Mobile learning in an on-the-go-culture

Renate de Jonge

Nowadays we are almost always on-the-go. Which translates to us being glued to our mobile devices; while we wait, during our daily commute or in a waiting room at the dentist. And these are the perfect opportunities to study! Mobile learning is definitely efficient, but is it effective as well? To give you a straight up answer: yes, mobile learning is effective. Provided that you keep this list in mind while creating your mobile learning experience.

 

 

Opportunities and limitations of the smartphone screen

The content of your online training is not necessarily fit for mobile learning on a smartphone. Your user does not have unlimited time and only a small screen at his disposal. Your content, therefore, must be reduced to shorter paragraphs or clear bullet points. You emphasize the most important ideas. 

 

Image versus video

Limit the use of images. These are often too static for your mobile device. A full screen image is less significant and not easily adaptable to your small screen. Video’s are more effective when using your smartphone. 

 

Moving images bring your content to live. Moreover, we have gotten used to taking in information by video. We are more likely to take in information with a video than when we are just reading or listening. Video’s are ideal for reading on the go, since you are able to play and pause whenever you want, in the dentist’s waiting room for example 😉.  You can easily rewind, forward or rewatch a short video. This ease and control of tempo stimulates the user to study more, research finds.

 

Another advantage in using video is the large amount of information you can share in a relative limited time. This shortens your training time. Images and sounds activate multiple senses, making learning more effective: the retention increases.

 

Just-in-time and on-demand learning

Online training on mobile devices are ideal for presenting bite-sized knowledge when your user needs it the most. Short and quick modules encourage users to use this knowledge when they need support on the job or want to do a quick knowledge check. 

 

User experience

It goes without saying that the ease of use of mobile learning should not cause any frustration for your user. He should be able to simply log on and off without too many manual actions and be able to navigate through the e-learning with ease. 

 

For whom and at what moment?

Next to these practical aspects, it is essential to know exactly who your target audience is. Conduct some research and create a persona, determine at which moments he or she wants to learn and where they are during the day. Do they work at the office a lot? Or are they a frequent commuter? What is his or her educational level? Is he or she tech savvy? What are his or her goals and expectations, from the perspective of the organisation as well as from the persona?

 

Answers to the above questions determine how to best motivate and engage your users, as well as determine the mobility level of your content.

 

Clarify when your users want to practice on-the-go learning. And we do not mean time of day necessarily, but moments in which the user requires knowledge. Does your user want:

  • To learn something new
  • More information about a subject
  • Een geheugensteun bij toepassen of onthouden van de content
  • To solve a problem

The content of your training should accommodate one of these learning goals.

 

On-the-go

In our on-the-go culture it’s a must for organisations to make learning content accessible on mobile devices. Whether you choose apps or video (perhaps text), smartphone or tablet, your users place high demands on accessibility. They are used to their every-day smartphone use, on platforms such as Youtube and TikTok.