Mobile Learning is now a fundamental part of the corporate training process, essential to any work environment for the development of skills within the organisation. The digitisation of content, available via PC, has reduced costs and management time considerably, while guaranteeing the flexibility and customisation of courses. This has led to the growing importance assumed by multimedia content (animations, videos, interactive text) and the resulting update of educational content has laid the foundations of flexible training for the creation of online communities, such as Forums and Chats. Thanks to the widespread adoption of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, one can envisage training sessions and learning opportunities in a variety of contexts: any person can tune into the training channel at any time! We all communicate, surf and share information in real time using Apps and social networks. How does all this affect the continuous process of evolution of training? Can we take this opportunity to make our courses more accessible, effective and engaging? The obvious answer is ‘yes’, but in order to allow tablets and smartphones to access this content, we have to take into account the consequent adaptation of the graphic and content aspects. All media require their own language. The simple transfer of content designed for PCs to mobile devices does not work. However, it is possible to adapt the base software by using a few simple measures included in the design stage. In particular, we need to remember to:
- Design courses so that they are responsive: the design of content and graphics must take into account screen sizes.
- Perform specific editing, concentrating on the crux and speed of the content.
- Plan for user interaction via a Touch User Interface, typical of mobile devices (multitasking, pinch-to-zoom, swipe, etc.).
- Create learning communities, promoting discussion between users through social learning and exploiting the ease of “playing” with Apps to stimulate motivation and interest.
How to start? The first step is to design a pilot course by following three simple rules and then checking the results, strengths and areas of improvement:
- Identify the advantages of the device (in terms of content, target and context)
- Define the integration with other channels and evaluate the initial investment using a simple and workable experimental project
- Ensure the design looks good and focus on the time-frames.
Mobile Learning opens innovative and highly interesting scenarios. What potential is there? Augmented reality It allows you to obtain information, details on products, machinery and places simply by pointing a device towards the objective. The tablet or smartphone will display information that is invisible to the naked eye, but which enhances sensory perception, allowing a better understanding of reality. Geolocation The ability to obtain certain information or content depending on where we are. We can activate specific courses by locating the user’s device. Social learning and gamification! Always being connected increases the user’s opportunities of being involved in training. Gamification can be extended from the office desk to beyond, without any limitations. The social network environment is the same: people have significantly increased opportunities to share their vocational training experiences. So, your next training course just absolutely has to take into consideration the mobile world! This topic was discussed in posterLab no. 31: “mobile learning”. Michele Pasquoni