In this article, I’ll highlight the top 8 mobile learning development hurdles that eLearning developers face, as well as useful tips to overcome them.
Designing mobile learning courses is as simple as uploading your existing eLearning content to a responsive LMS, right? The truth is that creating mobile learning involves a multitude of modern challenges. eLearning developers must be able to surmount any obstacle that comes their way in order to produce engaging eLearning experiences. Here are the top 8 mobile learning development hurdles you should consider before starting your mobile learning project.
Unfortunately, creating mobile learning content isn’t as easy as uploading your existing files into a responsive design LMS. You have to convert all of your online training materials for the small screen to make them easier to access and consume for your on-the-go learners. For example, reduce the size of your font and eLearning navigation icons or break your text into bullet lists to improve readability.
Mobile learning breaks down the barriers. It doesn’t involve any dedicated online training terminals or installed LMS platforms. Online learners are able to access the LMS from anywhere in the world, which means that you have to cater to a global audience. This includes their backgrounds, experience levels, cultural norms, and device preferences. Therefore, this is yet another mobile learning development hurdle you have to face. Conduct surveys, polls, and focus groups to create personalized online training resources for every member of your audience, regardless of their geographical location.
Online learners don’t have a lot of space to store resources on their mobile devices. Therefore, you need to compress your online training materials to make them easily accessible. This is especially true for downloadable eLearning content that is intended for offline consumption, such as eLearning assessments that online learners are able to complete autonomously when Wi-Fi isn’t an option. Another mobile learning hurdle is the inability to print online training materials remotely. Thus, online learners may not be able to obtain physical copies of certificates or guides, even if they do have the space to store them on their device. Unless, of course, there happens to be a Wi-Fi printer on hand.
Modern technology is a double-edged sword. It makes life more convenient, but it also complicates matters. For instance, the ability to access online training resources empowers employees to take charge of their own professional development. They can quickly and conveniently get the online training materials they need to bridge performance gaps. However, the temptation to check their social media feeds or respond to personal emails may be too great to resist. Therefore, the mobile device is no longer a valuable eLearning tool, but a distraction that diminishes the eLearning experience. Overcome one of the most common mobile learning development hurdles and keep your mobile learners fully engaged by de-cluttering the eLearning course, including compelling images, and emphasizing the benefits. They are also less likely to spark a conversation on Facebook if you tout the advantages of active participation.
Not only are online learners using different devices, they are also accessing eLearning content through different Internet providers. While some may have ample bandwidth, others must contend with slow Internet connections and even slower download times. As such, you should minimize your use of large graphics or other multimedia elements that clog the connection. Provide online learners with the basics, then give them the opportunity to participate in more involved eLearning activities at a later time. For example, offer them a list of eLearning simulations, branching scenarios, and recorded webinars that they can access on a faster connection.
This is a hurdle that all eLearning developers must face. However, it’s particularly challenging for mobile content designers who are already dealing with other tech limitations. The key is to find a responsive design tool that allows you to preview various versions of your eLearning course. For example, you’re able to review the layout for the smartphone version of your eLearning course to ensure that every graphic and text block is in place or make minor adjustments to enhance accessibility. You should also consider a tool equipped with geolocation features. The LMS automatically displays relevant online training materials based on the user’s location. For instance, translated versions of your compliance online training course for international audiences.
There seems to always be bigger and better technology that can benefit your mobile learners. But there are only so many hours in a day, and you already have a long to-do list. So, how do you keep up with the latest tech so as to enrich your eLearning experiences? The answer is setting aside time in your schedule for L&D research. Allocate a half hour each week to read articles, peruse social media groups, or watch a webinar. Be on the lookout for new technology you can use for your mobile learning development. In addition, pay close attention to new devices that are hitting the market. You may need to readjust your responsive design breakpoints based on the latest smartphones or wearable gadgets.
Mobile learners are mouse-free. They aren’t able to click their way through the eLearning course, or drag-and-drop an object with the cursor. Instead, they rely on more tactile navigation methods. They interact directly with the eLearning content, using their fingers to swipe and tap the screen. As a result, your eLearning navigation elements must be clearly visible and touch-friendly, regardless of the screen size. Make icons large enough to tap, but not so big that they occupy half the page. In addition, opt for buttons instead of text-based hyperlinks.
Use this article to overcome the most common mobile learning development hurdles and develop winning eLearning courses for modern learners. Keep in mind that as technology changes, you may have to re-evaluate your mobile learning strategy. Periodically conduct learner surveys to gauge their needs, and read up on the latest trends to remain on the cutting edge.
Do you want your online training courses to be accessible on the go? Read the article 9 Must-Haves For Multiplatform-Friendly Online Training Courses to discover 9 essentials for developing multiplatform-friendly online training courses.