Category Archives: Instancy LCMS

Progressive Web Apps and Learning Management Systems

Educational websites that invite learners to take online courses must leverage on the benefits that new innovation in web technology offers. One of such innovation is the introduction of Progress Web Apps (PWA).

What is a Progress Web App?

PWA is the next big thing in mobile web; it leverages on latest technologies to combine the best of web and mobile apps leading to improved functionalites. It also offers a user mobile experience similar to what is obtainable in a native app. In other words, PWA takes advantage of the characteristics of mobile apps resulting in improved user retention, and performance with no complex complications.

In today’s world, learning platforms can easily take advantage of PWA to connect with learners since most of them use mobile devices when compared to desktop computers. The learning website can be downloaded on a mobile device as an app icon on the home screen.

PWA’s are quite effective for learning platforms; this is because they offer push notification which makes it easy to achieve up to three times more retention than mobile apps without push notificaation.

 Although, your content may be videos, PDF files or eLearning courses but, the eLearning courses must be mobile responsive webpages that can be viewed through the PWA.

In addition, a well designed mobile app consumes fewer data and is much faster, which makes PWA’s perfect for students.

Features and Benefits of PWA’s

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are websites that act like Native Mobile Apps.  Native apps, such as mobile apps, are known to be very efficient. They are ‘always on’, and ever-present when a user wishes to use them. Some of the features and benefits are: 

1.Known to be reliable 

2.Work regardless of network connection 

3.Launch as a standalone experience 

4.Read and write files from the local file system 

5.Can access hardware such as USB devices or Bluetooth 

6.Interact with contacts and calendar 

7.Take photographs 

8.Manage media playlists such as music 

Progressive web apps do almost everything that native apps do but add:

  • Ease of installation 
  • High reachability 
  • Can reach anyone, anywhere, on any device (no need to code for different mobile operating systems) 

Capable, Reliable, and Installable 

Those are the three most important aspects to consider for Progressive Web apps.  

When looking at the capabilities of PWAs, most of the capabilities center around the developers and the tools currently available to mimic a native app. However, this is outside the scope of this article. 

We measure reliability by factors such as: 

1.Dependability 

2.Speed 

3.Performance 

4.Smooth scrolling and animation 

The installable requirement of Progressive Web Apps goes beyond just being able to easily install it. Other factors include: 

1.PWAs run in a standalone window and not in a web browser 

2.App launches from a variety of locations, including user’s home screen, dock, taskbar, or shelf 

3.Keyboard shortcuts 

4.Manages can accept content from other applications  

According to Sam Richard and Pete LePage in their article on PWAs, consider these statistics: 

1. Twitter saw a 65% increase in pages per session, 75% more Tweets, and a 20% decrease in bounce rate, all while reducing the size of their app by over 97. 

2.Nikkei saw 2.3 times more organic traffic, 58% more subscriptions, and 49% more daily active users. 

3.Hulu saw a 27% increase in return visits. 

Progressive Web Apps can be installed by anyone, anywhere, on any device 

 Progressive Web Apps have some distinct advantages. 

1.Add to Home Screen Prompt 

The add to home screen prompt makes it easy for users to install PWAs on their devices. On their desktop, the user receives a prompt to ‘add to home screen’. Once accepted, the browser-based web app looks like a native app, even on their desktop. The progressive web app has the same visibility and accessibility as if the user were using a native app.  

Customize your PWA technology. Define splash screens. Design a home screen icon. Manage theme colors.

2.PWA in Offline Mode  

When using a native app and you disconnect from the Internet, you can still browse that page until a connection is reestablished. The same is true for a progressive web app. Progressive web apps are built around the concept of offline first. This means that because of PWA’s robust caching system, it handles offline requests and completes them once a connection is available. 

3.Web Push Notifications 

Push notifications are great communication tools. Although they look like text messages, they are different and usually only found on mobile devices. With progressive web app technology, users see push notifications on their desktop as well. Businesses can use push notifications to communicate with their site visitors. The technology is quite effective in eCommerce sites. If you want to be able to communicate with your learners in this manner or request them to go to a course catalog and purchase or reserve a course, you definitely want to consider using push notifications. 

4.No App Stores 

Since progressive apps appear as a native app, there is no need to use native apps you download from the app store. As long as the user is connected to the Internet, users get the most up-to-date content. For example, if your user is on the learning site and new content gets published, their screen refreshes. The user experience is not impacted.  

What Is Micro-Learning?

Microlearning is one of the latest trends in teaching and training spaces. It involves the creation of bite-sized training material that can be understood in a very short time. Microlearning is essentially a means of exposing learners to small chunks of content that they can access whenever they feel like. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that it affords its developers and users.

Benefits of Microlearning

Some of the reasons why microlearning is gaining immense popularity in the last few years is due to the following:

1. Pocket-Friendly: Microlearning courses require fewer resources, fewer instructors and can be developed without specialized tools. This makes it cheaper to develop and thus, more affordable.

2. It Is Very Engaging: Microlearning can be very engaging as its brevity eliminates the fatigue factor. Its ease of training makes microlearning very engaging for learners who can avoid the rigours of “studying” while learning new things in an enjoyable way.

3. Increased Knowledge Retention: Microlearning courses are designed to handle one learning objective at a time. It even gets better with the fact that these courses can be taught via visuals and other forms that make the content easy to remember. Learners are also able to repeatedly study them at their convenience so they will remember more things.

4. Easily Applied: The content of microlearning modules is quite easy to apply in workplace situations because learners have no problem with memory retention. Issues like memory drop are minimized, especially as the courses can easily be refreshed at any location or point in time. This means that the concepts being taught stay fresh in the memory and are easily applied to the job.

5. Easy To develop and deploy: Microlearning courses take little or no time to be developed and deployed. This benefit allows organizations to update the training of their employees on the fly as often as they deem necessary.

How To Design Α Good Microlearning Experience

To design a good microlearning course, you need to follow these steps:

Analyze the learning content: This is done to assess the content to determine how the possibility of conversion and the potential to meet the learning objectives.

Divide the learning content: The rationale behind dividing and grouping the learning content is to break the objectives of the training into small, easily understood chunks of knowledge. This serves to ensure that each unit covers one learning objective at the time.

Let the design be focused on the learner: Let the modules be designed in such a way that the learners have no issues grasping what is being imparted. Ensure that only the most valuable content is included in courses that are designed for smartphones. You are allowed to design your modules to take any of the following forms:Infographics and interactive infographics

1. Infomercials

2. Shorter interactive videos

3. Scenarios 

4. Games/mini-games/quizzes

5. Simulations

6. Podcasts

7. Animations

8. 3D models

9. Blogs

10. Slideshows 

Finally, one of the gifts of digitization to the world of education is microlearning. Using this teaching methodology, teachers can impart more knowledge in less time to their students.

Click here to learn more about how to build a learning object repository