In today’s organizations, the pursuit for a competitive workforce is seen as a key to success. So, are you ready with any new training strategy to meet the emerging workforce demands? Do you feel that mobile learning will make your employees more productive, as they can easily complete their training program at any place, at any time, other than on the job?
According to Forrester’s latest report, 55% of organizations stated that supporting a larger number of smartphones was a high or critical priority over the next 12 months.
In my opinion, there are five drivers of mobile learning in the workplace. The list is enumerated as follows:
- Workforce Demographics – Entry of “Screenagers”:
Gen Y learners or the millennials are referred to as “screenagers” who are more used to screen learning (mobile learning), rather than books. A latest report by Forrester, on mobile adoption in the enterprise, found that 66% of employees now use two or more devices every day, including desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. A smaller, but notable 12% percent said they now use tablets at work.
Source: Forrester Report
With the burgeoning population of the “digital natives (Gen Y)“, mobile learning is pushed forward as a powerful device to empower the learner. The learner can undertake education in an environment they are at present, be it commuting, in workplace, or at home.
- Increasing number of Mobile Workforce
IDC (International Data Corporation) projects the mobile workforce to reach 1.3 billion by 2015, up from 1 billion in 2010, which is a staggering 37.2% of the workforce worldwide. 75% of North America’s workforce will be mobile by 2010.
With rapid penetration of mobiles or smartphones among the common reach, organizations are supporting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement. This ensures that employees can use their personal devices at workplaces and can have access to organization’s resources. Therefore, employees can learn in snippet, or just-in-time as per their requirement.
- Change in behavior of the New Workforce
It is to be noted that, by 2030, the millennials will constitute the major chunk of the world’s workforce. The new workforce is more tech-savvy and digitally connected. They are more comfortable with mobile technology, and using it for their daily activities. So, they will prefer mobile learning instead of others in their workplace, due to its familiarity.
Source: Forrester Report
- Doing More with Less
In a recent interview to the Sunday Telegraph,William Hague, UK’s Foreign Secretary, stated that to stop complaining about the economy and work harder, as that’s the only growth strategy. In his words – And do more with less – that’s the 21st Century….”
In an era when the economy is uncertain, organizations around the world are dealing with increased and tough competition. Thus, to increase efficiencies in businesses and to maintain the same zeal among the workforce through knowledge transfer, mobile learning is the best available option. By leveraging technology, you can facilitate the learning requirement of employees and can be done at minimal cost.
- Increasing Demand for “Green” e-Learning
Mobile Learning will help to reduce your organization’s carbon footprint. It can be done without compromising the quality of your training. With mobile learning, you can minimize the use of paper – means less production, which equals to less waste and minimum impact on the environment. Moreover, it reduces the traveling costs and time (of employees), which eventually results in less carbon emissions.
According to the World Wide Web Foundation, with over five billion subscribers, 90% of the world population has access to a mobile telephone device. And Morgan Stanley Research estimates that worldwide, mobile internet users will surpass desktop internet users by 2014.
To summarize, with massive proliferation of mobile devices, increasing bandwidths and widespread acceptance of the mobile technology among the emerging workforce – implementing it in workplaces is a great opportunity to improve learning and performance of employees.
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As a college student, I had an opportunity to read Wings of Fire, the autobiography of the former Indian president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The story of the “missile man” who rose to great heights from humble beginnings is truly inspiring.
The sudden demise of this eminent scientist is a great loss to the country and has saddened millions. The life of Dr. Kalam is a testimony to the fact that determination and hard work can overcome the shackles of financial and other constraints.
There were a few letters marked “Never sent. Never signed” that were discovered in Abraham Lincoln’s desk after his death. When he was upset with someone he would write a letter expressing his anger but would refrain from sending it to the intended person. This practice allowed him to vent his anger, yet not allow needless or unpleasant consequences. One of the famous unsent letters was to Gen. George G Meade, who was blamed for letting Robert E Lee escape after Gettysburg. Unfortunately, in today’s age of social media, people have “lost the art of the unsent angry letter” – an expression used in a NY times article by Maria Konnikova.
It is common knowledge that good assessments play a key role in the making of an effective online course. They not only help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of the subject-matter, but also reinforce the learning effectively.
We all know the e-learning industry is full of acronyms. Even the word e-learning itself is the shorthand for electronic learning. As an e-learning professional, it is important to be familiar with various acronyms used in the field of e-learning. Here, I would like to share some acronyms that are commonly used in e-learning.
E-learning is increasingly used by organizations as online courses are effective, affordable and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. But, many organizations are not able to realize these benefits offered by the online training medium due to a serious problem – high dropout rates.
Day-by-day, the demand for rapid e-learning is increasing, and so, everyone is using rapid authoring tools to develop online courses. There are many authoring tools available in the market but a few became very popular. Most of our customers and prospects prefer Articulate Storyline to other rapid authoring tools such as Captivate and Lectora. Developing courses in Storyline is very easy, and the tool offers a lot of flexibility to customize the features or look and feel of the online course.
When it comes to mobile learning, HTML5 with responsive design is required to provide the best learning experience on mobiles, especially on smart-phones with small screens. Courses developed in Storyline and Lectora work fine on mobile devices such as iPads and other tablets, but it is difficult to view them in smart-phones. Captivate has a responsive design feature. So, we must choose it if we need to develop courses for all mobile devices. Captivate is not very intuitive and flexible to develop customized features. We can also build mobile- compatible courses using manual coding but it is time-consuming and expensive.
Recently, I read the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design” and in it, I saw the great news for which I was waiting for a while. I thought I should share it with you all. The developers of Articulate Storyline, Lectora Inspire, Lectora Online and other authoring tools are in the process of adding responsive design feature by the end of 2015.
Here is some information from the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design”.
|Scales to multiple screen sizes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Responsive design features||Coming by end of 2015||Yes||Coming by end of 2015|
2016 will be a watershed year for mobile learning as all courses may be made compatible to all mobile devices. Storyline may become the first choice to develop e-learning or m-learning courses because of its intuitiveness. This may force all learning management systems to be compatible with mobile devices. MOODLE is ahead in this regard, and it has a responsive design feature and works on all the mobile devices.
Hope you find this post useful. Do share your views.
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