You’ve always been taught your phone is a tool for distraction.
It’s where the masses go to waste time, indulge procrastination and watch stupid videos. The more you learn, the more having a smartphone seems to be, well…bad.
And you know you’ve probably got a problem if your day-to-day life looks like this:
But what if your smartphone could be a tool for good?
More specifically, what if it was one of the most useful and accessible learning tools money could buy?
I’m talking about mLearning.
Mobile learning has taken the world of online education by storm. It’s been shown to motivate students, increase retention, and ensure they study for longer; all while growing your online school or eLearning business.
And, if you’re not taking advantage of it, now is the time to. Why?
Well, in this article, I’m going to show you.
What Is mLearning (And Why Is It a Brilliant Business Model)?
Mobile learning – or mLearning – is education using a mobile device; typically a mobile phone or tablet.
mLearning usually comes in one of these two forms:
- Course progression: Students move through lectures or modules as they would with a desktop or in-person course
- Course support: Students access materials which support their learning and increase their comprehension, but don’t “progress” through the course itself
The most common – and sought after by students – is course progression. And, it’s a proven eLearning business model which works.
Their mLearning platform – a simple mobile phone app – allows students to progress through their courses and further their language learning.
When I was learning German this was really helpful. Being able to open my phone and learn a few phrases while sitting on the bus helped me devote more time to my learning, and keep my momentum going.
If you can use this style of mLearning in your business, you should. But we’ll discuss whether it’s the right fit for you toward the end of this article.
Regardless of which style of mLearning being used it’s all focused on one major benefit, accessibility.
Students want to be able to pick up their phone, which they do about every 12 minutes, and dive right into a course.
In fact, according to a survey from LearnDash, 70% of students who used mobile learning devices were more motivated than those on desktops. Why?
Probably because a mobile device is:
- More fun to use
- Feels less like “traditional” learning
- Flexible to be used from any location
Let’s face it. Many of us spend our days sitting at our desks. Few of us want to increase the amount of time sat there. mLearning gives you the flexibility to go and learn from the couch, coffee shop or cocktail bar. Whatever butters your crumpet.
You’re also intimately comfortable with your mobile phone. You chose the make and the model. You hold it in your hands hundreds of times a day. It’s a comfortable and enjoyable device to learn from.
For you as a business owner, this creates an incredible opportunity. Why?
Because you now have the option to put your business in front of a growing market of people, which is expected to hit a worth of $37.60 billion by 2020. And, improve the entire learning experience for your students.
See, contrary to what you might think, students really do learn from their phones.
Wait…Do People Actually Learn On Their Phones?
Surprisingly enough, they do.
Studies show smartphone users complete course materials 45% faster than on desktop. As you saw before, accessibility allows them to dive in and out whenever they want.
This level of accessibility also influences the amount of time spent studying. MNA Learning observed an increase of 40 minutes in study time when students were using their mobile phones.
It seems, even with Facebook notifications and Candy Crush nearby, people are happy to stay concentrated on their studies.
Finally, 29% of mobile learners feel they apply what they learn more quickly than when learning on a desktop. Meaning people aren’t idly staring at the screen and making guesses; they absorbing and looking for ways to use what they learn.
When people learn from you – and use it to improve their lives – your business becomes a valuable resource. People want to buy more from you, stay subscribed to your service and tell their friends about what you did for them.
Mobile learning is an opportunity to ensure you deliver better and faster results to your students. Which, in turn, will help you improve your bottom line.
Strike While The Iron Is Hot…
Mobile learning has been a concept since around 2004. But, it’s only recently we’ve seen a surge in the demand for it.
This is most likely due to the increase in people who own smartphones (or tablets) and the capabilities of phones. Streaming videos and apps have come a long way since the first iterations of mobile learning.
However, much of the mLearning space remains, well…pretty untapped.
What makes this even crazier is that businesses who use apps see an increase of up to 30% in their revenue and audience. It’s like they’re carrying around a winning lottery ticket in their pocket, every day, without ever going to cash it in.
Many online schools and eLearning businesses have opted to make their businesses more accessible, but few have made the leap to mLearning. Which means, if there’s one important takeaway for you from this entire article, it’s this:
Now is the time to act.
If you want to make more money, provide a better service to your students and keep the students you gain for longer, you need to add mLearning into your business.
This is best done by creating what’s called an OTT app. This is your own personalized app, for a mobile device, where learners can access course materials and watch training videos. (You can learn more about OTT apps here.)
Let me show you how to get started.
How To Start Using mLearning In Your VOD Business
Step #1: Check You’re Ready
The first step in this process is to check you’re ready to add mLearning to your business model.
Although lucrative, it helps if you add mobile learning to an already established platform which ticks the following boxes.
- A clear brand message
- Consistent design and branding
- Paying customers
- A proven content formula
- A continued content development strategy
- A proven pricing strategy
If you’re not sure whether you’re ready and your business makes the grade, you can check out our guide here, and see what steps you need to take to prepare.
Step #2: Define Your Style
The next question to answer is, what style of mLearning are you going to provide?
Earlier I mentioned two different formats mobile learning tends to work with, course completion or course support. It’s your job to decide which one of them is going to work best for your business.
Let me give you some examples.
Business #1 focuses on baking courses. You know, cakes and the like.
This is pretty hands-on stuff and would lend itself well to a course completion model. People can take their phone into the kitchen and work through the modules, without getting flour all over their desktop.
Business #2, on the other hand, focuses on coding databases.
Students need to be sitting at their desk to make progress with the models, which require submission of coding works for review. So, course completion isn’t a great fit.
However, being able to access replays of training videos and written materials on a mobile phone could be beneficial to a student’s learning. Meaning a course support option would be much better.
See the difference?
You need to decide which style your business lends itself to and where you’ll provide the most value to your students.
Step #3: Create Your App
This is probably the step where you hit the “How the hell do I do that?” phase.
But don’t fret.
Creating an OTT app for a mobile device can be done pretty easily. And, there are three ways of doing it.
- The DIY Method: You can build an app for yourself from the ground up. This doesn’t require any coding knowledge, but it does require some elbow grease and money. You can read more about it here.
- The Developer Method: You can hire a third-party developer on a site like Stack Overflow to create your app. This can be made exactly to your specifications but is a little pricey ($5,000 to $15,000).
- The Leasing Method: You can lease an app from a provider like Uscreen. It’s more affordable and comes with (almost) all the benefits of creating your own app.
If you’d like to find out more about how to lease an app, you can read more here.
Wrapping This Up…
Mobile learning is the process of learning using mobile devices. And, it’s becoming a necessity for online education providers.
It’s more accessible and comes with a multitude of benefits for both you and your students. You get to access a wider market and ensure your students stay around for longer, and your students become more motivated and study more.
If you still have questions or comments about mLearning, I’d love to hear from you. Please let me know in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.