Mobile Learning Technology has opened up a whole gamut of options to extend the learning blend. No longer do employees have to rely solely on the usual means of training – be it ILT or e-learning. So much so, that even in organizations which have not yet adopted mobile learning, employees are using their smartphones to informally pull whatever information they can at the time of immediate need. Be it preparing for an interview or gathering the relevant statistics on the way to a meeting, mobiles have become tools of providing ubiquitous support, especially for accessing bite-sized information.
Suddenly, there is a growing urgency both among adopters and non-adopters to board the mobile learning train before it’s too late. Here is a list of 5 ways in which m-learning is currently being used at the workplace:
Mobile devices are justifying the term ‘performance support’ like never before. This is mostly in the form of delivering key documents such as short PDFs, FAQs, presentations, etc. and eliminating the need to access a laptop or desktop for the same.
Videos are easy to share and access on mobiles and tablets. 4-5 minute snippets such as ‘How to’ videos, relevant news updates, process demonstrations etc. are extremely effective in delivering content without necessarily being perceived as ‘learning’ per se. This is the reason why videos are an important factor when transforming the training format from ‘push’ to ‘pull’ learning.
Making e-learning content accessible
The coming in of device agnostic content design has urged a lot of organizations to simply extend their blended learning format by broadcasting e-learning content on the mobile. Though this is not one of the ideal ways to implement mobile learning, it nevertheless is a good step to start with. Though it’s true that content may not be optimized for small screen performance, but employees are able to access content easily on the move, since mobile devices are much faster in ‘waking up’ than laptops and PCs.
Mobile devices are a boon for on-the-go support, particularly to customer service or sales representatives who have to directly interact with customers on the sales floor. Product updates and specifications, information about competitors, pricing and discounts – these are quick bursts of data in high demand for improving productivity at the actual point of sale.
Informal social learning
Informal learning in the form of social media interactions have spawned a whole new generation of information hungry people at all levels, and the workplace is no exception to it. Mutual participation between friends and followers on platforms like Facebook and Twitter – is an inherent characteristic of the social media; the typical behavior is “You comment on mine, I comment on yours”. This has resulted in employees using mobiles to read, view, discuss and share one another’s content and create a self-sustaining informal learning management system.
Though the ideal way to go mobile learning is via high performance native apps which don’t just extend the learning blend but enhance it in new ways, the time and cost factor is a serious barrier for most organizations in doing the same. Till more commercial and economically viable options are available on that front, these 5 trends are here to stay.
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