Training & Learning

4 Best Practices in mLearning to Get Superior Results

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mLearning has become more than just a nice-to-have. The global mobile learning market is projected to grow at 20% annually from 2021 to 2026 and could reach over $76.5 billion dollars by 2026.

It may already be part of your overall learning strategy, but there’s a good chance you’re falling short. According to one study, only 31% of companies are operating with a well-defined mobile strategy.

Learning and Development teams have a huge opportunity to improve the experiences of their learners through mobile courses, but only if they choose the right tactics and follow through by implementing them effectively. Read on for some best practices for making mLearning a success at your organization, or dive into the full ebook for the bigger picture:

mobile learning ebook

What’s driving the growth of mobile learning?

mLearning is on the rise as a result of the increasing desire for on-demand learning. According to a LinkedIn Learning report, 74% of employees want the freedom to learn when they want, not just during working hours or in pre-planned blocks. When learners can complete courses anytime, it leads to higher engagement. On 360Learning, learners who learn on both web and mobile play 70% more courses.

It also solves some of the challenges of training in a remote or hybrid work environment by being able to serve course content to anyone, no matter their location. And it can be less expensive to deploy a series of courses over mobile, as opposed to having to pay the multitude of expenses for classroom-based and other types of instructor-led training.

Spinning up a few mLearning courses is a relatively simple process, but getting the most out of it is another story. Here are several effective tactics you can use to supercharge your mobile learning efforts.

1. Keep your course designs simple

Your learners will likely be using their personal devices to access learning content, which means you’ll need to account for a variety of operating systems and browsers. Keeping your mobile content short and simple will improve usability for learners and reduce your technical support headaches.

To make sure your learners don’t tune out as soon as they get started, avoid dense sections of text, complex or large images and illustrations, and other elements that could overload bandwidth. Design your courses in bite-sized chunks, with one idea per screen, and keep navigation as simple as possible. If you’re using video in your courses, keep them short and to the point by including only the most necessary content.

2. Amp up your feedback loop

mLearning allows for all the same feedback exchange of other formats, plus it provides new opportunities to give and receive feedback. It can also ramp up the speed of your feedback loop because learners don’t have to jump in and out of different platforms to provide their responses.

Surveys can be sent out directly inside your mLearning platform (mobile learning app), which can save time over creating and sending out surveys by more traditional means like email. When you include surveys inside your mLearning platform, you’re likely to get higher response rates over sending feedback requests that are completed using a more generic mobile web experience. Leverage other feedback channels like Reactions or conversations in discussion forums within your mLearning platform to fully understand your learners’ experiences.

mLearning also opens up the opportunity to use push notifications to send out announcements and reminders. These direct notifications can keep learning at the top of your employees’ minds and keep them coming back to your mobile courses.

Related: 9 Tips to Create a Truly Effective Peer Feedback Loop

3. Take gamification to the next level

Modern mLearning platforms make it possible to enhance your learning experience through gamification techniques, even if you start small. You can use these tactics for ramping up your gamification efforts:

Offer badges and certifications learners can share outside your mLearning platform

Badges and certifications are great because they give learners a sense of accomplishment by highlighting their achievements. These recognitions can live within the platform, but to drive more engagement, give learners a way to share them in real life. These forms of gamification give learners a reason to continue moving forward with mLearning.

For example, you can send employees digital certifications through your mLearning platform or by email when they complete a series of courses. Those certs become a point of pride, and they can then share them on social platforms like LinkedIn.

Give your learners tangible rewards

Like badges and certifications that have a place outside your mLearning platform, prizes and rewards don’t have to stay virtual. You can use points systems for completing parts of or full courses, then convert those points into real prizes employees can choose from. If you don’t want to mess with the potential of handling physical goods for prizes, you can combine forces with an employee recognition company that can handle the logistics of selecting and distributing prizes.

Gamification can be a long game

While mLearning is best delivered in short chunks, long-term gamification can be effective for keeping learners around for the long haul. Set up bigger milestones, like grouping a series of courses together to create a bigger picture, then award learners for that overarching milestone.

gamification on mobile
Gamification is a great way to increase mobile learning engagement.

4. Create opportunities for learning in the flow of work

mLearning is the perfect tool for creating opportunities to learn in the flow of work—the ability to access training without taking time away from the regular workday. Courses can be accessed in between meetings or whenever employees have a few minutes, rather than being taken away from their normal duties.

To create more opportunities to learn in the flow of work, lean heavily on microlearning—short and concise content that can be accessed at any time. For example, you can offer mobile on-the-job training courses, like how to perform a specific task or procedure, or break down compliance training into a series of short modules that can be completed in five minutes or less.

Don’t forget to support your learners throughout their journey

Your employees’ experiences inside your mLearning platform should be intuitive and straightforward, but learners should also feel supported on their learning journey. Take the time to develop instructions that explain how to navigate through your platform and give them a place to turn to if they need help. Once you get employees comfortable with learning on mobile, chances are they’ll make it a habit.