Any technology which has widespread influence on the population and can change the way things are done, should be looked at critically to see, if it can be leveraged for today’s agile and dynamic workforce. One such technological advancement has been the penetration of mobile phones specially the smart phones and their extensive usage to fulfill the tasks of everyday life from ordering a cab to booking a movie ticket.

So naturally, the question is bound to come up if mobile can be used for the purpose of learning. The answer is a big YES. Mobile learning is rapidly becoming the new norm of e-learning, m-learning has invaded the e-learning scene, regardless of the age of the learner. Nowadays m-learning plays a vital role in e-learning project.

Let’s see what are the top 5 benefits of using Mobile learning :

1.Convenience

The learners can access the modules at their own convenience across multiple devices such as tablets and smartphones. The concept of time practically does not exist in the world of m-learning as the learners choose their time. Infact one of the challenges identified by the LI Workplace Report of 2018 has been that learners do not find time for learning and the concept of m-learning just addresses that. “It’s your device at your time”.

Sometimes learners do not have access to desktops and mobile is the only real alternative. This is true for salespeople who are constantly on the field or in the meetings with clients. So mobile learning is quite a convenient option for all such learners

2.Performance support

Most learners prefer to learn course content, which they believe helps them to perform their jobs well. Through m-learning learners are able to access the content when they are actually in need of it like a tricky service situation or a quick product feature demo etc.

Infact, I personally believe that m-learning is one of the best performance support mechanism, which a learner can use on the job.

Another advantage is that while using m-learning, learners create learning habits,  which ultimately yield a higher quality of performance.

3.Higher completion rates and higher retention

Owing to the bite-size nature of the content and conciseness for the mobile platforms, m-learning acts as a good motivator for learners to complete the course. This is especially true for all the mandatory courses like compliance training  

Another advantage of m-learning is its ability to increase the retention amongst the learners. Research on the forgetting curve shows that within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information you presented. Within 24 hours, they have forgotten an average of 70 percent of new information, and within a week, forgetting claims an average of 90 percent of it.  This statistics shows that while you may create a good e-learning course but most of it will be forgotten. However, m-learning saves this situation to an extent by giving limited information in one go and also by making the information content accessible to the learners on the swipe of a tab or a tap of a button.

4.Higher engagement

M-learning is known to drive higher engagement levels due to its convenience and kinesthetic dimension to learning through the use of swipe, click and any other interactions.

But just because it is small it need not necessarily be engaging.  While m-learning delivers content in bite-sized modules, certain elements of engagement need to be built in for learners-giving them a reason to come back to the course. This can be done through elements of gamification, branching scenarios etc. TheM-Learning modules can be customized as per the learner’s learning style and the learner can create his own learning path thus resulting in higher engagement levels, adding a sense of motivation to the learners. M-learning helps learners to stay on track with their training which results in fewer dropouts.

5.Good use of idle time

Since m-learning embodies the concept of  “learn on the go”, it enables learners to make good use of the idle time. Most of us have a lot of idle time while commuting to work, traveling for work or in between meetings and conferences, which is likely to be wasted. The same time can be put to good use if the learners go through the m-learning modules on any skill development, language practice or any product features.

Mobile learning has lot many benefits and it capitalizes on learner’s need for flexibility and access. However, at times it might not be always effective for delivering content for more complex learning objectives. Finally not to forget you must ensure that you have a strategic plan in place to implement m-leaning.