2021 has been the crunch moment for Mobile learning. Why? Because mobile usage has surpassed desktop usage, with mobile capturing 54.37 percent of the global market share and desktop trailing at 43.15 percent.
Not only that, but workers are more mobile, especially with the introduction of remote work and hybrid work models. Training that disregards mobility will suffer to capture hearts and schedules, so this article will show some of the benefits of going mobile and what kind of results organizations can achieve with it.
What Is Mobile Learning?
The smartphone revolution has arrived in full force. As long as you have a modern mobile device connected to the Internet, you can learn whenever and wherever you want. As a result, mobile learning for those in the training and development industry has never been more pressing. The following is a quote from Webopedia’s definition:
“Mobile learning (m-learning) is obtaining learning materials via mobile apps, social interactions, learning management systems, and online educational hubs via the network using personal mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. It is adaptable, allowing trainees and learners to access learning modules and information from anywhere and at any time.”
It’s important to note that it doesn’t have this name because you have to learn on your phone for the definition to apply; this is a common misunderstanding. Instead, it is so because it allows learners’ mobility, i.e., learning at any time and from any location.
What Makes Mobile Learning Better?
In the words of Kukulska-Hulme,
“Early definitions of mobile-learning, which were primarily concerned with the characteristics of mobile technology, have given way to more sophisticated conceptualizations that suggest mobility is the central issue. It refers to the ability to overcome physical limitations by having access to people and digital learning resources regardless of location or time.”
Therefore, the learner’s mobility and the context in which the learner operates as a means of consuming learning are both important considerations. Naturally, the two are linked because the concept of “anytime, anywhere” is much more applicable when using a smartphone.
In this sense, a mobile learner is someone who uses their phone to study for 10-15 minutes on the way to work and then resumes from her laptop in the office. We believe that having a mobile-first mindset is critical to success, but it’s also crucial to consider learning in a device-independent manner.
Providing suitable training modules at the right time is becoming increasingly important as we are all more mobile than ever. According to Google and ComScore, we spend an average of six hours per day on our mobile phones, computers, and tablets, with mobile usage accounting for half of that time! Thus, a continuous learning path is required.
Finally, 57 percent of consumers are multi-platform and will frequently be multi-screening, accessing sites from multiple devices. In addition, according to Google, 1 in 5 people use two devices simultaneously, so it’s critical to provide a consistent experience across screens!
Why Is Mobile Learning Important?
The global workforce and the way we work are rapidly changing, as the above illustrates. Yet, when choosing a job, millennials prioritize learning and development opportunities over flexibility and pay. In addition, millennials expect the same convenience from on-the-job training and communication tools as they do from their smartphones for all of their needs.
According to EduMe Insight Paper, the following are the main reasons for the importance of mobile learning:
- By the year 2020:
- 50% of the world’s workforce will be mobile
- 50% of the US workforce will be freelancers
- 50% of the global workforce will be Millennials. (This grows to 75 percent by 2030)
- Smartphones have 2.5 times the installed base of PCs.
- Completion rates on mobile are 12% higher than on desktop
- Mobile learners study 40 minutes more per week as compared to desktop users
- Only 12% of corporate learning is mobile-enabled, although 70% of consumers use phones for learning
Unfortunately, current corporate training and communication models aren’t fit to handle this change. Existing solutions rely too heavily on face-to-face training or clumsy e-learning platforms that are difficult to access on mobile devices. They’re often difficult to use and considered boring, resulting in low completion rates, efficacy, and the inability to calculate ROI.
The Advantages of Mobile Learning
Whether we discuss course completion rates or a collaborative eLearning environment, m-learning is the best option. Mobile learning courses are more motivating and engaging for learners Josh Bersin. Here are some of its advantages:
Learning Anywhere, Anytime, Results in Higher Course Completion Rates
It provides flexibility by removing the need for learning at a specific time and location by making instructional content such as videos, podcasts, and other multimedia formats available on smartphones and devices. Learners have added benefit of being able to access the content from anywhere and at any time. Mobile learning seamlessly integrates learning into the learner’s daily routine, resulting in successful course completion and knowledge retention.
Delivery in Bite-Sized Pieces Resulting in Quicker Learning
The adoption of mobiles as a learning mode has influenced the shift towards creating learning suitable to “bite-sized chunks and microlearning.” The content presented is crisp and concise due to the limited real estate. When on-the-job training is required, information is more readily available. It reduces cognitive overload while also enhancing learning.
Enhances Information Recall and Knowledge Retention
Mobile learning improves knowledge retention because learners are more likely to remember crisp and concise data that they find relevant and relatable in the moment of need. Since they have committed the subject to their long-term memory, they will be able to recall information, beat the Forgetting Curve, and perform their job to the best of their ability while at work.
A Higher Rate of Engagement Due to Personalization
Personalization is one of the most well-known advantages of mobile learning. Learners are more engaged and motivated because of the customized courses. Furthermore, the fact that it is available at any time and from any location aids learners in staying on track with their training.
Responsive Design Facilitates Content Adoption and Future Proofing
We’ve all seen how certain websites that look great on our computers don’t translate well to our smartphones. If it weren’t for responsive design, the same is true for m-learning. Thanks to responsive design, the interface follows adaptable learning technology for multiple devices, whether a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Mobile learning and responsive design go hand in hand. As mobile technology advances, this shift has helped to “future-proof” the content and design.
So, to narrow down the definition, we’ll say: “Mobile learning is the concept of using modern technological gadgets to access learning and training modules anywhere, anytime you need them.”
When you use m-learning as a part of your digital training strategy, you get the added benefit of having it available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is here to stay, and the benefits are proof that businesses will seek to implement it more widely.
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