[Intern Insights] The rise of m-learning
In my previous blog post, I wrote about the benefits of mobile learning. Now, I want to know how m-learning (Mobile Learning) can best be implemented. Change management is an important aspect here. I also wonder what trends drive M-learning and thus why it is becoming increasingly more popular in corporate education.
By now, most Directors of Learning and Development should have started to at least consider implementing m-learning projects in their current training programs. It is projected that by 2020 around 75% of the workforce will be of the millennial age, this results in a demand for ‘zero lecture’, ‘zero classrooms’ and paperless learning. Hence will push the traditional learning methods away and will be replaced by a new era of data-driven, m-learning.
However, as explained in my previous blog, moving to m-learning is not a small technical transformation. It comes with a lot of complex decisions and preparations, such as budget constraints, policies etc. To implement a mobile learning strategy successfully, proper change management methods are essential.
There are a lot of benefits and successes that arise from m-learning. Therefore, it is important to transition your learners (employees) smoothly and lastingly via change management. According to research, 70 % of today’s workforce is more motivated when performing a new training on a mobile device. Next, to this, the m-learners completed the course 45% faster than the e-learners. Lastly, by 2020 it is expected that m-learning will be a $70 billion industry.
Before explaining how change management is valuable to training within any business. It is first important to understand what change management actually is. The definition I found most suitable is: “Change management is the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt a change in order to drive organisational success and outcomes.”
Change management is valuable to training within any business, however especially for mobile learning project success. It will increase the probability of end user engagement.
So, what are 3 ways to use change management for mobile learning?
- First, you need to prepare the organisation for change. Pick some individuals who can be “Change Champion” and support the switch to mobile learning. Then explain the benefits of the change to the stakeholders and employees. The Change Champions will also become the first who work via the mobile learning project. They will become trusted role models for learners. When you choose your Change Champions to make sure they have excellent communication skills and are respected by their peers.
- Second, it is important to manage and support the change to mobile learning from the beginning continuously. You can communicate via e-mail and send tutorials about the new mobile learning strategy. It is essential to collect feedback on course content and the learning experience in general.
- Third, you must reinforce change. When the implementation has begun, it does not mean it will stick. To make sure that the new mobile learning training will be a success, the users must be supported and motivated throughout the entire process.
Now you probably wonder how you can increase the effectiveness of your m-learning strategy?
Well, when you are building the learning application there are various factors that have an influence on the strategy.
- Adapt to microlearning
- Encourage social learning
- Adapt to a different learning approach for your millennial workforce
Next to this, there are several innovative ways that make the learning effective, such as:
- Scenario-based learning
- Story tutorials
- Guided exploration
Trends that drive the growth of mobile learning in corporate education
There are several trends that lead to the shift of mobile learning. However, there are two that really jump out:
1. Millennials are demanding training and development
Imagine; Andrew is a sales manager in the technology industry in New York City. Every day he takes the metro to work, to kill time he plays Candy Crush. But picture this, what if Andrew could play a scenario-based sales training game on his phone? Instead of wasting his commute time on useless games, he’s now building his skills and might end up doubling his sales projections the next month. Millennials value training over many other work perks. So, if employees demand training. It should be possible to access it when and where they want.
2. Remote and on-the-go schedules continue to rise
Employees are not at their desk around 50 to 60 percent of the scheduled workday. Remote working and flex-time among employees keep rising since the newer generations demand a work-life balance. On-the-go employees like sales reps are not receiving value from paper-based training crammed in a day. The employee may not learn something and would forget easily. Therefore, it is important to create a learning experience that complements the person. And makes learning easily accessible, when they have the time and then they can engage completely with the material.
To conclude the rise of “employee training experience” is our responsibility. This means that businesses should find solutions to meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s working force. That includes a greater flexibility and a work-life balance. M-learning is the answer to that.
This post is brought to you by one of AQ’s Undergraduates, Paula van Staalduinen. As part of our internship programs, undergraduates and classic interns are encouraged to take part in company culture. Paula’s primary project focuses on training programs and eLearning and how best to adapt this to industries under pressure.