The idea of mobile learning continues to catch on and grow in popularity. But what does a company need to do to ensure that its mobile learning efforts pay off, both for the organization and the employees? A one-size learning solution doesn’t necessarily fit all; it’s important to keep best practices in mind as in-house or contracted mobile learning programs are developed, rolled out, and assessed.
Organizations that expect employees to utilize mobile learning opportunities will have the best results when content and design are easy to understand and follow. A clean and uncluttered look and concise content allow employees to find what they need, when they need it. This approach also has the benefit of making it easier for users to retain what they’ve learned: information is presented in easily retained and recalled “chunks”.
Levels of employee engagement with a mobile learning solution may predict the success of the overall initiative. Consider how to make the learning process fun for users. If you can foster a sense of friendly competition or even a way of recognizing personal bests or accomplishments, in-app or out, it can motivate users. Carefully curated content that’s responsive to user performance can guide employees’ learning pathways, too, keeping folks coming back for ongoing learning.
Learn on demand
Make needed information instantly accessible through mobile learning. Mobile learning means not having to wait for an organized, on-site program to get answers to questions. Put the learning out there and make it available anytime so that people can brush up before a big presentation, double-check a company standard, or even settle a question in their own mind about company policies or procedures.
The on-demand aspect of mobile learning also addresses needs of employees who are crunched for time. It simplifies access, whether that’s an urgent need or a way to fill a few minutes of downtime during a shift. This method can also better serve workers who fill second and third shifts beyond the traditional 9-5 when administrative offices are staffed.
Invite everyone into the pool
Be inclusive. Don’t risk alienating employees by assuming their usage and content preferences (especially by generation); this can decrease engagement and motivation. Some folks do learn best in text environments while others retain better when material is presented in a visual style. Mix it up with podcasts, videos, quizzes, stories, and more.
Think of mobile learning like a buffet; if several kinds of dishes are available, nearly everyone will find one they enjoy and return for seconds. By developing solutions that are not device-dependent, everyone can use their own, ensuring minimal friction with the technology used to access and complete learning modules.
Think smaller (bandwidth)
Nobody’s going to want to complete mobile learning on their own device if using it eats up all their data for the month. Sure, podcasts and videos and interactive games are fun but be aware that while these mobile learning make it possible for folks to use these materials at work or off site, you could be setting up your team for a surprise on their mobile bill. Being mindful of bandwidth will give employees confidence to participate without worrying about exorbitant fees.
Mobile learning is a great tool for employee training and development. Adhering to best practices can improve the success rate of the program, benefiting organizations and employees, too.