The Essentials of Mobile Learning

We have reached a stage where mobile is no longer the future of learning. Smartphones signify the present and play a significant role in learning today. Be it learning at the workplace, higher education, or K-12, smartphones and the app-ecosystem have truly revolutionized the way L&D practitioners and educators approach learning. In this blog post, we will examine the importance of mobile learning in modern workplace learning, why organizations should invest in it, the growth of mobile learning apps, and the elements of an ideal mobile learning program.

Essentials of mobile learning

How Smartphones Dominate Workplace Learning?

Picture a scenario wherein a mid-level employee is asked to complete a specific certification or job-skill program at work. Now if you were to restrict his learning to time spent at the office within a closed room or at his work station; would he focus on completing the program assigned to him or the project that he’s working on?

Re-imagine the scenario, don’t put any curbs or rules on the employee completing the program within the office. Design and deploy the learning program in such a way that it can be accessed from devices outside the office’s computer network and most importantly offers a seamless learning experience on mobile devices as well. Now see the difference! The employee is free to learn at his convenience and his day-to-day work schedule is also not affected.

Stats from industry analysts show some interesting numbers:

  • Around 50% to 55% of organizations integrate mobile devices as part of their training programs.
  • It is estimated that by the year 2020 a majority of the workforce in IT will work using remote access.
  • As the BYOD policy takes precedence, employees will prefer to learn on their own devices.
  • The average working-class adult employed in IT or ITES tends to look at his/her smartphone about 200 times in a day.
  • Smartphones are being used more to reply to emails and review reports.
  • People own and use multiple smart devices and spend more time being ‘connected’.
  • The mobile learning market is set to grow to $37.60 billion by the year 2020.

All these stats should provide a sufficient boost for you to implement a strong and focused mobile learning strategy in your organization.

Elements of Ideal Mobile Learning Design

Who is it for and what are the learners going to achieve?

This should be the first key questions that you need to ask before commencing the design of the mobile learning program. Bite-sized learning ensures that your learners are kept engaged and retention of learning is greater.

App or Responsive Website?

If you are in for the long haul and have the necessary bandwidth and budget to build and deploy a dedicated learning app, then we would recommend the app over a responsive website. Apps that work equally well on both Android and iOS is where the future lies. If you have budget constraints and it is not a massive learning curriculum that you are developing, then a responsive website makes monetary sense.

Videos and Gamification

Videos can be used effectively to drive learning. One of the key advantages of mobile and bite-sized learning is the dual power of informative and engaging videos that help learners gain insight on a topic. When one integrates an element of gamification within the learning content, it further enhances the efficiency of the end-product.

Duration of Learning                                             

An earlier blog post that we published, examined this topic in detail. We highlighted the ideal length of bite-sized learning. Ideally, around five to seven minutes would be a good duration to build powerful and engaging learning nuggets that can be stitched together to build a longer program.

UX and Beyond

We see terms like ‘user experience’, ‘learner experience’, ‘mobility’, ‘consumer experience’ being used in regular conversations. Technology has played the role of a great equalizer and most people are now able to distinguish between a well-designed and an average app. Blame it on the craze for gaming apps or the sleek and shiny Apple products that brought in a new meaning to ‘Design’. In a way it is a good thing, as organizations can no longer be careless or lethargic in their approach to designing learning experiences. An aesthetically designed learning app or website truly elevates the value of the learning content.

Origin has been the first choice as Mobile Content Developer for several Fortune 100 companies. Learn how we helped one of the world’s premier engineering firms enhance its L&D culture with a powerful mobile learning solution. At Origin, we specialize in creating mobile learning apps and developing bite-sized learning content designed specifically for ‘on the go learning’.  Write to us at info@originlearning.com to collaborate on mobile learning projects.

Image Courtesy – Pexels

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