Sometimes it feels like the entire world has moved online and now fits into our smartphones. If you try to keep in step with the trends, you’ve probably thought of using mobile devices for training purposes in your organization. But even such a ‘pocket-size’ training initiative requires an elaborate implementation plan. That’s why we came up with our free mLearning implementation template.
It will help you navigate through all the stages of a mLearning launch, set clear objectives and deadlines, and oversee the project. Together with a few tips and check-in questions provided in this article, you can use it to manage your mLearning project effectively.
Now that you’re equipped with a detailed action plan, here are a few things that will be helpful to know.
Benefits of mLearning: What Do They Mean for Your Learners?
It may sound surprising, but the ‘mobile’ nature of mobile learning refers not only to smartphones and tablets. Your learners also need to be mobile, i.e., they are itinerant, active on the Internet, and not bound to a physical classroom. Their lifestyle or work implies that they need to study on the go and at their own pace, not depending on teachers/instructors.
If your learners fall within this parameter, that’s a strong indication that mLearning will benefit them. Using mobile devices for training, they can:
- Find and absorb knowledge quickly
- Control the pace of learning on their own and study in their free time
- Enjoy more accessible, interactive, and engaging training materials
- Fit learning into other daily activities
- Access materials anytime, anywhere, even offline – in just a couple of clicks
A Well-Established Strategy Starts from Needs Evaluation
The most important thing in developing the strategy is to define your needs properly. Nothing will work until you take this step and match the mLearning implementation plan with your organizational strategy. A simple question may help: What issue does mobile learning need to solve and what process needs to be improved?
These are some issues that mobile learning can address successfully:
- Need for more task-oriented, just-in-time learning or training
- Tight schedule or the ‘I have no time for learning’ excuse
- Difficulties in memorizing a large volume of knowledge in one sitting
- Unavailability of desktop computers or their low capacity
- Poor physical environment for learning
- Learner disengagement
- Lack of motivation for traditional learning
Mobile devices can make education and training more flexible and available. But coming up with a decent mobile learning strategy is not as easy as it seems. You need to assess what resources your organization has and understand your limitations clearly. If you know what obstacles you may face, you’ll be able to squeeze more out of your mobile learning initiative.
Common obstacles to mobile learning include:
- Poor IT infrastructure
- Lack of expertise in content development
- Reluctant higher management who question the need for training
- Learner resistance to technologies or new content
Sometimes, teachers and instructors are not sure whether learners, their team, and the organization as a whole are ready for mobile learning. If that’s the case, here are some questions you can ask yourself to make more informed decisions. They will help oversee any limitations and improve your mobile learning strategy accordingly.
20 Questions to Improve Your mLearning Strategy
When filling in the template available through the link above, try to answer these questions as accurately as possible. They will also be helpful for discussing with the other stakeholders of your mLearning project.
Learners and their schedules
1. Where are your learners located?
2. Do they study/work from their homes?
3. Will they study during their breaks or have a scheduled time for learning on mobile devices?
4. If you launch mLearning in a company, do you have itinerant staff who often travels and might be offline?
5. Are they active Internet users?
6. Are they good at using devices?
7. Do any of them have disabilities?
8. What are the IT security regulations in your organization?
9. Who will be in charge of the technical side and user support?
10. Is there any need to create a help desk for users?
11. What organizational standards should be applied to the project?
12. What team managers or department heads should be involved in the process?
Access to materials
13. Will you allow learners to use their own devices for learning or will you provide them with new dedicated ones for training purposes?
14. Do these devices all have the same or different operating systems?
15. How do your learners access the materials – via a browser link, cloud storage, or LMS app?
Learning content creation
16. Do you have existing learning materials?
17. What materials do you need to author from scratch?
18. Will you opt for in-house content production, find a team of developers, or purchase courses externally?
19. How do you make your learning materials mobile-ready (convert them to HTML5, make them responsive)?
20. How do you need to revise your content to make it suitable for faster consumption?
Of course, it’s almost impossible to think out everything in advance. However, it will be easier to organize work with the mLearning implementation template and the 20 questions above. It will all guide you on your way and give you a clear understanding of most of the nuances. Good luck with your mobile learning strategy!