It is undeniable that mobile learning is the future. As a generation of young people who have always had access to mobile phones come into the work force this medium is second nature to them. Whether they are in the middle of a crowded office or on a production line, today they have the power to access knowledge when it is most convenient to them. In this article I will put the spotlight on some of the key points we have learnt in establishing a successful mobile learning strategy.
Know as much as possible about who you are designing for. Does your audience already use their mobile devices on a regular basis? What information do they already have, and what do they need to learn from the mobile experience? You need to know what they expect from the mobile learning course, where will they be accessing it, and how much time can they devote to the learning experience.
The content you have in your current eLearning course cannot be directly imported into your mobile learning course. It can, however, be modified in order to seamlessly integrate into your mobile strategy. It is important to keep the content as digestible as possible. You need to be aware that your learners are going to be accessing the mobile learning course on the go, meaning they won’t have a lot of time to sit down and work their way through a thirty-minute module. Use different media to present learning points.
All learners are distracted to some degree. Even those taking traditional courses may have their mind on other things while they are participating. Even more so, your mobile learners are going to be accessing your mobile course, wherever, whenever. As such they will be dealing with a lot of distractions while they are trying to absorb information. This is why it is critical to create engaging, information-packed, and powerful content. You have to grab their attention from the very beginning, and hold it by providing them with information that is important to them and their objectives.
Your learners may only have a few minutes to access your learning event. More often than not they will be rushed, therefore they need to get as much information as possible, as quickly as possible. However, this does not mean the learning design and development process should be rushed as well. This will affect the quality and the effectiveness of the mobile learning course.
Unfortunately, not all your learners are going to be willing to try the mobile experience. Some will prefer to stick with the traditional eLearning experience and will be resistant to a new learning style. It is important not to force it on your learners, or they simply won’t be motivated to learn. Instead lead them to the mobile learning experience. Encourage them to complete supplemental mobile learning courses that will expand their comprehension, so they can see, first hand, how a mobile learning course might benefit them. If you find a majority of your learners aren’t using the mobile learning tools you’ve developed, then it may be time to do additional audience research, to get their feedback to find the reasons behind their resistance to mobile learning.
Mobile learning may not be for everyone but it cannot be overlooked as an important tool in the future. Modlettes are designed for mobile learning.