Mobile Learning Design – 3 Things to Keep in Mind
Organisations all around are taking on or planning to implement mobile learning to cater for the requirements of the modern learners. As the online media consumption shifts from desktop to mobile, learning has to follow to stay relevant. However, for this paradigm shift of learning a simple swap of devices is not enough. We consume content differently on the desktop versus the mobile, and that is something we need to take into account. Hence, here are three things to keep in mind to ensure appropriate mobile learning design.
1. Avoid text in your mobile learning design
Naturally, learning materials require some texts. But extensive text based content will unfortunately go to waste on the mobile. As research shows, deep reading or “slow reading” does not really happen on the mobile. Rather, we skim the text or read “superficially”. Hence, if you’re relying on delivering your key messages in text format, you might be in trouble. The learners are likely to just glance through it, without paying it the attention it warrants. Naturally, this kills learning retention rates. Over long term, the learners are able to retain very little of the skimmed text based materials.
Furthermore, text based elements are also a researched matter of preference. Behavioural studies show that most people do not prefer to read lengthy texts on the mobile. A lot of scrolling is required, you’re constantly interrupted by other apps and it might even be physically difficult due to e.g. eyesight. Hence, when using text based elements, keep it short! We like to use text to guide the learners, and deliver the key messages in different multimedia formats. A few paragraphs for every learning nugget should be all it takes, thanks to the plethora of content options available which are better suited for mobile learning.
2. Deliver key learning nuggets in rich multimedia formats
The mobile world has brought us a realm of possibilities when it comes to learning design. Different multimedia formats can foster better engagement and deliver the message effectively. Here are some types of content that you should consider for mobile learning.
- Videos are one of the preferred formats of today and easily used in mobile. Here are a few tips on building effective training videos
- Animations are a good, cheap and polished alternative for traditional videos. You can find a few tips on using learning animations here.
- Simulations provide a great way to engage the learners in decision-making scenarios to support the learning application. Here’s how to use them effectively.
- Augmented Reality is built for the mobile and enables powerful and activating experiences. Here are a few use cases for AR.
Ultimately, no matter what content formats you use, you should make the learning interactive. Facilitating two-way interactions between the content and the learner improves engagement and retention by miles. Here’s a simple example of what two-way interactivity means for videos.
3. Deliver learning content in bite-sized nuggets
Mobile learning is a powerful tool because it allows us to utilise the short moments scattered through the workday for learning. So make the minutes matter! Your learners do have the time for learning, the problem is that it is divided into very small pieces. To take advantage of these micro moments, we can use microlearning. Microlearning means structuring and delivering learning content in very short, generally 3-5 minute pieces. A few minutes may not sound like much, but it is more than enough for a short text introduction, followed by a video delivering the key message, after which the learner can even complete a micro quiz to check their learning.
This way, your learners are able to to engage in learning while waiting for the elevator, queuing up at the water fountain or while sipping their morning coffee. It works great, as long as you stick to keeping it concise. Here are some additional tips on building effective microlearning.
Hope these tips help you forward in taking the leap to the era of mobile learning. If you have any problems or queries related to mobile learning design or implementation, don’t hesitate to contact us. Lets work out your problems together.