A complete learning strategy encompasses all types of learning. This can include anything and everything from the big compliance onboarding courses, to extensive sig sigma certification modules, to the informal training that workers complete in their day to day lives.
Elearning has enabled training professionals to have complex learning systems that can deliver and track all of these interconnected and moving parts of an employee’s growth and development. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that mobile learning has become an important part of the learning strategies many companies are implementing for their employees. All major LMSs are mobile-responsive, and some even have specific phone and tablet applications that support their software and display courses.
There’s a reason why mobile learning has become more widespread: it does a great job of supporting learning strategy goals and improving overall performance of that learning strategy. You can use mobile learning to solve (some of) your elearning woes and take your strategy to the next level.
One of the biggest needs of the modern workforce is flexibility. Employees are constantly thinking or heading in multiple directions and flexibility ensures that all their needs can be met. Technology has allowed us to do this by providing methods by which employees can communicate, work from places outside the office or on-the-go, and be productive from multiple devices.
Enabling workers to learn from multiple devices, wherever they are, is the next logical step to giving employees that training flexibility. Mobile learning is the solution to making learning part of a flexible, adaptive workplace.
Mobile learning creates flexibility by:
- Permitting workers to complete training where and when they have the time to complete it
- Making it easier for learners to access training on-demand (not all learners have computers other than their phone, especially those that work mostly or solely in the field)
- Giving learners options of the modality of training that works best for them
MOBILE LEARNING CREATES JUST-IN-TIME LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Just-in-time learning is a natural part of our everyday life, both in and out of work. Need to know how to cook lasagna for your family? Google it from your kitchen. Need to know how to create an effective RFP at work? Ask your trusted colleague.
This just-in-time learning is extremely valuable, but many companies don’t want workers to use methods they learned on the internet within the workplace. For example, our client Dairy Queen has a specific method to getting the signature swirl of their ice cream cones, so their employees can’t use any old source from the internet. Also, many companies are dealing with niche skills, such as machinery or specialized tools, for which there may not be reliable internet resources.
So, companies are starting their own just-in-time learning libraries, full of how-tos on everything from slicing a tomato to speaking effectively in a meeting. Just having it is a great step in the right direction – but mobile learning truly brings this resource to the next level in making it a sustainable, accessible, and useful database for everyone.
After all, what’s the use of a just-in-time learning library if it’s confined to a desktop computer and you can’t access it just in time?
EASIER ADOPTION/HIGHER ENGAGEMENT
Mobile learning means that pretty much every learner has access to their training, in their pocket, at all times, in a format they feel comfortable and familiar with. Almost 100% of the learners are likely to complete the training in the mobile format. This means that mobile learning would not only drive adoption rates, but increase completion rates, too.
This accessibility also paves the way to make good, consistent use of microlearning and social learning, two other elearning formats that are gaining traction due to their adaptability to the modern work environment and their ability to extend the learning environment beyond traditional roles. People are ready to adopt these types of learning because they imitate the ways they already use their phone for research and social media.
MOBILE LEARNING IS A GREAT PLATFORM FOR MICROLEARNING
As previously mentioned, mobile learning is a great way to deliver microlearning, which is slowly becoming a must-have for companies who want to encourage continuous learning. It fills in gaps for remembering and refreshing knowledge over time after completing a larger course or can be part of a just-in-time learning strategy.
Microlearning increases the effectiveness of mobile learning and goes hand-in-hand with it to make it part of a more complete education for learners. Microlearning is informal by nature, and is considered most effective when dealing with a simple, highly specific objective and hard skills.
While people may be able to complete full-fledged online training via their mobile device, the way we use mobile devices mostly involves:
- Using our devices a few minutes at a time
- Finding answers to quick questions
- Watching short videos
- Waiting in line or for the bus, etc.
Microlearning really leans into this tendency and makes learning on our phones and tablets a more natural and sensical experience.
MOBILE LEARNING BETTER ENABLES SOCIAL LEARNING
Social learning is becoming an important aspect of online learning. It makes up for the lack of organic knowledge exchange present on remote teams. In a traditional work environment, people sitting next to each other will naturally exchange tips and tricks and help each other become more effective employees. In the 70/20/10 learning model, 20 percent of learning involves learning from others. That’s not as easy if your employees live far away from each other, or if you have a big and complex company. In a remote work environment, the process of learning from others must be replicated in a new environment. LMSs are making up for it by providing user file share systems, discussion boards, and more.
The things is, people don’t use social media on their desktops; 80% of social media time is spent on mobile devices. Socializing, commenting, sharing and other behaviors are more natural and intuitive for people on mobile.
Providing a mobile learning environment is likely to help enable social learning take off in your organization and make it a part of the day-to-day lives of your employees.
According to Brandon Hall, over 55% of companies want to focus more on social learning, and for good reason.
- It helps preserve organizational knowledge. Like oral histories, there’s so much knowledge floating around employees that aren’t recorded in official documentation. Social learning helps with that.
- Increasing communication and collaboration skills. The more opportunities your workers have to communicate with each other, the more they will do it. And the more they do it, the better they will get. And all that communicating will make them better collaborators. That collaboration will also help workers learn from each other.
Mobile learning is slowing becoming an essential part of online training. Workers expect it, and it improves the overall experience – from willingness to participate to memory and engagement to opening up new and unique opportunities for learning.
Mobile learning is not just a supplement – it makes your learning strategy more complete and operates as a platform enabling social learning, microlearning, and other ways to engage with learning material that goes far beyond what traditional courses offer.
You can revolutionize your learning strategy in a way that both your employees and executives will appreciate – but mobile learning needs to be a part of it.