t’s become stranger to not have a phone than to have one. Mobile devices ae now used worldwide, and web-enabled handheld devices have become the primary way for communication, entertainment, and learning.
“In 2021, the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.32 billion, indicating that over 90 percent of the global internet population use a mobile device to go online.” – Statista.
What is mobile learning?
Mobile learning, also known as m-learning, is ‘anywhere, anytime learning’. In other words, it is training through the means of a portable computing device.
Mobile learning is a logical avenue for eLearning providers looking for new ways to connect with learners when and where they want to learn, as well as those looking to offer a deeper and more dynamic experience for existing leaners. But with every exciting new frontier comes new technological challenges to adapt to and best practices to take onboard.
eLearning through mobile technology allows for more flexibility and greater reach, benefiting the new 21st century lifestyle we are growing accustomed to.
The benefits of mobile learning
The benefits of mobile learning include:
- Flexibility and convenience – the learner is free to choose when, where, and on what device they engage with the material, as it is accessible anywhere an internet connection is available.
- Improved engagement, retention, and completion rates – because mobile learning tools are designed to fit in with the learner’s busy life, they offer content in bite-sized pieces. This creates a less overwhelming environment to learn in, and makes it easier for students to stay engaged and committed to completing and remembering the course.
6 best practices for designing mobile learning
With mobile learning on the rise, it’s important to implement some strategies to keep you ahead of the curve. Here are our six best practices for designing mobile learning.
#1 Use a range of media
The more range you offer in terms of how students can access your courses, the more people you will reach.
These days, the possibilities for m-learning are endless, and it’s good to stay ahead of the current trends. Think video, podcasts, written content, animation, and even virtual environments. Gone are the days of paper and pen. If you want to reach a wide audience, and keep them engaged, you need to use a range of media.
Providing multi-platform learning through an eLearning app increases engagement and caters to a more diverse range of learners as well as accessibility levels.
# 2 Tap into social interactions
Don’t forget to include social interactions in your eLearning. With so many of us just the tap of a button away from our social media networks, it’s no surprise that mobile learners expect an element of social engagement on this platform.
The accessibility and convenience of m-learning means that the learning experience doesn’t have to end when the webinar, session, or course is complete. Using social tools, such as forums or group chats, the learners can engage in discussions with other participants. This allows for insights to be shared amongst the group, questions to be answered, and a shared feeling of collaboration to incur. This shared experience brings greater meaning to the study, and creates an environment where people want to return to learn more.
Social interactions cut through geographical and cultural boundaries, allowing all members to feel part of a collective. In practice this could include group projects, connectivity through social networks, facilitated forums, and more.
# 3 Design competitive online assessments and quizzes
In a recent blog, we spoke about the importance of games in workplace learning and training. Studies have shown that games can improve knowledge acquisition and heighten users’ ability to employ these concepts in real world scenarios. Gamification of a mobile learning app or course can be greatly effective in learning as the students remain motivated and challenged throughout the course.
Incorporating game mechanics as an incentive for learning can help propel learners to master a certain skill or lesson for the end reward. It provides a fun alternative to reading blocks of text or listening to hour-long lectures, and makes for higher engagement and enjoyment.
This can be done in the form of providing goals and rewards for reaching certain levels of difficulty within the materials, dynamic polling, quizzes, a leader board, or even a ‘streak’ for every day in which the user engages in the course content.
Interested in adding gamification to your next eLearning project? Reach out to our Xperts today.
# 4 Utilise a clear structure
When learning through bite-sized chunks of content at a self-directed pace, the need for clear direction is important. This is the essence of micro learning: where digestible bursts of information enable learners to quickly achieve objectives.
By closely reviewing our projects and interviewing learners, we know they really prefer to have short content pieces as part of a clear pathway or learning journey. Aim to break down large modules into 5 to 15 minute chunks of content, and encourage learners to review key ideas through repetition, revising, and discussion.
We live in a world of information overload, so always make sure there’s a logical, easy-to-follow path through the learning material so that learners can stay on track. This includes a clean, non-cluttered design for ease of use.
# 5 Deliver tailored feedback
Include tailored feedback throughout the course as well as at the end of it. Self-directed learning doesn’t mean that learners don’t want support. In fact, they might need it now more than ever.
Ideally, your m-learning offering should provide immediate feedback when learners make an error, or even inform them of an alternative approach or problem-solving method that may be better for their needs. Correcting mistakes as they occur is ideal for a more positive end result.
# 6 Blend mobile learning with other training mediums
A mobile interface doesn’t negate the need for more in-depth content. Blending mobile media and technologies with other forms of learning means that every learning style is catered for and students can engage through what is best suited to their needs.
One-on-one coaching, follow-up webinars, lists for further reading, and even links to relevant documentaries or videos can all play a part in the personal development process and make the learning experience the best that it can be.
Just because a great deal of learning has moved to mobile, doesn’t mean that the finely honed best practices of learning design principles no longer apply. Rather, it’s about giving these practices and principles new life on the mobile learning platform. It also means catering for users of all abilities. To improve the accessibility of your learning content, download the HowToo FREE checklist.