This is the third post in a series of “Roadmap from eLearning to mLearning – Content, Technology and Costs“. In case you missed the previous post, here it is “10 Benefits of Mobile Learning“.
According to Towards Maturity, Benchmark Study 2012-2013, about 70% of the organizations are planning to implement mobile learning in the next two years. Is your organization one among the 70%, looking to implement a mLearning solution on a larger scale? Here are some of the factors you should consider, before you implement mobile learning.
Identify the need
For the transition from eLearning to mLearning, a needs analysis should be conducted to identify:
- What immediate learning issues, mobile learning is going to address?
- Is mobile learning only a best possible option to meet your learners’ needs?
In my view, organizations can see a clear benefits from mlearning, when the real needs are identified. Let’s see 3 benefits highlighting the importance of mLearning
- Sales people have completed a class room training session on the sales process. A bite-sized video on the process serves as a refresher capsule, via mobile devices.
- Key product benefits and features can be made available as short modules, which can be accessed by sales staff, before meeting prospective customers
- Organizations often launch product updates, or accessories that may not merit a full-fledged training program. Mobile learning can be very handy to update the concerned personnel on new product features.
Analyze your audience
Before you implement mLearning do an audience analysis to find out:
- If your workforce is ready for mLearning?
- Do they have the devices, an acceptable internet connection and the knowledge to use?
- Does every employee require mLearning? Because organizations may consider mLearning to be important only for a part of the learner community, who either commute a lot, or work away from the office a lot.
Taking a decision on the devices
Organizations have two options, either to provide the devices to employees, or encouraging employees to bring in whatever mobile device they have. It is a wise thing to include the concept of BYOD (bring your own device), rather than investing upfront, since providing devices for every employee is a big expenditure.
Identifying the technologies
Before beginning to develop mLearning, you should keep in mind some technical considerations, like tools that can convert your eLearning into HTML5 format and the platform to host these courses. Let’s see in detail about these technologies that support mLearning.
Since HTML5 based content works well on mobile devices, consider tools that can make your courses run on iPads and PCs. Organizations are sitting on mountain of eLearning courses developed in Flash. These courses do not run on mobile devices, due to compatibility issues. This is where authoring tools assist you, in quickly converting your Flash based eLearning course to HTML5 format. Some popular authoring tools in the market are Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate 7, Lectora Inspire and iSpring.
LMS for meeting the compliance requirements
As tracking and reporting is an obligation for every training manager, the inability to link your existing LMS to track mobile learning activities, has been seen as the biggest concern. The problem can be subdued by LMSs like Moodle, which can easily track your mobile learning activities.
These factors can help you get started with mLearning. Stay tuned for my next post, to know if cost is a key constraint in implementing mobile learning.