Workplace learning is now one of the top priorities of most organisations who want to keep their employees abreast of the latest trends in their industry and comply with all its norms. While the need for perennial workplace learning is clear and constant, the means of delivering learning are changing. The greatest shift is the inclusion of technology in the learning delivery, which ensures employees are able to learn as per work schedule and other commitments. With the flexibility of learning as per need, employees can benefit most from the learning opportunities, and the organization, as a whole, benefits from it.
In recent times, the popularity of mobile devices is on the rise. Modern employees are now utilizing their handheld devices for many purposes such as checking mails, operating the Internet, online shopping and learning. As per a latest research, people spend more time operating the Internet on their handheld devices (51%), as compared to desktops (42%). Thus, it is clear that we have to provide a satisfactory mobile experience to reach out to the modern workplace learners.
Most organizations are now open to the idea of taking advantage of the increase in smartphone and tablet use at the workplace for e-learning delivery. This increases the availability and accessibility of training for the employees, who can now utilize their time learning, even when out of office. However, the increasing use of mobile-enabled learning content poses a number of challenges for e-learning developers. While e-learning content was developed for training materials accessed on a large computer screen, that’s no longer the case. Nowadays, e-learning materials are accessed on a variety of devices with different screen sizes. This is the area where responsive e-learning design can be useful to create content for multi-device delivery. Responsive design enables e-content to adapt and readjust to fit the screen size it detects. Modern website developers have been designing websites that scale to fit screens for many years now, and this technology is now being embraced by e-learning developers as well.
Here are some design strategies to deliver impactful learning through mobile devices:
Innovations in design
Mobile learning courses should be built with a design that ensures easy navigation as ease-of-use should be the priority. Even if the courses are textual, there should be an effort to keep on-screen text minimal by employing design strategies. For instance, when creating an informative course for an organization, explanations of the various safety laws that govern a country were imparted as simple interactivity of click-to-reveal within the image. Not only did it lessen the OST, but also enhanced learners’ interest by giving them ‘something to do’.
To make learning interesting and provide relief, mobile learning designers can introduce various graphics into the courses. In addition to generic images that lighten up the screen, informative graphics providing impactful learning opportunities can be employed. For instance, in a learning course that discusses the evacuation procedure during an emergency, we utilized an interactive diagram, which listed various procedures in a sequential and logical manner. Not only did it make reading easier on mobile devices, but also increased the recall ability of the learners.
This may need some creative thinking but acronyms can be included to help learners remember easily and for long. The acronyms can also be made interesting by adding clickable details, which help enhance learners’ interest and make the content suitably detailed. For concepts crucial to the learning outcome, this can be an interesting way to increase learners’ interest and help them remember and apply the knowledge at the workplace, when needed.
With increased technological development, mobile devices can now support a lot of different media elements and this creates a number of options for mobile learning designers. The inclusion of video in the courseware can add to the interactivity within the courseware and make it appealing to the learner. Especially if the courseware is text-extensive, the video element grabs the learners’ attention and retains it for long. Mobile learning courses that start with a short video at the beginning of the program can help learners understand the scope and relevance of the learning material.
Most e-learning courses include assessments that can reflect how much the learner has learnt and retained. Mobile assessments can be of various types, which can help instructors and learners judge the learning effort themselves. Most mobile learning courses can be accessed through different devices and the learning impact is magnified especially when assessments can be accessed on the devices most convenient for the learner. The scores and progress can be automatically synched, and the learner can resume from where he left.
It can be concluded that mobile learning is truly past its nascent stage, and there is a vast choice for developers that can make learning impactful and interesting. The learning design and the technology used to create mobile learning need to go hand in hand for the success of the mobile learning delivery.