eLearning courses are typically created by specialist companies using authoring tool software, packed into a SCORM file and then distributed to multiple companies’ different Learning Management Systems (LMS). Once there, unfortunate staff will be expected to grind through long, boring lessons (often under the threat of losing bonuses and incentives) and knowledge transfer will be ineffective. Fortunately, there’s a better way. By making eLearning mobile focused, it becomes more effective. Here’s why you should start looking to mobile authoring tools…
6 ways Mobile Authoring Tools are more effective thantraditional eLearning authoring
Course creators are often isolated from the learners who will actually take the course – they won’t see how effective their course is and feedback is only likely to come from having a future meeting with a client to discuss performance. With material being created on a one-size-fits-all basis, content is more likely to be far less engaging that personalised lessons which directly reference a worker’s particular situation. On top of this, adding updates to courses is not something that instructional designers at content companies focus on… there’s little incentive for an organisation to update references to a case study from 1985 to the findings of a government inquiry that was featured in the news the night before and yet learners will engage more with more-recent, relevant content.
Mobile authoring tools fix much of this because they are inherently, rapid authoring tools. They are frequently integrated into Mobile LMSs and as such offer a mobile-optimised user experience that is far less clunky and more engaging than typical eLearning courses. Updating mobile-focused lessons is generally much easier as they usually make use of microlearning, small lesson sizes and lesson templates. As such, it’s possible to create a lesson in the morning and distribute it via the cloud in the afternoon. Updating them can take minutes. Compared to an authoring process that typically takes weeks, agility is one of the prime benefits of mobile authoring tools.
It’s perhaps counterintuitive, but eLearning courses on powerful computers tend to be much less interactive (and subsequently less engaging and effective) than mobile courses. This is because many eLearning courses are typically distributed in a basic-but-widely-compatible SCORM file that works with any LMS. There’s little room for interactive features because they wouldn’t be compatible with some client systems. Conversely, microlearning uses ready-made interactive templates. Utilising the power of peoples’ smartphones (with their touch screens and multi-core processors) is then simple as even a novice can upload basic questions and answers into interactive templates that are engaging for learners. While many LMSs will work with mobile devices, the non-optimised nature makes them fiddly and annoying to use which is distracting to learners. So interactivity is a core benefit of mobile authoring tools.
3. Gamification and prizing
Adding gamification via mobile authoring tools is far easier than regular authoring tools. The integration with the LMS and its interactive templates means adding scores for correct answers or fast completion times becomes simple. So does adding prizes for completions. This level of competition sees course completion rates rocket from 20% to 100% and beyond – people actually re-take courses of their own volition to get better scores! When learning doesn’t feel like learning, it becomes much more effective.
4. Spaced Repetition
It’s hard enough getting workers to take an eLearning course once, so employing Spaced Repetition strategies is a non-starter. However, mobile-based microlearning makes this simple with microlessons being simple to retake periodically in an effort to reinforce knowledge.
5. Peer Authoring
Another benefit of mobile authoring tools is that they’re so simple to operate (thanks to templates) that anyone within your own organisation can create a lesson. With L&D experts agreeing that peer-learning should encompass one-third of your organisation’s training, it makes perfect sense to use your own experts: why get an outside professional to teach salespeople about best practices when you can leverage your best salespeople’s own experiences? This will also make them feel valued and more loyal while learners will engage more with a peer offering tailored information.
6. Just-in-time training
Mobile authoring tools also enable Just-in-time training. An effective method of company training, that heightens knowledge retention, is to deliver that knowledge right before it’s needed. This is not practical with a lengthy eLearning course(especially if multimedia is involved as the file size will make it difficult to distribute). However, on mobile devices, learners can dial up instructions about a client, product or practice and have it delivered directly to their pocket, right before they need it.