Five Traps Companies Fall Into With Mobile Learning

April 28, 2015 Melanie Moffett

As a learning professional, you’ve probably been thinking about making the move to mobile learning for quite awhile. You might be thinking it’s an impossibly big challenge, but a successful mobile learning strategy doesn’t have to be out of reach for most companies.

According to the Brandon Hall Group, only 10% of organizations indicate a high use of mobile learning. This creates a giant gap between what learners want and what organizations are delivering.

As you move full force into developing a learning content strategy to address your learners’ wants and needs, with a clear goal to drive performance, you need to keep some things in mind:

1.       Modern learners want to serve themselves.

According to Pew Research, 86% of smartphone owners use their phones to acquire “Just-in-Time” information. No matter how great your learning content is, if it’s not findable or accessible, your learners more often than not will turn to their smartphone and ask Google or YouTube. This may not produce the results you are striving for with content that you have carefully created and vetted.

2.       Going mobile with a small subset of your content only creates learner frustration.

If you are going to provide mobile learning content, you need to be all-in. If learners can only access one type of content on their mobile, it isn’t really giving them what they need. This is even more critical when your learning is delivered outside of a classroom. Responsive web design enables all learning to be accessible anywhere on any device. Check out this lightpaper for more information on Responsive eLearning.

3.       What works for traditional learning doesn’t work for mobile.

When thinking about making the move to mobile delivery, you can’t simply design for desktop and assume it will look or act the same on a mobile device. Mobile requires special considerations. If content is being consumed on a tablet, you have to think about how people use tablets. For instance, if your desktop template has a ton of buttons that learners need to click, you are going to want to simplify that for mobile. Clicking buttons and boxes is just not as easy on a tablet or a smartphone, in particular.

“Many companies say, ‘Let’s just convert our e-learning to a mobile-friendly format,’ but we’re discovering that that’s not the best way to do mobile learning.”

— Sean Bengry, Senior Principal for Learning Strategy at Accenture

4.       The amount of content is growing at an exponential rate.

Depending on your method of mobile learning delivery, you may end up developing content for mobile and desktop separately. This is going to get increasingly difficult if you have to update your learning content (and you know you will eventually need to!). If your learning delivery solution doesn’t make content changes across the board, then you will have to remember to make your changes in multiple areas. And going to different sites, whether you are the content creator or the learner, can be difficult and tedious. Using a single source method of authoring and publishing will solve this issue.

5.       Organizations aren’t tracking how learning content is being used.

Many organizations only track their learning in the LMS. But since only 10% of learning is conducted in a formal environment, these organizations are missing a big chunk of how the other 90% of learning is performing.

These challenges are nothing to shake a stick at. But there are ways to build your mobile learning strategy, successfully. Read our new lightpaper “Delivering Learning to an Increasingly Mobile and Flexible Workforce” to find out more.

About the Author

Melanie Moffett

Melanie manages content marketing at Xyleme, Inc. Xyleme provides content management for learning and development. Melanie is responsible for maintaining the content inventory, editorial calendar and coordinating the full lifecycle of marketing content development. She is a skilled writer and a social media guru.

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