Everywhere you turn there are articles, webinars, and conference sessions on mobile learning (mlearning). The ability to access learning anytime, anywhere is fantastic, but ALL types of learning, on ANY mobile device?
People often do not differentiate between mobile devices when considering learning. Taking a formal learning course on a tablet works for me, but the differences are vast if I need to take a formal course on a smart phone. For me, it really comes down to which mobile device I'll use to access my learning.
Recently, I have been attending a monthly webinar series hosted by industry learning professionals Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson who recently wrote a book Innovative Performance Support: Strategies and Practices for Learning. They talk about the importance of single source publishing, reusable content that is easy to maintain, and what type of content works best in various modalities. They also discuss the Five Moments of Need for gaining knowledge. Those needs are:
1. When learning for the first time
2. When wanting to learn more
3. When trying to remember and/or apply
4. When things change
5. When something goes wrong
The first two needs are related to acquisition of knowledge; more formal learning, while the last three are more application of knowledge and fall into performance support and informal learning.
It is inevitable that some will prefer not to take formal courses on a smart phone (as opposed to a PC, laptop or tablet.) In my opinion, the ability to access short pieces of learning content such as product updates, applying a procedure or directions, or refresher training on a mobile device is an essential complement to your entire array of learning methods. On the other hand, if I have a need to engage in formal learning that is mandatory, especially where I need to pass an exam, I would be more hesitant to view it from a smart phone and would instead view it from my tablet or back at my office on my laptop or PC. As we know, formal learning tends to be longer, and typically more complex. Question types may be difficult to answer on a smart phone and if it is mandatory that I reach a certain score, I want to make sure that the choice I push or touch on my smart phone is the correct one. After all, I’m getting measured on those results. I think a great use for mlearning on a smart phone is a short “teaser” or commercial announcing the more formal courses the learner can take once they have access to a tablet, laptop or PC.
Brainshark is already well positioned to deliver informal learning on a mobile device and this quarter we are releasing our support for formal learning on mobile devices. So, I would love to hear what types of learning your organization is planning or already distributing on mobile devices, and which devices.
If you want to explore this topic further, please join us in our upcoming webinar Your Mobile Learning Blueprint: Strategies for Integrating Mobile Learning into Your Training Plan. Our speaker, Gary Woodill, Ed.D., CEO of i5 Research, will guide you through the process of building a mobile learning strategy and integrating it into your overall training plan.