8 Tips For Developing Mobile-Friendly eLearning Courses

8 Tips For Developing Mobile-Friendly eLearning Courses
Summary: Mobile-friendly eLearning is a must for today's busy, tech-savvy online learners. In this article, I'll share 8 tips for developing mobile-friendly eLearning courses that are suitable for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

How To Develop Mobile-Friendly eLearning Courses

Mobile learning happens anytime, anywhere. People have the opportunity to tap, swipe, and flick their way to knowledge mastery and task proficiency. There are no geographical limitations to contend, and scheduling conflicts belong to the past. But how do you create truly memorable and engaging mobile learning experiences? Here are 8 helpful tips to develop mobile-friendly eLearning courses for your audience.

1. Cut The Clutter And Keep It Concise

There is no room for clutter or extraneous content in mobile learning. Mobile learners don't have the time to sort through unnecessary information. Not to mention that a cluttered design makes it more difficult for your mobile learners to navigate your eLearning course. White space is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, you should leave some space between elements to avoid cognitive overload and focus their attention. Bear in mind that mobile learners are already dealing with a multitude of external distractions; from noisy offices to commuter traffic. And your eLearning course should be a place where they can escape the chaos and get the information they require.

2. Screen Space Is A Precious Commodity

Screen space is prime real estate when you're creating mobile-friendly eLearning courses. Which is why you must cut your images down-to-size and remove large blocks of text. Break it down into easily digestible bullet lists that occupy less room and prevent cognitive overwhelm. Avoid bulky graphics, icons, and graphs that require a lot of screen scrolling.

3. Optimize Multimedia

Mobile learning is often limited by bandwidth constraints. As an example, mobile learners who access the eLearning course on a Wi-Fi connection have slower download speeds. An image that shows up quickly on their lightning-fast internet tend to take much longer on their smartphones. For this reason, you should optimize all of your multimedia elements, including images, eLearning videos, and infographics. Compress large files or include links to external sites that mobile learners can access at a later time.

4. Use Navigation Icons

In lieu of traditional navigation menus, opt for a menu icon that features a drop down list. This minimizes the amount of space required without sacrificing navigability. Your icons should also be clearly visible and easy to tap. In addition, try to avoid hyperlinks altogether and use hot spot graphics or buttons instead. Mobile learners must be able to access the eLearning course materials as quickly as possible, using just one finger. Tiny hyperlinks embedded in large text blocks and minuscule buttons will only lead to mobile learner frustration.

5. Give Mobile Learners Audio Control

Music, narrations, and other audio elements add to the atmosphere of your eLearning course. They form an emotional connection with your online learners and grab their attention. However, audio can be challenging for mobile learners, thanks to external distractions. If learners don't have headphones handy, they aren't going to reap the rewards of your audio elements. As such, you need to offer them complete control of the audio playback. They should be able to mute, pause, or adjust the volume to adjust to their mobile learning environment. For example, employees don't have the opportunity to listen to audio narrations on the sales floor. Lastly, include subtitles for those who don't have the luxury of listening to important takeaways.

6. Concentrate On A Single Learning Objective

Mobile learning is best in small doses. For instance, as a "moment of need" online support tool or convenient knowledge refresher. In short, mobile learning courses should be bite-sized and easily digestible. As a result, you should focus on a single learning objective, goal, or topic for each mobile-friendly online resource. Break more complex subject matter into separate eLearning modules and activities. A complicated compliance online training course becomes 10 individual mobile-learning modules that center on a specific sub-topic. Concentrating on a single learning objective also allows you to stress the benefits and applications for each eLearning activity. For example, mobile learners know exactly what they'll receive from the mobile-friendly task tutorial, as well as how they can use the information in the real world.

7. Choose The Right Responsive Design Authoring Tool

Responsive design authoring tools give you the power to create a master layout that automatically adjusts to fit the screen. Smartphone, tablet, and PC users all get the same eLearning experience and the benefits it provides. However, the tool must have the right features to improve your eLearning ROI. Look for a Learning Management System that has a built-in previewer so that you can make minor adjustments to each version. It should also support downloadable eLearning content, which allows mobile learners to view the eLearning content offline and then sync back up with the LMS at a later time.

8. Test Before You Deploy

Mobile-friendly eLearning courses require the same amount of testing as traditional eLearning courses. In some cases, it may even call for more testing rounds before the big launch. Preview your layout on multiple devices or use a browser that mimics different resolutions and screen sizes. Ensure that every element is in place and serves its purpose. This is also the time to omit unnecessary eLearning content that has slipped through the cracks and make last minute modifications. Evaluate every version or breakpoint and step inside the shoes of your mobile learners. For example, the graphics in your smartphone version may be a distraction. Thus, you need to consider whether they help or hinder the learning process. Do they really support the subject matter and simplify complex ideas? Or should you opt for less intrusive images or typography to convey the general tone?

Mobile eLearning courses are becoming more prevalent, particularly in the online training sector. Υou can now use these 8 tips to provide your mobile learners with the mobile-friendly materials they need. Regardless of your eLearning budget, time constraints, or learning objectives.

Do you know the best practices for creating mobile-friendly eLearning? Read the article The 8 Golden Rules Of Responsive eLearning Course Design to discover the golden rules of responsive course design that every eLearning professional should follow.