Mobile learning is on the rise, as technological advances allow us to access training content from anywhere in the world, via our mobile devices. Since most of us carry our smartphones with us everywhere we go, mLearning and modern learners are a match made in heaven. Wherever learning takes place, there are mobile learning benefits to be realised.
Mobile learning in organisational training and development
Effective training can boost a company’s productivity, attracting, developing and retaining high quality employees. To be effective however, training must first be engaging. One of the advantages of mobile learning is its capacity to increase engagement in training programmes. Here’s a look at the ways in which mobile learning for companies can increase engagement in training and development.
Any time, any place
Mobile learning can be accessed wherever and whenever you want to engage with it. Each of us tends to be more productive at certain times of the day, affected by circadian rhythms which may make us “night owls” or “early birds”, for instance. If we are empowered to choose when to engage with a learning programme, we have the opportunity to choose the times when we’ll be at our most receptive. In addition, our schedules may leave us limited time for learning, and we might work best in short, frequent bursts (known as microlearning). Mobile learning can take place during a short commute, or whilst waiting for a meeting to start.
Using our favourite tools
Use of smartphones and other mobile devices is increasingly commonplace. We are generally comfortable with the touchscreen technology they employ, and in fact we have an active relationship with our devices through their tactile operation. This interaction can be very useful in a learning context. By touching and rearranging elements on a screen, learners can develop greater connection with content than would arise if they were simply viewing it passively. Mobile learning utilises these familiar tools, which we carry around with us most of the time, so that learning becomes embedded into our everyday activities. As we have always-on access to learning content, we can check it during our working practices if necessary.
Harnessing the power of social media interactions
Online communities and social media are often employed to boost collaboration within mobile learning. Many learners will already have social media accounts, with apps installed on their phones, so they can have interactions with other learners, with instructors and with a wider community, all on the same device. These interactions can generate greater participation and are fundamental to the learning process. Intrinsic motivation to engage in mobile learning may also be partly related to the well-recognised phenomenon, FOMO (fear of missing out). We know that users of social media tend to feel anxious that they are missing out on something exciting happening elsewhere. Mobile learning content can have the appeal of happening in the moment, so that learners are driven to engage regularly and avoid missing out.