The world is changing dynamically, especially in the way we communicate – from postal messages to emails and from landlines to smartphones. Similarly, the way we learn has also been evolving. Training too is no longer confined to brick-and-mortar classrooms, it is rather delivered right into your mobile devices.
With digitization and easy access to content on the Internet, the learning environment has become dynamic by providing an enriching training experience to the learners. Nevertheless, mobile learning developers face unique challenges:
Though it is a digital age, not everyone is tech-savvy. Some corporate learners may be comfortable with eLearning rather than using mobile phones for accessing online materials. The limitation could be due to their uneasiness in navigating the mobile learning platform or the device. This can be resolved by creating walkthroughs, FAQs, and online tutorials. Interactive online presentations and blogs are a great way for tech-savvy staff to help others who are not so confident about the technology.
Limited corporate budgets
Many organizations believe converting their eLearning to mobile courses are expensive and can be effort-intensive. However, this can be made budget-friendly by investing in the rapid and responsive design authoring tool. These tools have online asset libraries, templates, themes, objects that will reduce development time and cost. The responsive design makes it possible to offer these courses on any device, be it smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops.
Limited screen space
Mobile devices have a smaller screen, giving the developer limited space to work. As a result, graphics, content, layout, navigation icons need to fit within the white space surrounding the screen elements. This can be achieved if only the essentials are included. The use of templates for bullets, graphics, illustrations, charts instead of words can also help.
Social media distractions
Technology can become a hindrance when it becomes the source of major distraction, especially for tech-savvy millennials. Social media can end up being misused for chatting with friends, reading the news when the learners should be involved in collaborating with peers or assessing online training. Interactive scenarios and simulations that help learners apply the knowledge in the real-world can reduce social media distractions.
Compatibility of platforms
One of the biggest impediments to mobile learning solutions is the lack of a universal platform between mobile devices. Most organizations use a panoply of devices – PC laptops, Macs, Androids, iPhones, and Windows phones. The challenge of creating a complete device-independent training is yet to fully addressed. The need of the hour is to find the right type of product that is user-friendly and cost-efficient too.
Conversion of eLearning content
It is often misconstrued that eLearning content can be converted into mobile learning by merely breaking up the content and presenting them into smaller chunks. Apart from repurposing the content or graphics, one should also ensure that the fonts are readable, the activities are relevant, and the navigation is easy. Modifications can make eLearning into mobile-friendly corporate courses.
Here are some tips to address them:
- Re-evaluate existing assets: You need to assess existing assets to determine which parts need to be retained while others can be removed. For example, large sections of the content may need to be cut down and made into bullets. To do this may require the intervention of subject matter experts and the assistance of your team.
- Mobile-friendly makeover: The eLearning content that needs to retained may need to be re-examined entirely to make this mobile-friendly course. For example, a half-hour course can be made into several bite-sized training activities.
- Responsive authoring tool: A non-responsive online course can be a nightmare for navigation. The text is too tiny to read, and graphics may appear clunky in some browsers. A responsive authoring tool will work on any platform or device and adjusts the display based on the screen size. So, the course will look great on the laptop as well as on your smartphone. You can test different responsive design authoring tools to decide which one aligns with your team’s skills and meets the requirements.
Mobile learning offers several advantages over traditional eLearning, from improved knowledge retention to increased course completion and learner motivation. However, one needs to overcome several mobile learning barriers to bring benefits to learners.