Mlearning is yet to go main stream, however, it seems to be getting there. In a short span of a few decades, the mobile phone has moved from being a single function device, used only occasionally, to an everyday device that has transformed the way we live our lives. According to Statista, over one billion smartphones are shopped every year worldwide. And over 70 per cent professionals will do some work from their own, personal smart phones or tablets by the year 2018. The mlearning industry which is estimated to be around 5.3 billion dollars industry is set to grow to a 12.2 billion dollar market by 2017.
Here are some insights from Origin Learning on the upcoming trends for mlearning:
1. Greater focus on user experience
Mobile technology is being upgraded constantly, so much so that users are always exploring new handsets for the experience they provide. To put the number of buyers in perspective, dazeinfo.com estimates that the sale of 1.8 million smart phones sold daily is more than five times the number of children born each day!
As with any technology, mobile content delivery is also seeing changes in the way content is delivered and in the way it is consumed. The first of these changes include the shift from “Flash” to “HTML5”, which increases responsive web design. It is also a much faster and smarter way of delivering visual rich content like animation and bite sized videos. The second significant shift is in the emphasis on delivering consistent mlearning experiences across devices, whether it a phone, laptop or a PC. Companies are making learning content multi-screen friendly by adding responsive features across devices.
2. Emphasis on learning customization
L&D departments across companies are exploring avenues to tailor programs for employees. This means tackling learning styles while also addressing the specific learning requirement of the employee. With analytics playing a key role in understanding learning patterns, mobile app analytics is likely to play a big role in understanding the learners’ interaction and behaviour for mobile based courses. It would involve monitoring app traffic, examining the sequence through which learners access pages and how much time they spend on learning. Mobile platforms are also seen as exceptional tools in augmenting training beyond a classroom, which enables learners to also focus on developing specific skills and competencies.
3. Integration with multiple platforms
Learning in the digital age gives the learner an opportunity to integrate it in a variety of platforms spanning from social media tools to GPS technology. Integrating social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google plus enables a number of advantages including the opportunity to brain storm, create events and groups etc.
Companies are also experimenting with the use of geo location sensitive learning tools to enable learning content based on the geographical location of the device. Mobile devices also include a variety of wearable devices such as the apple watch or Google glass, which can be used for live learning as well.
4. Gamified learning
Gamification as a method of learning is increasingly gaining popularity – one reason for this is the engaging nature of content that is delivered on the platform, the second reason is the opportunity to compete with peers. Research firm Gartner predicts that “by, 2015, 40% of global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations”. M2 Research estimates that the gamification market will reach 2.8 billion dollars by this year. There is also buzz around augmented reality applications which support mlearning by scanning for relevant learning content.
The emphasis in all these trends is the move from a “one size fits all” approach to learning to providing superior user experience and multiple tools to individual learners. This emphasis on customization is being channelled in learning across all age groups. The Qustn Cafe has already spoken about why companies should adopt an mlearning strategy for training their distributed workforce. In order to reap the benefits of mlearning, companies need to be equipped with their own mlearning strategies and must be able to integrate it into their learning management systems. If you have an existing e-learning course, you can also consider converting it into an effective mobile learning course with some simple steps.
Have some thoughts on mobile learning? Do share your views in the comments section.