Creating rich learning experiences for mobile learners
Is your learning platform mobile ready? Libby Webb wants to make sure.
Reading time: 4m 30s.
Prolific advances in mobile technology are driving fundamental changes in the way we live, work and learn. From reading the morning news to sending a last-minute birthday card, even organising the weekly food shop, smartphones have enabled all of our needs to be available at the click of a button.
And just as rapidly, workplace learning is moving in the same direction. Innovative business models and changing workforce dynamics - for instance, flexible and remote working - are quickly making traditional
training approaches obsolete.
If organisations want to continue capturing the attention of their learners, continue to grow their potential and build their skills, they must start developing the way they deliver their training too.
Too busy to learn
The age-old excuse for why a number of your employees fail to complete even half of the learning activities in their learning journeys. For this reason (and a number of others) the learning experience platform (LXP) was introduced and since its introduction, the LXP has played a significant role in the development of organisational learning.
Gone are the days of company-wide conferences and compliance-focused manual onboarding programs.
It strikes me as odd as to why more organisations don’t promote the mobile learning capabilities of their chosen implemented learning platform.
From just-in-time learning and AI-driven recommendations to bite-sized content and social interaction, the learning experiences constructed using the LXP are designed to benefit career progression, offering truly immersive and interactive experiences that engage the learner and keep them motivated time and time again.
And with next-generation learning analytics built into many of these platforms, organisations are using the rich learning data associated with their own learners to continue refining and improving the learning
that they offer.
But even with the busiest of learners in mind, there remains a handful in every organisation who continue to slip through the cracks. But in this ever-changing environment, surely we’re too busy not to learn?
Is mobile learning the answer?
In this day and age, it is extremely rare that you come across a person who doesn’t own a mobile phone - with the majority of those being smartphones. It is this reason that strikes me as odd as to why more organisations don’t promote the mobile learning capabilities of their chosen implemented learning platform.
By adapting learning experiences so that they are compatible with mobile devices, L&D teams ensure that learners really can consume a piece of content at the click of a button. When hands-free learning becomes a possibility, learners are then able to complete an activity (for example, listening to a podcast) at times they wouldn’t have imagined.
During the long commute home, or whilst they’re cooking dinner, for instance.
Creating mobile learning experiences that work
If you’ve had demonstrated success with creating meaningful learning experiences using an LXP, then chances are the ones you go on to create for mobile devices will also be a hit. But, just in case, here are a
few tips on improving your mobile learning experience:
If you’re unsure on what we mean by 'nudge theory' or ‘nudges’ then you haven’t been listening very hard…
A nudge is an action that makes it more likely that an individual will make a particular choice by altering the environment so that automatic cognitive processes are triggered to favour the desired outcome.
In digital learning, nudges take the form of messages delivered through texts or emails from an LMS that typically occur for the following reasons:
- To warn a learner if they’ve fallen off track
- To alert a learner of an important deadline
- To make a learner aware of the resources available to them
Push notifications (or SMS nudges) are a great addition to m-learning as they can be personalised and can encourage a learner to jump back into their journey right there and then via their mobile device. For
the most impact, attach the next piece of content/activity in their journey to make the experience as seamless as possible.
Use bite-sized content
How likely are your learners to complete an entire course on their mobile device? Not very, I’m sure. M-learning is primarily used to top up a learners experience, helping them to access small pieces of content when whey have 5-10 minutes to spare.
This is where microlearning comes in. The approach encourages the use of micro, bite-sized chunks of learning material that typically take no more than five minutes to complete. By including content/activities that can be classed as ‘microlearning’, you can ensure there’s bite-sized, manageable learning that your employees can tackle as/when they have the time.
There’s also research which indicates microlearning leads to better retention, helping learners to understand only the core, and most relevant, concepts of what they’re learning. So really, it’s win-win!
Optimise for mobile devices
There is perhaps no bigger disaster than advertising your learning platform as being mobile-ready when in fact, it isn’t. This is a real problem for learners who are expecting to do their learning via their smartphones, only to find the UI is only compatible with desktops/laptops.
Taking the time to ensure your platform (and its content) is cross-compatible will save you a huge amount of aggravation in the future.
Just as you would measure the learning that occurs through your digital platform, the same should be said of your m-learning experiences.
By analysing all types of learning that occur within your organisation you can observe which types of content are consumed the most and where in order to then refine the experiences you offer to ensure your learners continue to get the most from the learning opportunity.
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