Selling Like Hotcakes!
A decade back, who would have imagined this phrase to be associated with mobile sales? Apple made this happen, redefining the very way in which mobile markets function with the launch of a wonder, called the iPhone. Edward C. Baig, of USA TODAY, called it a ‘prodigy’ or ‘glitzy wunderkind’ then, and it fully justified the appellation by revolutionizing the world of mobile technology. Today, mobiles control everything from music and navigation to complex stock exchange, everyday learning and beyond, all governed by these mini Internets in our pockets.
As per the forecast by Statista, “shipments for smartphones are expected to reach almost 1.9 billion by 2018.” Mobiles are quite a force to be reckoned with. But what makes it so important to the corporate L&D strategy? Why the attraction towards Mobile Learning and Mobile LMS for delivery in particular?
Before taking a deep dive, it is imperative to understand that L&D today caters to a versatile population of learners. While baby boomers slowly exit the corporate space, the millennials and Gen Y take over with their digital avatars and social media hash tags in tow. According to the report, titled In-Focus: Learning and Performance on the Move (2016), by Towards Maturity, “90% of the workforce own a smartphone and/or tablet and 84% are downloading apps. 74% use a mobile to access resources they need to do their job.” Learning today can no longer be dictatorial, but has to have a flexible framework that can be molded as required.
Here are 9 reasons as to why your corporate L&D strategy needs to have Mobile Learning, if not already:
1. The Connect
Bersin by Deloitte’s infographic, ‘Meet the Modern Learner’, describes the modern corporate learners as Overwhelmed, Distracted, and Impatient. According to the infographic, learners check their phones 9 times an hour, spending an average of 3 hours each day. Couple this with a finding by Towards Maturity, which states that, “Employees want to be able to complete work tasks just as effectively using their mobile devices as they can with a PC. The shift is driving demand for mobile apps to support every aspect of work – including learning and development.”
Mobile sits at the core of day-to-day functions, governing both social and corporate life. This makes it an essential part of learning too. Mobile Learning provides that all-so-familiar feeling, hence maintaining the connect with routine mobile interactions.
According to a study, “people’s dependence on digital stimulation has become so high that 67% of men and 25% of women would prefer to experience an electric shock rather than doing nothing for 15 minutes.” While research emphasizes that young learners get bored easily and have very short attention and concentration, this has also been observed amongst today’s multi-tasking corporate generation. Learning is hence designed to address the brain’s attention system and inclination towards new experiences.
The primary aim of Mobile Learning is to target this issue through short nuggets, videos, or games. The whole creative design aspect of Mobile LMSs and mobile content revolves around grabbing attention at the shortest time.
Google is the most easily available tool today and greatly sought out by corporate learners (too) to access on the job answers. This attraction is based on both ease of use and flexibility that it offers. Gartner predicted that, “by 2018, more than 50 percent of users will go to a tablet or smartphone first for all online activities.” In another report Gartner estimated that, “the installed base of devices is on pace to reach 8.3 billion units (including wearables, phones, tablets and PCs) by 2018.” BYOD has already been widely accepted by organizations. The Towards Maturity report points out that, “Over 90% of large organizations offer ‘flexible work’ patterns.” This includes learning 24X7, learning on the go – the flexibility of learning whenever and wherever, on the preferred device – which usually is a mobile device.
4. Relevance and Personalization
According to a study by Google, “65% of smartphone users agree that when conducting a search on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing the information.” Mobile Learning focuses of learning delivery at the point of need and relevance becomes a priority here as the learning needs to be targeted. Studies also indicate that, “70% employees access answers to on-the-job questions through search engines.” This again points at the requisite for relevant content at the right context. The advanced features of mobiles (AI components like Siri, Cortana etc.) allow learners to find just-in-time answers to the unexpected issues and delivers a more personalized experience. mLearning or Mobile Learning strategies today focus on delivering individualized learning experiences, based on learning/search patterns, assessment results etc., making learning a unique experience for each learner.
According to Bersin, “30% of full-time employees do most of their work somewhere other than the employer’s location and 20% workforce comprises of temps, contractors, and freelancers.” And according to RCR Wireless News, “The global mobile workforce is set to increase to 1.87 billion people or 42.5% of the global workforce in 2022, up from 38.8% in 2016. As workers become increasingly mobile, so does their primary work device.” Of the workforce that is mobile, “67% of people learn on mobile devices, with 70% using their own smartphone to learn.” All this make a strong case for Mobile Learning to flourish. mLearning not only allows learning on-the-go, but also supports access in low connectivity areas (offline mode) with Mobile LMSs.
6. Optimum Time and Cost
Research points out that, “Most Learners won’t watch videos longer than 4 minutes.” Microlearning, Spaced Learning methodology, etc. focus on utilizing less time for better results. Mobile Learning with shorter courses consumes less time by transferring knowledge and gathering feedbacks at faster speed in comparison to traditional courses. Not just that, it assists in cost savings at design and delivery phase too.
7. Increased Engagement
As mentioned in a publication – Cutting-edge Technologies in Higher Education (Chapter- Mobile Learning: Definition, Uses and Challenges), “Mobile learning in higher education environments is considered as a gateway to ubiquitous learning – perhaps the ultimate form of learner engagement, since it allows the student to learn, access and interact with important content in any way or at any time or place she/he might want.” Mobile Learning that utilizes Gamification, Microlearning, Interactive Videos etc. are said to increase engagement and deliver a stickier learning experience, making it a preferred choice when learner engagement is considered.
8. Better Retention
A whitepaper published by Lynda.com, mentions 53% improvement in knowledge retention among staff members by using Mobile Learning, and states that, “better retention occurs when mobile learning is presented as a stand-alone delivery method or as part of a Blended Learning program.”Visuals, media and innovative instructional design methodologies used in mLearning or Mobile learning play a significant role in knowledge retention too.
9. Increased Possibilities (technological advancements)
While some may consider Mobile learning as a way of future-proofing, it is in fact the means to stay ahead on the learning curve. Right from wearables to AR and VR, Near Field Communication, to AI, Mobile Learning can utilize it all, which makes it one of the most advanced learning technology in today’s time.
Learning technology, and learning pattern has evolved considerably. Josh Bersin, has charted a map of how eLearning has evolved. According to it, from 2010 to present, continuous learning that includes video, self-authored mobile, YouTube content, 70:20:10 learning, learning on demand and LMS as an experience platform has moved towards a more Digital form of Learning that includes Micro-learning, real-time Video-based learning, design thinking, everyone-all time-everywhere learning, all facilitated by invisible data-driven Mobile LMS.
While Mobile Learning is something that can’t be over looked any longer, Mobile LMS with data collection, reporting and analytic features, plus features that facilitate socio-collaborative learning, and learning tools interoperability etc. are the ‘hotcakes’ of corporate L&D strategy.
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