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Please note this blog was updated on 10/27/2020.
Mobile devices are changing almost every aspect of our lives - starting from the way we shop to the way we travel or entertain ourselves. They have massive potential to change the way we learn as well. Mobile learning solutions provide a huge advantage for learners. Now, they can access content anytime they want and from anywhere. The mobile industry was projected to reach the $70 billion mark by 2020. No wonder organizations are encouraging the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy amongst its employees. With the rise of the millennial workforce, it is time that companies take mobile learning implementation seriously.
Mobile learning is effective and flexible. But, it is not without drawbacks. There are several technological and social challenges that you need to overcome in order to create effective learning on mobile phones.
Here are the top six challenges that you may face when developing mobile learning for your employees.
Mobile devices are usually smaller than laptop and desktops. They vary in screen sizes but they are typically small. Given this limitation, designing content can be quite challenging. You cannot simply reuse content designed for classroom or web-based training. You will need to refurbish existing content and design it in a way that it displays well on multiple screen sizes and is compatible with different operating systems.
Human attention spans have plummeted sharply. Your employees are used to multi-tasking. They cannot do one thing for a long time, especially in a world full of distractions. They can scroll through their social media feeds, listen to music, and shop online – all at the same time. You can save a lot of time by multitasking, but it is not conducive to learning. So, your mobile learning content must be engaging enough to catch their fancy. Use elements that will keep them focused on the course.
The initial investment for mlearning may seem high. You need to build the relevant infrastructure and migrate the old training content into mlearning format. Your organization may not have the required training budget. But, if you can see past the initial cost, mobile learning solutions bring in huge benefits in terms of employee engagement and retention. The more employees use the content, the faster you can write off the cost.
Using personal devices for work has security issues involved. There may be sensitive information or network issues at stake. Accessing organization intranet from the device may expose its network to hacking. But, there are several ways to overcome it. For example, you can use apps and firewalls or create security guidelines for the employees. You can even choose to provide company-sponsored devices. With the technology boom, addressing these security threats has become easier and faster.
Learners may not always have access to high-speed internet. They may be traveling or at the client site where internet may be slow or non-existent. What happens if they need to access content right then? You should think about a way to provide them offline access, such as allowing them to download content for future use.
If you are investing in mobile learning solutions, you will want to measure the return-on-investment. But, mobile learning is not a stand-alone activity. Therefore, it may be difficult to measure whether the performance of the learner has improved or not. One workaround can be to distribute a survey to gather feedback.
A key aspect to keep in mind is that mobile learning solutions have many advantages in terms of instant access and flexibility. But it may not always be effective for training goals. When you design for mobile implementation, you have to modify the way you write and develop the course. This is important because something that looks great on computer screens may not be suitable for mobile screens. Your LMS should also be equipped to handle mLearning solutions.
Chargers do not work on the go, for obvious reasons. Learners typically have to stop at a cafe or find an outlet nearby, or they go without. Portable mobile chargers are helping to eliminate this problem, in addition to devices that have created with longer and more powerful battery times. However, this should still be considered when assigning coursework on the go.
At Designing Digitally, Inc. we create custom eLearning specific to your training objectives, that can be accessed from the devices of your choice. Our courses ensure strong retention of information and provide innovative ways to change learner behaviors. Let us help you to come up with the best solution to educate and engage your learners.
Get in touch with our experts today to get started!