We know that reducing, reusing, and recycling are all great things for our planet, but what about for our eLearning? With mobile learning projected to grow by 18.2 percent in the next five years, it’s clear that mLearning must be part of any organization’s training strategy to keep up with both demand and competition.
But mobile learning doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch, complete with a high cost of development and tons of man hours. In fact, doing so could mean delaying your organization’s foray into mLearning altogether. Instead, it’s possible to repurpose some of your existing content into a mobile learning format so that you have something to work with until you have the time and capital to create a more substantial module.
Break it Down
Think of a smartphone screen as an index card: How much information can you fit? If you’ve executed desktop-based training programs, you probably have an excess of information and content that you’re anxious to share. But with mLearning, there can be too much of a good thing if you overstuff a module with too much.
Bite-sized chunks are the way to go. Look over your material and choose the most important parts and vital information, and then arrange it in a way that is easily accessible by the user. Mobile learning might take place in unusual circumstances–from the subway to a client’s lunch–so you want fast facts and basic points to be the mainstay of your module.
The way learners interact with a desktop computer is vastly different than how they interact with their smartphones. In order to repurpose content, that functionality and interactivity must be tweaked to take smartphones into consideration.
Radial buttons, for instance, are easy to click on with a mouse pointer, but a pain to select with a finger. A slider bar or hyperlink might be more appropriate for tiny screens instead. Tapping, pinching, sliding, and expanding should all be included as natural functions that a smartphone user is inclined to use. Find ways to make your content interactive and then ensure that it’s structured in a way that mLearning users can actually access.
Not all of your content will be mLearning-worthy. When it doesn’t fit, it’s best to redo the information and structure instead of trying to force it into the wrong type of delivery method. Think of it as the ultimate opportunity to improve: Get rid of clunky graphics and replace them with animation, or pare down a bloated training module to the sum of its most important parts. Take platforms into consideration and develop mobile learning that is easily accessible and keeps learners engaged.
When you’re just starting on mobile learning, the options can be overwhelming. Instead of putting off the inevitable and dragging your feet, start by using what you already have to offer your learners new options. You may find that much of your existing content can be adapted to mLearning functionality as long as you respect the device and its functionality. More than just a matter of a smaller screen, mobile learning invites users to interact and access information in a whole new way.