The future of elearning is mobile. Even with the present challenges mobile learning of non-standard screens, operating systems, browser support there is no real doubt that mobile learning is fast becoming widely accepted to deliver and help manage activities around learning delivery.
As mobile learning gains ground there will be (and already is) a growing need to look beyond notifications for users and quick-follow-up assessments through mobile devices. There is a need to look at porting some other critical learner and administrator side LMS functions to mobile platform/devices.
Taking cues from some discussions with clients and prospects there is a clear need for moving more and more features of an LMS to a mobile version beyond notifications and assessments. There is certainly a small but strong need to port critical administrator functions to a mobile platform making it easier to administer the LMS on the go.
I’ve listed what I feel is a list of 10 useful (need to have) features in a mobile version of an LMS (for the sake of simplicity I have segregated them into Learner and Administrator functions):
- Learner side
- Access to all notifications on mobile version as in the main LMS version. This is not the SMS notifications but access to all messages, announcements, and news on the dashboard of the mobile version. It still needs to be available in an easy to view manner. Most LMS systems present a host of notifications on their dashboards – these may not get moved to the mobile version if not properly designed.
- Even if the courses available to a user are not mobile-friendly, users should still have access to information to give a consistent view to his/her personalized learning plan.
- Same view to learning plan as in the main version. At least the view has to be same even if some components may not work on mobile devices –they have to be highlighted appropriately.
- Access to Support center. Very helpful and useful. Users should be able to post a queries to support without needing to log in to the main LMS version.
- Ability to change password and retrieve forgotten passwords
- Quick check feature to test mobile device for compatibility (should be done automatically on each access, because of changing devices/providers/platforms.)
- Administrator side
- Dashboard for critical MIS data
- Course completions
- Assessments due
- Access to Support center to be able to quickly respond to Support queries
- Ability to assign learning material to users
- Ability to make quick announcements /broadcast messages
There are many more features that could be ported to a mobile version of the LMS and in the time to come would be. Soon tools that enable collaboration, social, and informal learning, available in the main LMS will move to the mobile LMS too.
For the time being, I think the features I’ve listed would be optimum to take an LMS mobile.