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Mobile learning: responsive portal or mobile application?

Mobile learning: a true necessity!

Technological progress has radically changed the way we consume digital information. It’s plain to see: smartphones have taken over the world. In less than eight years, they’ve won over consumers from all age groups with their ease of use and ubiquity. Offering the ability to use different channels such as internet, telephone and apps simultaneously. Nowadays, half of all adults own a smartphone. Soon, 80% of the world’s population will have one. That’s more than 5 billion people! Mobiles have become essential, weaving their way into every part of our daily lives, including training. It’s important, then, to fully incorporate them into training packages. The question is no longer whether we should use mobile devices, but rather how we should use them!

Responsive portal or mobile application?

When it comes to training, we have two options:

  • Responsive learning management systems
  • Mobile learning applications

There are advantages and disadvantages to each solution that should be considered before you make your choice.

Responsive learning management systems

Responsive LMS are designed in such a way that your training portal and content are suitable for any screen format, whether it’s a PC, mobile or tablet. This will allow your learners to switch easily from one device to another without interruption. In this way, the continuity of the training is maintained and your learners can pick up where they left off. This solution also allows learners to choose their preferred device at any particular time.

In practical terms, learners won’t need to download an additional application and use up the storage space on their mobile devices. They can save the login URL so that it is always visible on their screens, just like apps.

Financially speaking, this solution doesn’t result in any additional costs, as the LMS for PC and mobile devices operates as a single platform.

Finally, from a technical point of view, the updates will be the same as those applied to the LMS.

The only limitation to this solution is offline access. In order to connect to their training course via a mobile device, your learners will need a strong internet connection just as they would on a PC.

Mobile learning applications

A mobile learning application is an application that supplements the LMS, which can be downloaded from the app store for your operating system (Apple Store for iOS or Play Store for Android). These applications require manual installation. They offer an enhanced, optimised learning experience for users of mobile devices. The overall user experience is improved even more by better download speeds and great content design. You can also send notifications to learners to remind them to start or complete a training module.

If you’re looking for an accessible offline solution, a mobile application is definitely the best option. Mobile apps like MOS Universal Player give your learners the opportunity to download content to their tablet or smartphone so that they can access it offline. Once the device is connected again, the application synchronises the results with the LMS MOS Chorus to guarantee the continuity of the training programme.

If you select this option, opt for shorter content (1 to 10 minutes maximum), as people’s attention spans are much shorter on smartphones than they are on PCs. That’s down to the size of the screen, as well as when and where it’s used (on public transport, in waiting rooms, etc.). To encourage your learners to establish a routine, you can send them daily notifications with a short piece of content to complete. Some applications also allow you to add social learning, with forums, blogs or UGC (user-generated content).

So, will you choose a responsive LMS or a mobile app?

When making your decision, it’s important to try to analyse and understand your target groups: their training needs, their mobile use and their training consumption behaviours. One key element to take into consideration is whether or not your learners will have access to the internet during their training sessions.

But why choose just one when you can have both?  In the end, learners know what works best for them, so why not offer them both solutions?

At MOS MindOnSite, we’re experts in creating agile, engaging training portals. All the portals we create for our clients are responsive. We also offer a mobile application, MOS Universal Player, which is accessible offline.

Are you a customer or user of our MOS Chorus solution? Do you want to find out more about how to create a shortcut to your LMS on your smartphone or tablet? Head on over to our information hub MOS Center!