Mobile Learning: An In-Depth Look at the Next Trend in the L&D Space

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Learning or gathering any kind of knowledge is more accessible than it’s ever been. The process of ‘Learning’ progressed from one strolling in libraries, and browsing the web, to fingertips with the advent of smart-gadgets like mobiles, tablets, and laptops. Although m-Learning or Mobile Learning is not only about learning through gadget but about learning across multiple media, through text or visual content interactions.

As per Markets and Markets, with Mobile Content Authoring, ebooks, Portable LMS, Mobile and Video-based Courseware, Interactive Assessments, Content Development, M-Enablement, the Mobile Learning Market is predicted to be worth $37.60 Billion globally by 2020.

Why m-Learning is Here to Stay

As mobile technologies proliferate, corporate companies must remodel and upgrade their training delivery systems. It is worth considering the number of mobile users globally. With 4.77 billion mobile users and 2.46 billion social media users across the globe, and people spending over 5 hours a day with their smartphone, it is no surprise that m-Learning is getting popular and businesses can benefit from the same for their corporate learning.

Mobile World

25% people spend twice as much time with their mobile than their computer, which makes it a suitable device for quick and microlearning. m-Learning allows learning to be consumed at the point of need.

Mobile Workforce

1.87 billion people will be mobile employees by 2020, comprising 42.5% of the total global workforce, which means the global workforce is becoming increasingly mobile. With affordable smartphones and faster internet speed, mobile devices are playing an important role in the workplace and in learning.

Active/ Voluntary Learning

m-Learning creates an environment for the learner where they can constantly access any and every information/knowledge needed. This encourages both active as well as voluntary learning. It is not only the technology which is advancing but also the competition in the market. Towards Maturity, InFocus Report states, “47% of organizations currently use mobile devices in their training programs with 67% of organizations now offering Mobile Learning in some form.” Corporates must design learning programs with the mobile-first approach.

Apart from all these factors, m-learning is very effective in knowledge retention as the trainee tends to scroll the learning material frequently.

Why m-Learning is Here to Stay

Why m-Learning is Critical to Corporate Training Today

Like any other mode of learning, the prime goal of mobile learning is to facilitate learning and improve the learners’ performance matrix. Let’s see how m-Learning has changed the static corporate learning environment and introduced new paradigms by breaking down conventional barriers –

Easily Accessible Information

Today’s global millennial workforce prefer to work from their arena of comfort, like home or a coffee shop. Learning via desktop makes a trainee sit at one place for quite a long time to access information over the web whereas accessing information became simple with mobile devices. m-Learning permits these mobile-first mindset employees to access learning material from anywhere, anytime. It allows trainees to effectively manage the time from their busy work schedules for continuous learning.

Flexible and Convenient

Flexibility, convenience, and freedom is the most important feature of mobile learning.  M-Learning offers a “just enough, just in time, just for me” learning experience. It enforces on the learner empowerment where it puts the trainees in control of their training requirements, which helps them build greater confidence and attitude towards the training.

Better Connectivity

Mobile Learning is a learner-centric solution. Mobile devices help to create a virtual space of communication where information can be transferred to the correct set of target audience. Forming virtual and transient groups becomes easy and convenient where learning becomes an interactive and two-way process.

Effective Content Design

There are two underlying factors while designing training content – a) a trainee’s mobile accessing habits and b) the capabilities and limitations of the different mobile delivery systems. The trainer can create different types of training material for different mobile devices, which consists of good learning theories and Instructional Design principles. This makes the content, the learning material crisp and intelligible.

Greater Knowledge Retention

A human brain is designed to grasp small bite-sized learning moments with microlearning delivery, as small chunks of learning can lead to the better application of knowledge and save the overall training time. Thus trainees can retain and assimilate more knowledge in a smaller time span.

Ideal For Remote Workforce

The most important advantage of mobile learning is it’s availability to the workforce working in the remote locations. Without any traveling or logistic costs, the remote workforce can access learning content, gain knowledge and become production ready to enhance work quality and business growth.

Why m-Learning is Critical to Corporate Training Today

M-learning vs E-learning

m-Learning is not just e-learning on a mobile device. To design a great m-Learning experience for the corporate workforce, one must understand the differences between these two cutting-edge technologies. Here are a few important aspects to imply how m-Learning differs from eLearning and help you benefit from this knowledge when designing the training course.

User-generated Content

Learners receive pre-set information set in the form of content in e-Learning programs. Any kind of communication or sharing feedback is not an option in e-Learning, which generates engagement issues with the course and a lack of motivation. Whereas m-Learning involves social learning which involves direct communication with trainers and sharing feedbacks.

Performance Support

m-Learning is available at all times, hence learners focus on capturing and sharing key insights rather than memorizing information. m-Learning is thus very relevant to organizations where every second of delay can bring loss. This type of learning always supports productivity where making better-informed real-time decisions becomes easy for trainers. e-Learning is not that appropriate for corporates, as the learning there is more subjective than objective.

Information Access

Stimulating learner comprehension and ensuring knowledge retention is the key aim of an eLearning course. Whereas m-Learning focuses more on information access. Gathering knowledge, comprehending the information and smart application is what is the need of the hour in most organization and m-Learning is no doubt, a very smart solution to this.

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About Payel Bhowmick

The author is an analyst at SpringPeople & writes on emerging technology trends for IT professionals. Passionate about technology, her current area of focus is the digital revolution currently underway in the edu-tech industry. When not at work, Payel splits her time between writing, reading and watching sci-fi movies.

Posts by Payel Bhowmick