Five Tips for Creating Engaging Mobile Friendly eLearning






ELEARNING TO MLEARNING – TOP FIVE TIPS FOR CREATING ENGAGING MOBILE FRIENDLY ELEARNING

How often do you think people on average check their phone every day? Whatever number is coming to your head, double it and you’ll be closer to the answer.

Research shows that we check our phones twice as much as we estimate we do (Gregoire, 2015). Mobile use has become part of our day to day activities and for some, a mobile is almost like an extra limb. Think about when you walk through an airport or shopping centre, wherever you go it is likely that you will see at least one person on their phone. I know for me it is hard to resist when it provides me with information ‘anywhere’ and at ‘anytime’ at my fingertips. Whether it’s observing the weather for the weekend, checking social media or playing games, your phone seems to have it all. So why not put your eLearning on the device that our society knows and loves?

It is important to know that creating mobile learning (mLearning) is not as simple as compressing your eLearning onto a mobile device. Designing a mLearning module requires planning and it is particularly important to consider which devices learners will be utilising to complete the module (Timothy, 2016). Whether the mLearning will be for a mobile, tablet or laptop it is important that the physical properties of the module align with the device (Timothy, 2016). When designing your mLearning be sure to do some research on the recommended layout to ensure it aligns with the device/s that will be used. For example, what aspect ratios should you be concerned with so that your user isn’t looking for buttons that have taken a vacation from your screen or are only half visible.

So you may ask… how do you create great mLearning? I would love to share with you some advice and tips to ensure that your mLearning is cutting edge and engaging.

1. Blended Approach

A trap that mLearning can fall into is too much content for the context of a small device, resulting in a poor user experience (Buff, 2013). mLearning is often designed in a way that provides the learner with tools to compliment other training measures (Rose, 2015). So rather than trying to compress a whole eLearning module into mLearning why not use mLearning as part of a blended approach or solution? An example of this is “just in time” job aids, advice or revision content that can assist the learner at the time they need it (Buff, 2013). Your mLearning can direct your learner to snippets of a full module or websites, articles and videos that will support their learning.

2. Bite-Sized Learning

In order to create the best possible experience for your learner it is recommended that lessons delivered through mLearning are short and punchy (Habeeb Omer, 2015). Your learner will often access mLearning when they are ‘on the run’ or ‘out and about’ and it may be difficult for them to focus on lengthy modules. An example of achieving this is by splitting a one-hour module into six short ten minute modules. Much of our society today multitask and often have short attention spans (Habeeb Omer, 2015) so this is also a great strategy for retaining your learners attention (rather than having them loose complete interest in the module when it’s still not finished and their friend has arrived for coffee).



Client sample for Unconscious Bias training.

3. Keep the Navigation Simple

It is important to keep your mLearning module navigation simple. Whilst there is a vast array of buttons, graphics and interactivity that you can incorporate into eLearning, for mLearning it is recommended that only the ‘essential’ buttons are incorporated. It is likely that your learner will be completing your module on a small screen and the last thing you want is your learner becoming frustrated and disengaged. Ideally your learner should be able to navigate your learning material with one or two fingers at the most (Timothy 2016). 

 

Client sample for Unconscious Bias training.

4. Avoid Scrolling

Great mLearning will keep scrolling to a minimum. If you have a lot of content in your module it is better to split the content over multiple pages. (Timothy, 2016). Remember the benefits of mLearning, its quick and easy for the learner to get the information they need. If scrolling exists, there is a lot of text. If scrolling doesn’t exist, your learning focuses on decisions and actions and this therefore creates better learning. Keep in mind that this will have an impact on how you design your training. So when you are designing a mLearning module, think…. “How can I teach this concept at a glance?”.

5. Compress mLearning Content to Reduce Loading Time

What you don’t want is your learner impatiently watching a loading spinning wheel continually spin around on their screen as they wait for what feels like years for the module to start (I’m sure we have all experienced this frustration). This is why it is smart to compress your eLearning content to reduce load times. A couple of ways to do this is by reducing the quality of your images (72 dpi is recommend for web), compress videos and reduce the frame rate to about 15, preload elements where possible and use media that exists in your software rather than creating it in design software and importing it.

Using the above tips can enable you to create an effective mLearning course and in turn allow your learners to benefit from your eLearning, anywhere and at any time. Mobile device usage is on the rise, as is mLearning (Pappas, 2014) so why not tap into society’s habitual and automatic behaviours by sharing learnings through their beloved devices?

At Belvista Studios we are always striving to keep up with the latest trends in eLearning and this is one that can’t be missed. If you are interested in creating mLearning for your organisation, let us partner with you to create something great together. Visit our website via visiting http://www.belvistastudios.com or email info@belvistastudios.com to find out more. 

A little bit about the author... 

"I am Hannah and I am passionate about how we can create effective and fun learning experiences. I believe that if you create enjoyment and social connection through learning, learning outcomes can sky rocket! The world is changing and becoming more and more digital by the day. We need to harness this and see what's possible!".


References

Buff, T.B. (2013). ELearning Industry. Retrieved 6 November, 2016, from https://elearningindustry.com/top-5-design-considerations-for-creating-mobile-learning

Gregoire, C.G. (2015) Huffingtonpost. Huffington Post Australia. Retrieved 4 November, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/smartphone-usage-estimates_us_5637687de4b063179912dc96

Habeeb Omer , A.H.O. (2015). ELearning Industry. Retrieved 6 November, 2016, from https://elearningindustry.com/bite-sized-learning-future-of-elearning

Pappas, C.P. (2014). ELearning Industry. Retrieved 6 November, 2016, from https://elearningindustry.com/create-effective-mobile-training-courses-tips

Rose, M.R. (2015). ELearning Industry. Retrieved 6 November, 2016, from https://elearningindustry.com/blended-learning-still-ticks-boxes-mobile-learning-despite-reports-may-say

Timothy , T.A. (2016). ELearning Industry. Retrieved 6 November, 2016, from https://elearningindustry.com/7-dos-and-donts-of-mobile-learning



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