Mobile Learning or mLearning has emerged as the platform for learning for the new age corporate learners. Mobile devices are now easily available and affordable for all. In addition to e-courses, corporate organizations are making use of this ubiquitous platform to deliver learning to their learners – anytime and anywhere.
E-Learning developers are including mobile learning within their repertoire of e-learning services. Newer technologies are also ensuring that mlearning development is more streamlined, standardized as well as budget-friendly.
The success of m-learning in the corporate world has been due to several factors.
- Users are getting accustomed to the mobile platform: Modern learners have a variety of online activities that include social networking, shopping and paying bills. They also watch a lot of videos and listen to music on their handheld devices. Accessing learning content on mobile devices thus comes naturally to them – especially if the content is aligned to suit the medium as discussed in the next section.
- The development of mobile-friendly content: Creating mobile content is not just making e-content available on mobile devices. Just as converting classroom presentations into e-format does not deliver impactful e-learning, converting e-courses into mobile learning also does not reap results. The content developed for mobile learning has to align itself to its strengths and keep its limitations in mind. Small bursts of learning work best for the mobile platform – with minimum text and prominent media inclusion like graphics, audio and video.
- Creating mobile learning is not overly expensive: There are many ways of reducing mobile learning costs. Previously, separate modules of mobile learning and e-learning sued to be developed to cater to the needs of the two platforms. But by using modern development technology like HTML5, the content can be created for delivery across multiple devices – laptop, mobile or tablets. Also if you have existing e-content, a lot of material like graphics, videos, animations and audio can be reused when creating mlearning content – thus making cost and time savings.
- Rapid authoring tools for Mobile Learning: By using rapid authoring tools, mobile learning content can be created quickly and within tight budgets. Many rapid authoring tools provide ready templates for mobile delivery of content. Media assets from e-courses can also be included in these templates to increase the visual appeal and interactivity.
- mLearning can be interesting and interactive: Mobile learning is not always linear and unimaginative. The mobile platform supports a lot of interactivity – the most popular being audio and video. Learners can utilize these elements very well and find them easier to assimilate than boring text. Other interactivities like quizzes and mobile games can also be built in to entice the learner and make learning fun. The level of interactivity depends on available technologies, the compatibilities of the learner devices and available budgets for mlearning development.
- Uniform user experience: Mobile learning technology is fast evolving and now it is possible for all users to access mobile learning content on different devices but have the same superior viewing experience. Web responsive technology is being utilized to create mobile learning content that aligns itself as per the specifications of the viewing device. The user does not have to scroll or pan in/pan out unnecessarily to view the content. This ensures a uniform learning experience for all –irrespective of the viewing device.
The mobile platform is still evolving and newer ways of mobile content creation as well as delivery are being explored. As a platform, it has found tremendous success in the corporate world and with the new wave of emerging mobile technologies this success is bound to scale new heights.