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With the rapid advancement of technology over the past decade, mainstream education has travelled from the classroom to the computer, and now to our smartphones. Mobile eLearning has the potential to completely revolutionize performance support within the workplace, but it also comes with unique challenges for developers who are trying to stay ahead of the technological curve. Here are four things to consider when exploring mobile learning applications:
One of the biggest problems in Mobile Learning today is the “one size fits all” mentality. Not every element converts properly for every device. For example, when the user has to simulate mouse-clicks on a smartphone and the buttons are shrunk down to the size of a pinhead, the learning incentive is completely lost. If you can’t “click” the right button, how are you supposed to work through the module?
Additionally, remember that mobile devices do not allow button rollovers. Since these elements definitely have their place when displayed on PC screens, design solutions specifically for the user’s preferred digital device.
Since your learners can use a mobile learning application practically anywhere, it helps to keep the lesson plans short and easily completed within a short time frame. Even with larger, more complex topics, break the information down into bite-sized sections that can be completed at the user’s leisure. Your audience is more likely to feel compelled to complete a 5 minute section than a 30 minute course.
A recent study by market research firm IDC predicted that by the year 2015, the Internet will be accessed primarily by smartphones. A Duke University professor also shared his findings that younger generations rely on their mobile devices more than any other platform to access learning material, and dozens of similar studies have reached the same conclusion. The future of eLearning will only continue to favor mobile in a greater capacity, something to keep in mind when looking into eLearning for your organization.
To foster engagement, mobile eLearning applications must be enjoyable, with a balance between fun and education. The strongest educational experiences come from titles that can quickly create engagement and hold the student’s attention. While gamification elements certainly add value, the overall feel has to remain focused on the learning experience. Just because your learning is flashy and visually appealing, doesn’t guarantee success. Keep the learning objectives in mind and ensure your project works to meet those objectives.
At Designing Digitally, Inc., we take great pride in creating customized eLearning solutions for our clients. To learn about our mobile eLearning solutions or to receive a free quote, feel free to contact us or by calling us directly at 866-316-9126.