Mobile Learning: Why Delivery Format Matters?
Well, Mobile Learning is not an alien concept, is it? The often discussed, contemplated, and even implemented learning model in the mobile world for the ever-mobile workforce. We on our end have written more than often about mobile learning covered all about its benefits, misconceptions, importance of accessibility, challenges to its implementation, and even the process of creating mobile learning using Authoring tools. In the post – How to Use Mobile Learning to Best Appeal to Millennials, we discussed about certain aspects to be considered while designing the content for mobile learning, however there’s yet a question that remains unanswered. What is the best format for delivering mobile learning.
But, before discussing that, we need to understand why the format of delivery really matters when it comes to mobile learning.
Screen size, navigation, content volume are the basic influencers of mobile learning design, along with this the target audience and their existing knowledge (both skill-wise and technology-wise) influences the choice of delivery method.
For a better understanding let’s take a look at the popular delivery formats used for mobile learning.
Videos are often the more popular format for mobile learning delivery. The primary reason being its compatibility across devices, operating systems, browsers etc. Goes without saying that short, explainer videos, DIY-kind of videos etc. tend to appeal to the diligent workforce.
Short and Simple has always created a buzz, more so in cases where just-in-time learning or performance support is to be focussed on. Push notifications too have significant role in sending targeted message or learning inputs. Sharing small nuggets through mobile is a popular phenomenon these days especially in performance support learning initiatives.
Mobile games have always been popular, and using this very fact to better use learning solution providers started creating learning games. While the long- virtual lab kind of experience works better on larger devices, fixed training schedules etc. Mobile-based learning games with interactive-multiplayer options increase competitiveness and paves the path towards self-driven learning.
This may be and extension of the game-based learning environment. But, learners are more likely to interact with short quizzes on mobile devices in comparison with the ones on desktops of laptops. It helps in getting instant assessments, immediate feedback and hence in more updated revisions/modifications, and improved development plans.
eBooks, Blogs, Infographics etc.
Those terms hardly need explanation, but the reason why those are still prevalent may need elucidation. Take for instance training on a new generic healthcare tool for regional health centres, where volunteers join in from time to time. So, while some may have prior knowledge others may need better introduction of common health hazards, in such cases an eBook or Infographic or blogs can help in filling the knowledge gap. The best part is that it can be delivered to or accessed by those who need it. This in turn helps in curbing the frustration that can be generated whenlearners are forced to relearn.
With the coming of affordable VR kits and easier access to tools for creating AR based courses, the trend for AR and VR based courses too may see a rise. Serious Learning Games, Interactive Videos too have been gaining increased acceptance. However, every delivery format used for Mobile Learning has a specific role and an equally specific learning/performance goal. The selection process hence depends on thorough analysis of the requirements, understanding the target audience, and discussions with SMEs and L&D professionals in the organization. The development tips mentioned here, can come in handy too.
With the constant increase in devices that are being added to the mix, it is evident that Mobile Learning is here to stay. However, based on varying demographic, time-cost issues and many other factors the format of delivery will keep evolving with time. So, which formats of Mobile Learning do you/learners in your organization prefer? Do share your comments.