Mobile learning has come a long way over the last several years. Some organizations have truly embraced mobile as a training delivery method, learning as they go how to create an impactful mobile strategy. Other organizations are still on the sidelines trying to decide if mobile learning makes sense for their workforce. Maybe it will be enough to just make those old eLearning courses work on a tablet?
While enterprise mobile learning adoption continues to speed up, it is still far from ubiquitous. According to the ATD 2015 State of the Industry Report, 1.5% of training hours were completed via a mobile delivery method in 2014, up from 1.2% in 2013. A third of organizations had a mobile learning program of some sort in place by the end of 2014. Mobile is used as a reinforcement tool and placed within a blended learning curriculum rather than becoming a primary delivery method.
Within the commercial organizations we work with, mobile learning adoption has moved at a much faster pace. Sales reps are often the most mobile members of the workforce, and their direct connection to revenue necessitates investment in the best tools and technologies for sales enablement.
Customer training is also a big driver for the move to mobile. Organizations are realizing just how important it is to meet their customers where they are and provide learning at the point of need. These organizations know that if they don’t provide the education… someone else will.
The five “must-haves” below are for organizations that are either just beginning to adopt mobile learning or are making plans to increase existing programs. These are simply the basics that your mobile learning solutions should include for them to be successful.
1. Make Sign-On Simple
Single sign-on is an ideal solution, but not always practical when a solution is only being piloted. At the very least, make sure that your mobile app does not force users to log back in everytime they open the app.
Once users enter the app, the learning content should never be more than a tap or two away.
2. Get a Handle On Permissions Management
One challenge with mobile content delivery is restricting access. How will you control who can see what information? Make sure your mobile learning solution allows you to easily control what learning content an individual user or group of users sees.
3. Make it Mobile-First
We explored the “mobile-first” concept in another article. Simply put, do not take the user interface of a desktop-oriented learning experience and “optimize” it for mobile. The result will be clunky and hard to navigate on the small screen. It is best to design a mobile interface from the ground up based on the user experience. Focus groups and extensive testing are a “must”.
4. Plan for All Devices
Your employees want access to learning on their smartphones… but they use a desktop or laptop, too. Perhaps a tablet is also in the mix. Make sure your mobile experience is available on these devices. If it is game-based, then progress, scoring and/or leaderboards should sync across all devices.
5. Use it to Drive Retention
A mobile delivery format is the perfect way to help learners retain content. Use instructional strategies such as spaced learning and repetition in combination with short play sessions and automated reminders to sustain learning over time. Game elements can foster a spirit of healthy competition and motivate repeat play.
See Mobile Learning in Action With Knowledge Guru
Two of the apps in our award-winning Knowledge Guru learning platform are available on smartphones. You can learn all about the apps here.