There are many factors that go into a great mobile eLearning experience, and without each of them being in place, the full package won't come together perfectly. These items include the design of the software, the devices being employed and the strategies chosen by the leaders instituting the plans. If companies master this combination and successfully launch mLearning, the results can be hugely positive. Taking employee training further out of the classroom environment and allowing pupils to interact with course materials anywhere opens up training to new groups of workers and streamlines the process of delivering knowledge to the workforce at large.
"Powerful tablets are more likely to deliver an experience trainees will choose."
New devices power improved eLearning
A recent eLearning industry blog post by contributor Ken Whitaker focused on one of those major pillars of mLearning: the hardware used to run these programs. He noted that the launch of a new, more powerful iPad, the iPad Pro, may represent a turning point. This device blurs the lines between laptop PCs and large-screen tablets, and may have what it takes to empower trainees using eLearning solutions. Whitaker focused on the idea of user choice: Worker buy-in is critical to getting new learning plans off the ground, and powerful tablets are more likely to deliver an experience trainees will choose than smartphones, given the latter devices' limited size and data restrictions.
The author also pointed out that the Apple environment has already seen some acceptance from eLearning companies, a vital element in any plan to make great training courses work on a new class of device. Combining more powerful hardware with existing interest by content creators may have finally created an environment that will allow mLearning for tablets to flourish. Whitaker pointed out that even though some tech thinkers have stated that the iPad Pro sports less processing might than the Microsoft Surface 3, it could easily be a central mobile learning tool, and it is a step above any existing iPad model.
According to Whitaker, conditions for tablet-based eLearning have never been better. He especially praised the fact that the iPad Pro works with a stylus and keyboard, accessories that were not previously part of the official iPad experience. With this wider range of interactive features and more computing horsepower than before, the devices have raised applications' level of performance, giving eLearning users exciting new options. Confident in their technology, companies will be able to move further away from the basic classroom model than ever before, becoming more efficient in the process.
Of course, while technology is a great help for eLearning designers and companies implementing the programs, there are other considerations. The design principles behind mLearning courses must be sound to get the message across. A recent Association for Talent Development piece by contributor Susan Smith Nash explained that today's eLearning experiences should not rely on any elements that could end up leaving users lost or locked out. She decried courses that are too tied to a webinar model in which all users must view the content simultaneously. She also advised against employing too many layers of logins. It would be a shame to see a technologically sound scheme fail because of obtuse design.