Mobile Learning: 6 Trends For 2016
There may not be a time machine that can give us a glimpse of things to come, however, checking eLearning statistics and facts, we do have the power to examine the latest trends to see where the mobile learning sector is headed in 2016. By doing so, we are able to ensure that our mobile learning courses remain on the cutting edge and take full advantage of the latest technology and online training tools. Without further ado, here some of the top trends that you may want to watch out for this upcoming year.
- Farewell Flash. Hello HTML5.
In recent years the popularity of Flash has slowly given way to HTML5. In 2016, this trend will continue as HTML5 gradually takes the reigns from its Flash predecessor. This is primarily due to the fact that HTML5 is accessible on all platforms, devices, and browsers. Flash, on the other hand, is far from being mobile-friendly. Mobile learning is on the rise, which means that eLearning professionals must utilize tools that cater to mobile learners. HTML5 is versatile, faster, and robust. It gives you the ability to design interactive and engaging eLearning experiences for the masses, without having to worry about excluding your mobile learners. Remember that many browsers are slowly phasing out Flash players. So, if your mobile learning course is flash-based you may be limiting your audience reach without even knowing it.
- Big Data Applications.
Big Data has been an integral part of eLearning for a number of years, but 2016 is expected to be the year for Big Data app analytics. Big Data gives you the opportunity to examine learner preferences and improve your overall mobile training strategy. It can help you keep track of your mobile traffic, device usage, and determine the strengths and weaknesses of your mobile training program. After doing so you have the ability to customize the mobile learning experience and improve the elements that may be falling short of expectations. If you do want to take advantage of app analytics, opt for a Learning Management System that has built-in reporting features that focus on your mobile learning content.
- Responsive Design.
Responsive design courses automatically adjust to the screen size and resolution of the device. A responsive Learning Management System modifies the placement of the images, text blocks, and layout based on the device. This ensures that every learner receives the same experience, even those who are using mobile phones, tablets, and wearable tech gadgets to participate. For example, the LMS may slightly adjust the size and placement of your graphics if the learner has a smaller device, or change the position of the sub headers to streamline the flow of your eLearning course.
- Wearable Tech.
Speaking of wearable tech, Google Glass, Oculus Rift, Apple Watch, and Android Wear are becoming popular around the world. This is mainly due to the fact that the technology is now more user-friendly and affordable. These wearable gadgets are also making their way into the realm of eLearning and transforming the way we access and acquire new information. Wearable tech has the potential to turn simulations and online scenarios into dynamic and interactive experiences in online training environments. For example, instead of simply sitting through a sales training presentation employees can now interact with virtual customers, master their negotiation skills, and learn every step in the transaction process by using an augmented reality device.
- “Moment of Need” Mobile Support.
In most cases, employees need access to reference materials, such as tutorials and manuals, outside of the online training environment. This allows them to do their job effectively and carry out vital tasks without having to step away from their work stations. This is why “moment of need” mobile support is a major trend for 2016 and beyond. It gives organizations the power to boost employee performance and productivity for a fraction of the training cost. This online training resource also improves employee retention, confidence, and job satisfaction. Mobile support is an invaluable tool for organizations with a distributed workforce. For example, members of your sales team can access product information, tutorials, and other online training materials anywhere, anytime. Thus, they can stay up-to-date with the latest information and help customers or clients make more informed buying decisions.
Many Learning Management Systems are now offering geo-location features, which give you the chance to deliver relevant online training to your global audience. The LMS automatically detects the learner's location and then delivers the appropriate mobile learning course or online training materials. For example, a learner in Japan will be able to access a mobile learning course with Japanese subtitles and online activities that are culturally appropriate. It can also be useful when designing location-based online content, such as, scavenger hunt online training exercises, or regional surveys. Keep in mind that geo-location must usually be paired with localization if you are catering to international markets. This typically involves in depth audience research to learn about the customs, societal norms, and backgrounds of your online learners.
Mobile learning is becoming even more popular. By integrating these trends into your mobile learning strategy you have the power to create tech-centric mobile learning experiences that take advantage of modern advancements, which equates to even more benefits for your on-the-move mobile learners.
Do you want every member of your audience to benefit from your mobile learning course, without having to worry about screen size and resolution? Read the article 7 Tips To Create Responsive Design For Mobile Learning and learn how to convert your mobile learning course into a mobile learning experience without having to devote time and countless hours to the development process.
- Mobile Learning At Work: Practical Perspectives On Implementing Mobile Learning, Towards Maturity In Focus Report, 2014