Synopsis: The modern employee is so used to the smartphone and accessing information at their fingertips that it entertainment, banking, social networking, shopping, or training, the smartphone is the go-to device. Since mobile learning is omnipresent, you may have considered implementing it in your organization. However, just merely learning content accessible on mobile gadgets does not do the job. It is essential to consider multiple other factors. Here are our 10 recommended best practices to create learning courses for mobiles.
10 Best Practices for Mobile-friendly eLearning Courses
It’s a no-brainer that mobile learning has managed to live up to its claims. After all, the fraction of the current Millennial generation is surging up in workplaces. Hence, m-learning has become indispensable. Additionally, as per the data from recent research, “71% of Millennials say they connect more with mobile learning than L&D activities delivered via desktop or formal methods.”
Yes, the modern employee is so habituated to using mobiles and absorbing knowledge on the go. Be it any industry or sector — say, entertainment, banking, social networking, shopping, or training — smartphones rule the globe. In short, mobile learning has become a necessity. Therefore, we are sure that you must have thought about deploying this methodology at your workplace. But just making your training materials accessible on mobile gadgets won’t do the job. It is always advisable to consider multiple other factors. Therefore, to guide you through the process here’s our compilation of the 10 best practices for creating and implementing mobile-friendly eLearning courses.
1. Ditch the Clutter
The human brain is not built to imbibe too much information in one go. Therefore, you do not want to overwhelm your learners with lengthy, unwanted content. They might just get bored and leave. Our brains have a limited amount of processing power, and when a mobile course provides too much content at once, it might overwhelm learners and make them leave. Hence, when it comes to mLearning, you must try to keep your content short. Incorporate only the required information and share additional notes as handouts.
2. Boost the Loading Speed
Mobile learning is different when compared to training delivered on a computer or laptop. Mobile learners prefer speed and instant responses while using their smartphones for knowledge consumption. On a computer, students can open several tabs at one time while another page is loading. But on the phone, if the course takes a long time to open, learners have a high chance of abandoning it. You can increase the loading speed by cropping graphics, compressing image sizes, and replacing large images with image maps. Finally, you can also increase the trainee’s curiosity levels by embedding interactive elements in a mobile lesson.
3. Deliver Content in Chunks
When delivering training via smartphones, you must consider the medium of content dissemination, the mobile device. So, you need to create courses that adapt to this medium. For instance, users access their phones for almost the entire day — in contrast to other gadgets like laptops or desktops. Again, trainees do not engage with mobile content for long durations at a stretch. They use their phones as in-between gadgets between tasks. They also access their devices when amid activities such as traveling or waiting. It means that they are prone to distractions. In short, one uses their smartphone for brief periods. To address this behavioral pattern, you should chunk your mobile lessons into bite-sized sessions. In other words, you should opt for microlearning.
NOTE: Mobile learning lessons should range from five to ten minutes in length and never more than fifteen minutes.
4. Pay Attention to the Content Layout
While desktop learners view more pages simultaneously, mobile learners prefer uninterrupted transitions when switching to corporate training modules. Hence, you need to consider the proper placement of content. Again, you should remember that mobile trainees do not expect to see all the critical content as soon as they land on the screen. So, what can you do? Kick off the course-creation process by introducing the employee to the topic and then guiding them to take more action. Another tip is to create a chronological layout as per the importance of the training material. You can place navigation controls throughout the page as well.
5. Test Before Launch
You cannot implement a mLearning course without first testing it on multiple devices to ensure proper function and deployment. Now, you should not burden only one person to do the testing process. Test the program with different users — starting from tech-savvy individuals to freshers. Finally, remember to maintain a record of the tests, the results, and the optimizations. This practice will help you in future improvisations.
6. Go for a Responsive Design
Responsive design refers to a content layout that can adapt to any device. The screen could be the size of an Android phone, iPhone, iPad, or laptop. In each case, a responsive layout allows you to optimize the screen size automatically! With the help of playablo you can design the perfect responsive content that the learners can view on various devices without any alteration.
7. Identify Your Target Audience
mLearning is entirely different when comparing it to the content found in typical eLearning courses. It is most effective when created in the form of just-in-time or just-in-place modules. Hence, mobile courses must include and map out the different stages of the learner’s journey. Also, to better understand your learners’ learning habits, talk to your employees and their managers. Gauge their learning habits. When you know your end audience well, you can design impactful m-learning courses that meet their expectations.
In mobile learning, your go-to approach should define simplicity. You should refrain from using too many features and options. It will simply end up confusing the learner. More buttons, graphics, and paragraphs make the screen appear cluttered and complex. Again, mobile users usually use their devices with one or two thumbs. Therefore, design a course that is easy to operate via one to two thumb interactions. Moreover, do not keep large images with too many details and if you have to, include them as a supporting document PDF or image attachment.
9. Engage Your Learners
On the touchscreen, mobile devices do not have a mouse to click, rollover, or hover above the content. Therefore, when you design mobile-friendly training modules, use simple menu styles, increase the spatial size of buttons, and enlarge interface elements like buttons. Again, you should also amplify the engagement factor by incorporating gamified learning modules.
10. Don’t Forget the Feedback Option
Since users access smartphones throughout the day, you can reap the benefits of this behavior to send out quick messages and notifications about new additions to mobile learning materials and segments. Learners can then quickly know which components of the module are incomplete or which areas demand more attention. You may use mLearning to design short surveys about the specific course content. You should also allow your learners to give suggestions or report any issues they face while attending a session.
eLearning is ineffective if you cannot optimize it for mobile devices. Therefore, you should continually engage in research to be wary of the frequent changes introduced in this methodology. Only then, your training modules will stay up to date as per the latest trends!