web app.
Fig.6. GoMo´s Publishing Options: Steps to publish a native app.
Fig.7. Demo course on the iPad
Fig.8. Demo course on the iPhone

In future versions of GoMo, I´d like to see truly responsive design in the way I described it in my previous post and also, adoption of Experience API (Tin Can API) to create richer environments for eLearning and mLearning initiatives. By adopting these technologies, Epic (as well as other companies in our industry) can pursue further research on mobile users´ behaviors and preferences and leverage that data to offer better experiences. But, all in all, it is great to see how companies start to push some barriers and challenge some of the constraints of mobile devices, so to turn them into real-world solutions.

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