It is estimated that there would be more than 300% increase in tablet shipments, over a period of 5 years, from 2012 to 2017. Mobile phones are predicted to show an 80% growth during the same period. Smartphones surely will constitute a major share of the market. (Source: forbes.com)
We all have been seeing similar statistics in the past few months. Even if we don’t believe in them, we are sure to see the change around us. We see more and more people across various strata of society using mobile phones for communication, entertainment and information sharing.
So, would it be too much to expect training managers to make use of the ubiquity of mobile devices for knowledge transfer? I don’t think so. Here are some ideas on how training managers can make use of mobile learning.
Resources for reinforcement or refresher training
Traditional classroom training format involves intense knowledge sharing that spans anywhere from a day to a week. If this knowledge is not used in the job context, immediately after it is shared, it is likely to be forgotten. So, when employees need this knowledge at a later date, chances are that they may have to go the learning curve all over again.
Take for example a salesman, who has been given an overview of a range of products in the product line during the classroom interaction. When he goes on the field, he may be assigned just a few products from the product line. Later, when he is re-assigned new products or has to cross sell, he may or may not remember the details that were shared during classroom product training.
If there were online modules, of 2-3minutes duration, he could access them and refresh his knowledge quickly, instead of running around or relying on unreliable sources. Such resources can be in any format – videos, tips, “how to” guides or motivational podcasts. As they can be accessed through mobile devices, they would come handy to the individual when he requires – just in the time of the need.
Assessments to test the knowledge gained and effectiveness of training
Assessments can be used to measure the knowledge gained by participants during training, and they could also be for evaluating the training itself.
For the purpose of soliciting feedback about the training, usually smiley sheets are distributed at the end of the session which do not always provide accurate feedback. However, polls with feedback questions can be easily conducted with the help of mobile devices. They are usually simple, non-intrusive and participants are more willing to participate. They can provide valuate inputs about the success of the training and provide valuate guidance for future programs.
Mobile devices can also be effectively used to measure the extent to which knowledge has been gained, after a classroom interaction, in a corporate training context. On completion of a traditional training program, employees can take assessments online through mobile learning. This could be made mandatory for certification. Assessments can be in the form of simple quizzes, games or apps that are no longer than 5-7minutes.
Thus, mobile learning can be used to support instructor-led classroom training programs through mLearning capsules or resources that employees can access any time. Do share with us, the details, if your organization uses mobile devices for learning and training.