What is m-learning? How can it help you and your employees in corporate training?
“64% of learners find accessing their training content from a mobile device essential” (1)
Smartphones are used by almost 80% of people around the world. People spend more time on their smartphones than on a computer or a laptop. This is why m-learning has been successful in providing better completion rates and engagement. M-learning can help both the online learners and the company in running a successful online training program.
What is m-learning?
M-learning is referred to by a variety of terms, including U-Learning, customized learning, learning on the go, whenever and wherever learning, and portable learning.
Mobile learning or m-learning allows users to access e-learning content anywhere, anytime. Online learners use mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to consume their online training content.
M-learning VS E-learning
There is a significant difference between m-learning and e-learning, though both aim at giving distance learning for their online learners.
The basic difference is in the devices that are used. E-learning takes place on laptops and computers, usually with the use of a web browser. On the other hand, m-learning uses wireless devices like smartphones and tablets.
We do have web browsers on our mobile devices but the GUI (graphic user interface) of e-learning is designed in a way that is most suitable for widescreen devices like computers. When we talk about the GUI of m-learning, it is designed to fit the vertical screen of a smartphone. Moreover, with m-learning GUI you can get more creative.
In a nutshell, m-learning and e-learning have a difference in their fundamental structure. The ultimate aim for both is to give an effective online learning experience.
Benefits of m-learning for employers
As an organizer of an online training program, you’re aim is that most of the employees get themselves enrolled in the training program and hone their skills to perform better for the company.
Major challenges that most employers face while running an online training program are-
• Busy work schedule, that leads to less enrollment
• Less engagement
• Lower completion rate
• High cost
These challenges can be overcome by using m-learning for your employee training program. Let us see how we can do that.
Better completion rate
“Smartphone users finished courses 45% faster, on average,”. (2)
An additional online training course might deplete your workers’ energy at a time when they are already struggling to balance work and home life. A demotivated individual is unlikely to learn anything, which defeats the point of doing a training session.
The biggest advantage of an m-learning program is that online learners can get access to it anytime and anywhere. This flexibility will help your employees to find time despite their busy schedules and will increase the completion rates of your training course.
They are on the way to the office, they have their mobile with them, they can complete a 15-minute module in that time. If you allow them to download the modules, they can even complete the task without using their mobile data.
Mobile learning easily incorporates training into the learner’s everyday routine, resulting in effective course completion and information retention.
You can send them reminders to complete their task. These reminders that bring them or rather push them back to the online training course are called push notifications. These are very common with mobile apps. These notifications can be used to motivate them to complete the course.
M-learning usually employs gamification features to keep the employees engaged. For instance, your could use a scoreboard with an incentive to make it more attractive.
Personalization is another important benefit of m-learning that leads to better employee engagement.
You can also build up communities and have all employees share their progress and other things. Watching other people complete the tasks can give the ones lagging behind the fear of missing out and they will join the others too.
If employees are engaged in the online training program and are enjoying it, the chances of them completing the course also increase. This will give your training course higher completion rates and probably good reviews as well.
M-learning will save you both your money and time. It will save your infrastructure cost since it is online. Moreover, you are creating a lot of skilled employees who will give better performance. This will later help your company increase its revenue.
Moreover, since there are no geographical restrictions, you can great the course once and circulate it to the entire workforce wherever they are.
Benefits of m-learning for employees
It isn’t like the employees don’t want to acquire new skills and go through skills training. They do, but the way training programs are organized makes it a difficult task for them. So, what are these challenges that the employees face?
Major challenges faced by employees attending an online learning program are-
• Their day becomes very hectic
• The course is not very enjoyable
• Cannot retain too much information in one go
• Interaction is limited to a set of people
These are some common problems faced by employees in a normal online training program. M-learning can solve these problems. Let us see how.
Self-paced Anytime, Anywhere
The biggest problem employees have is a lack of time. After a 9-hour shift, they are definitely looking forward to spending time with their family and friends and having some fun. With a mobile learning platform, they don’t have a fixed schedule so they can complete their course whenever they want to and from any place.
Moreover, mobile learning allows smaller modules of 5-10 minutes as well. It gives your employees a sense of satisfaction that they completed at least a percentage of their course work.
Better User Interface
M-learning usually has better GUI compared to e-learning platforms. A better user interface gives the ease of going through the entire course. They don’t have to look for the course material, it would be available to them easily. They can navigate through the entire course easily and the graphics used make it more visually appealing.
Training becomes fun
A boring training program can never be completed quickly by the users. The gamification of the learning course can help to make the course more fun. You can use the level method to encourage your employees to complete more levels.
A scoreboard and a weekly declaration of scoreboard winners is a great idea for motivation. Adding some gift or incentive will make it more effective. When people are awarded for what they are doing, they will perform better and others will be motivated to get the same reward as well.
The training program gets divided into smaller modules giving users a better understanding of what they are learning now and what they will learn later.
When a lot of information is fed to the employees in a 1-hour session of online training, the information becomes cluttered in the minds of online learners. Instead, if it is fed to them piece by piece with regular assessment after each module, the chances of them retaining the information are higher.
Personalization is another benefit of m-learning. Some people know some stuff already, some are complete beginners. With mobile learning, you can let them take a test to analyze their prior knowledge and then give them a personalized course flow.
Mobile learning allows employees to learn simultaneously with their job. You take a course once and then you forget after some time. But when you learn things continuously, you get a chance to apply those things in your work. When theory and practical are done together the quality of learning becomes greater.
Get exposed to more people in the company
You can easily build communities on m-learning platforms. Employees get a chance to interact and get familiar with a lot of other employees and not just their course batch. Social learning is quite important in the workspace. When reputed employees share their experiences in the community, they provide knowledge to a huge number of young employees.
Mobile learning or m-learning is the future of online training. The convenience, ease of use and accessibility are major factors that make m-learning a better choice than other online training methods.
M-learning is similar to e-learning but the portability feature and better GUI are some differentiating factors.
M-learning can help both the company and its employees in online training. For the company it gives better completion rates and performance. Employees find m-learning convenient, fun and engaging. It is a win-win for both parties.