People are increasingly employing mobile devices in some facets of their lives – from calendars reminding them of meetings, birthdays, due dates, to social interaction, physical training, video conferencing for meetings and, ultimately, personal development and e-learning. It is estimated that more than one-third of humanity – that is more than 3 billion people – use or at least have a smartphone or mobile device with computing power. In fact, according to the UN’s International Telecommunications Union and the World Bank, there are now officially more mobile devices than people on earth. To add to these figures, it has also been recorded that smartphones have outsold PCs a decade ago already.
Isn’t it time then, in addition to connecting us to the global network, to start using mobile devices as facilitators of mobile learning? As a learning and development professional, why not harness this shift to change the way learners learn?
What is mobile learning?
Mobile learning, in a corporate training context, refers to any time, anywhere training that is available to learners on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. Mobile learning also offers the flexibility to gain access to the same training on desktops or laptops – this form of training is therefore not limited to mobile devices but is instead an inclusive and multi-device learning solution. As a highly learner-centric approach, it can be utilised to offer both formal and performance support training.
So how does this impact or improve corporate training?
1. It empowers learners
As mentioned above, mobile learning is a learner-centric solution which means learners are in control of their training requirements. It offers an educational experience that is “just enough, at the right time, and easily accessible to me”. This approach is particularly appealing to adult learners who must juggle a demanding career with personal development for, say, career advancement, job security, and so forth.
2. It promotes access to information
Using a desktop computer requires a learner to access and physically be present in one place to participate in the learning sessions. Mobile learning, on the other hand, makes interaction possible on mobile devices which simplifies access to information – the learner can access the learning material from anywhere, at any time.
3. Ideal for a remote workforce
One of the salient benefits of mobile technology is its ability to reach people working from remote locations – especially under the current circumstances. This means that learners can access learning content online, keep updated on corporate training and personal development which in turn, boosts business growth.
4. Aids improved knowledge retention and reduced training duration
Delivering bite-sized learning moments support learners’ natural attention span. Mobile learning is ideally suited for this approach which can lead to improved knowledge application, reduced training time and cementing the key training message for easy retention and assimilation.
5. Increased return on investment (ROI)
Considering mobile learning now can extend the shelf life of your training and futureproof it as the demographic of employees’ as well as their expectations to, for example, use mobile technology at work, change. An effectively designed micro-learning bundle can ultimately be repackaged into different learning experiences and increase the ROI on your training budget.
Mobile learning is an emerging trend reflecting a learner-centric approach that is both cost-effective and time-efficient and has the potential to engage the maximum audience. Unlike older generations, new-age learners follow an e-learning approach by choice. Mobile learning allows learners to learn at their own pace and at a venue and time of their choosing which ultimately lead them to gain expertise to become more successful in their careers.