mLearning: Why Every Organization Should Put it to Use

Move over Fido, your reign as “Man’s Best Friend,” has come to an end.  Who or what now faithfully stands by your master’s side? Why it’s Andrew the Android and Siri the iPhone, among other mobile devices.

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, most of us are rarely found without these constant companions. Aside from the obvious purpose of communication, mobile devices help us accomplish everyday tasks. From calorie counting and navigation to social networking and gaming, they provide a perpetual source of information and entertainment at any time and largely, from any location. As a result, society has come to expect digital technologies on the go, and this includes eLearning.

Appropriately coined, mLearning, technology-based training formatted for mobile use, puts information in the trainee’s hands when and where they need it the most: in the workplace setting.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Knowledge Libraries: Regardless of industry, there comes a time when workers could benefit from a training recap on a particular topic or task. A searchable knowledge library puts a valuable resource at an individual’s fingertips. At any time, unknowns can be answered quickly and with ease.
  2. Training Videos & Animations: Though a trainee may have successfully completed a course on the operation of a complex piece of machinery, it is not uncommon for that same individual to feel at a loss when face to face with the actual piece of equipment.  mLearning can take the intimidation and uncertainty out of the equation with instructional training videos and animations that map the correct processes of an action or task.
  3. Interactive Demos and Simulations: Take mobile training to greater heights with interactive simulations. Instead of showing a user the solution to a scenario or process, challenge them. Interactive simulations on the job site boost worker confidence and provide a safe virtual environment in which to confirm trainee knowledge and comprehension.
  4. QR Codes: We’ve all seen them, QR codes affixed to a shop window, poster, or within the pages of the magazine. When scanned with a portable device, the user is navigated to a dedicated webpage with additional information, including videos, online surveys, and more. Why not leverage this technology for mLearning? By affixing a training QR Code to a work station or piece of machinery, trainees are anchored to the exact information they need to know, quickly and without hassle.

Important things to consider when building an mLearning platform:

Developing a training platform for use on a laptop or desktop versus a mobile device is hugely different. Everything from screen real estate to input technology must be optimized for an optimal mobile experience. Consider carefully these developmental challenges:

  1. Compatibility: Apple…Motorola…LG…Samsung…HTC… the list of manufacturers for mobile devices is long and growing.  Add to this list, the variation of actual devices and operating systems, and mobile application developers are faced with a towering challenge: How to develop applications that operate consistently across all devices? For the broadest reach, consider mobile-friendly web environments, eliminating the need for duplicated application development efforts for varying platforms.
  2. Design: Consider screen real estate and device orientation. What works well on a standard computer monitor, will not on a mobile device. Achieve clean, uncluttered designs with excellent and easy to use navigation for the varying mLearning elements.
  3. Technology: Unlike a desktop or laptop where selection is handled by a mouse, mobile device users use touch. Amend elements accordingly utilizing swipe, pull and drag, and other tactile approaches.

Technology has and will continue to pervade the mobile world. When it comes to eLearning, don’t miss the opportunity. Contact DDA VMS today for more information on technology-based training for mobile devices: 215-355-6442.

Photo Credit: e³°°° via photopin cc

Photo Credit: Nicolas Fleury via photopin cc