Originally published February 2019. Updated October 2021.
The explosion of mobile technology is driving significant shifts in how we live, work and learn. Innovative business models and shifting workforce dynamics are making traditional online learning programs ineffective and inefficient while opening the door to the mobile learning (m-learning) revolution.
What’s Mobile Learning?
Mobile learning, also known as m-learning, is a type of online learning enabled by, and intended for, mobile devices. Mobile learning technology is becoming increasingly popular due to the proliferation of mobile devices, especially in the workplace, technological advancements and the acceleration of remote working.
Why’s Mobile Learning Important?
I can’t overstate the impact mobile technology is having. As we move forward and mobile technology takes an even stronger hold on society, it’ll be something every learning team will need to incorporate into their program.
Historically, corporate or customer learning programs operated in a very traditional way—for example, in-person conferences and instructor-led seminars. There are two problems with this: These tactics are expensive and hard to scale.
On top of that, you have to consider the rapid shift to remote work. By 2025, 36.2% of people in the US will work remotely and be free to work whenever and wherever they want. Learning programs must account for this.
Finally, the gig economy is growing. Think businesses like Airbnb, Lyft and others that rely on the success of independent contractors who are dotted across the world and working on different schedules. In-person training isn’t an option. As the gig economy becomes an even bigger player — it’s estimated that the gig economy will be worth $347 billion in 2021 — teams will have to deliver learning experiences that are flexible enough to accommodate their target audience.
Getting Started with Mobile Learning
Launching a mobile learning program may seem daunting at first, especially if you haven’t done it before. User-friendly LMS platforms make it easy to create, deliver and measure a mobile learning program, whether you’re building it from scratch or updating an existing one. And if you still need more inspiration, read this: Learners who use mobile devices complete course materials 45% faster compared to those using computers.
Now here are the three steps to deliver a mobile-first learning experience.
The best LMS platforms make it easy to build courses right on the platform. And there’s no need to start from scratch when it comes to creating content, either. Use existing videos, blog posts, slideshows, documents and any other materials available to kick things off.
Whether your learners are in the same building or spread out across the globe, they can access an m-learning program on their own devices and schedules. They don’t need to download any apps or create any accounts. Platforms like Northpass are fully white-labeled and can integrate with existing technology stacks, providing learners with a seamless and fully branded experience.
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Many platforms offer robust analytics that makes it easy to gauge the impact of your program. Stay informed about how quickly learners are progressing through courses and how well they’re performing on assessments. Then, look internally to determine the program’s ROI
Mobile Learning Examples
As you consider how mobile learning development might fit into your business, it may be helpful to look at examples of companies already getting mobile learning right. How might you emulate their success or how can you use similar strategies to accomplish your learning goals?
- Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch employed mobile learning to speed up compliance training. Results showed that employees spent between 45%-80% less time in training, averaged 12% higher completion rates while displaying “no loss of comprehension.”
Walmart leveraged microlearning to reduce safety incidents. It reportedly achieved a 54% decrease in recordable safety incidents, a 15% increase in employee knowledge about safety topics and saw a voluntary participation rate of 91%.
Babierge used m-learning to reduce onboarding time for on-demand workers. The average time spent completing its two-step application process dropped from 2 weeks to 3 days, costing them 75% less time on support.
- Home Depot
Home Depot developed performance support tools to augment customer service. Store associates have iPads preloaded with FAQs, competitor information and other relevant content to help them stay educated and provide a better customer experience.
The Mobile Learning Revolution with Northpass
Mobile technology is the driving force behind many of the changes affecting our culture and economy. Any company with a vested interest in learning should consider how mobile learning can play a part. Operating from any other playbook would be a strategic mistake.
To do this, you’ll need a modern and mobile LMS. Northpass is one of the most user-friendly, mobile-compatible LMSs on the market. From our white-glove implementation service to our intuitive interface and analytics capabilities, Northpass makes it easy to create, deliver and measure a mobile learning program people will love.