What Makes a Great Mobile Learning App?

As users increasingly use their smartphones for tasks formerly accessible only on a desktop computer, businesses must now determine if using mobile apps for learning is best for them. Learning mobile apps is a popular request. With 95% of users preferring to use their phone or tablet, companies are now scrambling to get it right. 

The forecast from Statista reveals that there are approximately 3.5 billion worldwide smartphone users in 2020, which is expected to reach 3.8 billion in 2021. 

According to the Smart Insights report, users spent 90% of their mobile time on mobile applications. The eLearning Guild states most users prefer to view the app in vertical versus horizontal mode.  

Design is Important 

A mobile app is only as good as its design. There is a different skillset to designing software for viewing on a desktop or laptop versus creating for a tablet or phone. It does not take long for a manager who thought they could retrofit their old eLearning models into smaller screens quickly find they wasted time and money and do not have a viable solution! 

Native App versus Progressive Web App (PWA) 

Mobile Native Apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are two viable options for providing a mobile solution to the learners. The Instancy learning platform offers both options, seamlessly integrated into the Instancy Learning Platform.   

Although the average user cannot tell the difference between PWAs and native mobile apps, there are differences.

Some of the differences and similarities are: 

1. Users can easily install PWAs on their devices. On their mobile device, the user receives a prompt to ‘add to the home screen.’ Once accepted, the browser-based web app looks like a native mobile app.

2. Both a Progressive Web App (PWA) and a Mobile Native App allow you to browse a page, even after the internet is disconnected. Once a connection is established, you begin again exactly where you left off previously.

3. Push notifications are communication tools that look like text messages. Both native and progressive web apps allow for this functionality. Push notifications are especially useful when incorporating an eCommerce site where you sell training.

4. One huge difference is that progressive web apps do not require you to go through the authorization process to get your mobile apps approved by native app stores like Apple and Google app stores.

With PWAs, you no longer have to go through the arduous process of submitting the app for approval. A regular web browser is sufficient to access a PWA and install the app icon on your mobile device.

There are baseline mobile learning requirements. The Instancy team is happy to discuss these in more depth. However, the following is a brief overview. 

1. Determine if the mobile native learning app is useful for your team. Also, decide if the app is a ‘got to have’ or ‘nice to have.’ Perform a thorough analysis before going down the path to mobile. If you are using the Instancy Learning Platform, we offer a native app as part of our offerings!

2. Is the mobile delivery part of your training strategy? Do you want to replace a delivery method or complement it? Most corporations use the 70-20-10 rule.

The mobile app functionality is only as good as your training design.  

While some thought leaders feel the mobile training experience is not suitable for all knowledge transfer, Instancy disagrees. It goes back to the instructional design, including creative training design for mobile.  

The success of the mobile learning experience is only as good as your mobile app design

Quality mobile app design + Quality mobile content design = Quality learner experience 

1. Carefully consider what information you want your students to learn. Is there something about the process or teaching the subject not viewable on a smaller screen? Perhaps there is some interactivity you cannot replicate on a mobile device.  

2. According to Statista, the average in-app engagement for a session was 5.6 minutes for iOS devices versus 6.6 minutes for Android. Keep each training topic short. Let the learner consume small bits of content. Give them a choice to continue or save for later.  

3. Ensure you publish content quickly and include interactive content you can push out on the mobile app.

4. Take care when designing assessments. If you make them too long (remember the short attention span), there is also evidence that it is easier to cheat while taking the test.

5. Design assessments with minimal typing requirements. On a desktop, it is easy for the learner to type short answers. It is more difficult on a mobile device.

6. Make training materials searchable. This is especially true when your learners depend on the information as a reference. Job aids are increasingly delivered via mobile. Tag content with keywords, so students easily find topics of interest. This increases the value students give to the content.

7. In addition to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements, including captions when using sound is a good idea, especially with mobile. Also, there are times when the mobile user cannot listen to sounds such as in a subway or other public places. 

8. Maintain a seamless transition from all devices. If a user closes the desktop but wants to continue the training, they want to pick up where they left off on their mobile. We discussed PWAs earlier. The ability to have the same user experience, no matter the device, is essential. 

9. Continually test and analyze use cases and user experience. Instancy’s robust data collection capabilities allow you to capture meaningful data. 

Why the Instancy Mobile Learning App? 

The Instancy Learning Platform is more than a learning management system. It is a learning content management system and authoring tool for mobile learning content, mobile learning platform, eCommerce and marketing platform, and learning records store. 

The mobile app is available on Apple and Google devices and is integrated with the Learning Management System (LMS). Our mobile application works the same as our desktop web application.  

Both Instancy Mobile Learning Native App and Progressive Web App support: 

1. Formal and informal learning, eLearning courses, assessments, virtual classroom, and the ability to view and manage documents

2. Learning paths so learners can traverse a learning path towards mastery and collaborate with others on the same path

3. Event enrollments, calendar, and reminders

4. Social learning – discussions connecting with peers, experts, and instructors through chat and content sharing

5. Gamification – enabling users to win points or badges. Credits and certificates may be assigned for specific courses

6. Competency and skill assessment to guide the learner towards filling skill gaps.

Sign up for a free trial. We are eager to show you why we are the best! 

How to Increase the Quality of Remote Learning

How to Increase the Quality of Remote Learning - Instancy

Remote learning is a term used a lot these days. With the virus situation and other events happening, schools have to adapt their delivery quickly. Design the curriculum for classroom or virtual delivery. Both students and instructors are getting used to the ‘new normal.’

Instructional design is perhaps more critical than ever. To achieve optimal quality, you need the tools, platform, and infrastructure. 

Our founder, Harvey Singh, got his start in the late 1980s upon graduation from Stanford. His early research with Apple Computers in Educational Technology (how to use technology for education), he founded the Instancy Learning Platform. Because of his software background, Harvey considers quality a prerequisite to success. 

All modules or apps in the learning platform work in an integrated way to help you create, deliver, and manage all aspects of the learning process. They offer the flexibility to design and delivery your courses for the every-changing landscape.  

There are things you can do to increase the learner experience. Let’s discuss a few of them. 

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Find Your Online Champions 

There are champions of online education within your organization. Look around the campus, and you will find more than one! They wear many hats and serve different roles.

Instructional designers are your first point of contact. They may be credentialed instructional designers, or they may be other faculty who are comfortable with remote or online learning design.

The champions may also be other trainers or even librarians. Librarians typically have an advanced ability with technology and are good sources of information when you measure the quality of your content. Librarians are also a key champion because most librarians are detail-oriented. 

Campus Connections 

University campuses typically have standalone departments of instruction, such as engineering or political science. Many educators feel their peers in other departments don’t communicate.

Try to bridge that communication gap. You never know what tidbits of information you can get from your peers. You may want to reach out to professors in other colleges as well.  Together determine best practices. As you aim for quality, your course evolves. 

Instructional Designers Are Your Crucial Source of Information 

Instructional designers are design and learning experts who can help lead quality assurance efforts. As institutions move through their transformation in remote learning, IDs will help you design or redesign your course.

They have the unique ability to understand the desired outcome of the learning event. They drill down and determine quantitative objectives. They help the instructor position knowledge transfer to achieve the objectives.

They are experts in technology and digital media. They also tend to be subject matter experts on the available learning technology and know which features of your learning platform supports remote learning. 

DNot Start Your Course Over from Scratch 

Never do this! Keep what you have and adjust it to a remote audience. Never start over. Make a checklist. List the learning objectives and ensure the topics flow.

Take your classroom training content and analyze it. Get the help of the instructional designer if you are not comfortable doing this. After you examine your topics and content, decide how to deliver this information in a digital delivery model.

Continuously survey your peers and students. Ask them what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what they would like to see changed. Ask for specific information.  

Continuing Education 

If your school does not offer professional development on online learning, ask them to include it. Instructors need constant training to stay on top of the fast-moving technology advancements. 

Take up the challenge to make your online courses better than the traditional classroom experience. In the beginning, the process can be daunting. Over time, the process becomes second nature. You can do it! 

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Instancy is Here to Help 

When you choose Instancy as your learning platform provider, you have all you need to design and deliver quality eLearning courses and blended learning programs.

Although we pride ourselves on our learning platform, we also have a support staff who lives and breathes online learning every day.

Customer success with online learning is important to us, but if we do not have a superior learning platform, there is only so much customer we can offer that you can use. Sign up for a demo or a free trial.

See for yourself how Instancy increases your quality score and allows you to easily use our technology to bring your courses to new heights.