There is no doubt that our world has gone mobile, which is to say that
mobile devices have become an indispensible part of our lives, personal as well
as professional. Just look back a decade or two and you’re sure to be astounded
by the way mobile technology has reshaped our world. Today, every industry and
every domain is privy to the role mobile devices play in business environments
across the world.
The role of mobile devices becomes especially evident when you look at
the future generations and the future of work. With the global workforce
expected to be 75% of millennials and generation Z
by 2025, it is
clear that both these generations will have a major say in the future of work. And,
to effectively engage these generations, global organizations need a mobile
first strategy that perfectly complements today’s modern learners’ lifestyles.
Being a learning technology professional, I have seen the impact mobile technology has had
employee training and corporate Learning & Development (L&D) as a
whole. Mobile Apps are extremely popular among millennials. They almost have an
app for anything and everything. So, why should learning be any different?
ELearning and learning technology have certainly come a long way, and with
increasing mobile penetration across the world and availability of high
internet connectivity, global organizations have long realized the business opportunity in leveraging
mobile devices to
maximize the impact of corporate L&D. Developing eLearning courses and
adapting training methodologies to better engage with today’s employees will certainly
help organizations maximize learner engagement, knowledge retention,
productivity and overall performance.
Mobile Learning or MLearning enables organizations to not
only make considerable cost reductions but also save time by avoiding
unnecessary logistical costs, enabling access to learning at the touch of a button,
while employees have the flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere. As a result, forward-thinking
organizations are already looking at boosting employee performance and
productivity by engaging with the modern learners’ mobile lifestyle. However,
MLearning has as much to do with the technology and/or the device as it has to
do with eLearning, the courses’ design, mobile compatibility and readiness and
Most of our corporate customers are increasingly moving towards using UpsideLMS Mobile app, as it comes packed with the same set of features and upgrades as UpsideLMS, and supported by better network connectivity and speeds, it’s hardly a surprise why UpsideLMS Mobile App has been so popular among millions of users.
However, one of the key challenges we face with MLearning is with the customers being unhappy with how their eLearning
content is displayed on the mobile devices. Although most of our users are well
aware of the need for their content to be mobile compatible, they lack the
general understanding of what ‘mobile compatible’ really means, through no
fault of their own. Most of the time, as I have often realized, it’s a
miscommunication or inept understanding or expectation setting between the eLearning
course vendors and the customers.
For example, most of us prefer to browse any website or any kind of
content on mobile devices in the default portrait mode as it’s the most natural
way of browsing web content on a mobile device and almost all websites are
optimized for this orientation. Unfortunately, many course development vendors often
end up convincing customers that the best way to consume training on mobiles is
in the landscape mode, and some even go as far as locking their content in
As preposterous as that sounds, I believe the reason eLearning course
vendors do this is because the content was never designed considering a mobile-first
strategy in the first place, and making the content mobile compatible was an
afterthought. As a result, in such a case, the best and only solution for them
is to simply shrink the layout and assets, which eventually ends up ruining the
asset quality and resolution. As the vertical real estate of the mobile device available
to content is much limited, and much of the space is taken over by course
navigation options, the entire learning becomes extremely frustrating.
So, I have come to realize that when a user complains about a certain course not being compatible with UpsideLMS Mobile app, the issue is almost always at the course development vendor’s end and has nothing to do with the platform itself. Yet, as learn-tech solutions providers, we try our best to explain this issue to our customers and advise them to check the mobile compatibility of any eLearning course by opening the course in a mobile browser and then viewing the same course in landscape mode, followed by sharing a sample mobile compatible content that can be launched and experienced in portrait mode.
Unfortunately, by the time the real issue is revealed there is a certain
air of disappointment and frustration around the whole project, while the content
development vendor seldom owns any responsibility, suggesting it was never part
of their scope of work. Meanwhile, the customer has budget constraints to even
consider reinvesting any more in redesigning the same course for the second
time. Most of the times we try our best to resolve the customers’ issues, often
to positive outcomes, but the real issues still persist without a clear and
Takeaway: Organizations should
always consider a mobile first strategy while designing their eLearning course
content or instruct their content development vendor to design the course with
a mobile first strategy right from the get-go. This will go a long way in
ensuring clarity of individual objectives and will save costs, time and ensure
the eLearning course is designed as per the stated requirements.
At UpsideLMS, we understand our clients’ challenges and business needs to offer the best possible solution for them to achieve their desired learning outcomes, and we strive to offer a range of resources to inform and empower L&D professionals to aid better decision-making. To learn more about MLearning and the LMS, download our comprehensive EBook – Mobile Learning: The LMS Perspective