If you’re new to mobile learning (or “m-learning”), or if your organization is considering launching a mobile learning program, you’ll have a few questions. We’ll break down all the benefits of mobile learning, for you and your employees. Plus, we’ll look at best practices to get the most out of your mobile learning strategy.
What is mobile learning?
Mobile learning is training content designed to run on mobile devices. Your company’s trainers (or employees) create learning content and share it with others via an online platform. The learners at your company then access the content on their mobile device.
Considering how much we rely on our smartphones and tablets today, mobile learning is a must-have for any modern business. Without it, your company will be out of touch with its learners’ preferences. Let’s take a look at some of the specific benefits of mobile learning below.
The benefits for employers
If you’re an employer or L&D professional, you know how challenging it can be to provide up-to-date, on-demand training content. It’s also challenging to keep learners engaged. This is where mobile learning can be a major benefit to your business:
- More engaging. It’s appealing to younger learners (millennials) who will soon be the majority of the workforce.
- Less downtime. Mobile learning encourages self-study. Learners access and use training content on their own time. This means your company can set aside less downtime for training purposes.
- Lower costs. Modern cloud-based mobile learning platforms are more cost-effective than conventional e-learning platforms. For both creating and maintaining content. This is because they don’t need local hosting or extensive IT infrastructure.
The benefits for employees
Employees also enjoy many advantages of this technology too. Here are some of the main features that make mobile learning so popular.
- Easy to access. The main benefit is the ease of access. Now, your employees can get the training materials they need while they are on the move. As long as they have an internet connection, they can simply log in to their learning platform and access the knowledge they need.
- Microlearning. Mobile learning is compatible with the new trend of “microlearning“. This provides your employees with training content in small, bite-sized portions. With busy schedules, modern learners prefer this to lengthy training sessions.
- Interactive learning. It promotes an interactive learning experience. Learners can use their touchscreen to easily navigate through training content and take part in interactive assessments and other high-engagement learning activities.
While mobile learning opens up lots of new possibilities, there are potential setbacks. Here are a few disadvantages you should be aware of, along with some best practices for how you can overcome them:
- Connectivity issues. Mobile learning requires an internet connection. This can be a problem if your employees work in remote locations where connections may be patchy.
Best practice: Use a platform that enables employees to download content for offline viewing (in PDF-form, for example).
- Compatibility issues. If your e-learning platform does not give you the option to (automatically) optimize content for viewing on a mobile device, then it can lead to frustration. Learners need to be able to view and intuitively interact with content using all the features their smartphone offers.
Best practice: Use an e-learning authoring tool that automatically optimizes content for viewing on a mobile device.
Bottom line: Mobile learning is a must
Despite possible setbacks (which can easily be overcome if you choose the right software), the benefits of mobile learning are too powerful to ignore. If your company is ready to fully modernize its learning and development activities, then it’s a must-have. It gives you a fast, cheap and interactive way of educating the workforce of the future. These are young learners who are used to accessing on-demand information on their smartphones and expect to do that at work too. Just remember to choose your platform or authoring tool wisely, and soon you will be benefiting from all the advantages it has to offer.