Category Archives: Mobile Learning

Why Mobile Learning Is Now More Than Just A Nice-To-Have?

Mobile Learning (mLearning): What Is It?

Sometimes simply referred to as mLearning, mobile learning is a broad term that refers to the process of learning via the internet or network using personal mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and digital notebooks.

Mobile learning has been around in one form or the other since the early 2000s but soared in popularity a few years ago because it allows students access to education anywhere and anytime, provided they have a mobile device.

Basics Of Mobile Learning

1. Mobile learning may be used to deliver microlearning content. It may include videos, animations, how-to guides, games, quizzes or assessments, etc.

2. Social learning elements include a discussion forum, connecting with experts and peers, chat, and knowledge sharing.

3. Offline mobile learning provides support to download the content and learn without access to the internet. You can track the learner’s progress on their mobile device and sync the data to the Learning Management System when a connection is available. Dashboards and reports are available to students, instructors, and administrators anytime.

Why Adopting mLearning Is A Smart Idea?

Mobile learning can make our lives easier in many ways, and the rate of adoption of this approach to education has skyrocketed in recent years.

Here Are The Top Benefits Of mLearning

1. Learning On The Go

One of the biggest benefits of mLearning is that people can learn from anywhere and at any time. The days where individuals love to sit behind their office desk to learn are long gone. Today’s learners want to learn without being at a particular place and at a specific time. mLearning offers instant access to relevant content.

Apart from the fact that it allows people to determine where and when to learn, mLearning also allows students to act voluntarily on their own, thus increasing their chances of being engaged in the learning process.

Even though they’re outside the confines of the classroom, students can communicate with their teachers online, participate in quizzes, and access additional videos at their convenience.

2. Supports Self-Paced Learning

Teachers are aware that students learn at different rates. Learning in a classroom puts the students under pressure to understand a particular concept or lesson within a specific duration, which often causes frustration. Mobile learning eliminates this challenge by allowing students to learn at their own pace. With mLearning, you can learn whenever you want without feeling the pressure to complete a lesson or assignment immediately.

3. Learning Is More Dynamic

No two students are the same. They don’t just learn at a pace that’s unique to them, they also learn better when they are taught using formats they are comfortable with.

For example, some students are visual learners while others are auditory learners. Classroom teaching seldom takes into account students’ learning styles or preferences, but mobile learning helps solve this problem.

Teachers can put images, presentations, audio files, or YouTube videos into their content to suit varying learning styles and reinforce what was taught in their brick and mortar classroom or virtual classroom.

In other words, mobile learning supports all types of media and eLearning features to create a dynamic and engaging experience.

4. Better Completion Rate And Higher Retention

Adopting mobile learning makes it possible to divide any lesson into smaller, more digestible bites. Usually, a large size course is not delivered through mobile apps. mLearning content is designed in a concise and straightforward format. This, in itself, holds plenty of benefits including easier understanding and retention.

For instance, many students get discouraged from learning when they see huge textbooks and the bulky coursework that must be completed. When the lesson is taught in bites via mobile learning, it helps decrease cognitive overload and decrease leaning time.

In addition, bite-sized delivery increases the likelihood of higher knowledge retention and information recall. This helps students complete any course or lesson seamlessly as well as promotes the recall of information when it is needed.

5. Encourages Collaborative Learning

Although mobile learning enables students to learn at their own pace, it also allows them to get in touch with their teacher and peers with the end goal being knowledge sharing. It encourages them to keep in touch with another so they can share ideas while also increasing the possibility of different online learning communities.

6. Cost-Effective

Another notable benefit of mobile learning is that it is cost-effective. All the teachers need to do is develop their content using a web-based authoring system and push it out to learners on their mobile devices automatically so they can learn when they’re able. It is a great way of increasing participation and engagement without breaking the bank.

7. Multi-Device Support

In other words, mLearning content supports all devices learners need and use. In a mobile learning environment, the same content can be accessed on different devices including laptops, PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Regardless of the type of device, mobile learning content looks great and is responsive on all screen sizes.

How To Best Utilize mLearning Apps For Training And Skill Development

Now that you know the benefits that mLearning offers, you may want to know how you can leverage mLearning apps for training and skill development. Here are 4 ways to do that:

1. Supplement Formal Training

If you are looking to reinforce your employees’ learning, mobile learning apps allow you to create simplified versions of your courses and deliver them in easy to digest formats. You can also use the mobile learning app to test their knowledge through flashcard quizzes, thus helping to refresh their memory and retain knowledge.

2. Create Course Discussions

As stated earlier, mLearning encourages collaboration between peers and experts, allowing them to share ideas, which in turn stimulates their thinking. This can further boost engagement and increase completion rates.

3. Add Gamification Features

Engagement aids learning. Adding gamification features such as rewards to your mobile learning content can help intrigue your employees and stir their desire to earn more points or badges while unconsciously encouraging them to complete the assigned learning.

4. Increased Communication With Learners

A mobile learning app simplifies the process of maintaining communication with your students as you can keep in touch with them by sending notifications about your courses or microlearning content. Also, you can attract new learners by using the app to give a sneak peek of upcoming courses.

Conclusion 

For those who don’t have time to sit behind a desk in a classroom setting or those that just want to learn at their own pace, mobile learning is a blessing. Whether you are looking to exclusively train your employees or supplement their formal training, mLearning can help.

This Blog is Originally Published at eLearning Industry on September 10, 2020.

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.

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