Online learning has for decades enabled people in remote locations to learn anything, anytime and anywhere.
The technology advances of mobile learning have since enhanced the ability to access and interact with materials in not only remote locations, but changing locations, creating flexibility at speed. This development has removed many of the cost and location-based barriers to learning, but how can it really benefit your business?
So, what is mobile learning?
Mobile learning or M-learning is the use of mobile technology within a training and development programme, delivered across portable computing devices such as smartphones or tablets, to make learning convenient, accessible, and easy to use.
In short, the “M” in M-learning puts mobility into learning enabling communication at anytime and anywhere, empowering the use of technological tools available to learners and overall intensifying the learning process.
When creating a learning development programme, you should always make mobile learning a key consideration for the user experience of your learners. Numerous studies taken this year from StatCounter Global Stats* show that mobile browsing has overtaken desktop usage, with almost 54%* of users using a mobile device for internet surfing, vs 43%* for desktop and 3%* for tablet. This solidifies the importance of considering a mobile friendly learning development programme. Here’s some things to consider:
- Understand your audience –
are all of your learners comfortable with mobile technologies? Will they be willing and able to use the content? An older workforce may be less happy with the idea and shy away from using it, whereas millennials may spend several hours each day using their phones for social media and feel more than comfortable using mobile platforms. Ensure whether it’s right for your learners.
- Keep the design simple
– even an engaged audience may only read 20 – 30% of the words on a screen as people tend to skim read content. Consider using video or making the content interactive, so your learners don’t get bored or miss anything important.
- Is it mobile friendly or mobile?
– it’s still quite common particularly for E-learning that the focus is on the desktop device and just check that the content can be physically accessed on a mobile device as an afterthought, however it’s important that you design a mobile responsive and mobile friendly version, to be in-tune with your learners needs. Navigation is often what causes most problems for cross-platform content, so utilise the 3t Transform team and we can help develop this for you.
- Create on-the-go training
– if you are developing a learning strategy to train remote workers, will they have the connectivity to access the content? It’s important to ensure accessibility on the move for all users.
Does my organisation need to consider mobile learning?
Whilst a lot of learning trends require you to “jump on the bandwagon” early, you really need to evaluate whether mobile is the best solution for you. M-learning is so much more than a way to deliver learning on a mobile device, and you must consider a multitude of factors to decide whether it is right for you and your learners.
- Do you frequently need people to learn new things quickly?
- Do you have frequent changes and updates to information?
- Do you want people to have constant access to training information?
- Do you need to reinforce information on an ongoing basis?
- Can/should your content be viewable on a small screen?
There are many advantages to mobile learning from the flexibility your learners will get to the high levels of engagement. Here’s just some of the reasons why mobile learning could work for your business:
Flexibility – learners aren’t limited to a physical location when learning via mobile, this means learning can take place in any place at any time. As most of us always have a mobile on us, it also encourages your employees to continue learning on-the-go, as they aren’t restricted to being somewhere at a certain time.
Higher completion and retention rates – research show that the flexibility offered by mobile learning enables learners to initiate their own learning and complete courses, thus boosting retention rates too.
Enhanced engagement – statistics show a higher engagement rate when courses are delivered using a mobile format, as learning is accessible any time, any place by the users, helping learners stay on track with their training, resulting in fewer dropouts.
Increased performance – learners prefer methods that are unobtrusive to their daily routine and a positive learning experience facilitates their overall learning performance, as training doesn’t feel obligatory and can then be easily applied to their job roles.
Naturally, the ability for mobile learning is more valuable for certain sectors, learning preferences and user circumstances, but if you are creating a training programme in particular E-learning content, then mobile learning delivery should almost always be a key consideration for the user experience of your learners.
Need some help developing content or choosing the best platform to host your mobile learning? We have all the tools and resources you need to build the best mobile learning strategy for your needs. We have a team of experts who can create your mobile learning content from scratch. Click here for more advice.