Whether you define mobile devices as SmartPhones, Tablets, or both – mobile training is the most relevant topic in the Learning industry today. Currently, over 30% of organizations deliver some amount of learning content through mobile platforms and that number is growing rapidly.
One of the main questions we struggle with is when to utilize mLearning over traditional methods including eLearning and classroom delivery. Given where the market is today, and some of the challenges still being faced delivering existing content through mobile devices, there really is no one correct answer to this question.
Being at the forefront of the mLearning movement, we have the benefit of talking to many different clients across various industries and gain valuable insights into issues and challenges they are facing. Based on this deep experience, we understand (and often recommend) that sometimes it is better to walk before you run. To that end, it is very worthwhile to consider creating smaller, simpler mLearning modules that augment a larger training curriculum. This will allow you to reap the benefits of mLearning in a shorter period of time and gain an understanding into your company’s willingness to embrace this medium of learning – all while being responsible in your initial mLearning spend.
For companies considering mLearning in 2012 we have the following recommendations.
Take advantage of the mobile nature of the platform and your audience’s demographics / modes of use. What we mean by this is if your audience is young urbanites who take the subway to your downtown offices then you need a solution that will work in the subway systems so they can use their commute time productively. This typically means you need a solution that can run with or without an internet connection. If, however, your audience typically has either WiFi or internet connectivity whenever they use their mobile device then you can use the cheaper and less complex option of assuming your audience is always-connected.
Is your audience using their own devices to access this material? If so, you may want to consider a browser-based, HTML 5, solution rather than a native app because that may be more compatible. If the audience all has the same hardware, then you may choose a native app because of the experience it affords.
There are more mLearning issues, of course, but these are two hot ones right now. Agree? Disagree? Comment below!