Mobile learning
Training & Learning

What is Mobile Learning and Why You Can't Afford to Ignore it

You’re at the dentist’s, waiting to be called in. You dawdle in the queue at the amusement park for your turn on the ride. You wait in line to get your COVID-19 shot. Do you stare into space, observe people, or whip out your cell phone and browse?

We can bet most of you picked option three. The average time spent on a mobile phone (not including talking on the phone) is 4 hours, 23 minutes each day.

But it’s not all bad. 75% of people say their smartphones help them be more productive. After all, we turn to our phones for everything—shopping, directions, weather forecasts, social media, photos, games, and finding answers to our questions.

Mobile learning, also known as mLearning, has found a spot on that list. 43% of organizations use mobile applications to put learning, quite literally, in the palms of our hands. Mobile learning is here to stay, thanks to the flexibility and convenience it provides. While some mobile learning programs might cause absent-minded scrolling, the best ones put collaboration and interactivity at their core to engage learners.

What is mobile learning?

Mobile learning allows you to access learning content from your phone at your convenience. This includes listening to an educational podcast while you cook, reading learning material during a commute, or working through a training course while on a field job.

Clark N. Quinn, learning experience design strategist and author of Designing mLearning, describes the “five Cs of mobile learning:”

  • Content: available at the tip of your fingers anywhere.
  • Capture: with the help of images, video, and note-taking abilities.
  • Communicate: with coworkers and experts.
  • Compute: for various uses, like quick calculations and looking up meanings of words.
  • Combine: any of the capabilities to create engaging content.

A super-important sixth C has arrived on the scene:

  • Collaboration: offers major competitive advantages. Collaboration is really critical because without it, mobile learning can feel isolating. You can be on your phone in your own space, and Collaborative Learning on mobile can inject a sense of togetherness and teamwork by allowing you to learn from your coworkers and interact directly with them via your mobile learning program.

Mobile learning isn’t just worthwhile for learners. It is a game-changer for organizations, too. 72% of companies report that by embracing mobile learning, they have become more responsive to marketplace changes. It is cost-effective and enables quick distribution of learning material by sending it to devices already in use.

Mobile learning makes learning possible anywhere, anytime

61% of employees lean on their personal mobile devices to learn. Mobile learning capitalizes on our attachment to our phones and gives learners the opportunity to learn anywhere, anytime. Half of “deskless employees,” for example, prefer completing training at home, on a break, or during a commute.

Mobile learning enables learners who work remotely and who are in the field to access updated courses and new training on the fly. This can be for example useful for sales reps or retail workers who need the latest information to close sales calls, as they can view updates on their phones on the go. A mobile app like 360Learning’s enables you to:

  • Learn when you are offline by downloading courses, so there are no interruptions due to low internet connectivity.
  • Correct your team’s answers and assess them right from your app.
  • View recorded statistics to see which courses have been completed.
Example of mLearning
An immersive learning experience

Mobile learning enables collaboration between learners

Mobile learning doesn’t have to be one-way streaming from a mobile device. The current workforce especially prefers working in groups and connecting with experts and coworkers to learn collaboratively. A mobile app built with collaborative capabilities can make learning engaging and raise your training completion rates. Here’s how:

  • A forum at the heart of the app to ask questions and get answers in real-time. Interaction with peers and experts leads to a deeper understanding of subject matter and a space to share your struggles and wins.
  • Seamless learning and collaboration across devices: Every course available on web is available on mobile.
Mobile Learning
Collaboration incorporated at the heart of learning

With the right tool, mobile learning fosters deeper collaboration among learners by utilizing features they’re already used to, like Reactions, the ability to comment on courses, and taking courses together. When learners learn in groups, it makes the workplace collaborative and gives employees a sense of connection, especially in a world recovering from a pandemic.

Mobile learning is interactive and fun

Mobile learning doesn't have to be mindless scrolling. You can design mobile learning to take advantage of unique mobile app capabilities and make learning challenging and lively.

Here’s how mobile learning makes training fun:

  • Higher engagement through games, quizzes, and challenges.
  • Sense of achievement with a smart gamification system.
  • Ability to interact with each other using a variety of formats: text, photos, and video.
Mobile learning is fun
Engagement through interaction

Mobile learning provides training at the moment of need

Mobile learning works best when bite-sized. When learners bump into a work-related problem, mobile learning puts the answer in their pocket, and packaging it in rapid, bite-sized chunks (microlearning) is icing on the cake. In fact, microlearning improves focus and long-term retention by as much as 80% because it isolates one problem and provides a specific answer. Compared to an hour-long training session, it gives learners one single nugget that's useful at the moment.

Mobile learning is also customizable according to user preferences and needs. Courses can be created using a variety of formats, and learners can access them based on their own choices.

Use mobile learning to your strategic advantage because it is here to stay

Mobile learning facilitates learning in a continuum, and that presents massive advantages for employees and organizations. It is not surprising the mobile learning market is set to cross $55 billion by 2026. Organizations need to embrace mobile learning to remain competitive in a technologically agile market.

To learn more about how 360Learning supports mobile learning, check out our dedicated page, here.