An Introduction to Mobile Learning

By 06/19/2018 October 29th, 2019 Business, elearning

What is Mobile Learning?

Many digital learning development tools and platforms are now attempting to offer optimization for content displayed on mobile devices.

However, this is not as straightforward as simply ‘adapting’ content developed for the desktop experience to smaller mobile screens.

There are a few challenges, the most obvious being screen size – content developed for an HD widescreen display often loses impact when translated to a much smaller screen, even if it is 100% responsive on all devices.

For example, longer videos and rich graphics may present well on the desktop but be impossible to digest on a mobile device.

Why Target Mobile Learners?

Over the last decade or so, digital learning has been trending towards delivery via mobile devices.

As device ownership reaches peak saturation and continues to grow thru 2018, it’s natural that a shift has occurred whereby many people prefer to consume and engage with content via their mobile devices, and that most definitely includes learning content.

Consumer engagement with mobile also continues to enjoy solid growth. In 2016, the average user spent 3.1 hours engaged, an increase of 2 hours per day since 2011.

Further, worldwide a huge 75% of all internet usage now originates from a mobile device. This all sounds great but, the fact is, traditional ‘eLearning’ courses of up to an hour in length do not tend to engage well on mobile devices. Whilst there are strong instructional design frameworks developed over many years that address the development of eLearning, mobile learning works rather differently.

Mobile-specific Learning Apps

With huge global levels of smartphone saturation, many platforms are pioneering a ‘mobile first’ approach.

This approach could be in the form of a dedicated microlearning platform, or a cohesive way to include mobile in a learning strategy via a blended approach.

Leveraging the newest capabilities of the smartphone platform like HD video recording and sharing content in real time, we are able to create a new, more engaging learning experience for the modern workforce.

A new and interesting way to target mobile is the auto-generation of stand-alone learning apps based on developed content.

This allows for mobile-optimized content that can stand alone, or form part of a wider learning program.

8 Key Benefits of Mobile learning delivery

  1. Consistency of training

Work sites in a variety of geographical locations can make it difficult to ensure everyone gets a good quality learning experience. Some areas are visited less often than others, and the quality of training can vary from place to place. Having a structured mobile learning course solves this issue. This type of course is not restricted by distance, and everyone gets the same information, tools and tests.

  1. Structured to a trainees time

Important work duties can be at any time, so many employees experience periods of downtime. These quiet times are perfect for making progress with a mobile learning course. All they need is a few minutes to complete a module and progress

  1. Easy Segmentation of Learning

Mobile learning is the easiest way to segment the topics covered in a course so that employees can concentrate on areas they need most. For example, an employee might have a good understanding of one product but not of another. It is not efficient if they spend an equal amount of time learning about both.

  1. Content is highly accessible

The rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) provides easy access to training as employees can complete learning on their own device.

  1. Learner-centricity

Mobile learnings can be embedded in a learning path in a flexible way, letting learners choose what they want to learn and when on the device of their choice. They also help address the different learning styles and preferences that learners have and bring an element of personalization to the learning.

  1. Just-in-time.

Mobile learning can make for great Performance Support Tools (PST’s) to help learners apply the learning precisely at the moment of their need.

  1. Less time-consuming

Mobile learnings can be completed quickly. The learning, as a result, is more effective and beneficial for learners.

  1. Gamification

If done right, gamification of the learning experience can greatly increase both engagement and retention. People are already used to playing games on their mobile devices so the gamification of learning content feels ‘native’ in a way that it perhaps doesn’t in a desktop eLearning module.

When and Where Does Mobile Learning Work Best?

Mobile learning can fit into almost any training strategy, however, the types of training where a mobile content approach really shines are often those where location independent delivery, and dripped content feature, for instance:

Employee onboarding: With intuitive, easy-to-use learning apps, new employees can quickly learn what they need to know even before they get started in their jobs.

Remote worker training: Many organizations today have multiple locations and remote workers, some of whom work full-time from home, this is especially true for sales staff. Learning on mobile devices helps keep employees who work outside the main office current.

Online Certification: Typically online certification users want a fast and interactive experience that allows them to complete training quickly on any device. A great example of microlearning used to deliver a certification program can be seen in’s Online Free Bloodborne Pathogens Training OSHA program.

Customer service training: Customer service employees are key to creating positive customer experiences. They need to practice and internalize the right behaviour. Learning on the smartphone facilitates reminders and small frequent training modules and can easily deliver the ongoing training customer service representatives need to excel in their jobs.

The Future of Mobile Learning

It is clear that learning delivered by a mobile device is here to stay.

As processing power for handheld devices gets more powerful we are likely to see more virtual and augmented reality enhanced learning experiences on mobile devices.

Considering a mobile optimized learning course? Contact us to discuss how we can help.