What is Mobile Learning?
Mobile learning is sometimes misunderstood as tapping away at a slide deck on a smartphone or tablet. What mobile learning really is, is a process. It encompasses learning via the internet by accessing all kinds of content. In its early years, mobile learning was thought of as a way to make sure PDFs, PowerPoints, or other readable materials displayed correctly on a mobile device. Now it’s more immersive and includes podcasts, animation, training videos, step-by-step guides, and even assessments.
Because the learning takes place online, the user can participate in social learning as well. Posting on a group discussion board, showcasing their badges, and sharing their progress are all ways that connect learners. Learning management systems (LMSs) have adapted to track learners both on and offline. This makes keeping up with their progress easy for supervisors, training managers, or personnel liaisons in charge of staff development.
The Benefits of Mobile Learning
Learn anytime, anywhere!
One of the biggest challenges of instructor-led training is timing. Learners are only able to take the class when it’s offered and how–whether that be showing up to a classroom or hopping onto a video chat. With the right Mobile Learning strategies, asynchronous interaction with the material can happen during a person’s commute, while interacting with a product or even in between meetings
Learning leaps off the page
We’ve all watched lengthy pre-recorded webinars before and struggled to keep our eyes open. Flipping through page after page of a digital employee manual is no better. For an employee to really learn the content they need to engage with it. Mobile learning combines videos, animation, discussion, and even games to deliver your content in a way a user will actually absorb
A big bang for your buck
Mobile learning contents, like training videos or animation, can be repackaged and repurposed easily and often to refresh or relaunch learning programs. Consider this example, if you were to develop a customer service mobile learning program, some of the content could be reused for a sales training workshop. Your training manager could select the media they thought was relevant and then push it out to the participants as prework. The participants would then be able to complete the assignment around their schedule and be ready to fully engage in the workshop.
Better compliance and record-keeping
Mandatory trainings are nobody’s favorite thing, but in many instances they are necessary. Completion rates for required training are higher with mobile learning for a number of reasons: 1) mobile learning utilizes the microlearning methodology to keep messages short and on point 2) learners can take the course at any time and have their completion recorded 3) push notifications from the LMS keep reminders in front of staff without the need for supervisor intervention 4) with the right LMS partner, users can check up on their own transcripts at any time to make sure they are compliant.
Puts company learning culture in a positive light
To many millennial and Gen Z workers, company culture is a key factor when picking a place to work. These employees want to know that if they lend their talents to a company, they will be appreciated and developed. Allowing these tech-savvy staff to plug into resources that enable them to excel at their jobs and professionally is a win-win.
Practical Corporate Training Applications
If you’re interested in learning more about how to integrate mobile learning into your staff development or corporate training programs, consider these examples:
The first 90 days of an employee’s time with you are critical. They set the stage for what’s to come during their employment with you. Now that many companies are embracing telework, the days of walking the new hire around the office, giving personal introductions, then plopping them in front of their computer are gone. Embracing mobile learning means you can drip content to your new hire at key milestones in their onboarding period.
- Before the first day: giving them access to an “about us” video, a message from leadership or even an HR page gives them an opportunity to feel connected before they start working.
- Week One: learning important policies, completing compliance training, understanding the dress code, and becoming familiar with the employee code of conduct are all things a staff member could learn at their own pace. Mobile learning makes it easy for them to take short modules in between the meetings and other tasks they have to complete.
- Day 30: at this point, the new hire would engage with mobile learning to learn more about their environment, technology tools your company uses, and any HR processes that weren’t covered during their first week.
- Day 60: getting comfortable with the processes and technical demands of the job take time to learn. Cognitive scientists suggest it takes 40 repetitions before a person can complete a behavior on “autopilot.” Scenario-based mobile learning will help grow your employee’s critical thinking skills as they settle in. It will also allow them to become proficient in important soft skills more quickly.
- Day 90: the new employee should feel proficient at their job and would access mobile learning for professional development, or in the event, there are skills deficiencies that needed to be addressed.
Just-In-Time Training (JITT)
Just-in-Time Training is usually the opposite of how training is conducted in corporations. Before the information is needed, agency-wide training events are held to prepare staff for changes. Then, when it’s time to use what they’ve learned, it’s largely been forgotten. With JIT training, employees learn what they need to know when they need to know it.
Mobile learning makes this easier because content can be prepared at any point then loaded into the LMS. When it’s time, the information is launched to all employees and they have access to it when they are ready to engage with the material.
Instructor-led training events are labor-intensive and time-consuming for both the instructor and the participants. A date, time, and delivery method all have to be selected, announced, and then records pulled after the fact to track attendance. For those reasons, refresher trainings on important policies and procedures are rarely considered, even if they are beneficial to staff.
With mobile learning, you can put short training videos, leadership messages, or even eLearning animation in front of your staff at recurring intervals. You could also connect them to discussion boards to ask questions or get clarification on the material. Regardless of when they interact with the material, it’s recorded and easily retrievable. Staff stays up-to-date on expectations with minimal effort and your training manager will thank you.