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Guidelines for Designing Online Courses for Mobile Devices


College students frequently use mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets) to access online courses yet online course designers often do not design courses with mobile learning in mind. This research identified seven national and statewide online course design evaluation instruments and examined the criteria that guide course designers designing online courses for learning with mobile devices. Currently, minimal guidance on course design for mobile learning is offered in most of the national and statewide online course design instruments. Research-supported design tips that promote device compatibility, content readability, format optimization, and mobile-friendly navigation are suggested in this paper to guide future online course design for mobile delivery.

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Correspondence to Sally J. Baldwin.

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This research does not involve human participants and/or animals. Yu-Hui Ching does not have any potential conflicts. Sally Baldwin has served as an OEI course reviewer and engaged in conversations with developers of course evaluation instruments. These activities did not impact her evaluation of the data, and she has no other potential conflicts.

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Baldwin, S.J., Ching, YH. Guidelines for Designing Online Courses for Mobile Devices. TechTrends 64, 413–422 (2020).

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  • Blackboard
  • Canvas
  • Online course design
  • Higher education
  • Instructional design
  • Mobile devices
  • Mobile learning
  • Online learning
  • Quality matters