Alan Kinsey

Resisting the Mobile Mindset

Blog Post created by Alan Kinsey on May 24, 2017

First off, I'm new. I'm new to Instructional Design. My route here was through teaching K12 and adjuncting online for a community college and then joining that college as its Instructional Designer. However, I've noticed one truth: most instructors are the same. Whether in K12 or Higher Ed, instructors break into two camps (probably more, but for the sake of time..). First, you have the innovators, the goal setters, the go-getters. These instructors will break everything in sight if they think it will do something new that will help their students. Then, you have instructors who are stuck. Stuck in their way of doing things, their ideas and concepts of the world, and how they instruct. With these two camps in mind, I have started conversations about increasing mobile accessibility in our courses, both online and face to face. Why? Because student's are using them.


We did a survey this semester to check on how our students are accessing their information. What we found was from the 2,200 students who took the survey, 83% of them use a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop, or some combination of the three. 42% noted using a tablet or a smart phone. This is a large portion of our students! I am sure that other institutions have found similar information in their own surveys. However, this data does nothing unless we do something with it. So, we've begun the conversation of how to make mobile friendly courses.


I have been so thankful for the Canvas Community and Canvas Live! sessions on Mobile, as it has given me a lot of information to share with our faculty on how they can easily begin addressing mobile accessibility. Things like chunking their content and thinking through their use of color, bolding and italics. Simple things like redesigning assignments so students interact with the world around them. Some will be excited and start the process. Some won't do anything unless it is required.


While I am excited on starting this journey with our instructors, I already know the ones who will resist. I'll be told that their content is not able to be used on mobile. Their assignments require a full computer. And while some of that may be true, resisting mobile accessibility only diminishes the experience their students have. Because there is only one truth: mobile learning is not coming. It is here.