Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are enabling organizations to provide learners with a whole new range of learning opportunities. Mobile learning, sometimes referred to as mlearning, enables training and other performance support tools to be:
- accessed from anywhere there is Internet or cellular service
- delivered just-in-time
- incorporated into blended learning programs in real-time
- used for real-time performance support
By making computer-based training truly portable, mobile learning is enabling us to provide valuable training at the right place and the right time.
Mobile Learning for Sales People
Custom mobile learning programs can be used to augment sales performance by providing salespeople with access to short but valuable sales training opportunities. For example, before walking into an appointment, sales representatives can refresh their product knowledge or review realistic sales scenarios to help them prepare for their meeting. In addition, custom mobile learning enables salespeople to complete some of their training requirements in between appointments.
Mobile Learning for Field Personnel
Mobile learning empowers field personnel to access training while still in the field instead of having to return to their office, vehicle or home. For example, service technicians can use mobile learning to pull up the information they need to complete difficult repairs without having to return to their vehicle and/or boot up their laptop to find the necessary information. Imagine how much time this would save HVAC technicians if they could access critical information on their smartphones from the roof they were working on instead of having to climb off the roof and return to their truck to get the necessary information.
Augment On-the-Job Training
Custom mobile learning can also be used to augment instructor-led or on-the-job training. While learning how to operate a new piece of equipment, operators could access training videos that show them how to perform the required tasks. Learners could then practice the task on the equipment right then and there. Once they master the first task, they could move immediately on to the next one.
Is mlearning different than elearning?
There are a lot of similarities between the two but mobile learning’s greater accessibility and portability present some unique opportunities. In general, mlearning is delivering training via an easy to carry device such as a tablet or smartphone. These devices can be carried on a regular basis, thereby ensuring that training is almost always at the learners’ fingertips.
While mobile learning includes delivering training via both tablets and smartphones, at LeanForward we view these two devices quite differently. While more portable than laptops, tablets can support almost all the functionality of a laptop. This enables users to access traditional elearning as well as newer mlearning programs on their tablets. Such training can be as concise or comprehensive as needed.
Smartphones offer even greater portability but their small screen size and limited functionality require training programs that are tailored specifically for delivery via a smartphone. Such training programs tend to be shorter in length and utilize more basic interactions than those used in elearning.
Mobile learning development is not without its challenges. The technology is evolving rapidly and lacks firm industry standards so it can be challenging to ensure compatibility among different operating systems such as Apple iOS, Android and Windows 8. There is also Apple’s refusal to support Adobe’s Flash animation software which is a common tool for developing custom animations and advanced interactions. Therefore, LeanForward works closely with our clients to determine:
- What content is appropriate for custom mlearning?
- How long and extensive the programs should be?
- What level of interactivity is appropriate?
- What devices should be supported?
- What tools should be used to develop the mlearning?
Contact us today to learn more about custom mlearning development services and how it could benefit your organization.