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Think Globally, Learn Mobile-ly

Source: United Benefit Advisors, LLC

Most companies have some form of employee training program, but those that are progressive are embracing the mobile or e-learning platform. The benefits of this type of learning are twofold: It can be done anywhere and at any time, and the learner doesn’t have to be removed from what he or she is learning about.

Gone are the days when an employee or group of employees would have to meet in a classroom setting at a specific location on a specific day and time. Plus, the employees can usually apply in real time what they’re learning rather than having to wait until they leave the classroom.
Now, employees can find help immediately regardless of their location. They can learn new tasks right where they need them and perform that task instantly. This is truly revolutionary when you consider how this was done in the past.

An article on Human Resource Executive Online titled Innovations in Mobile Learning chronicles the increase in mobile versions of learning. However, the author cautions that training designed and developed for a PC often can’t simply be transferred to a mobile device. That’s why most e-learning providers are utilizing a “mobile first” strategy where e-learning is the primary focus.

In that article, an e-learning provider said that just two years ago only 5% of their rollouts involved mobile devices, while that’s jumped to 25% now and could be as high as 50% within the next two years. Adding to this, a technology consulting firm found that 89% of 200 respondents to their survey said their organizations offered some form of e-learning. Clearly, the trend for mobile learning is on the rise.

And why shouldn’t it be on the rise? A major bonus to e-learning is that employees can access this training on their preferred mobile device and operating system (e.g., tablet, smartphone, Android™, Apple®, etc.). This allows them to determine what works best for their learning environment rather than having to learn a new system of delivery. Plus, the very nature of a mobile device makes the social aspect an integral part of the learning experience.

Companies can apply this aspect of social media to their e-learning so that employees can post queries to a forum and discuss what they’ve just learned. Allowing employees to interact with each other and share information provides insights into training that would normally not be possible.

This social aspect plays right into the real key to effective e-learning – short videos. Not only are these videos part of the e-learning experience, but a good mobile platform allows employees to upload their own videos to enhance and share the wisdom of the group.

While the traditional instructor-based learning will probably be around for a long time, it’s clear that mobile learning has its place and is being adopted very quickly.