M-learning: Linking Formal and Informal Learning Spaces

M-learning: Linking Formal and Informal Learning Spaces

There is, perhaps no other innovation in recent times, which matches the permeability and reach that mobile devices have achieved. Their increased usage is recorded not just in the developed nations, but in developing nations as well. So much so, that UNESCO has recognized its potential as a viable medium for education in remote and hard to reach areas (Ref: http://www.unesco.org).

Coming to its relevance in the corporate training scenario, no matter how organizations choose to train their workforce – either through eLearning or through traditional instructor-led training programs, mobile learning can still be effectively used.

Consider this scenario. You have recently concluded a sales training program where you have shared the knowledge of sales process, lead generation techniques, negotiating and closure strategies with the new hires in the sales team. It is impossible for them to assimilate the entire knowledge and be thorough with the sales process with just a couple of days of training. However, you can provide valuable follow-up training to your sales team, by reinforcing key knowledge through mobile devices.

Most sales people have smart phones these days. These can be effectively used to reinforce learning informally, through mobile technologies.


As a follow up to the training program, short periodic tips on key aspects of selling – prospecting, client handling, negotiation or closure can be sent through e-mail. You need to ensure that these email blasts are valued. Have attractive and relevant subject lines and limit these communications to one email per week.

Text Messages

According to CTIA.org, while individuals take as long as 90 minutes to respond to an email, they take only 90 seconds to respond to a text message. Important market information, company information, or product information can be send via SMS, with links to relevant sites, where individuals can access detailed information.


Short videos, running under 1 min, aid better retention. Subjects covered could be do’s and don’ts while approaching a prospective client, key features about products and so on.


Podcasts are another excellent means of reaching your sales force on the move. When accessing video may not be viable, podcasts can prove to be handy. Reminders about what needs to be taken as a part of sales kit, key product features, tips on handling customer objections can easily accessed through mobile devices.

Social Media

Social networking sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn are routinely accessed by many. You could create an exclusive group either on Facebook, LinkedIn or Ning, for participants who have attended the formal training program. This provides an excellent collaborative platform for participants to interact among themselves, share and learn from their individual experiences. Exchanges in the discussions and forums can provide valuable insights on how content for future training programs can be modified.

Thus, m-learning can help access relevant resources and participate in online communities. This can be effectively used to reinforce knowledge, as a follow up to classroom or instructor-led training.