Taking your learning down the mobile route? Adela Belin offers some guidance.
Since time immemorial, organisations have used training to bridge the knowledge or skill gap among their talent. In most cases, physical large-scale training sessions have been the norm.
But as technology continues to disrupt businesses and even the education sector, new avenues are emerging. Currently, mobile learning is the new kid on the block that businesses use to support their overall training strategy.
The reason for the intense adoption of the mobile learning method is because it offers:
- Flexibility, not only in location but also in scheduling content
- Real time learning experiences
- Better engagements
- Reporting and analysis
- Increased demand for business needs
But what is mobile learning?
Mobile learning has the characteristic of elearning or online learning and microlearning. However, the content is created to meet the demands and needs of a mobile learner or mobile user. The user usually completes the training modules on mobile or tablet. For this reason, the content must be highly tailored to provide a great learner experience.
For example, when you log into your company mobile app and take mini-courses on occupational safety and management or complete a 30-min lesson on Covid-19 safety guidelines, you perform mobile learning.
But to offer such experiences to your employees, there are certain factors that organisations must consider when incorporating mobile learning in the workplace.
Determine your objectives
Your organisation’s goals (whether long or short term) should tell you if implementing mobile learning will work. For example, do you need to increase productivity or reduce training costs? Are you looking to improve employee engagement? Do you have a remote team that needs constant on-job support?
If you are building content in-house, start by including the right team in your content planning process and editorial calendar. These include the IT team, project managers, HR, team leaders, and content creators.
With so many drivers scattered in different parts of the globe, a brand like Uber has discovered that mobile learning is highly instrumental in supporting thousands of its drivers during their daily interactions. Using a mobile learning platform to deliver relevant information quickly to its drivers, keeping them engaged and informed. This has ultimately improved retention rates.
Focusing on your objective should give you a sense of direction regarding implementing mobile learning. Other than that, don’t merely look at the result or objectives you want, but also measure them.
Alternatively, look out for your business needs. Sometimes the demand for mobile learning may come from business needs. Retail chains, for example, need to update employees on new products or product changes continuously. Thus, implementing mobile learning would be the most convenient way to pass on new knowledge or information.
Identify your target employees
By now, you already know that not every employee will second every strategy that you implement. There are some employees or team members that will not be comfortable with mobile learning.
For example, mostly older employees who are less tech-survey would prefer a different method, like using a desktop to access content or virtual training. On the other hand, a workforce composed of Gen Z would gladly adopt mobile learning since they are accustomed to learning using mobile technology. Nonetheless, we can’t make assumptions.
It would be prudent to think about your in-house talent, possibly in terms of their age range and technical skills. Besides, consider the perception your employees have regarding mobile learning. Is this something your talent really wants? You know that at the end of the day, it is employees who are going to be affected or needed to produce value.
Identifying your target employee will help you design a learning strategy or content strategy with the user in mind and find what may be effective or not effective.
Choose the right mobile learning platform
When selecting a mobile learning platform, there are several factors to consider. One is the device that most employees use. Where each employee will use his/her personal device to access the learning platform, make sure your courses or content are compatible with the operating systems of the most commonly used devices.
Apart from that, look at the offers provided by the mobile learning platform. This includes the content creation tool, integrations features, reporting and analysis, and security.
Finally, look at the price, similar brands that have successfully used the mobile learning platform, and even booking a demo to be sure you have settled on the right platform.
Alternatively, if your app or learning platform is compatible only with your organisation’s operating system, you may provide employees with mobile phones and tablets to access learning materials easily.
Regardless of the medium you choose, make sure the app or learning platform is easy to use (has a shorter learning curve), promotes collaboration, integration with other tools, and provides analytics you can use to monitor employee engagements and performance.
Create engaging content
The next step is to plan the content. The trade-off here will be whether you will get content from an outside provider or create your own in-house.
Suppose you are getting content from an outside provider. In that case, the provider will probably take the responsibility for planning the content for you. But if you are building content in-house, start by including the right team in your content planning process and editorial calendar. These include the IT team, project managers, HR, team leaders, and content creators.
Decide how to make your mobile learning content engaging. At this point, you won’t merely settle on adding bullet points or lists, headers, short paragraphs, relevant visuals, and hyperlinks to your content, but aspire to be relevant by sharing the right message.
This may require you to look at your goal or purpose. For example, is it to deliver relevant information, improve productivity, or employee engagement at work? By sharing the relevant message, you should help the learner achieve a given purpose and even improve the learning experiences. So, avoid jargon and unnecessary information that may not help the learner.
Besides, prepare actionable content and ensure everything you publish is accurate by adding relevant data and stats. Alternatively, you may use examples, but make sure they are relevant. Your examples should probably be obtained from past records and data within your organisation. It may also be your own experiences or thoughts.
Apart from these, adding gamification, such as challenges, points, assessments, leader boards, and social sharing buttons. These boost participation rates, retention rates, and completion rates, leading to better learning outcomes.
Decide how to format and deliver mobile content
When you look at how most mobile learning platforms deliver content, you will realise they present content in short chunks, standalone, and easy to apply bits of information, also called microlearning. This format easily captures the short attention span of mobile learners. But there are other options.
For example, videos, animations, and infographics are excellent methods of delivering information, such as those of Covid-19 protocols, taking care of workplace injuries, or handling unknown fire outbreaks.
Alternatively, you may use screencasts, video simulations, and interactive slides. These are ideal for describing set-by-step processes or narrating a PowerPoint presentation. Ultimately, the format and delivery method you choose will depend on the content or message you are trying to put across to your team.
Test before you implement
As mentioned before, not every employee will be comfortable with mobile learning, and besides, it may not work with every organisation. Here is where testing your approach is important. In this case, you start with a small group of employees before onboarding everyone in the organisation.
While doing this, conduct surveys and collect relevant feedback that can help you in decision-making. Don’t forget to research the strengths and weaknesses of your employees and what improvement they may want to be added to your mobile learning strategy.
If you are satisfied with the data collected and decide to go big, implement your mobile learning strategy in stages. This will help you easily re-evaluate your mobile training strategy and make readjustments if things aren’t working or not in line with your goals.
Mobile learning is an ideal method to fulfil employee training demands. The learning process is pretty straightforward, especially if you have the right resources and a team that is willing to learn. But do note that this is a fast-changing space.
So be ready to change or readjust your process when necessary and evolve to meet the current demands of new users and new knowledge. That is the best way to fulfil your employee training goals.
About the author
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour.