Why You Should Use Mobile Learning To Reach Your Learners

Why You Should Use Mobile Learning To Reach Your Learners
Summary: In today’s world, where learners are on-the-go, working remotely and using mobile devices for their day-to-day work, why shouldn’t mobile learning be the 'de facto' way to learn in the workplace?

Reasons Why You Can Successfully Use Mobile Learning To Reach Your Learners

Our smartphone is now our go-to device for catching up on news, checking email, watching videos, listening to music, taking photos, finding directions, and entertaining ourselves when we have time to kill. It is now our natural access point for information and just-in-time learning in our everyday lives. When we want to find out how to do something or a simple fact, we readily turn to our mobiles, YouTube, Google, and Wikipedia.

Why Mobile Learning Should Be The 'De Facto' Way To Learn In The Workplace

By 2020, MarketsandMarkets predicts the mobile learning market will be worth $37.6 billion. Mobile learning is growing faster than ever as organizations recognize the power it holds to speed-up learning, and increase learning access and flexibility. Growth is being fuelled by the ubiquity of smartphones. People have bought into the cost-benefits of mobile learning. Smartphones, now, provide the lowest cost solution for accessing the greatest quantity of knowledge. And then, there is the very important fact that well-designed mobile learning places a lower demand on our time which is a big plus, given we all face more distractions than ever and no longer have large chunks of time to devote exclusively to learning.

Mobile devices enable organizations to reach learners wherever they are in today’s increasingly flexible and mobile workplace and help them to accommodate learning into their busy schedules. We know, from our own Learning Technology Research Project, that people avoid sitting at their desks doing online learning.

In a recent survey of over 300 learners, we found that, given the choice of access methods, 76% completed modules away from their regular place of work and 66% completed modules at home. When learning is easy to access and useful or enjoyable, people are clearly willing to train outside of the office and even outside working hours.

Mobile learning has become the perfect solution for delivering short bursts of information for on-demand training and performance support. It’s arguable whether the trend for microlearning is fuelling mobile learning or vice versa. But the trend is clear. A recent ATD study found that 92% of learning professionals using microlearning expect their organization’s use of it to increase this year.

Mobile delivery wins every time when it comes to matching the speed and style of how we consume and digest information in the digital age, and how we like to interact with data. The large touchscreens of tablets lend themselves to gesture and game-based interaction, helping to engage our senses and win our hearts and minds.

But, how do we really leverage the power of mobile learning or microlearning? The first step is fairly obvious; make sure your learning content is designed for mobile. Given today’s stats, mobile first should be your maxim, whether you’re an ID or corporate learning professional. This means fully responsive content, designed from the outset with mobile use in mind.

Secondly, recognize the benefits of a ‘bring your own device’ BYOD policy. If your work doesn’t have one, persuade them to bring one in. But the most important step is to start running your learning on a dedicated app. Apps really matter to mobile users, even more so when learning is involved. Here’s why:

  • Mobile users are quickly discouraged if they need to use a generic browser. They know the delivery of the information won’t be as good. It takes them longer to find it—even if they have a URL.
  • An app says to the user "here is the information you need". A browser says there is a place where you have to hunt around for something that may be relevant. That’s a ‘dissuader’ to the learner. The last thing you want for learning.
  • An app will treat your learning information more consistently. Different browsers on different devices are still apt to display things differently. An app removes a level of uncertainty around what the User Experience will be like.
  • Branding is much easier in an app environment
  • You can deliver other messages and maintain a common destination for everything with a single click.
  • An app enables ‘push notifications’. Users just have to know what’s made that little red label appears on the corner of the app. Multiple sources claim that promotional email messages receive only a 5% read rate while 'Push' notifications are read by a massive 97% people. 90% are read within 3 minutes of receipt!

Modern learners want the convenience and flexibility of mobile learning, and apps are the smarter way to learn and manage their learning. While mobile learning will never replace all of the more formal structured learning that takes place in the workplace, the reality is that it is now the 'de facto' solution for so much of what we learn, and that is only going to increase.