Mobile Learning can be simply defined as learning through content and social interactions using personal electronic devices. M-Learning technologies largely include mobile phones and tablets. It utilizes the mobility of the devices to allow users to learn at their own convenience and pace.
M-learning and e-Learning are both types of digital learning, but they are significantly different from each other. E-learning courses are generally used to impart in-depth knowledge of a topic. It gives detailed information about the subject with extensive use of media and interactive elements. The courses are usually longer and have a more formal structure. E-learning courses can only be accessed from a desktop or laptop, and in most cases, for security reasons, only from your workstation and not a personal computer.
M-learning on the other hand, is a more flexible and informal way to transfer knowledge. It gives instant access to information and can quickly distribute knowledge. Due to the small screen sizes, it is used to convey concise micro-lessons with appropriate use of pictures, videos and other multimedia. Course duration is also best kept low as looking at a small screen for prolonged periods can strain the eyes.
Mobile learning has clearly proved its worth in today’s corporate world. Hence, it comes as no surprise that mobile learning is being implemented for overall training strategy in all leading companies. Below are some of the factors that make mobile learning a promising technology:
The workforce is drastically changing, with the ‘millennials’, consisting of a very high percentage of the total employees. This new workforce is different from the old one. Millennial employees live and breathe through their smartphones and tablets. In these fast-times, capturing their attention effectively for a long e-learning course can also prove to be difficult. So, the choice is obvious, learners choose smartphones for shorter, bite-sized lessons quickly and conveniently, from anywhere and at any time. These shorter lessons have proven to increase employee engagement and content retention.
Today’s employees enjoy collaborating with others in the workplace. The same applies even for their learning habits. Group discussions and online forums have emerged as active platforms to exchange ideas, clear doubts and voice opinions. Similarly, learners are inclined towards establishing connections in online learning communities to be part of learning that is more effective. Constant availability of phones with everyone can promote a culture of social learning among employees.
Better Knowledge Transfer
Learning through mobile phones truly gives meaning to the word flexibility. Users can access all the content that they need, whenever they have the time or inclination to do so. Removing the restraints of time and place from learning can really heighten people’s interest in the topic, resulting in better retention. M-learning can also be used as a just-in-time support for a bigger e-learning course. By quickly helping users to recollect their past trainings, m-learning can increase the overall effectiveness of your learning strategy. Better knowledge retention means, improved employee performance.
Most of mobile learning platforms are integrated with a phone’s inbuilt reminders and organizers. This allows learners to receive alerts on their courses, which they can check on their smartphones while on the go. Learners can bookmark the page, which allows them to pick up right where they left off, without losing track. Users are notified if a newer version of the course is available, which assures that they only undertake the latest courses. This helps making the whole learning experience more personalized and keeps users engaged even when they are away from their workstations.
Mobile learning is still a newer technology and is exponentially improving every day. Technologies like HTML5 allows for easy creation and integration of custom mobile apps, games, instructional videos, informal learning activities and advance simulated environments. The increasingly responsive mobile design capabilities are creating visually appealing courses. This enhances the user experience and helps take learning to the next level.
Benefits of mobile learning are revolutionizing the e-learning process. Integrate mobile learning to your organization’s training strategy to get the best and latest of technological advancements.