Mobile learning happens in two ways – through mobile learning apps that are free or purchased, or by accessing learning through the Internet on a mobile device. Mobile learning is an easy and cost effective option to share information and knowledge at the most learnable moment. This is particulary relevant for training providers imparting skill based vocational training. Devices like tablets, feature phones and smartphones can transform the learning experience if you follow the 5 best practices of effective, m-powered learning.
Match content with medium
Since most skill based vocational training is practice oriented, it would make sense to include videos that demonstrate the procedure of doing things. The video clips should be short in duration, dealing with a meaningful chunk of learning. It doesn’t make instructional sense to load it with long pieces of text since reading on a mobile device is not always comfortable.
Blend mobile with classroom
Let classroom training be your starting point. It is easy to introduce mobile learning after completing a portion of training of in traditional way. A good way is to teach the theoretical component in the classroom and use mobile learning for practical demos, lectures and expert advice. This may suit well for training semi-literates and school dropouts with low levels of reading skills.
Design for mobile
Keep in mind the limitations of the mobile interface and use responsive design for compatibility with various devices. Before designing, it is necessary to analyse the mobile use by the learners and include the findings while designing content. While a conventional e-learning module can be accessed from a mobile device, it needs to be re-designed if it has to be packaged as a downloadable app.
Integrate with performance support
Go for mobile apps to provide byte-sized learning content that is just enough to complete the tasks in different job roles. There’s nothing like handy information and knowledge to improve on-the-job performance. Since mobile apps don’t need the Internet connection, learning is not affected by the Internet speed and tariff.Training providers can collaborate with mobile phone companies to come up with low-cost smartphones that aid skill development and vocational training.
Follow up with social media
Encourage learners to use social media channels, particularly Facebook to share their learning experience, practical tips and latest updates in their field of work. This not only reinforces the social element, it also make learning interactive and keeps it alive.
Some of the points mentioned above may not be directly useful for trainers and training providers in the area of skill development and vocational training, especially the design part of it. However it is relevant for e-learning and mobile developers. Trainers can refer to the best practices to validate their mobile learning strategy for quick and efficient on-the-job learning.