The role of mobile learning
When it comes to learning and development in the flow of work, the shackles are well and truly off.
We’re seeing a realisation amongst forward-thinking organisations that access to L&D content and training should be available to all employee levels – not just the senior management teams.
Digital learning and eLearning can now be delivered directly to the learner via any device. And smartphones are increasingly being used to access valuable content at the point of need.
Whether your workers are based centrally, at home or a combination of the two, learners can access content whenever they may need to refer to it…on their terms.
Gone are the days of the big “set-plays” of formal training courses prescribed by management, with the compulsory 3-line whip to attend.
Today’s learners expect to be able to access content that enables them to perform to their very best, enhance their careers and develop personally.
And that necessitates a different type of content delivery to reflect the everyday challenges and practical issues employees face on a day-to-day basis.
Mobile offers a great way to reinforce training and learning that may have originally taken place in more formal surroundings but can be “extended” to support an employee when it’s actually needed in practice.
An example of Mobile Learning in practice
James, one of your team leaders has to hold a difficult conversation with a member of his team who is not performing to the required level. All your team leaders have had the “crucial conversations” training that helps them prepare for these difficult meetings. But that was some time ago and the meeting with the employee is due to start in 15 minutes. James should have refreshed himself of the output from the original training but didn’t get the chance as he was too busy on other matters.
James remembered that as part of the follow-up content from the original training, there was a short 2-minute video summarising the key points as well as a “Tips and tricks” illustrated infographic showing the practical steps he needed to complete as part of the process. It took him two minutes to find these using the search facility on the company’s learning management system.
Accessing these using his smartphone, he found a quiet corner of the office to refresh his memory on how to manage the meeting. Ten minutes later he was fully prepared and ready to start.
Part of the L&D delivery suite
This example highlights some key points about how mobile can play a part in the delivery of an effective learning and development strategy.
We’re not pretending it can replace desktop or any other devices, although in some cases it can depending on how the apps have been developed.
It’s more likely that mobile can perform a “Heineken” – refreshes the parts other L&D delivery mechanisms fail to reach.
And its use in L&D delivery is increasing. Currently around 67% of companies use mobile as part of the delivery of their employee training programmes. And its effectiveness is also demonstrated.
- 43% of mobile learning has been shown to boost productivity
- 70% of learners are more motivated by using mobile devices
- Mobile learning can increase engagement by 72%
It’s perfect for microlearning – a 2–5-minute burst of refresher content to reinforce previous learning.
It lends itself to interactive, entertaining, and engaging formats that users are familiar with from social media. These include gaming, video, quizzes, and animation.
Users can access content at any time to suit their situation. The example above is driven by a specific need at the time. However, research shows that 46% of learners use their mobile for learning before they go to sleep.
Whenever it’s accessed, employees know that they have instant access to relevant, quality content, providing them with the confidence and capability to deal with challenging situations at work, as well as furthering their ability to enhance their careers.
Making mobile work as part of your L&D strategy
Here are a few guiding principles for incorporating mobile into your L&D delivery.
- Create apps that allow for seamless working and easy access without complicated login processes. You’ll need to capture users’ attention whose attention may be drawn by tests, messaging and social media.
- Design your learning content with mobile in mind using the interactive and engaging formats that users expect. You can’t simply transpose content that works on eg desktops or even tablets.
- Use video as much as possible. As the rise in YouTube video tutorials demonstrates, we’re 95% more likely to retain information presented in video format.
- Try using gamification to improve completion rates on training programmes.
- Build in alerts and prompts to encourage continuous learning.
Omniplex Learning advises many customers on how to get the best from mobile learning as part of a learning and development deployment programme. If you would like to find our how we can help you, please get in touch at [email protected]
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