This article, which covers reasons why you should consider mLearning as part of your overall learning strategy, is the first of a two-part series on m-Learning. The second article covers how to create mLearning programs, and what mLearning “looks like”.
In online training, one of the most challenging things for trainers is knowing whether their training courses are engaging and effective. Having great animations, videos, and quizzes doesn’t necessarily mean that a trainee is engaged into the course. As a trainer, you’ve worked long and hard on your training course hoping that your trainees are absorbing all the content. It’s even more important when your training is critical to the success of the trainee such as safety and compliance types of training.
There are plenty of "general" reasons to implement e-learning in your company. For example, you could deliver training to anyone in the world, people can complete training at their own pace, and you can provide a consistent message in your courses. These are just a few ways that you can benefit from e-learning, and there are certainly plenty of others.
M-learning — mobile learning — is a hot new topic among training professionals, but what, exactly, is it? And who uses it? We know the idea is to tap into the immense power and popularity of smartphones and tablets and to deliver training on-the-go. But, as new as the concept is, most training pros still have more questions than answers about how to use, utilize, and implement m-learning programs. So we turned to Connie Malamed, e-learning consultant, speaker, and author of the popular instructional design website The eLearning Coach, to talk about the benefits and drawbacks of m-learning.
Yogi Berra once said, "Predictions are hard, especially when they are about the future." So instead of writing a 2012 prediction post, I decided to review the topics I wrote about in 2011 and rediscover what topics really resonated with people. During my review, I discovered four themes that popped up based on activity from readers and from the number of posts I wrote on each subject. The four themes were business acumen and leadership, social learning, rapid instructional design, and experimenting with innovative ideas.
The evidence is overwhelming. We're becoming more mobile and more dispersed. Devices are becoming simultanteously smaller and more powerful. And the younger workforce that will eventually replace the baby boomers has grown up using mobile devices more than notebook and desktop computers. The Economist describes this shift to a more mobile lifestyle as a new form of nomadism. If you believe, to any extent, these shifting trends, and you are in some fashion in a leadership postion or in an organizational learning function, you must read The Mobile Learning Edge: Tools and Technologies For Developing Your Teams by Gary Woodill, ED.D.
If you ask me if mobile learning has arrived, and you ask me this week, I'll say "yes." Though, I am jaded because last week I popped in on the ELearning Guild's Mobile Learning Conference in San Jose, and have been following the conference back channel with great intent — so mobile learning is on the top of my mind. My organization is dipping its toe in the water of mobile learning, and we are experimenting with a few development tools to figure out how to design for mlearning. From what I can gather so far, there are a few things to be aware of when undertaking the project of designing mobile learning objects.