mLearning has, slowly but surely, been creating a niche for itself in corporate training and learning. Even a decade ago mLearning was being created and utilized for learning – though sparingly. But in the past few years it has emerged as a sustainable learning platform. In addition to providing uninterrupted access, mLearning also provides a more learner-centric approach where the learner can assess his or her own needs and learn accordingly. With emerging technologies, mobile learning development is also becoming streamlined and budget-friendly.
But before you take the leap of faith, there are still some points to be pondered. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you make your decision.
1. Are my learners ready to adopt mLearning? Will it benefit them?
Keeping at par with the growing popularity of smartphones and mobile devices, users too are inclined to use these devices to do more, and this trend is likely to increase. Users are more likely to increase their online activities through their handhelds, including shopping and paying bills. They are also keen on accessing social networking sites and streaming or downloading video or audio content via smartphones and mobiles. So the mobile platform itself poses no barriers for adoption of mLearning.
As for effectiveness, the biggest advantage of Mobile Learning is that it increases the availability and accessibility of content manifold. This is a huge advantage for industries where learners are spread far and wide or where they are on the move – like Retail, Pharamacuetical, Healthcare, Banking and Financial Services, Distance Education, and so on.
mLearning also provides learners the benefit of learning when the need is most – for instance, right before an important meeting or a sales call. Learners can gain from just-in-time insights and apply them instantly in their area of work.
For continued learning support, it is an efficient reinforcement tool. Courses taught in classrooms or via eLearning can be supplemented and revised with the help of mLearning – making sure that the effect of learning is lasting and it not lost over time once the session is over.
2. Will creation of mLearning content make a huge hole in my budget?
Creation of mobile content is not an expensive proposition at all. The good news is that all mLearning content need not be created from scratch. Media assets like graphics, animations and voice-overs from eLearning content can be reused and transformed into mLearning. Working judiciously with source files, 40-50% material can be reused, making considerable savings on content creation costs.
The cost of creating custom-content for mLearning is as much as that of creating fresh eLearning content. So if you are sold on the sustainability and costs of creating eLearning for your learners, mobile learning should also be a cost-friendly option. Like eLearning, mobile learning content development costs can also be reduced by employing rapid authoring tools and using ready-to-use HTML templates.
3. How long does it take to go mobile?
The time taken to create and deploy custom mLearning content is comparable to the time it takes to create and deploy an e-course. You can save up to 40% of your time if you choose to transition from eLearning to mLearning. In our experience, the following is a rough estimate of how long it will take for you to go mobile, when transitioning from eLearning to mLearning.
- Level 1(per Learning Hour): 8-10 days
- Level 2(per Learning Hour): 12-16 days
- Level 3(per Learning Hour): 20-25 days
4. Can content be made multi-device-compatible?
Though it sounds too perfect to be true, learning content can be made multi-device-compatible, ensuring that the learner has the freedom to choose the delivery device as per his needs and convenience.
- By designing the content in HTML5, you can ensure that the content can run on all delivery devices through apps and/or browsers.
- By employing responsive web design, you can ensure that the shell/course player and all media assets are automatically re-sized as per device specifications and the content has the same sensory impact across all devices.
- By making sure that the chosen learning platform is supported by multiple devices, you can ensure that the content can be accessed on multiple devices easily.
While designing your content, be sure to use a unified learning strategy and make sure it reflects on the kind of content created. Also take care of the little things – like, for example, while accessing the content through multiple devices, the learner should be able to resume learning from the place where last left.
5. Which tool/technology should be chosen?
Creation of mLearning content can be accomplished by many tools and technologies. While choosing the best one for your needs, there are 5 key considerations that you must deliberate to make the right choice.
- The software that offers the most ease of use
- The software that creates content fastest
- The kind/level of content that you aim to create
- The training need and subject
- Your business imperatives
We have for you our take on the available technologies that will help you make the right choice.
6. Can mLearning be creative and interactive?
mLearning does not have to be drab and boring. In fact, the mobile platform supports a lot of interactivity and it is up to you to decide how much or how little of it you want to include in your content. Elements like audio and video run well on the platform. Learners too align well to these elements which they can access and utilize at ease, even while traveling or out of office. Refer to the table above to ascertain the right tools for you for the level of interactivity that you choose to introduce in your mLearning content.
7. Can all types of content go mobile?
A variety of mobile learning content is being developed. Some types are more popular than others as they align to the strengths of the medium very well and so are most effective. For instance, process trainings can be broken down into short nuggets for learners to consume as per their needs. This is very useful because the learning from these trainings is often needed in the course of work. Similarly, product training highlights can be provided to sales agents in the market, to provide instantaneous information on products and services. Short and impactful compliance refreshers can also be delivered via mobile devices for continuous support. Pre-loaded tablets can be very effective in industries like Education, Manufacturing, and Retail, where the learner has easy reference to detailed learning material at all times.
All said and done, the mobile platform is still new and we hope we have been able to address some of the common queries that you might have about the effectiveness of this new way of learning. For more, please do write to [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you.