Learning is evolving. We all know that. It’s evolving quicker than you realise though.
In the beginning, we had manuals and conferences, then multimedia CD’s and pdf’s. Then came along the start of the new millennium, which along with the development of the internet and mobile phones, we started to see something which was more affordable and more flexible to every organisation.
What is mobile learning?
Mobile learning (mLearning) has been a revolution in the last few years due to the widespread adoption of smartphones. This is due to companies having the ability to deliver training to any device that an employee has (or been provided with) so that they can learn at their own pace, wherever they are. Just think about that for moment – it sounds passé now – as it used to be that companies would have to get their staff to train whenever and wherever they wanted them to, or sat at their desktop computers in later years.
MLearning has advanced training to such a flexible level that the training itself has had to evolve with it. Apps need developed, intranets need built, learning tools need designed – all to work across multiple devices. It is an imperative now to have engaging training experiences that work on any mobile or tablet device.
So those two pillars there – flexibility and engaging – mean that you have massive benefits for your employees, and not just those that work remotely. By making your learning programme available on mobile, you’re allowing your employees to take control and learn at their own pace.
What do we Know About MLearning?
At Clarity International, every eLearning package we devise and develop is built so that it works on any device – desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile. Our years of experience have taught us that we have a starting point of the training content, and that we need to make that available to everyone on every device. It’s not a mobile-first strategy, it’s an all-device strategy to get the best out of our clients’ training programmes.
Another huge bonus of mLearning for us is that everything can be measurable. We can see who has completed which parts of the training programme and who needs help in some areas by analysing their mobile behaviours.
MLearning, and digital learning in general, can save you time and money. As neurological practitioners, we have realised that we can pre-assess our clients’ employees so that they don’t have to complete every part of their training programme. If someone knows everything about a product or service, then why do they have to do the training? MLearning makes implementing this sort of thinking very easy.
What is so Special about mLearning?
• Increased access to learning programmes – if everyone in your organisation can access your learning programme through any device then that means everyone will have access. It’s quite simple!
• Increased flexibility – allowing your employees to train at their own pace and whenever they want is a big bonus. You are empowering your employees, which studies have shown leads to higher levels of motivation and lower levels of attrition. Everyone likes a certain level of autonomy.
• Increased productivity – if you’re not spending days doing training seminars, then your employees will be spending valuable time on their own roles instead. When they can learn in their own time, they will use their own initiative to pick up skills that they are lacking in, which can only be a good thing for your company.
• Increased speed of new product development – not everyone in your company need to know about the new product your launching, right? Not necessarily… When launching a new product, you’ll be able to include any new training associated with it onto your training platform and this will allow anyone to learn about it.
• Increase the sharing of good practice – if implemented correctly, mLearning can allow your employees to discuss the training and perhaps put their own experiences and knowledge out there for others to use. Best practice is so important amongst peers and can often result in outcomes that you would least expect (and at that point it may well be time to introduce that peer to peer learning knowledge into the existing training packages).
What’s Stopping You from Implementing mLearning?
We hear a lot of reasons, so thought we would list some of them here:
• Content development – where do you start with transforming your existing learning content into being suitable for mLearning? You have hundreds or thousands of existing documents that don’t seem to be transferable.
• Security worries – the IT department don’t want to know. They are on lock-down.
• Existing Learning Management Systems (LMS) – you have an LMS installed. Does it work in tandem with newer mobile-ready content?
• The vast array of smartphones and tablets – where do you start with the number of different devices that are available? How do you make sure that every device can view your training packages correctly?
• Support – who is going to help your organisation with this? You can’t keep up-to-date with the latest mobile developments.
• Costs – we knew you would ask this…
We can Help
Weighing up both the benefits and reasons for not implementing mLearning can take quite some consideration. If we consider that mLearning evolved from being focused firstly on the available technologies, then secondly the ability to learn anywhere, and finally it has settled on the aspect of learning itself. What we mean by this is that when mLearning was in its infancy, companies focused on what was technologically feasible, then what was geographically possible, but now we are back to the types of learning outcomes we can gain.
This is where having a partner agency with lots of experience, and has lived through these earlier stages of mLearning development, is invaluable to your company. And furthermore, this is where surely the benefits of mLearning outweigh any of the objections above. Every one of those objections are easily overcome – we have the experience in each of those objections to be able to show you how.