Mobile Learning Strategies

Design Sprint | Self-Paced Design Challenge | By Jennifer Maddrell, Ph.D.
Jennifer Maddrell, Ph.D.
Jennifer Maddrell, Ph.D.
Designers for Learning, Founder and Executive Director

About the instructor

Jennifer Maddrell is the founder and Executive Director of Designers for Learning and holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology, as well as an MS in Instructional Systems Technology and an MBA in Strategic Management and Marketing. Jennifer designed this course pro bono to help support Designers for Learning and the important social causes the nonprofit targets.


If you have questions about this course, please contact Designers for Learning. Thank you!

How are your reaching mobile learners?

4.9 billion potential learners have a mobile device.
How are you reaching them?

Mobile device subscriptions are expected to surpass 5 billion in 2017, so it’s no surprise that mobile learning is one of the hottest topics in education. The New Media Consortium’s 2017 Horizon Report puts mobile learning as one of the most important developments in technology for higher education, and Forbes Magazine recently traced the trends driving mobile learning in corporate education. Tyton Parners predicts in Learning for Life: The Opportunities for Technology to Transform Adult Education:

“Mobile solutions may present a pathway to addressing perhaps the most significant challenge facing the adult education field – reaching the 32 million US adults who are in need of basic skills education but are not currently able to access it through the adult education system.”

What are you doing to expand your instructional design toolkit to reach learners on their mobile devices? Have you contemplated the tools and learning experience strategies to leverage these ubiquitous technologies? Join our Design Sprint and add mobile learning to your instructional design portfolio.

What is a Design Sprint?

This self-paced Design Sprint is an adaptation of a 5-day design, prototyping, and testing process developed by Google Ventures (GV). As described by GV, a Design Sprint is:

“A ‘greatest hits’ of business strategy, innovation, behavior science, design thinking, and more—packaged into a battle-tested process.”

In our adapted online version of this Design Sprint concept, you'll engage in a real-world instructional design challenge that centers on the design, prototyping, and testing of mobile learning strategies. You'll leave this professional development experience with authentic learning materials that you can showcase in your design portfolio.

What are the costs & prerequisites?

  • Cost: $20 US
  • Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for the course.
  • Required resource purchases: None

What’s in it for you?

Participants in our network tell us they want three things: 1) experience, 2) networking opportunities, and 3) practice with the latest instructional design tools and techniques. This Design Sprint has been designed to offer you all three with a focus on mobile learning, one of the most significant emerging areas in the field of education. Maybe you’re attending or recently finished a college instructional design program, but want additional hands-on design and development experience. Maybe you’re an accidental instructional designer and want to build your designer’s toolkit and network of contacts. Maybe you’re an experienced designer and want to carve out time for your professional development to make, try, experiment, share, compare, and create.

Our goal in this Design Sprint is to help you prepare for the types of mobile learning design scenarios you might experience when seeking a job or working with a client. This Design Sprint helps you expand your designer’s toolkit by focusing on a range of mobile learning tools and contextualized learner interaction strategies that incorporate mobile, micro, just-in-time (JIT), and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approaches. Through opportunities to connect with other participants, you’ll share and compare tools, resources, and designs with others in our network.

Also, when you successfully complete the Design Sprint and submit your final deliverable, you’ll receive a digital Mobile Learning Service Badge to include on LinkedIn to acknowledge you have completed the instructional design process to develop mobile learning strategies to support a social need. In other words, you've gained experience for good!

What’s in it for Designers for Learning?

This Design Sprint is facilitated by Designers for Learning, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the United States. We coordinate service-learning opportunities with those who seek to gain experience creating instruction and other types of performance improvement solutions to support underserved social causes. This course is a departure from Designers for Learning’s prior service-MOOCs that have enrolled thousands of participants since 2014 without charge. We are offering this deeply discounted professional development opportunity as a means to support our nonprofit. Even though all of Designers for Learning’s projects are designed and managed by volunteers, we still incur expenses to sustain our operations and “keep the lights on”, including government filing fees, insurance, web hosting, web-conferencing tools, our contact and email management platforms, etc. 100% of the proceeds from this Design Sprint will go directly to supporting Designers for Learning’s operating expenses.

How does the Design Sprint work?

In a nod to the Google Ventures 5-day Design Sprint format, we’re following a five-stage design process. However, unlike a face-to-face Design Sprint or Designers for Learning’s other service-learning courses you may have taken, this is a 100% self-paced independent study experience. Therefore, you can spend as much time as you want working through the materials and completing the project. To be successful in this Design Sprint, you should plan to devote at least 20 hours to work on the material (i.e. 4 hours for each of the 5-stages shown below in the Course Curriculum section of this page). Like most experiences in life, the worth of the Design Sprint is related to the time and effort committed to it. Your personal commitment to actively engage at least 20 hours will help to support a worthwhile experience.

This project-based Design Sprint will immerse you in a real-world authentic instructional design challenge focused on designing, developing, and testing mobile learning strategies. Aligned with Designers for Learning’s service mission, you'll engage in the design of mobile learning strategies to support adult learners with low math and literacy skills seeking to acquire new knowledge and skills to pursue their life goals and career aspirations.

What have prior students said about our courses?

  • Having a project-based course is helpful as I learn best when DOING something rather than just thinking about it. At the end, I will have a document that I can add to my digital portfolio.
  • Gives hands-on, real-world experience.
  • It has deepened my understanding of each phase of the instructional design process.
  • I wanted to update myself on curriculum development. The course is set up well and the materials are excellent. The lesson planning activities are also excellent. As we read, we are able to think about the specific components of our lesson.
  • In the discussions, I was able to read about other people’s various ideas. Also, I could build networks with people who are interested in the same issue/topic.
  • Your course design is fabulous! I really appreciate how thoughtful and intentional you were in mapping out our journey.
  • Thank you so much. I learned a lot about the design process.
  • I am very honored to be a part of this course. I hope to be of more assistance once the course has completed. Please keep me in mind for future opportunities.

Who created this Design Sprint?

Jennifer Maddrell is the founder and President of Designers for Learning and holds a PhD in Instructional Design and Technology, as well as an MS in Instructional Systems Technology and MBA in Strategic Management and Marketing. Jennifer developed this Design Sprint pro bono to help support Designers for Learning and the important social causes the nonprofit targets. The Design Sprint adapts content previously designed and developed for other Designers for Learning projects. We thank the large team instructional designers and subject matter experts who have helped us create these materials over the years.

Questions or Comments?

Do you have comments or questions about the Design Sprint? Please help us spread the news about this upcoming course by forwarding this announcement to other interested colleagues or students, and connect with us at:

Course Contents

3 Multimedia
30 Texts
4 PDFs
1 Disqus
20.0 hrs