Why Mobile Learning is Now More Than Just a Nice-To-Have

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Why mobile learning is the new norm

Mobile devices are simply a part of the new reality in eLearning today, so get used to it

Why mobile learning? It’s a fair question and one that many leaders in learning and development (L&D) ask themselves as they seek to implement a basic learning management system (LMS) in the first place. “We’ve gotten this far,” they wonder, “so why do we have to make things mobile all of a sudden?”

Indeed, having an LMS in the first place is an obvious priority. But what is becoming increasingly clear is that an LMS alone, in the traditional sense, will not suffice. Learners need the best, most accessible and fluid tools at their disposal, and increasingly those tools are driven by mobile tools and oriented around mobile capabilities.

Why mobile learning is a part of the 21st century eLearning landscape

It’s something we explore in our recently released Light Paper, Leveraging the Natural Synergy of Mobility and Microlearning in eLearning. A mobile element to an LMS offering used to be an intriguing nice-to-have. Now it’s an expected feature and should enter the conversation any time a new LMS is up for consideration.

If you’re considering an LMS that doesn’t have any mobile capabilities or at least plan to embed mobile capabilities into its offering, it might be time to call it a day with that vendor. To that end, here are three key questions you need to be asking your vendor as you enter the mobile conversation.

Cross-device functionality

The last thing you want is a “mobile solution” that is limited to one platform or device type. Your learners will be engaging their eLearning portal across all sorts of devices, platforms, browsers, and operating systems. You will want to ensure that the most common, frequently accessed channels are part and parcel of your prospective LMS solution. Your learners will thank you.

Does it leverage known UI conventions? Is it easy to use?

No mobile eLearning solution has to reinvent the wheel in terms of user interface and user experience, yet it is amazing how many try. As illustrated in our recent white paper, The Critical Importance of Learner Experience in eLearning, learner experience (LX) is the weakest link in any eLearning program, and if learners aren’t able to use their eLearning solutions simply, effectively, and with a low level of friction, then the battle is lost before it has begun. Find a solution that leverages known UI conventions that your users are already familiar with in order to facilitate a learning journey that is smooth, expeditious, and without barriers.

Does mobility come at an additional cost?
Any form of mobile offering in an LMS should not come at any additional cost to the base solution offered. As we have discussed, mobile capabilities need to be thought of as more of an essential piece of the LMS pie these days. They’re not an extra that can accrue additional costs or even lead to swelling implementation costs. No, mobile has to be part of the initial offering, and its costs need to be baked right into early estimates.

Curious about the emerging role of mobile learning and its natural bedfellow, microlearning, in the eLearning conversation? Download Leveraging the Natural Synergy of Mobility and Microlearning in eLearning today and start your journey towards a new future in mobile learning.

Download the Light Paper now for a primer on the relationship between mobile learning and microlearning.

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