m-Learning – A Glossary of Terms

Today’s technology has unearthed several new dimensions of learning. Mobile phones have been dominant in our lives, right from entertainment and communication, to the way we learn. The m-learning field can be quite vast and a lot of terms may be used that we are not familiar with.

If one is not familiar with the terms being used, it’s easy to get confused with what is being discussed. To help you out, we’ve put together a glossary of terms used in m-Learning.

Authoring Tool

An authoring tool allows a teacher or learning provider to create digital learning content. In learning and development, authoring tools are software used to develop m-Learning courses.

Bite-sized Learning

Bite-sized learning, also known as microlearning, is the presentation of learning material in simple, short, and digestible bits. Information presented in this manner results in maximum absorption and knowledge retention. HandyTrain is a bite-sized learning app used to train learners in topics chosen by a company’s learning and development team.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD stands for ‘bring your own device’. Through this IT policy, employees are able to access enterprise data and systems using personal mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. However, they will not be able to store any sensitive information on said devices.


It’s difficult to remember large amounts of information. Training content often tends to be cumbersome and difficult to remember all at once. Chunking, in m-learning, takes bits of related information and groups them into a larger chunk, therefore improving the amount of information that the learner can retain.

Demand-Based Learning

Some training is mandatory and trainers will have existing content that they may rewrite to suit their needs and deploy accordingly. In the case of Demand-Based Learning, one needs to first identify if there is an actual need for particular training content along with what it is and then come up with a solution. Demand-Based Learning can be used for both product and service training needs, in m-learning.

Frontline Training

Frontline employees are the heartbeat of a company’s customer service. They represent the product, services, and brand to the customers and also influence customer satisfaction. Frontline Training is a process that trains frontline employees to achieve better performance, career growth and for the company, a door to happier customers.


Gamification in m-learning includes incorporating game design elements into traditional teaching programs and models. Existing training courses can also be gamified by populating them with leaderboards, badges, and other types of rewards.

Informal Learning

Informal learning is learning that takes place away from the traditional structured and formal classroom environment. This kind of learning can be spontaneous and comes in many forms, including videos, self-study, reading articles, participating in surveys and discussion forums, performance support, coaching sessions, puzzles, and games.

Just-in-Time Learning

Just-in-time learning focuses on need-related training content to be readily available exactly when and how it is needed by the learner. Learning is not just essential but constantly happening. That means you can’t rely on structured training or pre-determined training sessions. Sometimes training must happen immediately. Therefore, the content creator must anticipate the learners’ needs and create content based on those needs, to be deployed there and then.

Learning Objectives

For every bit of information that learners go through, a set of learning objectives must be set down first. Learning objectives simply describe what learners are expected to understand and learn in a particular course, unit, project, or class. The purpose of putting learning objectives in place is to ensure that the learners also understand what they will get out of the course.


Microlearning is the splitting up and breaking down of information into small, bite-sized chunks. By interacting with these highly-targeted learning bursts, information becomes much easier to understand and knowledge retention is increased. Microlearning examples include the integration of features such as gamification and template-based course design.

Nudge Theory

Nudge theory is a learning concept that focuses on positively influencing a learner’s behavior through positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions to shape an individual or group’s learning skills. It encourages employees to make choices purposefully, which engages them in the learning process and makes them a more engaged audience.

On-demand Learning

On-Demand Learning is a learning approach that offers learners easy access to training content. It helps learners to go through training programs at their own pace and in their own time. When used correctly, it can lead to higher engagement, performance, and productivity.

Peer-to-Peer Learning

Peer to Peer Learning is when employees or colleagues are involved to make the learning content more relatable and engaging. What makes it a better approach in training is that the content creator is connected to the learner. Therefore he or she knows what information should be included and what can be left out, ensuring that the content is exactly what the learner needs. Peer learning works best with microlearning as the small lessons can be quickly and easily learned.

Social Learning

Social learning, also referred to as Social Learning Theory, refers to learning from and with others. It allows learners the benefit of adding their own point of view and empowers learners to share and learn from each other. This leads to increased learner engagement.

Self-Paced Learning

Self-paced learning puts the learner in control of how much training information he or she consumes, along with the amount of time needed to learn this information properly.  It is completely different from traditional learning methods since in this case, the learner is in control of what they learn and when they learn it.

User Experience

User Experience includes all aspects of the end user’s interaction with a company’s mobile application, website, and its products/services. It encompasses the user’s perceptions and feelings before, during, and after their interaction with their mobile presence, be it through a browser or an app.

Workplace Learning

Workplace learning is best described as learning or training that allows employees to acquire practical skills while they are on the job. It involves having access to up-to-date equipment and trainers familiar with the most recent working methods and technologies. Workplace learning also helps employees learn or brush up on their soft skills such as dealing with customers, using the right telephone etiquette, etc.


Now that you’re up-to-date with some of m-learning’s most common terms, find out how many times you come across them when using an m-learning app such as HandyTrain. If you haven’t already interacted with the app, take a quick demo by clicking here or send us an email at [email protected] to find out more.