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Mobile Training Implementation Framework (MoTIF) Closed

A framework to guide e-learning developers on how to maximize mobile platforms for learning.

The Challenge

Comprehensive guidance was not readily available for education and training professionals who create new mobile content and convert existing e-learning courses for mobile delivery. As a result, consideration of alternative learning methods when developing mobile content was not fully explored. In addition, leveraging the capabilities or adjusting to constraints of the mobile platform was not fully embraced.

The Solution

Strategies, materials, products, and guidelines that explore new types of learning and design approaches for using mobile platform capabilities.

About the Project

The purpose of a mobile training framework is to serve as a vehicle for instructional designers to focus on improving performance and augmenting skills when creating course content for mobile devices. This framework developed by the ADL Initiative used a Design-based Research (DBR) approach to generate (through the efforts of a community working group) an integrated master flowchart of processes, decisions, and considerations for the entire instructional design process, specifically elements that optimize it for mobile learning. The objective was to define and refine a design decision support framework that includes consideration of the motivational, contextual, pedagogical, and performance support aspects of mobile learning.

To best understand how to develop this framework and supporting resources, the ADL Initiative conducted an in-depth needs assessment to identify challenges and perspectives of the education and training community.

The following objectives were used to conduct the needs assessment:

  1. Determine if there was a perceived need to identify and document the unique capabilities of the mobile platform and their use cases for learning.
  2. Determine if there was a perceived need to identify alternative learning approaches that are appropriate for the mobile platform.
  3. Determine if there was a perceived need for a mobile learning-optimized design model.

The target audience of the assessment included education or training professionals with interest in implementing mobile learning. The ADL Initiative followed multiple non-probability sampling approaches to attract the most representative responses of the target audience. Interviews were conducted with mobile learning subject matter experts in the Fall of 2013, providing a wide range of perspectives from different sectors including higher ed, commercial sector, government, K-12, and DoD, as well as international experts with experience in mobile learning research.

Following the needs assessment, the ADL Mobile Learning Research Team formed a community of 533 members, and an active working group of 15 people focused on incorporating several considerations impacting the mobile learning (mLearning) design process. The needs assessment findings and working group feedback revealed the following high-level requirements for design of the intervention:

  • There is a need for integrating theoretical, conceptual, and process models with the collective intelligence of the mLearning community.
  • The elements of learning theory and learning technology are often not completely separate, and are often co-constructing each other.
  • mLearning solutions should drive consideration of performance support solutions instead of or in combination with training.

The community insight also indicted that mlearning design should be informed by:

  • Human-computer interaction (HCI) and mobile usage patterns.
  • The opportunity to add context to the experience.
  • An integration of existing mLearning theory and best practices in one place that is usable conceptually to spur thought, and a practical tool to aid practitioners in the process of design
  • The unique capabilities and affordances of the mobile platform that can be used for mLearning.

These intervention design requirements and other related themes were incorporated into a baseline version of the Reference Model. A working group was convened to validate these design assumptions and refine the Reference Model product, using the collective wisdom of members of the education and training community who have a stake in designing mLearning. The Reference Model was further developed by integrating research findings and feedback from the MoTIF project with existing practices and models from the global mLearning community. The first round of working group meetings was completed January 2015, producing the beta version. The Reference Model was iteratively improved by the working group over several months with version 1.0 of the Reference Model published in April 2015.

At the 2013 Enterprise Learning! Conference & Expo, the ADL Initiative received a Learning! 100 Award from Elearning! Magazine for the MOTIF project. The Learning! 100 awards recognize organizations for their outstanding learning and development programs, learning culture and performance.

Mobile Research

Mobile Learning: Technology

Mobile Learning: Design



Advanced Distributed Learning: Enabling Enhanced Learning Experiences (Slides)
Regan, D.
2013, e-Learning Software for Education, eLSE


Project Details

Period of Performance



The Tolliver Group, Inc.