It’s no secret that we live in a society that values convenience and flexibility. We are accustomed to moving quickly, learning to adapt, and making the most of the time we have. This is why mobile learning can provide invaluable opportunities for e-learning courses. This accessible and advantageous platform for e-learning has benefits for both the creators and users that are worth investigating further.
What is Mobile Learning?
The term mobile learning, also known as m-learning or mLearning, refers to educational content that the user can access on a mobile device like their smartphone or tablet. This may be a blog post, podcast episode, or a full blown e-learning course.
Mobile learning has so much potential, the convenience and ease of access being one of the main benefits for consumers. There are 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world, which means that mobile learning resonates on a global scale.
Mobile learning works well in tandem with microlearning. This technique can offer both formal and informal educational training. Where does the micro in microlearning come into play? Microlearning presents smaller blocks of content, which allows the user to quickly and easily access information. This is an ideal format for those utilizing a mobile device. Microlearning can come in the form of a video, social post, email, or any type of content that is quick and digestible and easy to access on a mobile device.
The Benefits of Mobile Learning
Before diving into the benefits of mobile learning, take a look at some interesting statistics. 72% of mobile users reported increased engagement, 45% of smartphone users completed their courses faster than those who used a computer, and 70% of people felt more motivated to learn when they were able to utilize mobile based learning.
These numbers are pretty impressive, so let’s break down the benefits of mobile learning further:
- Convenience: The user can access their e-learning materials anywhere at any time.
- Engaging: Creators can personalize content interactions in a way that is motivating and engaging for users.
- Collaborative: Users can utilize online communities to communicate with other learners.
- Digestible: When using microlearning in tandem with mobile learning, the information presented can be digestible and easier to retain.
Why Design Matters
When it comes to mobile learning, proper design is of the utmost importance. When creating e-learning content, it’s key to design the content using a mobile-first approach. It’s no longer enough to make it mobile friendly or mobile responsive. It has to feel like it was always meant to be consumed from a mobile device. A course with faulty buttons or media that doesn’t work properly could have a counterproductive effect. Mobile users who try to consume content that was not designed specifically for mobile devices can get frustrated and may drop the course altogether.
Developing designs that adapt to a variety of device sizes may take more effort upfront, but the rewards will be worth it if you can attract users on a desktop, smartphone, or tablet. Creating content that is compatible for mobile devices will allow the users to access the e-learning content whenever and wherever they please and will give the creator the opportunity to take advantage of gamification techniques and video-based content.Another step worth taking now rather than later is to create content with internationalization best practices in mind. If the course will be later localized into multiple languages, course developers should follow internationalization best practices from the get-go to prevent having to do extensive work later on. Internationalization falls under globalization and can help adapt a product to a new market with ease. Similar to keeping design in mind up front, internationalization should be prioritized early on as well.