The eLearning space is constantly evolving. From the earliest days of massive open online courses, to the booming industry of today that takes advantage of the latest technology, eLearning is adapting at a rapid pace.
The newest advances in the industry are coming from the mobile learning sector - one with a predicted compound annual growth rate of 18 percent over the next five years, according to eLearning Industry, and will be worth $12.2 billion in 2017.
This type of learning is taking over all facets of the eLearning space, from students in middle school all the way up to the highest levels of corporate training. This growth in mobile learning has been spurred by several factors: the ubiquity of cell phones and wireless networks, and the comfort and ease with which younger people use technology in their daily lives.
Mobile learning is especially important in the corporate training world, as companies have to face the realities of the millennial generation. Millennial workers are the largest generation in the workforce as of 2015 according to a study by Elance-oDesk, and as a result, businesses need to start catering to them in order to successfully recruit and retain talent.
Mobile learning is easy to grasp
The principles of mobile learning course design call for small, bite-sized chunks of information broken up into distinct lessons, instead of the more traditional approach of giving a learner large volumes of content at one time.
This is done so that the courses can be successfully completed on a mobile device in settings outside of the classroom. Short bursts of information can be disseminated to a learner while they are on the bus on the way to the office, or in-between meetings during their workday. But that short style has another benefit: Students finish courses faster and retain more of the information from bite-sized learning, according to eLearning Industry.
The short duration segments, generally covering a single topic, are simple to understand and easily processed into the learner's long-term memory. This means that users of mobile learning will grasp the concepts more quickly, and with better recall.
Mobile learning is diverse
Students of mobile classes are learning in a variety of different ways. Traditional learning is composed primarily of lecture, with testing at various intervals to check that students are retaining the information. In mobile learning, that paradigm is thrown out and replaced with all kinds of different course methods.
Mobile course designs delivered on cell phones often feature videos, puzzles, quizzes, animations and audio descriptions. They are more interactive and diverse, which is important for educating a millennial workforce.
Millennials have been around technology since they were born, and as a result, their attention span is shortened. A Microsoft study found that the average human attention span is now just eight seconds, so offering diverse and interesting coursework is imperative to keeping a new-age learner focused on the material at hand.
The millennial generation provides its own challenges and difficulties to companies that employ them. Businesses need to find a way to reach younger workers and help them to become important parts of the workforce - and mobile learning can provide an avenue to train and retain younger workers that is effective and cheap.