Mobile Learning: myths and truths of mobile training

mobile learning

How do you use your smartphone? How would you evaluate the learning experience of the mobile courses you make if you were to compare it with the user experience you have daily on your smartphone? Do we bet that some “myths” about mobile learning are causing a gap between the two experiences?

In this article, Georgina Cook (Learning Consultant at Elucidat) tells us how some myths about mobile learning often prevent us from making the most of the potential and effectiveness of mobile courses. Let’s take a look at the myths and truths of mobile learning together!

New ways of thinking

Every day we have before us evidence of what works on mobile devices. We consult our smartphones at least 7 times every hour, for a minimum of 4 hours a day and we spend this time scrolling through social media, reading news or ebooks, playing games, browsing, taking selfies, photos…and the list could go on. We certainly don’t spend 20 minutes clicking on buttons to bring up hidden blocks of text! Despite this, learning design for mobile often takes this second approach. Perhaps it depends on the fact that the “mobile first” approach to course design tends to stand in contrast to many principles of “classic” instructional design and thus pushes us to imagine a new way of making courses.

Take a look at these 3 myths of Mobile Learning and the types of e-learning courses you could create if you tried to set them aside.

Mobile Learning – Myth #1

Myth: you need to create lots of click-interactions, because people do not like to read very long texts on mobile device screens.

Reality: Every day we read articles and e-books quietly and smoothly on our smartphones. Engagement depends on well-written, interesting and valuable content, not click-interactions. On the contrary, clicking continuously is often frustrating, while scrolling results in a more intuitive browsing experience.

Tip: unleash your creativity and try turning your content into short, structural stories as chapters in a series of short stories or an e-book!

Mobile Learning – Myth #2

Myth: advanced interactions, simulations or games are only good for large displays and screens.

Reality: almost always 4 of the top 5 most downloaded paid apps from various app-stores are games. This shows that we love to play games on our smartphones.

Tip: try turning your tests and assessments into games on the style of Quiz-UP, or create short simulations instead of a simple text to read. You might be surprised 😉

Mobile Learning – Myth #3

Myth: people don’t watch long videos on smartphone screens, so you have to use videos under 30 seconds – or even less.

Reality: one only has to look around as we travel by train or subway to see so many people with headphones or earbuds to their ears intent on watching a movie or the episode of their favorite series on Netflix, Amazon Video or whatever…from their smartphones. In short, if the situation allows us, we watch long videos on our mobile devices without any problems.

Tip: often the home-office route presents a great opportunity for people to do training, such as watching videos. So try making TED-Talk-style videos with your lecturers and content experts. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make them: a mid-range smartphone on a small tripod and a wall with a neutral background are a great start to making quality mobile learning videos.

In Conclusion

Good responsive e-learning course design software allows you to automatically optimize your course pages for mobile devices such as smartphones. But software can’t make design decisions for you. So if your users primarily access from mobile devices, always keep their habit in mind when you start designing a course. Making courses with scrollable pages and content – instead of short screens with lots of click-interaction – could make a difference and help the user focus on the content, without getting frustrated with the experience of navigating through the course.

Wanna learn how to optimize your Mobile Learning?  Book a demo of Elucidat!

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