Three Ways to Use Mobile Devices in Workplace Learning

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Mobile learning is certainly a hot discussion topic with elearning and training solutions providers in Australia – like anywhere else in the world. In my meetings with clients and prospects in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne over that last couple of weeks, it is clear that the interest in mobile learning is very strong. Yet, the most common question is – how do we actually use it in workplace?

I’m of the opinion that there are 3 primary types of usage for mobile devices in the context of learning.

1. Used as a Part of the Blend
Mobile devices are perfect to add to a blend in your training program. Regardless of whether it’s a pre-class micro-course (5 -10 min) or a post class follow-up in the form of summaries, scenarios that help learner apply some of what they learnt; quizzes (you can even track scores if you wish), mobile devices work perfectly well. You could create native or web apps or simply deliver them through an LMS that’s mobile compatible. To make it even simpler and easy to access the links can be sent over sms. We’re well aware that learners probably don’t retain much 2-3 days after the training program – especially in the absence of an opportunity to apply what they have learnt right away. Mobile device based follow-up could increase retention and aid application of knowledge and skills.

2. Device to Access Information
As adults learning happens most often when we are stuck with a problem or have made a mistake. So it’s not surprising that our mind is most receptive to new information & willing to learn in those moments. Mobiles are excellent devices to help retrieve information like ‘how to’ manuals or videos, or simply search for answers on Google or the company’s intranet which in itself is fast turning into a social environment. I believe this has great potential and needs to be exploited by organizations by creating ecosystems that let their staff learn from each other – by providing the ability to access information in moments of need.

3. Performance Support Agents
The link between training and performance is long winded and most often than not unclear. Many an attempt at proving the ROI of training programs have been misplaced financial calculations at best, as they don’t really take into account the real impact a training program makes in contributing to business performance.  Most business leaders understand this fact. We believe performance support mobile applications are a great tool to have on your employees’ phones. This could range from simple assistance with calculators or complex procedural information that helps makes decisions, all using smart-phone applications. The link between performance support aids and the performance itself is very often direct and the results are immediate.

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