Mobile learning is a priority for many forward-thinking organisations and their L&D departments. This type of learning strategy comes with a huge range of benefits including flexibility, encouraging self-directed learning, and increases in engagement.
This doesn’t mean, however, that it comes without its challenges. There is a wide range of potential barriers to consider but the good news is, a mobile-friendly LMS and fully prepared strategy make them easy to overcome. Let’s dive straight in and have a look at 5 of the most common challenges L&D can face when it comes to implementing and managing mobile learning:
1. Smaller screen sizes
Perhaps one of the most obvious barriers to learning on a mobile device is the screen size. In our everyday lives, we are used to experiences adapting effortlessly to different devices and mobile learning should be no different. Using a mobile-friendly LMS with good usability allows your learners to easily access all of the information and training they require on any device. A mobile-friendly LMS will be responsively designed, which means that the layout will automatically adjust for different screen sizes and devices. Even better, this means you can implement mobile learning on phones or tablets without the concern of display issues.
2. Learning across devices
Another concern when it comes to mobile learning can be the need to transfer the learning experience across devices and locations. If your learners start a piece of training on a desktop and have to leave for an off-site meeting or international travel before they can finish it, what happens to their progress? A mobile-friendly LMS will allow them to pick up where they left off.
Similarly to services like Netflix, a good mobile-friendly LMS will save the progress across any devices your learners are logged into. So, if needs be, they can start a piece of training on their phone and continue it on a desktop at HQ or vice versa. For many employees who are increasingly working remotely, travelling for appointments and meetings, and are more in demand than ever before in the workplace, this is one of the primary benefits of mobile learning.
3. Data usage and load speeds
Not all devices come with unlimited data, so whether you’re planning a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or supplied devices strategy alongside your implementation of mobile, internet requirements are worth considering. Employees will be resistant to using large amounts of their own as high usage can be costly and a strong WiFi connection isn’t available everywhere. The answer is to implement an LMS designed with data usage and load speeds in mind.
A mobile-friendly LMS will be readily optimised for the best experience on any device, ensuring no one gets landed with a huge phone bill. Also, images, eLearning content, and other elements of the LMS can be compressed and file sizes reduced without losing quality in order to ensure faster load speeds. In our mile-a-minute world, a slow-loading LMS can make a huge amount of difference to your learning engagement levels.
4. Social media distractions
One of the reasons slow load speeds can detract from your learning engagement is due to the vast level of distractions on our devices. With an app for everything, and notifications popping up at regular intervals to increase phone usage, it can be difficult to ensure your learners are fully engaged in what they’re doing. The solution to this is different depending on how you’re handling the devices.
If your organisation is supplying the devices for mobile learning, simply limit the usage of social media platforms on these devices or turn notifications off. If you are implementing a BYOD strategy, this is a little more difficult to control. However, highly engaging eLearning content optimised for mobile will definitely help. Microlearning is also a great way to help prevent losing the attention of your learners as it breaks learning into smaller chunks that typically take just a few minutes to complete.
5. Tight eLearning budgets
Getting the go-ahead for a new learning strategy can be a challenge, especially where technology is involved. However, a mobile-friendly LMS can be one of the biggest cost savers. Investing in technology that is responsive to a wide range of devices future-proofs your strategy. The LMS provider should continually update your system according to the latest needs and specifications of upcoming technology.
On top of this, implementing BYOD can be a great way to save your budget. Without the need to implement new hardware, the budget can either be saved or invested in great mobile-optimised eLearning content that will stand the test of time across a wide range of technology, reducing the need for future investment.
Mobile learning is a vital part of the future of workplace training. Whether you’re looking to change your organisation’s learning culture, improve learning engagement, or provide more flexibility for your workforce, mobile is a great way to implement a positive change in your learning strategy. A mobile-friendly LMS can help you to overcome the barriers of mobile learning, from screen considerations to budget restrictions.
This article was originally published on eLearning Industry.