An mLearning App complements an eLearning system by enabling mobile access. But does it fit everywhere? We explain where an mLearning App fits and where it doesn’t.
What is mLearning?
Wikipedia defines mLearning or mobile learning as “learning across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, using personal electronic devices. A form of distance education, mLearners use mobile device educational technology at their time convenience.” This would be as different from elearning as apples are to oranges. An mLearning App is not an eLearning web application accessed from a mobile. They are so different that they require an entirely new approach from ID (Instructional Design), graphics, UI and information delivery, after all the size of the mobile will continue to be smaller than a laptop/desktop.
Mobile is expected to overtake fixed internet access by the end of 2015 according to data from Morgan Stanley research quoted by a integrated digital marketing company. It puts the number of mobile users at over 1800 Million globally as compared to desktop users at around 1600 Million. Hence, mobile has become ubiquitous and used beyond its initial functions to call and message. One function that more and more users have turned to mobile for has been to learn new things. mLearning Apps help users with just that and much more.
So, Where does an mLearning App fit?
One of the major difference between eLearning on a desktop and an mLearning App is when and where the learning happens and the duration of the learning. eLearning has a clearly defined module and happens in front of a desktop/laptop. The module might last from a few minutes to couple of hours. An mLearning App can enable learning anywhere; in commute, at a cafeteria or even while waiting. The duration can be not more than a few minutes. For example, “Sales Methodologies” can be delivered through an eLearning module whereas “7 things to check before a sales call” can be delivered through an mLearning App. They are so different.
Also the context needs to be established in an eLearning mode vis-a-vis in an mLearning App such as where it is in front of the user. Say the history of a city, in an eLearning module the information that has been delivered needs to be understood and recalled at the right time, say when you are in that city. Now with GPS enabled mobiles, the user can be pointed to specific monuments/places with a complete run-down of its history using an mLearning App.
An mLearning App can be of great assistance in sales training whether during a sales call or on a retail shop floor. The sales guy can get small tips that can be applied during the process resulting in a positive outcome. It can also be used to check box an item during service delivery. Take the specific example of automobile servicing where the person servicing the vehicle can run through a check-list to see that all the required works have been undertaken before it is delivered to the customer. Passing on safety tips that employees need to follow on a factory floor can be a good application for an mLearning App. From transporting hazardous materials to operating a complex machinery, a ready reckoner on a mobile could be helpful for the user to quickly refer to. Also, “build-it-yourself” products if offered along with a mLearning App module can help users watch and build the said product without a need to call the helpline.
mLearning Apps will increasingly become a part of our lives but eLearning will hold its ground as their usage will depend on time, context and amount of information to be delivered.
3E Software Solutions offers customized mLearning Apps. Click here to read more about our solutions!
We also offer custom Moodle Mobile Apps with a variety of features. Check them out here!