Mobile learning (mLearning) allows learners to access digital learning content from the comfort of their mobile devices — including smartphones and tablets — on demand, from anywhere, needing only a reliable internet connection. To make sure you’re providing the best mobile learning experiences for your employees, explore these five best practices to keep your content on track
64,900,000. Sixty-four million, nine hundred thousand. That’s how many smartphone users there are expected to be in the UK by 2025, according to Statista – meaning there’s nearly one smartphone for each of the UK’s 68.5 million residents.
Mobile device use is now so prevalent that major software companies such as Google prioritise the mobile experience when developing their products. As the most visited website in the world, they surely know a thing or two about delivering great user experiences. Whether we’re logging on to our smartphones for work, play, or a combination of both, the average user spends just under five hours per day interacting with their personal mobile device. In a time where 30% of UK employees are working remotely at least once a week, there’s perhaps never been a more important time to optimise workplace training programmes for mobile delivery.
If your organisation offers online learning opportunities – or is thinking about introducing mLearning – you must consider the needs of your learners, and how best you can deliver a great learning experience for them.
To help you navigate mobile learning in the workplace, we’ve compiled our five top recommendations to improve the way you deliver digital training to your employees.
Five best mLearning guidelines
1. Create responsive, mobile-optimised content
Google is so committed to optimising its software and services for mobile use they introduced mobile-first indexing in 2019, which uses the mobile version of a website’s content for indexing and ranking. We can take this to be a solid indicator of the global shift in user trends. Organisations may want to consider following suit when it comes to mobile learning content: all content — graphics, text, videos (especially videos), and forms should be thoroughly tested across mobile devices and optimised to display and interact properly. Content should also be SCORM-compliant to ensure compatibility with your learning management system (LMS).
2. Design with every user in mind
Inclusivity spans every aspect of your online learning offering. The design of your mobile content should be compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) which ensures it remains accessible to people with disabilities. Each piece of content should also consider the user experience for non-digital-natives — users with a limited technical ability — to make it a positive and memorable experience. While there are no set rules governing content accessibility guidelines in workplace learning, adhering to the basics will help your organisation demonstrate inclusivity in the most practical way; don’t overwhelm the user, keep it simple, aim to engage, and cater for all abilities. A digital learning consultancy is a great option for organisations looking for well-designed content that meets accessibility criteria, but don’t have the capacity or expertise to create the content themselves.
3. Make it personal
Love it or hate it, Netflix has perfected the art of delivering personalised content — and, with over 220 million active subscribers, they can’t be wrong. The ‘Netflix of learning’ approach describes a similar style of content recommendation in a learning setting; it provides a relatable experience, takes the guesswork out of self-led learning, and helps to create a ‘pull’ towards learning among employees by suggesting titles similar to content they’ve engaged with before. By delivering a personalised learning opportunity, your employees are inclined to engage in learning more often, which will work to support you in cultivating a learning culture, too.
4. Microlearning content vs spliced long-form content
Microlearning content is the ideal format for mobile learning. It’s a way of providing concise lessons and key messages, as opposed to long-form content which — although more comprehensive — is time consuming, and less appropriate for users accessing their learning on-the-go. Avoid splicing long-form content to fit the framework of microlearning content; rather, aim to create content that aligns with the experience you want to offer.
To deliver that great mobile learning experience, microlearning content needs to support three major objectives: hold the learner’s attention (which, in 2022, is estimated to average 8.25 seconds), deliver the key message (which can fall short in the case of a video that’s spliced halfway through an important piece of information), and provide a memorable experience. Working with a learning consultancy to create bespoke content, or choosing off-the-shelf digital learning content, is a reliable way to ensure your microlearning content evolves at the same pace as your learner’s needs.
5. Data, data, data
Whether you’re collecting, analysing, or sharing insights from the data you’ve compiled, ensure you’re treating it with care, and extracting as much value as possible from each data set you assess. You’ll have access to a pool of information that can potentially enhance your mobile learning courses, so use it to your advantage. Use your LMS’s functionality to inform and shape future mobile learning strategies. Reporting dashboards can help you demonstrate ROI, skills gap analysis tools can help you to identify further training needs, and integration with can support cross-departmental collaboration to enable robust succession planning. Aim to continually develop your personalised learning offering by taking learner feedback on board to inform and shape your learning strategy with real-time data.
The future of mobile learning
Mobile learning gives employees the opportunity to take charge of their professional development. By providing the right type of mobile learning content, and choosing the right LMS platform to deliver your learning activities, you can help future-proof your learning and development strategy. Download our brochure for more information on how Digits LMS can help you deliver exceptional mobile learning.