What Is Mobile Learning?

by / ⠀Blog / July 7, 2023
mobile learning

The basis of education is knowledge exchange to teach new skills and concepts and increase the comprehension of certain topics. As information technologies develop, including the Internet network and data analysis facilities, various types of online education become possible. Mobile learning systems are convenient and easy to use, no matter where a learner resides. Also, they enable seamless cooperation with other learners and high interactivity. CleverLMS is an example of a learning management system that you can install on your smartphone and use when you need it.

Let’s start with the mobile education industry overview, then see which advantages and possible disadvantages mobile learning apps have and which features are trending now. Lastly, we’ll wrap up by showing how various apps realize this purpose.

The Overview

Mobile learning in education is often more convenient and efficient than in-place education, although it has several disadvantages and cannot be applied in all cases. Similar to remote work, it enables people to learn from various parts of the world and even during traveling. Due to this convenience, many of those who feel confident with digital technologies adopt such an education into their lives, and companies implement it in the workflow of their employees.

Mobile learning is part of the greater e-learning industry, and its share will likely grow as mobile phones generated more than 60% of online traffic in 2022, and this share is still rising. Mobile learning changes people’s lives in many ways: school and university education becomes increasingly remote, companies obtain tools to improve their workers’ skills easily, and people can learn new things regardless of where they live.

No wonder the mobile education industry is booming.

Market Numbers

You can evaluate any given industry using market research available for it. The e-learning mobile learning market is highly knowledge-intensive and shows extreme growth rates. Let’s start from the point that it’s predicted to reach an astonishing $155 billion by 2026. In 2021, it had $42 billion, and in 2022, it rose to $55 billion.

Its current compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to various sources, is almost 30%, which is an extremely large number. Even for the most rapidly developing industries, a typical CAGR is about 15 – 20%: for example, 21.6% for the AI market. You can hear about AI developments, including widely available ChatGPT and Midjourney, from most of the news. Imagine that mobile education is developing even faster. You can see now how attractive this niche is, right?

The recent COVID-19 pandemic, of course, enhanced it greatly, but now, as the pandemic ends, the growth doesn’t seem to stop at all. So, let’s overview the reasons for such outbursting popularity.

Benefits and Applications

The benefits of mobile learning include flexibility, interactivity, convenience, and several others, which you’ll see below. After that, we’ll assess how exactly such apps can be applied to improve your educational and work performance. Lastly, we’ll present several flaws of mobile learning to give you a full understanding of its strong and weak sides.

Advantages

  • Flexibility and accessibility mean access to educational content and resources anytime and anywhere, enabling one to study at one’s own pace.
  • Personalized learning, as learners can choose content according to their interests, needs, and preferences.
  • Interactive and engaging learning experiences include videos, quizzes, simulations, and gamification elements. They maintain attention and add elements of competitiveness into education, making it exciting and efficient.
  • Collaborative learning opportunities to facilitate collaboration and interaction among learners: discussion forums, group projects, and real-time messaging.
  • On-demand learning resources, such as various videos, books, infographics, and other documents, can be easily available via the application.

To understand the whole picture, let’s list several disadvantages of offline education. Where possible, we’ll also show how you can overcome or at least avoid them.

Disadvantages

  • Limited screen size and features pose challenges when it comes to viewing complex or detailed content. To overcome this, learning platforms can optimize their interfaces for mobile devices, add responsibility and interactivity, and provide options for zooming, and scrolling.
  • Connectivity and technical issues lead to mobile education being unreliable or unavailable in certain areas. Offline learning capabilities may help allow learners to download content for offline access.
  • Distractions and lack of focus are often associated with mobile devices in general. Features that may help include creating dedicated study environments in the app and setting specific time intervals for uninterrupted learning.
  • The necessity of physical access is crucial in many cases, such as when using lab equipment or learning to ride a vehicle. In this case, a connection with the on-site educational facility is mandatory, but some parts of the educational activity, such as theoretical parts, can still be conducted online.

Current trends in mobile education aim at overcoming these disadvantages and utilizing the advantages to the largest extent. Let’s see them.

Current Trends

Mobile learning trends are emerging directions of mobile app development. Let’s see some of them.

  • Mobile information sharing provides users with the ability to share educational content and resources with each other.
  • Microlearning delivers learning content in the form of short modules, videos, quizzes, or infographics. It enables people to learn languages or new skills bit by bit without consuming a lot of time.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are present in some mobile educational apps to create immersive learning experiences. They are already implemented mostly for medical students, visualizing complex diagrams.
  • Adaptive learning systems use AI data analysis algorithms to personalize the learning experience and provide course recommendations based on learners’ learning behavior and individual qualities.
  • Gamification techniques, such as leaderboards, badges, score points, and rewards, motivate learners and increase their fun, enhancing competition and goal achievement.
  • Collaborative learning includes connecting and interacting with peers and instructors in virtual spaces, such as discussion groups or in-app messengers, to leave feedback and ask questions.
  • Integrated personal assistants based on AI technology may provide on-demand access to information, personalized recommendations, and learning support.
  • Offline learning capabilities allow users to download educational content for offline access, ensuring learning even in conditions with weak Internet.

Let’s see how and where app developers implement essential features to follow these trends. First, we’ll overview the learning management system (LMS) definition and

Learning Management Systems

All these trends, as you can see, are connected with the world’s digitalization and implementation of various data analysis and other IT tools. Mobile learning management software has become widespread: they are tools to create and organize educational materials and track learners’ progress to ensure their motivation and successful goal achievement.

While most LMSs started as desktop or web applications, now more and more of them adopt the mobile interface. It enables course managers to track learners efficiently and quickly, while learners can study course materials and supplemental files using their smartphones when and where it’s convenient for them. Below, you can see an example of the CleverLMS interface: its leaderboard, user profiles, and a course learning journey.

mobile learning

Mobile design for educational apps must be minimalistic to ensure that a lot of learning elements will fit together and that all videos, texts, and graphics can be comprehended via the mobile screen. A high level of interactivity and responsibility is also crucial, as learners should obtain responses to their actions in the app to maintain motivation and show what they should learn next. Lastly, progress tracking should be present to understand what’s left to achieve.

As one will see, mobile learning apps are very different based on their destination. Let’s overview the five of them to see their similarities and differences,

Top LMS Examples

Learning management systems are different, as they are designed for various purposes: schools/universities, scientific facilities, business, or corporate education. Depending on the purpose and features, the app’s interface and cost differ greatly. There are various approaches for the education of children or teen students and adults. Overall, anyone who needs to acquire new skills, which means motivation schemes must also be different.

To wrap up, let’s explore several examples of mobile learning software and see quickly in which situations it’s better to use each of them.

CleverLMS

Designed specifically for corporate education, its features focus on organization, motivation, reporting, communication, and file exchange. Its motivation schemes include a reward point system that employees can spend in the company’s shop, selecting goods chosen by the company. You’ll find here everything you need for efficient corporate management and education, no more and no less. To assess the tool, you can use a free 30-day trial or request a personalized demo session. The price is no more than $5 per user per month.

Blackboard

Used by businesses and scientific institutions to advance their employees, it also can serve universities and similar educational facilities. It provides various tools for education, communication, and collaboration. The tool costs $300 per year for a classroom license and $9,000 per year for a department license. This enables the whole university’s departments to cooperate.

Canvas

Designed for educational facilities, such as schools and universities. It provides virtual classrooms for course materials, assignments, and discussions. Students can access it for free if their facility uses the tool, while its plans start from $5.25 per user per month.

Absorb

Designed for corporate education and focuses on communication and collaboration using various innovative features. They include artificial intelligence to automatize tasks and analyze data. It has no clear pricing list, but its implementation will cost no less than $800 per year, increasing with each active user up to $10,000 or more.

Moodle

A multi-purpose open-source desktop and mobile learning platform, including work and school/university education. Unlike all other options, it’s free to use and has a vibrant community, similar to all other open-source tools. However, the obvious disadvantage is that its support and features are not as stable and reliable as other tools.

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