Mobile learning is on the horizon and has created countless opportunities for you to engage your learners like never before.
Do you remember when cell phones were limited to making calls and playing snake?
Not long ago the mobile device was just another tool to carry in your pocket (along with your camera, map, calculator, flashlight, iPod, and Gameboy… were pockets bigger back then?).
Fast forward to 2020 and we’re using our phones to book flights, watch movies, and invest in bitcoin – all while ordering dinner. And it won’t stop there.
150. That is the number of times the average person looks at his mobile phone each day. Shocking? Not when you consider the sheer amount of things we use our phones for on a daily basis.
From calling an uber and organizing our schedules, to learning a new language and keeping us connected to social networks, smartphones have become an integral part of our lives.
Back in 2016, mobile internet use had already surpassed desktop use. This trend comes as no surprise since the shift to mobile internet use has been slowly climbing as the preferred device by users worldwide for years.
This statistic is important because it highlights the fact that mobile has the power to support activities previously reserved for desktop use – including digital learning.
We’ve reached a point where websites and programs are being offered with full functionality on both desktop and mobile, meaning users are no longer limited to one device for their day to day activities.
And let’s not forget mobile’s incredible power of maintaining our attention. Unlike virtually every other business tool on the planet, mobile’s usability is not restricted by simple limitations such as location, business hours, financial constraints, or learning curves. Nor is it influenced by basic human obligations like hunger pangs, family life, or even sleep. Nothing – not even the elements – can come between our attachment to our mobile phones.
This phenomenon is unprecedented and should not be ignored by anyone wishing to engage an audience.
Always within an arm’s reach and maintaining attention spans from dawn ‘til dusk, mobile is the most direct channel to reach and engage your learners.
Digital learning in the palm of your hands
The mobile device gives way to countless opportunities when it comes to the frequency of smart human interactions during training courses.
Mobile applications will inherently encourage more social interactions simply because the user is able to receive notifications and quickly respond, which is an advantage over desktop.
And since we know human interaction is the key to learning, the ability to react and respond within the community of learners instantaneously is arguably the biggest value-add of mobile.
Another game-changer made possible by mobile is the arrival of learning-on-the-go. Portable learning is flexible learning, which means your team will be able to access relevant training material exactly when they need it.
Think of a salesman brushing up on demo material right before a meeting, or a recruiter opening a video tutorial to use as a guide the first time she uses your new HRIS software – access to information will become unconstricted.
Mobile can take your existing course material and transform it from a static resource that is used once and never touched again, to a dynamic tool that is referenced frequently.
Introducing mobile learning
A recent study shows that 60% of companies are already using the mobile phone as a business tool in the workplace, which is a step in the right direction! However, this number should be put into perspective with a study performed by the BrandHall Group which argues that 49% of companies that use the mobile phone only do so by using simple web browsers like Chrome or Firefox.
This means that the state mobile in the professional realm isn’t great at the moment, as it’s being used in a basic, limited function – and most companies aren’t leveraging the potential of mobile.
While companies who have deployed a mobile learning strategy remain in the minority, we continue to see digital learning and LMS applications emerging into the market, which shows that the mobile learning initiative is gaining momentum.
Sadly, many of the digital learning apps that exist today seem to constitute a mere file repository with very minimal interactive functions: think PowerPoint presentations, file viewing, and little-to-no sophisticated development for a user-friendly experience.
It seems that all the ingredients for a great mobile learning experience are there but many of today’s players are missing the target.
To maximize the value added by mobile and truly change the digital learning engagement game, mobile learning strategies should focus on taking what we already know about mobile browsing behavior and aim to create a similar interactive experience within the courses.
Create an engaging mobile learning experience
How do you create something like this within your own eLearning strategies? You can start by asking yourself: what kind of app would you want to learn with?
Would you want to scroll through PowerPoint slides on your train ride home?
Or would you be more engaged by replying to a colleague’s comment on your most recent post, or answering a question from one of your new hires?
It’s a no brainer which of the two sounds more appealing.
The social interactions made possible by mobile are the drivers to engagement – and you can harness this in your digital learning courses. The constant connectedness of mobile makes it easier than ever before to engage with other learners, leave feedback, and ask questions within the course.
Take for example the 360Learning app (available for both iOS and Android) which was designed with human interaction in mind. Inspired by web practices that have become habits, we’ve leveraged human behavior to generate exchanges that will ignite your learners and promote dedication to your training programs.