Mobile learning is on the rise as people incorporate learning into their day-to-day activities, requiring cross-device access to online courses, instructional videos, and other kinds of educational content. The market is growing at a rapid pace and is expected to amount to $90 billion (US) by 2026.
Learn more about this growing trend and how to use it for your benefit.
What is mobile learning?
Also known as m-learning, mobile learning is characterised by mobility made possible with wifi and mobile devices that allow learners to consume educational and informative content as they go about their day.
M-learning content is typically responsive, flexible, and bite-sized, making them easier to absorb for busy individuals looking to update their skills or knowledge base. This content can range from podcasts to online courses. Subscribe to Mobicity today for news on mobile trends and m-learning.
Teach Thought identifies the fundamental pieces of mobile learning as:
- Physical environment
It involves a learner who enjoys mobility within the environment, whether formal (as with university or the workplace) or informal (to learn a new hobby at home) in which they intend to learn.
And it’s not just students trying to squeeze some extra study time in between classes. An increasing number of employers are using m-learning to train the workforce. Australians who are in between jobs or hoping to transition to new careers may also rely on m-learning to make themselves more employable.
And there are those who use m-learning for personal enrichment – it provides many opportunities to learn a new hobby and explore topics of interest.
The pros and cons of mobile learning
There are many advantages to m-learning, including:
- Convenience – Time and distance are no longer an issue. Take your online course anywhere with mobile. Since classes take place virtually, you won’t have to spend any time commuting to a physical classroom. This makes it easier to squeeze learning time into your schedule.
This makes it ideal for learners who are always on the go and need quick access to content with just a few clicks. It can also be useful for Australians with mobility issues and those who live in isolated areas where learning opportunities are limited or lacking.
- Real-time feedback – Mobile learning facilitates real-time feedback from teachers, trainers, employers, and other learners. This helps re-create the excitement and dynamic quality of traditional classes. Getting real-time feedback improves learning and keeps students engaged.
- Higher completion rate – Since it’s easier to access modules and other types of education content, individuals are more likely to complete their online courses. And if for any reason they are unable to pass the course, it is much easier to retake online. This allows for better compliance and higher completion rates among students. Further “bite-sized learning”, or information in smaller and easier-to-digest amounts, can be more effective for some learners.
- Better motivation – Quick access, real-time feedback, and the higher chance of completion can make individuals more motivated to try new courses and explore their options with mobile learning. M-learning will be much easier to juggle with work and family life since students can access content anytime, anywhere.
- Cost-effectiveness – For employers offering training courses via mobile, all existing content can simply be re-purposed or updated as needed, offering a more cost-effective way to keep employees’ knowledge base and skills fresh.
- Personalisation – Because every learner gets their own screen, there are many opportunities to personalise content for each student. With m-learning, students no longer need to share a single chalk board or instructor.
M-learning has its downsides, including:
- Accessibility – Access to m-learning courses is contingent on wifi connectivity and mobile device ownership. Those who don’t have reliable internet connection or a mobile device with the right specs might not be able to participate in m-learning.
- Distractions – Mobile learners have to deal with constant interruptions in the form of calls, text messages, push notifications, and more. Some might sneak a quick game of Fruit Ninja or Slotomania if they don’t find the courses as engaging. Focus and self-discipline are just as important for mobile learning as they are in a traditional classroom setting.
- Formatting/smaller screen space – Smaller mobile screens and formatting issues can pose challenges for learners. Presentations with detailed images along with other types of content that haven’t been optimised for mobile might appear distorted, incomplete, or cut off. Further, those with visual impairments might have difficulty seeing content clearly on smaller screens.
Being aware of the potential barriers to m-learning can help you plan ahead and determine how you can take advantage of this growing trend. Choosing the right mobile device, finding access to wifi, and setting priorities can help you maximise the benefits of m-learning.
Make mobile learning work for you. Whether you’re a hobbyist, student, job seeker, or manager, m-learning can be utilised for personal enrichment, career advancement, and corporate training. All you need is a mobile device, wifi, and the right content. Follow Mobicity today for the latest on mobile trends and reviews.