Interviews / Opinions

On the road again: busting 5 mobile learning myths

On the road again: busting 5 mobile learning myths - TalentLMS Blog

A whole lot of ancient myths are centered around some kind of journey. So many in fact, that there’s even a term for them in literary theory: “the hero’s journey”. From the whole host of mythological characters encountered by Ulysses during his 10-year journey, to King Arthur’s road-trip/quest for the Holy Grail, there are all kinds of myths and tall-tales about people going places.

Even in this day and age there are still quite a few myths surrounding people on the move. We’re talking in particular about all those myths, old-wives tales and misconceptions related to learning on the go.

In this post, we will try to bust 5 of the peskier mobile learning myths, using TalentLMS and its mobile clients as counterexamples.

Myth #1: Mobile learning is for kids

After all, who would want to do “serious” learning on a small screen?

Well, plenty of professionals, it seems, including the majority of the Fortune 500 companies, who are either already engaged in mobile learning, or are in the process on rolling out such programs for their employees.

And why not? Mobile learning offers a lot of advantages for corporate training, being especially suitable to micro-learning and allowing employees to take advantage of their commute time (on trains, buses, the metro, and even while flying) to engage in learning.

TalentLMS for iOS and Android, for example, have been created for the start with a focus on micro-learning and micro-certifications, and are able to provide the same experience (and basic features) as their web-based counterpart on any screen size.

Myth #2: Mobile learning is locked-in to your phone/tablet

There’s some truth in this mobile learning myth, as some mobile learning platforms do constrain the learning process to only take place within some mobile application.

This, however, is neither a general rule, nor a limitation that’s inherent in mobile learning.

A platform like TalentLMS allows you to seamlessly combine mobile learning on your iOS or Android device with web-based learning on your laptop or desktop computer, and will make sure that your progress is updated to the central (Cloud-based) servers.

Myth #3: Mobile learning is only for places with reliable, fast, and cheap connectivity

Sure, reliable, fast, and cheap connectivity makes for the optimal mobile learning experience.

That said, depending on your mobile learning client, you can still have a great mobile learning experience on any kind of environment — whether you have an excellent connection, a spotty low bandwidth one, or even none at all so here is another mobile learning myth busted.

What you need is an eLearning platform that allows you to download eLearning courses to your mobile device when you are online, and lets you study them both online and offline (perhaps with a few features disabled when in offline mode).

The TalentLMS application for iOS and Android lets you do just that, allowing you to study anywhere as long as you have your mobile device with you. It will even sync your progress from your mobile device to your Cloud-based TalentLMS account when you are back online.

On the road again: busting 5 mobile learning myths - TalentLMS Blog

Myth #4: Custom mobile learning is complex to setup

Far from it. In fact it’s just as easy to set up as regular web-based enterprise or commercial eLearning — assuming you are using a user friendly LMS of course.

Take TalentLMS mobile offering as an example. Apart from having your users download the (free) iOS and Android TalentLMS applications, there’s nothing else you need to configure to deploy a fully functional mobile learning program.

Your regular web-based eLearning content (which you’ve created yourself, imported from elsewhere, or bought from the TalentLMS marketplace) will do.

You just deploy your content as you always did and our Cloud servers will take care of all the rest — no special infrastructure needed for your content to reach your mobile users. So it has been proven again, this mobile learning myth is just that, a myth!

TalentLMS will even warn you if some features used in your lesson units are not compatible with offline learning (e.g. embedded video links pointing to YouTube), so you can fine-tune what your users end up seeing.

Myth #5: It’s either all mobile learning or all web-based learning

Where do people get such ideas from?

Sure, some platforms only cater to web uses, while others only cater to mobile users. But that’s a limitation of those platforms, not of mobile learning.

Just like you can combine eLearning with traditional classroom based learning (in so-called “hybrid learning” or “Instructor-led training” programs), you can also combine web-based online learning with mobile learning.

All you need is an LMS that can cater to both delivery mechanisms, and you are good to go.

And while in theory you can create separate versions of your eLearning material for each environment, in practice serving the same content to both web and mobile users will work just as well — at least for offering a basic mobile learning option. There’s always time to optimize things later.

Conclusion

Myths — like Hydra’s heads, you cut down one and two pop up in its place. Which I guess is a good thing, from a job security perspective, for a myth-buster.

In this post we busted a few of the most prevalent mobile learning myths. I’m sure some more have popped up since you’ve started reading, but we’ll have to tackle those at some other time.

In the meantime, open a free TalentLMS account, download the (also free) mobile application for your platform (iOS and Android only) and check out what it can do. Trust me, nothing puts mobile learning myths to rest better than seeing for yourself.