10 Mobile Learning Trends To Adopt In 2020 To Drive Employee Performance And Behavioral Change

Mobile Learning Trends For 2020
Summary: If you want to increase employee performance or drive behavioral change plus achieve a high ROI on your training spend, read on! In this article, I share 10 mobile learning trends for 2020 with tips for each that will help you maximize their impact.

Discover What Mobile Learning Trends You Should Adopt In 2020

According to a survey by the Brandon Hall Group, mobile learning now features among the top three business development priorities for companies and ranks only behind the need for seamless business alignment and improved data mining.

Loved by learners for the flexibility and control it offers, mobile learning is now the dominant mode for online training delivery. Its widespread adoption (across varied corporate trainings, across different industry verticals) is reflected in the fact that we now use the terms eLearning and mobile learning interchangeably. This is not all, it resonates with diverse learner profiles, the multigenerational workforce that is a typical characteristic across most organizations today.

Mobile Learning In 2020

2020 marks the acceleration in its adoption as it moves from being a “good-to-have” to a “must-have” option. As L&D teams step up the adoption of mobile learning in 2020, I share my list of mobile learning trends you should adopt in 2020. However, before I list the trends, I want to highlight the changing learner and business expectations and how you can use various trends to meet them.

I use this lens (changing learner and business expectations) to make my recommendations. Additionally, I share tips on mobile learning trends you must adopt in 2020 that will help you address what modern learners want and what business units seek.

The Changing Learner And Business Expectations

Modern learners do not like the traditional training formats that tend to be prescriptive and often mandated by L&D teams. They are typically “pushed” through an LMS with a focus on tracking. Let’s look at the changing learner expectations.

What Modern Learners Want

  • Modern learners want training to be easily accessible, training that can be “pulled” by them.
  • It also needs to sync with their lifestyles.
  • They should have control over when, how much, and at what pace they can consume training.
  • They want on-demand and instant access to training.
  • They want L&D teams to not only focus on the formal or structured training but also on the supporting training that includes avenues for Just-In-Time training learning aids they can draw upon as and when needed.

What Business Units Seek

Alongside the changing expectations of learners, there are increased expectations from businesses on the ROI of the training investment. They want the training effectiveness and impact to be measured to ascertain how it impacted the key business KPIs.

10 Mobile Learning Trends To Adopt In 2020

Here are my recommendations on mobile learning trends you should adopt in 2020. They will help you address what modern learners want and what business units seek.

1. Mobile Learning Will Be Used Extensively To Address A Majority Of Corporate Training Needs

Mobile learning solutions enable learners to take training seamlessly across devices. You can offer an entire spectrum of corporate trainings in this format now. This gives learners the flexibility to consume it when they want to, move learning sessions across devices, and align it to their individual learning pace. As a result, you will see higher engagement, better completion rates, and more learners going back to review and refresh the learning resources.

2. Mobile Learning Will Feature Different Delivery Formats To Suit The Content And The Way It Will Be Consumed

Depending on the way the content will be predominantly consumed, you can opt for one of the two following options:

  • Mobile-friendly or adaptive mobile learning
    Opting for this approach makes sense if the content will be consumed across devices (from desktops/laptops to tablets/smartphones). Essentially, the learners want the flexibility to access it on mobile devices, but this may not be the best way to learn.
  • Mobile-first or responsive mobile learning
    In contrast, adopting this approach makes sense if the content will be consumed predominantly on smartphones.

3. Mobile Learning Will Be Used Beyond Formal Training To Drive Performance Gain And Behavioral Change

As we know, learners learn through multiple channels and these include:

  • Formal and structured learning
  • Social learning or collaborative learning
  • Experiential—on-the-job learning

You can leverage mobile learning to offer learning aids and resources that will help you supplement the formal training.

More significantly, this will help you see an application of learning, performance improvement, and behavioral change. Some of the techniques you can adopt are as follows:

  • Add learning resources for informal learning (for application, reinforcement, challenges that can push learners to refresh/review, triggers to change thinking, increase sensitivity, and spaced repetition to bring about behavioral change)
  • Learning aids to support ILT/VILT (pre-workshop reading, during-workshop exercises and assessments, post-workshop learning resources, and learning aids/nuggets to sustain connect)
  • Support social learning
  • Facilitate self-directed learning

4. Mobile Apps For Learning Will See A Wider Application

Mobile apps help you offer highly personalized content to learners. They also enable you to push notifications and updates with ease. Leverage them for significant programs like sales training, leadership development training, as well as to supplement specific formal trainings.

5. Mobile Learning Will Be Delivered In A Personalized Mode Matching The Learner’s Proficiency Or Interests

This is a trend worth investing in, as overwhelmed employees will invest in trainings that offer relevant content and can help them do better in their career-progression aspirations.

6. Mobile Learning Will Leverage Microlearning To Offer Learning Pathways And Specialized Career Pathways

Microlearning-based training is one of the widely adopted techniques that offers both formal and informal trainings. Not only can it be used to offer formal training (as a series of learning nuggets connected over a learning path), but it can also be leveraged to offer a valuable supplement to formal training (online or facilitated).

As for performance support tools (PSTs or job aids), you can use the microlearning nuggets to:

  • Reinforce learning
  • Push the acquired learning to application on the job
  • Challenge learners and push them to review/refresh primary learning
  • Drive changes in thinking or behavior

By adding elements of personalization and curation (particularly, recommendations based on a learner’s consumption/interest or career progression aspirations), you can step up the learning pathways to be very focused career pathways. You can further enhance the impact by opting for video-based learning or interactive video-based learning.

7. Mobile Learning Will Feature More Varied Formats Of Immersive Learning Strategies

Today, you are spoiled for choice in terms of the learning strategies and the combinations thereof that can help you create a highly sticky learning experience. You can deliver this in microlearning formats or use some of its best practices to enhance the impact of macrolearning (longer run-length courses for complex concepts).

Notable immersive learning strategies worth investing in include:

  • Gamification for serious learning (fully gamified or a sprinkling of gamified elements in the learning path)
  • Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Augmented Reality (AR)

A more interesting application is through combinations like:

  • Gamified mobile apps for learning
  • Gamified microlearning
  • Gamified Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Gamified interactive videos

8. Mobile Learning Will Feature Video And Interactive Video-Based Learning To Enhance Learning, Its Application, Engagement, And Drive Behavioral Change

A versatile medium, videos and interactive videos are great tools to help L&D teams for corporate trainings. Their true value is in using them to increase motivation, drive performance, as well as trigger behavioral change.

You can integrate video-based learning or interactive video-based learning as:

  • Teaser videos to engage and motivate learners
  • Conceptual videos
  • Videos to set the context
  • Videos to accelerate change management initiatives
  • Videos featuring scenario-based learning (SBL) to trigger a change in thinking and drive behavioral change

9. Mobile Learning Will Be Used To Foster A Culture Of Continuous Learning

Organizations acknowledge the fact that discrete and formal training is not adequate. There must be additional measures in place that encourage learners to explore and keep coming back for more. You can leverage curation to offer recommendations of additional, relevant content (based on user surveys, their proficiency, the way they have consumed content, or based on their interest). This would go a long way to foster a culture of self-directed and continuous learning.

10. Mobile Learning Will Be Used To Enrich The Existing Knowledgebase

Close to curation is another measure, User-Generated Content (UGC), wherein learners can make contributions to the knowledgebase. Not only does this make room for continuous learning, but it also helps you keep the existing knowledgebase current and relevant.

Anticipated Impact If You Adopt These Featured Mobile Learning Trends In 2020

When leveraged right, the featured trends and their combinations will help you:

  1. Meet learner and business expectations
  2. Increase learner motivation and engagement
  3. Create sticky learning experiences
  4. Facilitate the application of acquired learning on the job
  5. Offer reinforcements to offset the forgetting curve
  6. Offer challenges to learners so that they review or refresh the learning
  7. Provide practice zones that can help learners achieve higher levels of proficiency
  8. Trigger change in thinking
  9. Influence or drive changes in behavior
  10. Foster a culture of continuous learning

Here are a few stats that reaffirm the impact and provide good reasons as to why you should invest in mobile learning:

  • According to the findings of the Asia-Pacific Skillsoft survey, 72% of the participants reported increased engagement with mobile learning.
  • 43% of learners saw improved productivity levels compared to non-mobile users. (Source: Towards Maturity)
  • 70% of learners felt more motivated when training on a mobile device as opposed to a computer. (Source: LearnDash)

I hope this article goes beyond the typical listings of mobile learning trends and gives you a better perspective on how you can leverage the featured mobile learning trends in 2020 to create a successful L&D strategy for your organization.

Meanwhile, if you have any specific queries, do contact me or leave a comment below.

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