Extending Online Learning to Mobile

By Nicki Nelson
Universities and businesses have always been expected to structure current information into a curriculum and make it interesting for students and employees. But never has the role demanded such a heightened level of technological expertise with the added pressure to attract and retain students and employees who are bombarded by countless digital distractions via mobile devices.

This is especially true for millennial students and employees. Some underlying characteristics of this demographic are that they have very little patience, short attention spans, and want new things all the time. They are about speed and engagement. This extends to how they want to learn. A mobile device with interactive learning options is often more interesting and motivating than an educational slide show. But is this reason enough to create an educational mobile app, or training designed for mobile devices?

Of the employers who experimented with mobile learning (training designed for mobile devices), 42% reported that it has greatly contributed to improving organizational productivity and employee retention. These numbers are only going to increase as the millennials, who grew up amidst screens and gadgets, continue to enter the corporate workforce.*

Most schools and organizations already have some sort of online education for their employees. Here are some of the reasons you may want to also consider creating a mobile app, or mobile training.

  1. Research shows that people learn best in short, regular bursts. Concise microlearning modules, delivered on a scheduled plan to the learner on their phone, allows you to provide reminders of important organizational messages so they are retained instead of forgotten.
  2. Information can be presented through quick videos on a phone that efficiently transfer knowledge.
  3. Your employees are out in the field and need “just in time” resources. Mobile training is very popular for sales people, as there is often a lot of information to memorize, and the information is needed to reference while on the go.
  4. An effective mobile solution will take advantage of social and community features to encourage discussion and information sharing among colleagues. Generating discussion can significantly extend the training experience, provide even more motivation, and build healthy camaraderie within your team.
  5. The way learners interact with their mobile devices, using movement and hand gestures, gives a kinesthetic dimension to learning that can make it a more engaging and memorable experience. Touching the screen to interact with buttons and other elements on a mobile device screen gives a more direct sense of interaction than moving a mouse and clicking.

Here are a few mobile learning projects we’re currently working on:

  • A mobile app that scans and verifies IDs to make sure retail vendors do not sell tobacco or alcohol to minors.
  • Mobile-friendly guidance from a hospital to parents whose children have life-threatening illnesses.
  • A mobile, responsive learning management system that helps educate agriculture students at universities all around the country.

Let us know if you want to explore transferring your educational content to a mobile device.

References:

*https://elearningindustry.com/corporate-employees-using-mobile-learning-benefited-4-ways (Jan. 17, 2018).