E-learning - Maximising mobile learning content
The mobile revolution continues to transform the way we live, work and learn, and mobile learning has now established itself as a mainstream learning technology. Smartphones and tablets are proving to be more popular and affordable than ever, and are often the preferred device for many learners in today’s tech-savvy, multiplatform workplace.
With mobile learning now an integral part of L&D across many organisations, the focus of conversations around m-learning are shifting fast. It's now less about making m-learning part of blended learning strategies and more about how to do it well: aligned with corporate objectives, delivering maximum business impact, and accessible on-the-go and at the point of need.
There is a growing need to produce content which is compatible with multiple devices and platforms, and many organisations are now choosing to create content specifically for mobile users. So with this in mind, here are our top tips for developing high impact learning content that embraces learning anytime, anywhere and on any device.
1. Elearning - Make it mobile
Elearning content which takes full advantage of mobile functionality is far more successful than ‘mobile friendly’ multi-platform content or traditional learning modules which have been adapted to work for mobile. Rather than create content which can also be accessed via a mobile device, develop a mobile-first mentality which focuses on mobile technology from the early stages of the design process to enhance the capability of your content with the unique features of a mobile device.
2. Snackable e-learning content works
The simpler the design, the more engaged the user– so think 'bite-sized' and keep your content snackable. Ensure the length of text is short and concise and simplify the user interface and navigation. M-learning should be intuitive, so eliminate bulky course frames and avoid navigation buttons. The less tech-savvy will require an easily accessible help page, and remember, key interactions will need to be positioned within thumbs' reach for use on smartphones.
3. Adjust to learner behaviour
Motivate your employees with the freedom to learn on-the-go and in their own time. Alongside the rise of iOS and Android devices, responsive design and ‘auto fit’ capability have streamlined the delivery of multiplatform, multiscreen learning. Media and interactions work across multiple screen sizes and devices and content automatically adjusts to fit the user’s screen. Advances in technology also mean that users can begin their courses on desktop before completing on their device of choice.
4. Be media-savvy with your e-learning content
Video is a powerful tool for inspiring behavioural change, but remember that too much multimedia can become a distraction. MP4 and MP3 for video and audio will work across multiple devices, and mobile-friendly videos should be no longer than 1-2 minutes in length. Also consider loading times, as 3G and slower WiFi connections will cause buffering and cause your learners to switch off.
5. Think touch screen
Mobile learning is not only more accessible, but it can provide a better learning experience. Enhance interactions with touch screen capability, and include tilt sensors, media clips and gesture control to engage your audience in digital learning. Try moving away from the traditional features of online learning and make the most of mobile functionality, including drag-and-drops, tap to reveals and swiping. You’ll create a more engaging experience around even basic elements such as navigation.
Mobile learning is nothing new for many organisations, however over the next few years, many leaders will be asking, “How can we do it well?” The rise of 4G and increased bandwidth for mobile users will irreversibly transform m-learning, whilst the newly ratified HTML5 will enable more media-rich interactions for a more engaging learning experience. It is vital that employee learning and development keeps pace with the latest advances in mobile technology, and the key challenge for many organisations will be to find new ways to develop effective, high impact mobile content to achieve maximum business impact.