With more and more mobile users, organizations are now opening up to the option of delivering content on the mobile platform as well. The concept of mobile learning or m-learning is not new but with a variety of different devices including the BlackBerry, iPhone, the iPad, Kindle and so on, it is difficult to design different versions as per screen resolutions and other device functionalities. Developments in the field of Web design and development, are now geared up to keep up with the varying resolutions and devices. With a the design of web-based content responds appropriately to the user’s environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. The user is free to switch from one device to another but the content automatically switches to accommodate for resolution, image size and so on. Thus the content can be utilized for responsive learning as it automatically responds to the user’s preferences and viewing devices. This eliminates the need for a different design and development for different devices, cutting costs as well as development time.
To create e-learning content with responsive learning design, there are three main technical features to be considered:
· Media queries and media query listeners: Media queries allow the web page to use different CSS style rules based on characteristics of the device the site is being displayed on, most commonly the width of the browser.
· A flexible grid-based layout: The fluid grid concept calls for page element sizing to be in relative units like percentages or ems, rather than absolute units like pixels or points.
· Flexible images and media: Through dynamic resizing or CSS, flexible images are sized in relative units – up to 100% – to prevent them from displaying outside their containing element. A full image is downloaded on a user’s device and then resized to fit the screen.
Responsive web design can be developed with HTML5. Thus mobile content can be created and displayed across all devices – PCs, tablets and mobile phones – and is compatible with different OSs as well. HTML supports responsive design features to create e-content that can be accessed across multiple devices, with equal ease and equally effective visual impact.
The benefits of RWD in e-Learning are many:
· There is no longer the need to maintain multiple versions of content. One version caters to all devices, browsers, resolutions and layouts, including PCs, Macintosh computers, tablets, e-book readers, and mobile devices.
- Any program or application update can be done simply by changing the base code, and it will be automatically updated for all devices. Not only does this save precious time and moneys but it also gives room to update the program or application as per the changing needs of the client.
- RWD shuffles content, application layout, images, and font size to adjust according to the screen size of the users’ device. The user can navigate conveniently, without the need to scroll or pan-in or pan-out unnecessarily. User experience is thus smooth and easy – across all viewing devices.
- With RWD, it is possible to include a lot of multimedia content into learning. Audio-visuals as well as graphical content is rendered as per the functionalities of the user device and this provides the learner with heightened visual experience – irrespective of device capabilities.
Responsive learning is now paving the way for learning to be not only accessible on multi-devices but making sure that it provides a heightened sensory impact as well. With the use of more multimedia content, developers are now able to create content that the modern learner wants. With further advances, RWD will continue to bring impactful learning to users – anytime and anywhere.