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Factors to Consider before Implementing Mobile Learning – Part 1

Mobile eLearning is the latest buzzword in the world of training. According to a report published by Morgan Stanley Research in 2009, more people are expected to access the Internet using their mobile devices than desktop computers by the end of 2014. It therefore did not come as a surprise, when Ambient Insight reported that the number of companies opting for mobile eLearning solutions is growing at an astounding rate of 29.3%.

So, how can you leverage the full learning potential of the mobile device? What are the aspects you need to consider while implementing mobile eLearning? Well, you need to consider four important aspects – cost implications, needs of the target audience, implementation approach and use of mobile apps. In this part, we will look into the cost implications of mobile eLearning implementation and the importance of analyzing the needs of the target audience.

Cost implications

You need to factor the cost of the hardware required for implementing mobile eLearning in your organization, when analyzing the cost implications. You may want to purchase mobile devices for your staff or you may adopt the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, where each employee can have access to the organization’s resources, using their personal devices at workplaces. BYOD is a much cheaper option and is implemented effectively by various companies such as IBM.

You also need to consider the development and deployment costs of your mobile eLearning courses. Elements of these costs include licensing fee for procuring the course development tool and the expenditure incurred on the manpower needed for development (Instructional Designers, Graphic Designers, and other technical personnel).

The cost of using a Learning Management System (LMS) to deploy and track the mobile eLearning courses also adds up to the total amount needed for using the courses. Many LMSs do not support mobile eLearning courses and you may want to go in for a new LMS. You can consider Moodle, a highly reputed open-source LMS to efficiently and cost-effectively manage your mobile eLearning needs.

It is advisable that you outsource your mobile eLearning development project to an offshore eLearning vendor as the cost of development can be reduced considerably. Outsourcing also helps you to gain access to the best talent in the field of eLearning.

Needs of the target audience

Mobile eLearning may not be required by all or it may not be feasible for all. This brings us to the question – Who are the most suitable audiences for mobile learning? This format is ideal for people who travel extensively or who are too busy to attend training programs, such as senior executives. It is also a boon to those who require frequent updates to their knowledge.

For instance, a busy salesperson constantly on the move can be provided information about the latest products through his mobile. He can make the best use of his time, acquiring knowledge even in “dead time”, such as travelling.

Thus, we see that a thorough analysis of the cost implications and understanding the needs of learners are critical to effective implementation of mobile eLearning in your organization. In my next blog, we will examine the importance of choosing the right mobile eLearning implementation approach. We will also learn about the use of apps in delivering mobile eLearning. Stay tuned.

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