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Mobile Learning as the Ultimate Future-Proof Tool for Corporate Training
Have you ever wondered how often you check your phone? thirty times? fifty? even more? Dr. Sally Andrews, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University, states that we use our phones twice as often as we think we do which indicates that a lot of smartphone use seems to be habitual, automatic behaviors that we have no awareness of.
According to Flurry analytics, U.S. consumers are glued to their smartphones for five hours a day. The Deloitte study found that Americans altogether check their smartphones for a whopping eight billion times per day. Another research shows that an average person struggles to go more than ten minutes without checking their phone.
Smartphones have crossed the line of being just a tool for calls long ago. In fact, 49% of respondents when asked whether the main purpose of a phone was to make calls said “no”, and it’s not surprising. This multifunctional device allows you to do the groceries, order tickets, buy presents, conduct transactions, discover the latest news, as well as act as substitute cameras, GPS navigators, books, TVs, Mp3 players, and much more. Mobile devices are easy to carry and are always close at hand. They’ve penetrated all spheres of our life, literally becoming our “body parts”.
Why mobile learning is the future of corporate training
With mobile devices taking over our lives, it’s natural that learning would fall under its influence as well. There’s a clear tendency for employees to move toward smaller and more efficient portable tools that will become the primary work devices by 2020.
Our phones are the very definition of portability, facility, and convenience. We already carry a supercomputer in our pockets that is less expensive and can help us do tasks that once could only be done on PCs. When people want answers now, there’s no better option than to take your phone and google it. One of the studies made by Google says that “in a mobile-first world, people turn to the nearest device to make a decision, learn something new, or get something accomplished. Nearly 40% of people search only on a smartphone in an average day as they look to meet immediate needs.” That’s where mobile learning comes into play.
Unfortunately, the Internet is full of false and outdated information, and it can take some time to sort out what is really necessary. When it comes to corporate training, relevant material plays a key role in business success. That’s why it’s crucial to get a learning platform that supports mobile learning and provides your employees with pertinent content that can be easily updated. Beth Loeb Davies, who has been a Director of Learning & Development at Tesla, mentions a shift in responsibilities for L&D professionals:
At this point, I believe that we don’t need to produce our own content in organizations as often as we did before but rather find the right material and deliver it to those who need it when they need it.
This means that the role of L&D leaders will not be to conduct training in a classroom but to curate the right content on a learning platform.
The mobile learning industry is expected to grow to $37.60 billion by 2020. These figures prove that there are a lot of benefits of mLearning, among which are:
- An enhanced retention of information
Mobile learning is a combination of three must-haves that help to fight the forgetting curve:
– Microlearning. When the material is divided into easily digestible chunks that take no more than five-seven minutes to go through, employees are more eager to learn. Besides, our brain better remembers short bits of information.
– Just-in-time training. Your employees simply don’t have time to sit through tedious training classes to find out how to do this or that task. Relevance is what comes first. Flexibility is what comes next. With just-in-time training, people can learn anytime, anywhere, via any device.
– Personalization. Customized learning driven by performance data allows your employees to absorb only the material they really need and don’t know yet. Moreover, they can devour this material not only by reading articles but also by watching videos, listening to podcasts, looking through infographics, tables, and more. All these formats are supported by mobile devices.
- Increased productivity
“People are empowered by mobile every single day. In fact, it’s become a productivity-boosting tool,” says Sara Kleinberg, head of ads research and insights at Google.
When armed with the latest knowledge and skills, employees will better fulfill their job responsibilities. Also, mobile training helps to increase employees’ productivity, since there is no need to distract them from their routine tasks. Questions can be answered right away without breaking the workflow.
- Improved engagement
Besides the fact that mobile learning provides easy access to information and offers flexibility, creating a more favorable learning experience, it also has an emotional impact. In fact, 54% of people say their mobile phones reduce stress and anxiety, with 60% saying that they felt more confident and prepared. Mobile learning gamification provides immediate gratification and gives a sense of accomplishment. The micro progress that comes with completing small tasks lets people see results right away.
Effective mobile learning technology: What does it mean?
These critical learning platform features can help you make the best out of mobile learning:
Mobile learning with elements of gamification can become an effective partnership. Do you think it’s possible to make downtime beneficial? Let us give you an example: Joshua works as a customer support specialist in New York. He takes the subway to work every day, and it takes him about an hour to get to his office. To busy himself with something interesting, he plays GTA all the way. But what if Joshua enjoyed a game like job-related training tasks on his mobile phone? Instead of wasting time, he could improve his product knowledge and customer relations skills. He’d maybe even get a New Year’s bonus for becoming the highest rated support specialist along with cool badges, better rankings on a leaderboard, and peer recognition—all this resulting in happier customers. And now let’s imagine that all your employees enjoying a gamified learning experience.
- User-friendly navigation
There’s a simple rule by Susan Dray, a recognized leader in usability, human factors, and human-computer interaction: if the user can’t use it, it doesn’t work.
Confusing navigation leads to a negative user experience. The sizes of icons, images, and texts; the simplicity of a navigational flow; and smart search should be optimized and suited for all devices. You should also consider the Principle of Least Effort and the Three-Click Rule that suggest users should be able to find any information within an app using no more than three clicks. When choosing a learning platform, always research what other users say about the usability of the app and the overall mobile experience. G2 Crowd is a great place to research and compare different learning platforms.
- Online/offline learning powered by analytics
If your employees have the possibility to learn anywhere, it presupposes the availability of both online and offline modes with inbuilt automatic synchronization. Users should be able to start doing tasks on their tablet and then finish them on their smartphone without any discrepancies. Moreover, their learning success should be monitored and measured at every step to see, in real-time, how your training program works. Task progress, course completions, scores, performance, all these constituents will let you see a general picture of your employees’ learning paths.
- Seamless content management
Your learning platform should provide various options for creating, sharing, and managing training content. The support of all typical document types such as PDF and MS Office files, most standard image and video formats, compressed audio files, among others, as well as the possibility for users to create content by themselves. For example, a manager can make a two-minute video with his mobile phone explaining how to handle a certain task and share it with the team. In addition, managers and L&D professionals should be able to segment learning content by awarding different access levels to different groups and departments.
In the mobile age, it’s natural to focus on mobile learning. If used wisely, it can benefit both your employees’ professional development and your organization’s growth of productivity, customer satisfaction, and business KPIs.
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