Here's a scenario -
"A Sales Executive who has just finished training and has been asked to take a routine sales call. He needs to do a quick run through of the key steps to be considered while handling a call. What would be easier here? Accessing a desktop-based course that covers the whole nine yards of handling a call or a learning nugget that consists of the key points and can be accessed on a handheld device."
Most of us would opt for the second option, it's easier to have quick review resources readily available on the device of choice rather than having a bulky encyclopedia at any time - and hence the need for mobile eLearning and it sure is trending . However, very often the key objective of having mobile learning gets lost in the whole process of design and development which is why it is necessary to keep certain things in mind before going about with Mobile eLearning Development. Here are a few tips that you ought to consider.
#Tip 1 - Assure that it is Required
This may seem absurd, but it is something that most organizations miss out on. Before getting started with mobile eLearning development or converting your existing eLearning to mobile compatible format, assure that your organizational learning requirements match with it and don't just go with the flow. For instance, if yours' is a training company that only delivers Instructor-led training what would you need mobile learning for? So think before you leap.
#Tip 2 - Understand What Mobile eLearning Is
Of course you do know what mobile eLearning is, but just to clarify it is not 'just' eLearning on mobile. Mobile learning can either be the conversion of desktop-based courses to mobile compatible formats or entirely new courses designed especially for mobile devices- as performance support tools or custom eLearning. Also, make sure to analyze whether the learning requirement calls for App-based courses (and which type of app-web, native or hybrid?), the development process may differ here.
#Tip 3 - Think Mobile
Small screen, anytime, anywhere access etc. are factors that make mobile learning popular and this aspect should always be considered while developing the course. The content should basically be in form of small chunks of information, short video nuggets etc. Dumping all information on the small mobile screen makes learning cumbersome and can demotivate the learners. Connectivity plays an important role in mobile access- hence, the assets (images, videos) should be optimized for mobile loading and should not consume more bandwidth. Offline feature can be a great addition in such cases too.
#Tip 4 - Don't Go Overboard with Navigations and Buttons
Very often in the urge to make mobile learning more interesting, and for improving the overall look & feel we tend to add flashy buttons, hidden navigations etc. Our learners are smart, but patience is something they may lack. So, try to keep things simple-buttons where required and navigation that can be easily comprehended, and it goes without saying-instructions that can be deciphered.
#Tip 5 - Keep it Crisp and Clear
This is more or less a combination of Tip 3 & 4. Information/content should be crisp and concise and presented clearly. Images should be zoomable, instruction or information text should be as short as possible. Long paragraphs and unending scroll downs can be deal breakers.
#Tip 6 - Think Multi Device
Mobile device can be anything from a Blackberry to iOS, 4inch to 7inch, with browsers like Opera, Safari, Mozilla, Chrome, Microsoft Edge etc. The eLearning content should be flexible or in other terms responsive to fit those devices and not just that the tap/gestural controls should be functional too. Also in certain cases when the target device also includes desktops and laptops going mobile-first is a preferred option.
Consider the above mentioned tips before getting started with any mobile eLearning project. Make this your check list and it sure will help you develop effective mobile eLearning.
For those planning to move from Desktop to Mobile eLearning, here are 5 key considerations that can help you in the process. At Knowzies we handle a fair amount of mobile app development and we are always ready to assist you at any stage of your mobile learning development.