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What is Mobile Learning? Examples & Benefits

Market segmentation

Mobile learning, or mLearning, is an important strategy in corporate training programs. Learning delivered through mobile devices offers enhanced engagement, increases the shelf life of training, and is unlikely to become obsolete.

In fact, as of 2020, it has grown by $38 billion.

The U.S. alone accounts for more than 31% of mobile eLearning expenditures.

Smartphone users finished courses 45% faster than PC users.

This gives you a heads-up to incorporate mobile learning in your enterprise learning & development plans if you haven’t already.

What’s more, it makes instruction-learner interactions more personalized.

Not only that, it enables learners to engage in learning regardless of the circumstances.

Best of all, it provides instant access to training resources and makes learners feel more relaxed while learning.
To help you pave the way towards mobile-enabled training in your organization, in this post, we’ll be looking at what mobile learning is, the specific benefits it brings to businesses, and the mobile learning technology you can use.

Let’s dive in.

What is Mobile Learning?

According to Oxford Languages, mobile learning is education or training conducted by means of portable computing devices such as smartphones or tablet computers.

You can understand this mobile learning definition better with examples, which include mobile-based micro-lessons, quizzes, checklists, guides, social learning, and product training.

It refers to any eLearning system delivered and consumed over mobile learning devices. As such, it indicates learning at the point of need.

Mobile learning in education has already been a trend for years. The idea is to replicate the same at the enterprise level.

It can keep learning uninterrupted even when employees are outside their office. They can learn from home, while commuting, standing in a queue, or while enjoying coffee at a coffee shop. This is because mobile learning is often concise and relevant, and learners can take them in minutes.

“Most work-based mLearning happens in stolen moments, which is why a smooth blend between learning, performance support and productivity tools is so key.”

Geoff Stead

Head of Mobile Learning at Qualcomm

Advantages of Mobile Learning

In the preceding paragraph, you must have already got a hint of some of the benefits of mobile learning. Let’s now expand on them to understand the real importance of mobile learning better.

1. Anytime, Anywhere Access

With the ability to access from anywhere and at any time, it’s the most convenient and learner-friendly form of learning. Here, distance becomes immaterial. Learners can attend training remotely even if they and their instructors are thousands of miles apart.

All this makes mLearning a revolutionary concept in education and training.

2. Rich Variety of Content

One of the best things about mobile learning is whatever you can view on computers, you can view on mobile devices. This means you can share images, videos, PDFs, graphs, and infographics via these hand-held devices.

The result is an enriching learning experience by catering to different learning styles and preferences.

upload content

3. Checks Forgetting Curve

Just as you access social media and connect with friends, mLearning can become a part of every learner’s daily habit. It maximizes retention and minimizes the forgetting curve by making eLearning content highly engaging and accessible whenever and wherever learners want. Everything is just there right in front of their eyes.

4. Supports Continuous Learning

Most of the time, one-off training sessions don’t work. Employees need continuous opportunities for skill development to learn, relearn, and refresh their memories. This can lead to a happier, more productive, and loyal workforce. Mobile learning can fulfill this need by enabling them to learn both in and outside of the workplace.

5. Cost & Time-Efficient

The efficiency of cost and time is one of the biggest advantages of mLearning. Whether you’re talking about new training or recurring compliance training with such learning, you don’t need to arrange in-person training sessions or unnecessarily interrupt your employees’ workday.

Simply create and share courses and assessments with your audience and let them take them on their smartphones or tablets. That removes the need to spend extra time on the part of training participants to learn or for you to incur additional costs on hiring trainers.

Share courses gif

mLearning in Corporate Training

Apart from the education sector, mLearning finds extensive usage in the corporate world. For example, around 40% of Fortune 500 companies use online learning for training.

Since mobile accessible learning enables you to take training out of the workplace and make it available on-demand, it has a boon for busy employees.

You should consider adopting mobile learning for corporate training if you want to do any of the following:

  • Supplement traditional classroom training
  • Train remote employees
  • Provide ongoing performance support
  • Provide refresher training at regular intervals

There are several use cases for mobile learning in the context of corporate training. You can implement it in almost all workplace training programs whenever you find there is less need for in-person guidance.
The idea is to provide need-based and just-in-time information, for example, in the form of an internal knowledge base that employees can access on their mobile devices.

Mobile Learning Examples in Corporate Training

Now that you know about the special place mLearning has in corporate training, let’s dig a little deeper and see some examples.

1. Employee Onboarding

Employee Onboarding marks an important phase in every new team member’s journey with an organization. Since they are new to the environment, they have plenty of things to learn.

From company policies and structure to key team members, departments, benefits & compensations, and leave policies – the list is endless.

In such a situation, conducting a day-long session and expecting the new hires to digest everything doesn’t go down well with almost all learners.

What they actually need is spaced learning, breaking lengthy lectures and courses into several sessions or modules punctuated by breaks in between.

Such sessions will give learners the time to recall and relate what they’ve learned to real work situations.

Only mobile learning can help you implement learning in this way for the best results.

2. Compliance Training

The same is true about compliance training. This type of training is organized at least annually to meet compulsory industry standards. Unfortunately, most employees are dismissive of compliance training as they usually find them boring. There is a large amount of information, including technical aspects, that can easily overwhelm learners.

Mobile learning can help summarize the key points about what to do in specific compliance situations and share them with learners at the end of each session. This way, learners will know the bare essentials of the topic.

You can deliver short videos based on specific compliance scenarios. This will engage learners, increase their comprehension, and maximize knowledge retention.

Compliance Training

3. Training Reinforcement

Suppose your learners have scored high marks in your courses and tests.

Great! 

But how much of that information do they retain, say, after a week, month, or year? 

It’s not consistent as it depends on the difficulty level of the training topic, how engaging it is, and so on.

Maximum retention is the primary goal of every learning & development program. You can easily reinforce your learning objectives with refresher courses and assessments delivered over mobile devices.

When done at regular intervals, post-training reinforcement can help you follow up on the key aspects of a program. As a result, your employees will learn better and find it easy to apply knowledge to their job.

4. Performance Support

Knowledge and skill acquisition through training is not a one-off event. Employees need continuous support in the workplace to refresh information gained during training. This is essential to assist employees in the successful completion of a task or a project.

Mobile learning is an ideal medium for performance support resources. It can provide self-service information at their fingertips and remove the need to approach someone with questions repeatedly.

An online knowledge base is a perfect example of a performance support tool. Employees can realize its true benefits by easily accessing it on their personal devices such as a smartphone. When employees have any questions or need some instant tips about executing a task, they can do it through a mobile device.

Why is mLearning Better Than Conventional Classroom Training?

Not to sound harsh, but traditional classroom training comes with several limitations.

  • It lacks the flexibility of time and place
  • It is primarily based on lectures without the support of engaging media
  • It descends into passive listening
  • It may involve commuting or putting a halt on one’s work

mLearning can help you rescue your enterprise training from these disadvantages. For Generation Z, accustomed to getting instant gratification, learning through mobile devices means a lot.

  • Learning is available on demand
  • There are no unnecessary distractions from other people
  • Engaging modules lead to a higher course completion rate
  • Personalized content brings learners closer to learning
  • Responsive eLearning designs help future-proof the content

Related Post: Delivering SCORM Learning on Mobile

How to Use mLearning Apps for Skill Development

Whether you’re using a native app, a web app, or a hybrid app, you can always leverage it to conduct skill development training via mobile devices. Modern learning apps like Quizlet, SoloLearn and Duolingo use tips, interactive lessons, flashcards, practice tests, and game-like exercises to deliver engaging learning experiences.

You can use tools like this to perform the following functions:

1. Promote Active Learning

With mobile learning, learning never stops. You can keep your learners engaged even when they are outside the classroom. Using a mobile-ready and platform-independent LMS (learning management system), you can send notifications and reminders to learners for pending courses and tests.
This is particularly helpful for those with busy schedules. For example, construction workers are out in the field most of the time. As such, they can’t afford to spend long hours in the classroom as it would interfere with their productivity.

In such situations, you can share microlearning nuggets and short quizzes for quick and engaging learning on a mobile app. This will ensure that the employees learn on the go without compromising their work.

personal protective equipment training

2. Offer Personalized Learning

Modern learners expect complete control over their learning. So you should provide this capability as a part of your effective learning strategies. In this effort, mLearning apps can prove handy.
You can share mini-courses, quizzes, short training videos, and slide presentations that learners can take at a time and place that work for them. To ensure engagement and completion, you may tailor the content to individual job roles and learning goals.

Also, customizations such as offering a choice of language and deciding the amount of information to be shared based on the proficiency level can add to personalization in mLearning.

Watch: A look at a mini course on Security Awareness Training

3. Track Progress

Monitoring learners’ progress, milestones, and problem areas is key to successful training in any online skill development program. Mobile learning dispels the notion that tracking is possible only within an organization.

A mobile LMS with reporting & analytics feature can collect learning data as it happens in your employees’ mobile devices.

You can visualize all the information on each learner or group on a dashboard. Based on the tool you use, you can get an overview of their progress, score, and even satisfaction rating. With such data in your hands, you can see who has completed a lesson or assessment, the total time taken, and final scores.

ProProfs LMS Analytics

 

Taking remedial actions to bridge knowledge gaps, if any, also becomes easy with such data.

4. Enable Offline Learning

Like other online learning platforms, mLearning apps support offline learning. Learners can download training resources and access them offline during their free time.

Similarly, learners can continue learning even when the connectivity is spotty or they are experiencing downtime. You can track all offline activities of the learners and sync their progress. This will get updated in the platform you use as soon as the connectivity is restored.

So this is another functionality in mobile learning apps that you can leverage for skill development in your workforce.

5. Optimize Performance Support

Before mLearning became a trend, providing performance support to learners at the moment of need was unknown. Today, this enablement has become one of the main reasons businesses adopt it.

For example, you can now make guides, micro-videos, checklists, and FAQs available to your employees anytime, anywhere, on any mobile device. This will minimize the need for human assistance.

There are several performance support tools that can help you implement performance support, regardless of the industry you’re in. They can improve employee performance, reduce errors, troubleshoot problems quickly, and save time contacting someone to get the necessary information.

5 Best Tools for mLearning

You now know what mobile learning is, its advantages, use cases, and how to implement it. The next step discusses some of the best mobile learning tools you can use as a part of your mLearning plan. These tools are picked from different curated lists on software review sites. Take a look.

1. ProProfs LMS

ProProfs LMS
ProProfs is a learner-centric mobile LMS to train anyone, anytime, anywhere across devices. It supports continuous learning through increased mobility, thereby improving retention. You can use it to boost engagement, make learning easy and fast, and reduce training costs.

Since the mobile learning platform provides access to online content 24/7, you get the benefits of convenient and impactful mlearning. The platform works in different operating systems and supports multimedia such as images, videos, presentations, and documents.


Key Features

  • Easy to use: Perfect for businesses of all sizes and users of all skill levels.
  • Compatibility: ProProfs LMS works flawlessly across all operating systems and browsers. That means you can continue using your favorite technology while deploying ProProfs.
  • In-App Collaboration Tools: Promote social learning right in the mobile-ready LMS with instant chat and Q&A community. Facilitate real-time collaboration between training participants.
  • Reports & Analytics: AI-powered reports and stats keep you posted about individuals and groups. Track progress, course completion, and gaps in real-time. You can also set reminders to ensure course completion.


Pricing: $2/learner/month (billed annually).

Here’s a case study of ProProfs LMS that illustrates how the tool can help you.

Acer, one of the world’s top ICT companies, was looking for a solution to train and certify their employees on new product releases. They needed assessment quizzes and a system that would allow users to request additional training and information if required.

ProProfs helped create a training system that included online training, question banks, assessments, certification, and collaboration among course creators along with customization capabilities 

Now their employees can be trained and certified easily and they can also request training whenever they need it.

2. Adobe Captivate

Adobe Captivate

Adobe Captivate lets you create fully responsive mlearning content with the support of scalable HTML5, mobile themes, play bar, and pause-and-resume feature. 

Its smart authoring tool enables users to transform non-mobile courses into mobile learning content. With this, you can facilitate learning anywhere, any time, and on virtually any device.

Any type of content you deliver gets automatically rearranged according to the device a learner uses. The platform offers eLearning mobile apps for Android and iOS.

Key Features

  • HTML5 Publication: Easily import your PowerPoint presentations into Adobe Captivate and publish them directly in HTML5. Retain text, audio, animations, and other elements.
  • Responsive Content: Author a single eLearning content and deliver them to any device. They remain fully responsive across all device types and screen sizes.
  • Fluid Boxes: This layout model provides an arrangement of containers on a slide. The objects added to the containers behave predictably when a slide accommodates devices of different screen sizes. The containers expand or shrink objects to fill available white space or to prevent overflow.

360° Learning: Add 360° images and videos to your standard 2D Adobe Captivate projects. Let your learners experience immersive learning by augmenting mobile learning this way.

Pricing: Starts at $39/month.

3. EdApp

EdApp

Turn your training materials into mobile-friendly content with EdApp. Let your learners take them anywhere for free. The built-in and easy-to-use templates allow you to create courses and add videos, quizzes, games, and assessments. You can also use the free courses from the mobile learning platform and customize them with your branding.

EdApp is easy to use, and you can administer training in minutes. Update content quickly to bring your audience up to speed. It also supports multiple languages so that you can deliver micro-lessons to different regions of the world. Ensure information retention and higher completion rates.

Key Features

  • Course Authoring: Create a mLearning course in minutes using dozens of ready-to-use templates, PowerPoint conversions, and SCORM uploads.
  • AI Translation: Cater to a worldwide audience by delivering training in multiple languages. Use a cloud translation tool to translate and distribute content with just a click of a button.
  • PowerPoint Conversion: Simply upload your training slides and convert them into beautiful micro lessons. The PPT converter is free and usable any number of times.

Gamification: Learning becomes effective when it doesn’t feel like learning. EdApp’s gamification features infuse competitive elements in learning with scores and prizes.

Pricing: Starts at $0 for unlimited users.

4. Lectora

Lectora

Lectora, a trusted eLearning authoring tool, enables users to develop modules rapidly with mobile-ready themes and style packs. The tool supports adaptive learning to offer personalized learning experiences. You can design responsive courses once and publish them everywhere.

Choose from a variety of eLearning frameworks and interactions. Embed virtual reality in your courses. Lectora provides mobile-friendly templates for online learning designers that they can use within Lectora, Captivate, and Storyline.

Key Features

  • Flexible Mobile Learning Design: Lectora takes a unique approach to mlearning design. It is flexible and gives you control over how your content displays across different devices.
  • Unparalleled Interactivity: Add branching navigation, click-to-reveal interactions, animations, knowledge checks, quizzes, and feedback pop-ups. Make your learning more interactive.
  • Built-In Asset Library: Enhance your lessons and tests with cut-out characters, icons, stock images & videos, audio files, and more. Let your content come alive.
  • Language Translation: Translate your content in several languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish, and Chinese. Save time importing and exporting translation files with XLIFF.Pricing: Starts at $899/year.

5. UpsideLMS

Upside LMS
With UpsideLMS, you can take learning to where your learners are. They can go back and forth between different devices and pick up from where they last left in a lesson or assessment.

The tool even supports offline learning in that learners can download resources directly to their mobile learning devices and access them whenever and wherever they want.

The ability to access eLearning in rich formats such as videos, SCORM courses, reference materials, assignments, surveys, and assessments makes learning engaging in this tool. Learning path, social learning, gamification, and content authoring are other offerings in the mobile LMS.

Key Features

  • Offline Mobile Learning: Don’t let connectivity issues come in the way of your learners and their learning. Let them download online resources and access them offline. The tool syncs progress once it becomes online.
  • Multilingual Support: Train your learners in a language of their choice like English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai. Users can switch languages with a single click.
  • Ready-to-Use Content: Access a mlearning training portal consisting of high-quality online courses and videos. It offers over 80,000 content pieces on various topics optimized for maximum engagement.
  • Business Intelligence: Leverage intelligent analytics and reporting on learning to aid decision-making. Get insights into the most active users and popular curriculums.

Pricing: Available on Request.

Redefine the Way Employees Learn With Mobile Learning

After understanding all the advantages of mobile learning, its use cases in corporate training, and the mobile learning technology you can use, getting started with mLearning is easy.

These days, employees spend more time on their smartphones than at a work computer. This is a significant development that you can tap into to deliver mlearning and get better results.

For that, you need a mobile learning strategy, understand the mobile learning trends, and adopt a mobile-ready LMS that is easy to use. You also need to ensure that such LMS software solutions support different file types, languages, and offline learning.

Only then can you be a part of the mlearning success story.

 

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About the author

Kamy Anderson

Kamy is an eLearning & training expert. He has been published in eLearningIndustry, TrainingMag. As a corporate trainer at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in building an awesome eLearning management system that has simplified learning and training for thousands of customers across the globe. Follow Kamy @kamyanderson

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