With the continued expansion of mobile device usage and the exploding popularity of apps for everything from driving services to dog sitting, it might seem as if mobile e-learning is must-have for any online training initiative. Mobile learning can be an engaging, exciting, and useful option for your learners—but only when it’s done right.
There’s much more to great mobile learning than a smaller screen with a touch interface. First and foremost, you must decide if your content would be a good match for the unique strengths and constraints of mobile.
WHAT KINDS OF CONTENT ARE APPROPRIATE FOR MOBILE?
Bite-sized modules for “in-between” times
Think about it: just because you like checking out the latest episode of a late-night talk show on your smartphone during your daily train ride doesn’t mean you’ll get the same satisfaction from pulling up a big-screen, three-hour epic. The mobile experience lends itself to content doled out in single-sitting portions that can be completed during those “in-between” times. It’s less a full-scale meal of training, and more like a nutritious knowledge-snack.
A focus on product knowledge or professional procedures
An e-learning course/reference tool hybrid is often a great use of mobile for learning. Engaging mini-lessons can introduce aspects of product knowledge or professional procedures to new learners (or refresh this information for more experienced ones). Fast-paced quizzes and games optimized for smartphones or tablets can further instill this knowledge via gamification.
Material that benefits from mobile-specific features
Tablets and smartphones have numerous features that aren’t part of the desktop experience, and great mobile learning makes the most of them. Interfaces that maximize touch or swipe functionality, designs that incorporate geo-location or check-in features, or games that integrate motion sensitivity are all examples of this.
Remember, great mobile learning means more than a shift in screen size or a change in location. It requires material that can be conveniently accessed and quickly completed. It works great for refreshing or reinforcing product or procedural knowledge points, especially with games or quizzes. And, ideally, it integrates a mobile device's features in a meaningful way.