mLearning: An Overview
mLearning (mobile learning) is “on the go learning” that is typically consumed on a smartphone / tablet and allows students to learn seamlessly on devices. Because of the changed workplace dynamics, training must be delivered to meet distant learner needs, and mLearning is the way to go.
You can use mLearning to manage the full spectrum of your training needs, including formal training, informal learning, immediate / timely learning aids, self-directed learning, and social or collaborative learning.
What are the mobile-friendly designs in mLearning?
The designs used for mobile-friendly mLearning reflect the more commonly available design approach (adaptive) used to design mLearning courses. They offer multi-device support. However, they still cater to the way learners use laptops / desktops. This method extends seamlessly to tablets.
On smartphones, this method only works in landscape mode. When converted to portrait mode, there will be a lot of free space as the design narrows into the visual field. Although the courses work on all devices, it is important to remember that the interactions learned in this method may not be aligned with the way we operate our mobile devices.
What are Mobile-First or Responsive Designs in mLearning?
Mobile-first designs are adapted to be administered on (responsive) smartphones. It is then extended to tablets and laptops or desktops.
This method not only shows a fully responsive design approach (where the content is modified in a dynamically viewable area) but its significant difference is also reflected in the learning interactions that reflect the way we use our mobile devices.
What is the significance of mLearning in today’s corporate scenario?
Here are some of the factors that trigger the rapid adoption of mLearning:
- With the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic in the workplace, it has become necessary to offer mLearning solutions that can be consumed by students working away from home.
- Many of us use many smartphones in our day. Applying it to learning is a practical extension.
- Increasingly, organizations are proposing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, providing learning control over your favorite devices.
- Ignoring the need to log in to LMS all the time, students want learning to be a part of their workflow.
- Students prefer formats that engage them better. This includes formats such as videos, animated videos, interactive videos, or podcasts that were not part of traditional eLearning but are an integral part of mLearning.
What are the benefits of mLearning?
Value for learners
From a learner’s point of view, mLearning offers the following benefits:
- Training while going or working from home.
- On demand, anytime, anywhere access.
- Gives them control over when and how to consume content.
- Enables them to consume at their own pace.
- They can be pulled as needed (instead of pushing).
- Sync with their lifestyle.
Prices for organizations and L&D teams
Here are the main benefits mLearning provides to organizations and L&D teams:
- Address distant students as well as geographically diverse audiences.
- High engagement.
- Good full rates.
- Easy to update and reuse.
- Low cost compared to class / ILT.
What are the benefits of mLearning in corporate training?
mLearning is an automated online training that is available to students at any time and on the go via mobile devices (tablets and smartphones). Ideally, the same training will be available on desktops / laptops, allowing learners to learn on their favorite device.
Technology support has accelerated the creation of effective mLearning, and the range of writing tools provides many tracks of options. Depending on how the training will be consumed, you can decide between mobile-friendly (customizable) or mobile-first (responsive) designs.
mLearning offers great flexibility, even in terms of its size, to help learners choose the device they want to learn, when they want to learn, and most importantly, the speed at which they can teach and assimilate.
If learners need something urgent, they are more likely to send a message to their WhatsApp group or other chat apps (collaborative / social learning). The shift in teaching attitudes towards knowing what they want to know clearly supports the adoption of the mLearning approach.
Students prefer formats that engage them better. This includes formats such as videos, animated videos, interactive videos, or podcasts that were not part of traditional eLearning but are an integral part of mLearning.
What are the disadvantages of mLearning in corporate training?
As an application that runs according to the instructions embedded in the device, the software is affected by many external factors that hinder its lifespan. These factors, which are changing trends in the field of IT, include regular system crashes, not upgrading to newer versions, compatibility issues, and so on.
Weak wireless connection
This is a major problem in rural areas where internet access and power supply are not yet prevalent. There is no point in offering people the option of mLearning in these areas, as they do not have the basic facilities required to implement mLearning.
Since mLearning is mainly performed via mobile phones, it can be a source of distraction, as learners can spend time on social media websites or video game websites instead of learning app.
How do you differentiate mLearning from eLearning?
Unlike eLearning, which focuses on providing learners with specific skills or detailed information on many specific subjects such as data science or quantum physics, mLearning aims to support the ongoing learning process by providing short, cut-out subtle texts. Information distribution.
Different lengths of a text
Where eLearning texts that provide in-depth information last between 20 and 30 minutes, mLearning texts are very short and usually no longer than 10 minutes. They are suitable for employees who are short on time but need quick access to important bits of information.
Different output method
eLearning takes place via desktop computers and laptops, leaving learners confined to their desks. mLearning is delivered via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets that allow the learning process to continue, no matter where.
How do you implement mLearning in a corporate environment?
1. Top tips to succeed with mLearning
You can offer personalized training in mLearning format to meet different staff training needs, in particular:
- In the moment of need (just in time learning or performance support tools).
- To gain practice and skills to succeed in current work.
- To improve specialized skills to align with business goals.
- New skills or abilities to nurture in business.
- Leadership development skills.
2. Make unboarding easier
Any corporate training initiative – including employee inclusion and onboarding – that is traditionally delivered in ILT form can benefit from a mLearning training approach.
3. Make your training program mobile-friendly
As mentioned earlier, mobile-friendly designs reflect a more globally available adaptive approach to designing mLearning courses. The designs feature multi-device support, but they still map the way learners use laptops / desktops.
4. Use microlearning to promote retention
Appropriate use of microlearning in combination with mLearning helps to achieve learning outcomes on par with other learning strategies and to create better memory and retention.
5. Use video content
A versatile medium, videos and interactive videos are excellent tools to help L&D teams with corporate trainings, and mLearning is a logical way to provide them to learners. You can take advantage of mLearning for video-based learning or interactive video-based learning to enhance the impact of learning:
- Teaser videos to increase engagement and motivate students.
- Conceptual videos.
- Videos to set context.
- Videos to accelerate change management initiatives.
- Videos highlighting landscape-based learning (SBL) to change thinking and behavior.
6. Integrate gamification
With the increasing use of gamification and microlearning in online training, mobile apps for training can take advantage of short, byte-sized, focused learning nuggets that can be presented in a gamified learning path. This will increase the impact they give.
7. Encourage bi-directional learning
mLearning enables learners to access training on the go and switch to learning devices — from smartphones to tablets and then to laptops — and continue to learn wherever they go (subway, cafeteria, home, or airport).
I hope the indicators mentioned in this article on the value and importance of mLearning will help you apply it effectively in your corporate training environment.
Originally published at www.eidesign.net.