10 Mobile Learning Trends For 2018

Summary: The demand for mobile learning from the learners is on a steady increase, and it is clearly transitioning from an “option” to a “must have”. In this article, I outline 10 mobile learning trends for 2018 that organizations should invest on.

The Top Mobile Learning Trends For 2018

mLearning or mobile learning is self-paced, learning on the go. Typically, designed for multi-device support, it offers the flexibility to the learners to take learning on the device of their choice. While mLearning or mobile learning as a concept has been there for the last 7-8 years or so, there has been a steep acceleration in its adoption in the last couple of years.

Known for higher engagement, mLearning is being used by nearly 47% of organizations worldwide. This clearly reflects the increased acceptability of mLearning, and also why it is being seen as the future of learning.

Why mLearning Is No More An Option But A Must Have?

We access our smartphones continuously throughout the day so learning on the smartphones is a logical extension.

Here are some compelling stats that reaffirm that mLearning is no more an option but a "must have":

  1. Gartner predicts that 45% of businesses will have a BYOD policy by 2020. (Source: Gartner)
  2. 70% of learners felt more motivated when training on a mobile device, as opposed to a computer. (Source: LearnDash)
  3. Mobile eLearners typically study for 40 minutes longer than students using a desktop or tablet. (Source: MNAlearning)
  4. Smartphone learners complete course material 45% faster than those using a computer. (Source: Lynda)

What Are The Mobile Learning Trends You Should Watch Out For In 2018 And Integrate Into Your Learning Strategy?

I am providing my list of 10 mobile learning trends for 2018 here.

These mobile learning trends reflect the transformation we are seeing in the way the content is already being consumed by the learners or will be in the near future.

1. Wider Adoption Of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy

I see this as the first indicator that organizations worldwide are acknowledging the push from the learners to get the flexibility to learn on the device of their choice. This will continue to be the case and will trigger a wider adoption of mobile learning or mLearning.

2. Transformation Of Mobile-Friendly (Adaptive) Approach To Mobile First (Responsive)

With the maturing of mobile learning usage as the primary learning format, we are already seeing a clear distinction in the way mLearning training programs are being designed. The selection of adaptive designs vis-à-vis designs that are optimized for mobile devices is driven by the way the content will be consumed. This trend will continue to see wider adoption in 2018.

3. Increase In The Usage Of mLearning For Formal Learning

Fueled by microlearning and the concept of learning paths that now enable traditional eLearning courses to be mapped to multiple microlearning nuggets that can be taken on the go, this trend will continue to grow.

4. Further Acceleration In The Usage Of mLearning For Informal Learning

This trend will continue. The usage of mLearning to support traditional eLearning through the Performance Support Tools, or PSTs, has been there for several years. With multitude options to design them in high-impact formats that are optimized for mobile devices, this trend will continue and see higher adoption.

5. Personalization

This is a logical extension to the flexibility afforded by microlearning-based learning paths. You can leverage on the granularity of microlearning nuggets to create custom or personalized learning paths. Personalization can be offered based on the learner profile (job-role based), based on self-assessment of proficiency, or through a pre-test. Having a personalized learning path makes the learning more relevant for the learners. I see an increase in this microlearning trend in 2018.

6. Curation

Organizations worldwide acknowledge that there is an extensive amount of supporting content that is often available on their intranet but it is ignored. On top of this, there is an ever-increasing supporting collateral available on the internet. The answer is to leverage on all these through curation that uses specialized expertise to put together relevant learning assets and paths for the learners. The curated content can offer primary training or support primary training. This is one of the key mobile learning trends for 2018 that you should watch out for and plan for.

7. Inclusive Learning (Featuring Contributions From Learners)

Organizations are seeking innovative ways to engage the learners. Providing the learners with an option to contribute and enrich a given program is a significant measure in this direction. The contributions from learners can support the existing training programs at multiple levels, and the most significant value-add is that it aids social or collaborative learning. This mobile learning trend is certainly worth investing on in 2018.

8. Increase In The Use Of Video And Interactive Video-Based Training

While video-based training has been there for a while (even in traditional eLearning), its usage is increasing exponentially in mLearning. This is not all, the interactive video-based training offers much higher engagement and learning experience, and it will see an increase in both formal and informal training. This is one mobile learning trend you cannot miss. Do plan to use it in 2018.

9. Higher Adoption Of Formats Optimized For Mobile Devices

To create high impact learning experiences, formats like mobile apps for learning are a great fit as they are optimized for mobile devices. They offer additional flexibility to the learners as they can download the content and peruse it offline. Furthermore, the L&D teams can push updates and notifications with ease. This is another significant mobile learning trend worth investing on.

10. Wider Adoption Of Gamification

A lot has been said about the usage of gamification for serious learning. With its extension of consumption over mobile devices, you will see variants like bite-sized games, gamified quizzes, gamified learning paths, and so on. Using this approach will increase the engagement quotient of your online training, and it is a mobile learning trend worth investing on in 2018.

The usage of mLearning will continue its accelerated growth path in 2018. I hope the mLearning trends featured in this article give you a better sense of the significance and the impact of each one of them. More specifically, I hope it gives you the required insights on why you should integrate them into your learning strategy.

If you have any queries or need further support, do contact me at [email protected].

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