The eLearning industry is growing at a very fast pace, and so is the m-learning aspect of the industry. A lot of organizations are considering m-learning for their online training programs. Yet, there are some myths and misperceptions that are holding back organizations from experiencing the benefits associated with m-learning.
These are misperceptions that you should ignore at all times. Instead of focusing on these myths, you can change your point of view and look at the benefits that m-learning brings with it.
You must have heard these myths somewhere and you resisted choosing m-learning for your online training or e-learning course. Let us debunk some of these myths that are circulating in the industry.
Myth 1: Learners get distracted easily
A lot of people believe that smartphones can distract you easily and hence they should not be used for educational purposes. While it is true that the attention span of smartphone users is less, how to help learners avoid this distraction is dependent on your skill as an online course designer.
If we are doing something that is not challenging enough for us to do, we tend to get distracted. Another point to remember is that engagement is an important factor that influences the active attention of online learners.
M-Learning provides a perfect opportunity to create online learning content that is engaging and also challenging to do.
Gamification is a key feature of m-learning. You can add quizzes, contests, leader boards, and other things that will challenge your online learners to push their limits so that they get better results than others.
Building communities that will support each other and share experiences is also a great method to increase engagement.
Another way of looking at this is that if your online learner is using their smartphone and is not completing your training course or assignment at the moment, you can send a reminder. You can distract them from what they are doing and bring them to your online course.
You can’t keep complaining about the distraction issue, instead see the positive side of it and create an engaging online learning experience for your online learners.
Myth 2: m-learning means using mobile devices for accessing eLearning content
This is a big no. M-learning is different. It is online learning or distance learning or whatever you call it, but the courses are designed particularly for mobile devices. A lot of e-learning course developers will develop a responsive design so that people can access it from any device. But this doesn’t make it an m-learning course.
M-learning courses are tailor-made to function on a small vertical device. They are made only for mobile devices. The GUI (graphic user interface) is also different. We can get more creative with it and it is designed only for a vertical device.
Myth 3: m-learning is expensive
This myth probably arises because of the high prices of mobile data. A lot of m-learning apps have download features. So, the learner can download the course and save some data and money.
The fact is that m-learning is cost-effective to both the company and the online learners.
Using smartphones for online learning reduces the expenses of buying additional devices. A lot of us may not have a computer but almost everyone has a smartphone.
It is also cost-effective for the company. There is virtually no infrastructure cost. Moreover, you don’t have to conduct the sessions over and over again. Once it is done it can be circulated to as many people as you want. So, you are saving the online training instructor’s fees.
Myth 4: Reading on mobile devices is difficult
A lot of people use the Kindle to read books. Kindle is like a tablet so that is also a mobile device. Moreover, we read newspapers on mobile these days. You should definitely not believe this myth.
M-learning, which I repeat, is specially designed for mobile devices to take care of this issue as well. If you split the content into parts, it isn’t that difficult to read on a small device.
Myth 5: M-learning can give only bits of information
This myth is clearly framed to create a bad impression of m-learning. Yes, the information provided is in small parts but it’s not incomplete. With m-learning, you can divide the content into smaller modules so that it is easy to digest.
If you provide a lot of information at the same time, half of it won’t be remembered by the online learners. It is a good idea to give information in parts and add some assessments at the end of each section to promote better understanding and retention.
Myth 6: You cannot add difficult features to m-learning
The easiest way to debunk this myth is the existence of mobile games. These games have so many features that run pretty smoothly on smartphones. Moreover, smartphone users don’t find it difficult to use these complex features. There is nothing as complex as a game in an online learning program. Therefore, the myth should absolutely be ignored.
Make use of the technology to add whatever features you want to add but make sure they are not unnecessary.
Myth 7: m-learning gives no social interaction
While it is true that m-learning cannot replace face-to-face communication among the learners but we have video meetings to compensate for that. Moreover, there is a better side to it.
With m-learning, you are not confined to a fixed group of people who are in your batch. The communities that can be built are huge. Newcomers to managers, every employee will be there on the platform. Seniors will share their experiences with others which will inspire the whole lot. The younger generation can give newer ideas which are great learning for the seniors. M-learning leads to a nice give and take of information. Social learning can be facilitated using m-learning pretty effectively.
Problem solving also becomes easy with so many people available for us to reach out to.
Myth 8: You cannot add longer videos in m-learning
M-learning encourages microlearning, which is giving small, bite-sized lessons, as small as a few minutes. Of course, you can sprinkle a few lengthy lessons here and there across your course. However, if the lessons are not interesting, online learners will get bored and it may influence your engagement levels.
Myth 9: m-learning is a kid’s thing
Let’s bust this myth with a clear statistical fact.
In 2017, 77% of US businesses used e-learning, 72 percent feel it gives them an edge over their competitors, and 67% percent provided mobile learning. (1)
M-learning is great for corporates as well as kids. Corporates struggle with engagement issues and completion rates. Moreover, employees have a busy work schedule so mobile learning is an easy option for them to complete their courses.
M-learning is a great opportunity for you to enhance your e-learning program. It can help you overcome a lot of challenges related to e-learning programs. The myths will be there, they won’t cease to exist but it is your job to see the opportunities for development in the m-learning industry.