Optimize Content for Interactive Mobile Apps to Cater to Custom Learning Needs
Over the past decade, there has been a huge investment in information and collaboration to achieve organizational success. In this context, the latest mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, emerge as innovative tools associated with various strategies. Undoubtedly, learner motivation increases when this technology is used, resulting in greater engagement and collaboration. Today, Millennials prefer delivery of customized learning experiences that enable them to learn at their own pace and at the point of need. They prefer accessing training through mobile apps, ensuring better engagement and retention.
Optimizing Mobile Content: The Need is Now
According to the 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report from comScore, usage of mobile devices accounts for 62% of digital media consumption compared to desktop use. This means two out of every three minutes of digital media access is consumed over a smartphone or tablet. With advances in mobile infrastructure and 4G networks, enterprises are increasingly leveraging mobility to attain higher business values. Today, different mobile devices support different features, battery span and bandwidth, thereby enabling delivery of efficient mobile learning solutions. Mobile content must be accessible on various smart devices with different resolutions and capabilities. To keep the content consistent and effective, organizations must:
- Embed graphics with small file sizes using JPEG, .GIF and .PNG formats to save screen space and load time. Graphics add visual appeal and improve comprehension.
- Ensure source material is of optimal quality and easy to compress.
- Keep navigation simple and intuitive, allowing larger buttons on smaller screens along with sufficient white space so learners can access information according to their needs.
- Maintain flexibility of courses, enabling responsive design features and a single-column layout for effective mobile delivery.
Traditional Mobile Web vs Apps
When it comes to mobile learning, the development process often depends on training budget, intended audience, purpose and other considerations. If your aim is to follow a market-driven approach and establish a broad mobile presence, then mobile web is the way to go. However, if your aim is to provide an application that works more like a program than a website, then a mobile app is required. Basically, a mobile website is vital in developing mobile web presence, while an app is useful for specific purposes. For instance, it is not possible to leverage smart devices’ native hardware features in a mobile website. To access the camera or GPS feature, your features can best be delivered within an app.
Modern mobile apps can deliver the best user experience across different scenarios. For example, engaging games, data manipulation through calculations, charts or reports can be best realized through mobile apps. While the mobile web is improving through specific functions like SMS, GPS, click-to-call and more, using the mobile camera or processing power of a training module is most efficiently utilized through an app. One of the key considerations when developing an app is to ensure that you are getting an appropriate return on investment.
Performance Tracking Using SCORM
In addition to the benefits and innovations the mobile web and apps offer, there are a few challenges. Performance tracking for online learning is best achieved through SCORM, a set of technical standards for software learning products. Basically, it establishes communications between training courses and learning management systems (LMSs), and allows courses to be uploaded, launched, delivered and tracked with ease and efficiency. Because of the tracking ability feature supported by SCORM, it is highly favored by eLearning instructors. It is also prominent in curriculum implementation and learning content delivery systems with analysis, reporting, timing and testing.
One of the best benefits of mobile learning is its ability to allow learning to happen at any time and any place. Mobile technologies have the capacity to make learning available on a larger scale compared to traditional training approaches. The need for accessible information is evolving as the use of mobile devices becomes more integrated into modern learners’ lives. Optimized content delivery with robust design over a mobile network with responsive design on a variety of devices is becoming an essential part of the overall eLearning and development process.