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M-learning: The Learning Medium of the 21st Century

Written By Mandal Mohan Rao

M-learning: The Learning Medium of the 21st Century

M-learning can be truly considered the learning medium of the 21st century. According to Ambient Insight, the market of mobile learning products is expected to reach $205.4 million by 2017. In this context, better strategies need to be formulated to reach learners across the globe through smartphones, tablets and many advanced mobile devices.

While going through the ‘LinkedIn’ discussion recently about the future scope of accessibility to learning, I came across various comments in support of mLearning as an effective learning tool of the future. These are the 6 highlights of the LinkedIn discussion:

1. Mobile Devices and Apps – The Future Medium of Learning

Today, wherever you go, one thing that you are likely to hear is – Mobile Apps. The world of today’s advanced smartphones, tablets, mobile phones and laptops along with a wide selection of mobile apps has no doubt took the peoples’ experience of accessing and delivering information to new heights.

Mobile apps have made it possible for people to easily and quickly access information, and because of this, companies across the globe are focusing on deploying mobile apps (related to training) on their employees’ mobile devices for imparting training to employees.

In this regard, companies could use native apps for employees’ training because these apps can offer secure and fast loading of training content offline.

2. Tracking of Results/Progress

The uniqueness of mobile learning is not just limited to accessing information quickly and retaining it on fingertips. Excellent recording, tracking and assessing of learners’ progress is also possible through mobile learning by the introduction of Tin Can API, which is the latest addition to the learning standards.

Many top brand LMSs (Learning Management Systems) such as Moodle are compatible with Tin Can API. Even the rapid authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline, Lectora and Adobe Captivate 7 have publishing options to the Tin Can API.

3. Could Extend the Reachability of Information to Large Audience

It is a well-known fact that challenges of meeting learning requirements in developing countries are more in comparison to developed countries. The main obstacles here are difference in ratio between the number of instructors and learners, less technological developments in learning field and other related factors.

But now as mobile devices are gaining popularity in the developing countries, mobile learning could be very helpful in providing a consistent, uniform, instant and interactive learning experience to people in these countries too.

4. HTML5-Compatible Authoring Tools

As we know, different people embrace different mobile devices, and in such a situation, developing a learning course that is compatible to various mobile devices becomes a herculean task for the training managers. It could also incur huge costs and time.

But now this problem can be easily solved with the use of authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline, Lectora and Abobe Captivate 7. These tools have publishing options to Flash, iOS and HTML5 formats, which could facilitate eLearning courses on PCs, smartphones and tablets.

5. Video-Based Option

Lengthy courses are not applicable in the area of mobile learning, specially. A short and engaging training video ranging from 2 to 5 minutes with audio support on mobile device could be very effective in transferring the knowledge.

6. Short, Powerful and Useful

The main objective of any training given to employees in any field is mainly focused on the enhancement of their performance. This objective can be realized only when the training is powerful, simple, useful and concise.

In this regard, bite-sized small learning modules or chunks, short videos, quick tips for related tasks, etc., on mobile devices could be very effective in addressing the present busy and modern world’s requirement of just-in-time access to training.

As more and more people, specially generation Y, give more preference to mobile devices to access the Internet, it can be assumed that mLearning would become a prominent medium of learning in the future. However, there might a flip side to the adoption of mLearning. What do you think?

Please do share your views; we would really appreciate to hear from you.

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