What is the Difference Between E-Learning and M-Learning?

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When we think of “corporate training,” we think of a large conference or a one-day workshop. Online training is becoming more popular, especially in times when connecting to the internet is more convenient than meeting in person.

21st-century workers can access content from any device they have available at the moment: desktop computers or laptops for office employees, and tablets or smartphones for deskless workers.

In this article, we will make a distinction between E-Learning and M-Learning.

How is E-Learning Different from M-Learning?

E-Learning is defined as “electronic learning,” whereas M-Learning is defined as “mobile learning.” In that reference, the distinctions may appear obvious that E-Learning is done online and M-Learning is done on the go.

Even though these two systems are based on similar principles, there are some significant differences between them. Here are the key differences between E-Learning and M-Learning.

Differences Between E-Learning and M-Learning

The 4 Key Differences Between E-Learning and M-Learning

1. Purpose

When should you choose one over the other?

  • E-Learning is formal, structured, and time-bound.
    • When you need to teach specific skills to your employees or impart in-depth knowledge on a subject like how to operate a machine or make them memorize an organization’s HR policies, E-Learning is the way to go.
  • M-Learning is context-aware, on-demand, and delivered anytime.
    • When it comes to information accessibility, M-Learning is the way to go. This format allows you to boost an ongoing learning process. Given your employees’ active lifestyles, you can provide small bits of information relevant to a context they are already familiar with.

They can use their mobile devices to review information, take quizzes, or watch short videos. All of these factors combine to make M-Learning an effective supplement to any type of learning, resulting in increased retention and participation.

2. Medium of Delivery

With E-Learning, employees can easily learn through the use of desktop computers and laptops while sitting at their desks. The internet is used in most courses and learning happens through LMS or video conferences or other platforms.

With M-Learning, employees’ learning can take place at any time and from any location through the use of smartphones and tablets. Here, the user interface must be intuitive and extremely fast. A mobile app hosted by the OS can be used to deliver instructions and access learning materials.

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3. Training Duration

Even though companies shell out an estimated $200 billion yearly on corporate training, learning theories imply that 79% of what is learned is forgotten after 30 days. We currently live in a culture of ‘hyper attention,’ with an average attention span of 8 seconds (which is shorter than a goldfish). With that being said, learning tools must reflect how modern workers consume data.

E-Learning courses are typically completed in an office with a good Wi-Fi connection. You might take the average E-Learning lesson for about 30 to 45 minutes, or even an hour, depending on the learning environment.

M-Learning, on the other hand, is typically short that usually lasts 3-10 minutes. Short learning modules are ideal for employees who don’t have the time to sit down for hours to study and want to fit learning into their active lifestyle.

Check out Microlearning: How to boost any team performance in 10 minutes per day.

4. The Design

With E-Learning, it means that course materials must be designed to be viewed on large screens. Larger screens typically have higher resolutions, allowing for live HD video streaming of lessons. However, with modern employees, even with large displays and HD videos, it can be difficult to get them to focus and understand the programs, especially when large amounts of information must be absorbed in a short amount of time.

With M-Learning, it means that course materials must be designed to be viewed on small screens. Employees can learn through their mobile devices and get information in short, easy-to-digest content modules with only one idea per screen. There is no information overload because these training modules do not contain highly detailed information, and employees have access to varied content that promotes information recall. The most important point is to make the interface as intuitive as possible.


E-Learning and M-Learning are not antagonistic to one another. Both can be used as part of a blended learning program in which M-Learning supplements E-Learning courses. However, we live in a world where most people rely on their mobile phones for instant and continuous connectivity. Mobile learning is an excellent method for learning and practicing new skills at any time and from any location. Albert can help you create that high-quality M-Learning content.


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