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Exploring the Challenges Associated with Mobile Learning

In the last few years, few technologies have evolved and advanced as much as mobile devices. With the emergence of touch technology and extremely powerful microprocessors, the computing abilities of mobile devices have become almost on par with desktops and laptops. Combine this with the advent of high-speed wireless Internet and mobile devices have changed almost every aspect of our lives. From the way we shop, make friends, eat food, and arrange transport, everything has been ‘mobilized’.

Naturally, mobile devices have also influenced the way people learn. Learning through mobiles gives employees an unparalleled convenience. As courses are available at their fingertips all the time, learners can grasp information in their free moments. With an e-learning course, you at least need to be in front of your desktop in order to learn. But mobile devices give employees true flexibility to learn – literally anytime and anywhere. However, as with everything else, mobile learning too has its fair share of challenges. Let’s check some of the major issues that mobile learning faces along with the corresponding progress to overcome them:

Pedagogical Challenges

Digital learning has to impart knowledge without any assistance from a teacher. Developers tackle this challenge by using instructional design strategies that fill the gap left by the absence of an instructor. For mobile devices, this challenge is amplified as developers also face screen size limitations. This can create serious problems for developers as knowledge in a digital medium depends on how well the screen is utilized. The mobile version of e-learning courses greatly limits the amount of text present on the screen.

Possible Solutions: Mobile learning modules use bulleted lists along with sleek animations, instead of plain heavy text. Developers can also keep the design minimalistic and clutter-free so that users can view the courses effortlessly.

Privacy and Security Issues

As mobile devices make a lot of connections with the Internet, chances of security threats increase. Since mobile Internet is still a relatively new technological zone, hackers can exploit loopholes in the system. Training programs might contain company sensitive information, employee data etc., that become vulnerable to theft and misuse.

Possible Solutions: Mobile data security protocols are improving to safeguard user information. Soon it will be on par or even robust than computer security. Companies can train employees to follow certain best practices, such as setting a strong password, not sharing devices with unknown people, to reduce safety issues. As learning managers, you can also restrict access to sensitive data to selected employees.

Health Concerns

Due to their small screen size, mobile devices can cause a lot strain on the eyes of the user. As smartphones can be used anytime, users can lose track of their surroundings being immersed in their device. In the worst cases, this can lead to accidents and cause a lot of physical pain.

Possible Solutions: Developers create courses that are only a few minutes long. Along with this, they also use attractive multimedia such as video-based learning, infographics, animations that are easy on the eyes and convey a lot of information in less time. Employees should also be made aware of the real-life implications of mobile usage.

Compatibility Issues

No two mobile devices are the same. Mobile devices have different screen sizes, operating systems, browser applications, and hardware configuration. Ensuring that your courses run as expected on all possible devices becomes a huge challenge.

Possible Solutions: Fortunately, this issue has been tackled effectively by the use of a responsive course design approach. A responsive design dynamically adjusts all parameters to ensure your course looks and functions as it should, irrespective of the device.

Questionable Impact

How can people learn on a device that constantly distracts them through many apps? Isn’t m-learning accessed in environments where learner is prone to distractions? As a learning manager, questions like this might often cause you to doubt the impact of mobile learning.

Possible Solutions: Mobile learning makes use of a lot of engaging multimedia to make sure learner attention stays with the content. Instead of full-length courses, mobile learning can be used for just-in-time learning support or microlearning modules. It also utilizes game-based content to keep users hooked to the content and make the most of the touch hardware.

Mobile learning promises to increase the impact of your training programs, despite its associated challenges. Its advantages far outweigh its weaknesses so be rest assured and go mobile today.

Mobile Learning: How to Overcome Implementation Barriers