Mobile Learning or mLearning as it is called refers to learning that takes place through mobile devices such as Smartphones, iPads, iPhones and so on. It has become an extension of eLearning, with most eLearning developers focusing on making their courses compatible with mobile devices. Which brings us to the question: Who are the most suitable audiences for mobile learning?
1. Field personnel of any organization in my opinion, would be among the first people who would benefit from mobile learning. These could include sales people, service technicians or staff involved in maintenance and installation of products. Apart from them channel partners such as wholesalers, distributors, dealers, agents and so on could also benefit through mLearning. They are typically those people who are not confined to a desk at a specific location and need to move about to different locations at different points of time. Most of these personnel today are provided with Smartphones by their organizations as the utility of equipping field personal with such devices is very obvious. They can be called, contacted, and communicated at any given point, which speeds the whole business process. That is the justification and this is precisely what makes them the first and most suitable audience.
2. Employees in an organization could also be a willing audience for mobile learning. When we know most of our employees have a good Smartphone, then it stands to reason that we look at how we can leverage this opportunity for learning. This medium could be effectively used to capture their attention. Bite-sized courses, job aids, tips that help employees in their jobs, reminders of best practices and similar information could be shared with them.
3. Customers also could benefit and prove to be the target audience for mLearning. The sale of mobile devices worldwide is increasing at such a phenomenal rate that it provides an excellent opportunity to leverage the medium. Installation of products, basic troubleshooting, and information of new products are some of the useful tools that prove to be beneficial to customers and organizations can capitalize on this opportunity to retain their customer base.
4. Senior management cannot be left behind in mLearning as they are the ones who use mobile devices such as Smartphones extensively. They are usually hard pressed for time and find it ‘next to impossible’ to attend training programs. In addition, they need to be up-to-date with a lot of information related to their company and industry. Knowledge transfer and management can be suitably tailored for them through mLearning.
To summarize, mobile learning can be beneficial to four types of audiences- Field personnel, employees, customer and members of the senior management. mLearning has the capability to change the way knowledge sharing happens across geographical regions and across diverse audiences