It’s sometimes difficult to know whether you’re producing a piece of elearning or whether you’re just passing out information.

Is it important? Well, it could be.

When we were making our Information Security for Mobile Devices explainer video, we started from the point that many of us had moved from very basic mobile phones to smartphones without really thinking too much about what impact this would have on the security of our personal data and information.

Put in the SIM, charge it up, say ‘Yes’ to everything otherwise it won’t let you proceed, and away you go.

But then it gets a little scary when smartphones and tablets start syncing up with cloud storage and, as you’re carrying these devices around with you, there’s a possibility that you could lose them.

Then there’s a cold sweat moment as you realise that in some ways it’s a bit like leaving you’re front door open and going out for the day.

The video is designed to show you what you can do to be safer with your mobile devices and there’s also a PDF with more detail and links to sites that can help on our resources page. (You can also watch it on our showreel page without the watermarks.)

So is this a piece of elearning or just information?

In our blog about learning objectives, we go into detail about how we look at learning in terms of knowledge, awareness, skills and attitude, as a way of understanding where the learning challenges are.

Although knowledge and awareness are very similar, we find it useful to have both (some people only use knowledge) and here’s why.

In terms of a short animated video, there’s only so much than can be achieved in 4-5 minutes. There’s a lot of information, and for us, the video was about raising awareness of some of the issues, if we went into too much detail, for example about a particular operating system, the information would be irrelevant to those using different systems. That’s why we put this kind of information in a PDF – you can skim through and find the link or the information that applies to the system you’re using.

So for us, this video was a lot about information – to raise awareness of some of the issues around mobile security. We hoped viewers would think ‘I never knew that, I’d better find out more about it’, or that it would start a conversation about the issue.

Of course, you can’t separate these things out completely and they tend to fall somewhere on a continuum. So you start getting yourself in a twist if you say this is information and that is elearning, but it does help you focus on what you are trying to achieve.

It’s also important when, especially in the corporate world, you need to update people with information or systems and procedures.

I’ve seen examples where the instructor decided that the users needed to be ‘taught’ something where, in my view, all they needed was some new information and they would be able to work out themselves how to apply it. I think this probably happens more often than we think. Users are often exposed to endless clicking and ‘interactivity’ when actually all they need know is what’s new.

Getting to grips with objectives and knowing what the desired outcome is, in our view, very important.

It’s the foundations of the media you’re about to produce.