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Is Your Microlearning Designed for Mobile?

Microlearning is huge nowadays, as receiving knowledge in bite-sized chunks is what Millennials prefer most. However, most providers concentrate on creating responsive desktop eLearning, with mobile versions being available via browsers. Such approach is far from ideal, and below we will explain why non-mobile-first microlearning misses the spot.

1742 16/01/2018
Member of the Board, Raccoon Gang

Sergiy has 18 years of experience in eLearning and management. Creating educational programs, career paths, online and offline courses he is making the educational world better as a co-founder of RG.

Is Your Microlearning Designed for Mobile? If not - it misses the spot!

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Imagine having your corporate accessible through a mobile device and designed specifically for it. What will it look like?

An employee has about 5-10 minutes before he/she is served in a restaurant and his/her friends are not here yet. The employee launches an eLearning app where their personalized eLearning path opens, reminding of the leadership training already taken and listing the units left before completion.

The learner swipes right to take the next unit and watches a 3-minute-long vertically shot video on leadership skills and conflict solving. While doing so, the employee receives a push notification from a colleague about receiving the next achievement. A quick tap pauses the video and a swipe up brings the communication section, where our learner can congratulate a colleague. Available actions include text, smileys, and emoji, like in popular messengers.

The learner then resumes viewing the video, and once it is finished he/she receives a quick test. It is an interactive serious game-simulation of a real-life situation with branching scenarios and outcomes depending on the dialogue choices, which are grouped in a Tinder-like style.

The scenario is navigated with swipes instead of buttons and the learner can spend previously earned points to reach anyone on their contact list with a quick request for advice. The same goes vice versa and a special counter (like in popular fitness apps) counts the numbers of useful advice and hints given to fellow eLearners, which helps reassess and actively use the knowledge on a regular basis.

Alternatively, the test might be presented as a board game placed on the table, using the capabilities AR has to offer. The learner can witness the outcomes of the dialogues as they are acted by drawn personas or even interact with the action and halt it to think the situation over.

Once the test is passed, a swipe down opens the leaderboard, where the accomplished activity grants a new badge to a wall of fame with Snapchat-like achievements and adds to a total score. Swipe to the left opens the possibilities to share the experience with friends and colleagues through social networks, SMS or an email. Here you go, one step closer to the main reward of the corporate training competition — a family trip to a Great Canyon on company’s expense as the best learner of the month.

The mobile microlearning session is over and it lasted merely 6 minutes — but this training was engaging, interactive and will bring better results than tedious chewing through old-style courses with lectures and practical tasks. Here is why we think this way:

  1. Millennials will comprise around 75% of the workforce by 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor. They are tech-savvy and eager to learn new skills, yet they have short attention spans and prefer interactive collaboration to passive listening. If you want your corporate training to be efficient for them, it’s high time to start creating it the way they like it.

  2. Millennials prefer mobile over the desktop, with 51% of time spent on mobile vs 42% spent on desktop devices, according to a 2016 internet trends research report from a venture capital firm KPCB.

  3. Millennials prefer their training delivered in form of edutainment: gamified, entertaining, engaging, interactive. They value good UI/UX and want their eLearning experience to be as elegant and user-friendly as all the other tools available in App Store or Play Market.

As a matter of fact, a recent research from ArcTouch discovered that mere 12% of corporate workforce use their corporate learning mobile apps. This is largely due to the fact that around 70% of respondents stated these apps to be bulky and inconvenient and only 13% stated them to provide the intuitive user experience.

Thus said, in the current state of events, microlearning has a lot of room for growth in terms of mobile learning. However, in order to be efficient (elegant and intuitive, as described above), both these apps and the content for them should be completely redesigned. Below are the features Raccoon Gang considers important for successful mobile-first built eLearning tool and content, based on our experience in building such projects: 

  1. Build a mobile app for your eLearning or choose an LMS that already provides one. According to Flurry report, 90% of time spent on mobile is spent in apps, meaning a mobile version of a website is clearly not enough for efficient training.

  2. Simple, elegant and intuitive design, involving tapping, holding and swiping instead of small buttons;

  3. Bite-sized learning. Small chunks of training help keep the learners concentrated and engaged and improve cognition. Set one learning goal per nugget and design the content around it;

  4. Active practice and repetition. Cut to the point, describe the theory as briefly as possible, provide references to external resources if needed and devote maximum time to practicing new skills. As a matter of fact, around 70% of the course time the learners should be practicing the skills they have to learn;

  5. Vertically shot videos. Snapchat research states vertically shot videos to get 9 times more views;

  6. Serious games, personalization, and storytelling. Being a part of a plot is a whole other perspective as compared to being a silent reader. This drives much more engagement, cognition, and retention. Ability to choose a personalized learning path instead of following a linear schedule is also very important for a modern learner;

  7. Harness the power of social media. An achievement no one knows about is nearly useless. Allow the learners to share their success stories and badges through various platforms;

  8. Augmented reality will rule the education. With Apple presenting their ARKit on WWDC in June, a vast field of possibilities opens for VR/AR developers and eLearning providers worldwide. From virtual experiments that spend no real consumables and workplace orientation as a part of employee onboarding, VR/AR can go all the way up to virtual tourism and interactive description of museum expositions. This proposes unlimited possibilities for eLearning;

  9. Smartphones and tablets provide huge capabilities nowadays. GPS, gyro, camera and multiple other sensors and features expand the capabilities of smartphones and tablets far beyond simply displaying videos, images, and texts. Use these capabilities to create immersive and delightful experiences and the learners will come for more!

  10. Seamless user experience. Utilize the power of third-party authentication and Single Sign-on to provide secure and seamless access to your microlearning across a variety of platforms and devices. A unit might be started on the office desktop and finished on the tablet or smartphone during the lunch break. The freedom to learn whenever and wherever the learner wants is what makes microlearning tenfold more appealing as compared to face-to-face education.

Delivering an efficient corporate training app and self-development program is of top importance for companies who want to attract and retain talent in order to remain competitive in the digital age. 

Building such an app or producing such course content can be quite a challenge, of course. However, time and money investment into inefficient corporate training might be much more damaging to the business. This is why hiring skilled contractors who are able to get the job done right from the very beginning might be the answer to this challenge. Should you want to develop a mobile-first microlearning app and content — feel free to contact us, we are always ready to help!

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