It wasn’t too long ago that workplace learning consisted of dry, passive lectures and the dreaded OHP slideshow. Employees zoned out and had a hard time not falling asleep. The introduction of digital projectors allowed multimedia elements to reduce the boredom but it still meant everyone sitting in the same room, at a given time. And if you missed something or didn’t understand it, there was no way to revisit it.
Fortunately, elearning has drastically improved this situation with flexible LMS platforms that can be accessed remotely. We’re now seeing mobile learning taking off exponentially, which makes sense, as according to a study by Cisco, there will be 1.5 mobile phones per capita by 2020. In fact by then, more people will have a mobile phone than electricity – quite a staggering fact.
As any trainer knows, people have different learning styles. Some gain most through careful reading, while others engage more with video content. And while studying marathons are perfect for certain learners, many others prefer the chunking method of dipping in and out (we have a shorter attention span than a goldfish). Personalities affect how people engage with learning too. Shy trainees or those with low self-esteem may not readily interact in a classroom situation – to the point where they won’t ask even a vital question, whereas their digital ‘alter-ego’ is comfortable on forums and can actually shine in a VLE situation.
Mobile learning allows the user to quickly and easily access what they need, when they need it. Offering the ultimate convenience in complex interactivity, employees can learn in their own time, from anywhere. For employers, this means that staff can complete modules on compliance or new products with minimum impact on their productivity. Dead time can now be learning time, such as during train commutes, while waiting for an appointment or even at the hairdresser. Multimedia elements such as text, images, video and live streaming help employees engage with the content. Mobile learners have a global library at their fingertips, as well as the wisdom of industry experts. Trainees can collaborate on projects with peers that are across the globe and can enter forums for support and discussion, something even the shiest learner can feel comfortable with. Tutorials and meetings can happen using Facetime, Google Hangouts or Skype. There’s just one flaw with mobile learning – you need the internet. Wrong!
The latest development in mobile learning are the offline apps for Totara LMS from Webanywhere. These amazing apps allow users to access vital content, forums, quizzes and assignments, even when they’re not online. This innovation has opened up the world of mobile learning to a much wider audience. People who live in poor signal areas or lack wifi access can now study at home, which will act as a major incentive for CPD or becoming a product expert. It also means employees will have fewer excuses for not completing their work, making trainers’ lives easier. The app can be customised to match an organisation’s branding and only a single login is required. Compatible with iOS and Android, activities are optimised for hand-held devices. This is one of the most exciting developments in the mobile learning arena. Contact us to find out more.