Cost Considerations for Implementing Mobile Learning

Cost Considerations for Implementing Mobile Learning

Planning for the investment is the foremost step for any implementation, especially if you are going for a large scale implementation.

In order to help you in determining the costs, here is some information on common costs associated with the implementation of mobile learning.

Hardware costs

This includes the purchasing of mobile devices, associated infrastructure, such as server and device connection.

As providing devices for every employee is a big expenditure, it may be wise thing to go for a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, with set terms of security.

With the BYOD, policy learners can have access to the organization’s resources, using their personal devices at workplaces. Many organizations are adopting this policy as it is cost effective. IBM was the first company to implement this policy.

Development costs

These include salaries for who will work on content, instructional design, graphic designers and authoring tool experts. You also have to plan for the license fee for authoring tools needed for the course development. Out sourcing to the eLearning vendors proves to be cheaper and more manageable. When organizations have already developed a great deal of eLearning courses, an ideal solution would be to leverage the existing content by making it compatible to small screens. This would greatly reduce development costs to organizations.

For example, you already have eLearning courses. You want to deliver these through mobile devices.

First, select the eLearning courses you want to convert to mobile learning. Classify the content of each course into unimportant, important, very important.

Classifying Content of the Course

Select the content that is important and very important. Break it into byte sized modules. (Flash based courses can be converted to videos). Make it ready for conversion.

Average cost for converting such existing eLearning courses to mobile learning (iPad) may approximately be US$ 30 per slide (may vary depending upon the tool used to develop and animations present on it).

LMS Integration Costs

Some LMSes are not compatible to mobile courses. Customization may incur additional cost.

Moreover, tracking and reporting is another obligation for today’s training managers. Linking the existing LMS, to track mobile learning activities, is an important cost factor to be considered. Often too many resources, time and cost are invested for the integration process, which might not justify the Return on Investment.

With increasing number of users and changing business needs, organizations expect their LMS to meet all their needs in a cost effective manner, but they often fail, because their existing LMSs are rigid with updates, or they cost a bomb for every customization.

You can go for an open source LMS like Moodle that is compatible to mLearning.

These are some common considerations associated with implementation of mobile learning. Please do share your thoughts!

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Written By Srujan Pakala

Srujan Pakala, Research Analyst - eLearning

Tags: cost considerations for mlearning, mLearning, mobile learning
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