With Gen Zers starting to join their Millennial compatriots in the global workplace, the corporate landscape is dominated by digital natives raised on the internet and social media. Having grown up in the smartphone era, mobile devices are routinely used for educational pursuits, not just communication and entertainment. There has never been a better time to harness this culture of mobile learning and gaming social phenomena. More and more, mobile training is modernizing personalized learning and development through app adoption for conducting employee training.
The Nexus Between Microlearning and Mobile Training
The flexible technology of smartphones and other handheld devices is the ideal learning platform to bring learning content directly to employees, who can access and complete short bursts of corporate training when and where it suits them. Mobile training (sometimes referred to as m-learning) and microlearning are so interlinked that they are often used interchangeably. The key difference is that mobile training refers to the elearning solutions upon which the corporate eLearning takes place, and microlearning is the teaching methodology that, as defined by educational scholar Peter Bruck (2012), ‘divides learning content into small chunks…[and] provides feedback as well as a high degree of interaction to the learner.’
Advantages of Mobile Training
Creating a mobile training program using responsive design cloud-based SCORM authoring tools is a must if you want to engage digital learners, whilst maintaining consistency. Responsive design means providing team members with the flexibility of switching between a tablet, desktop, or smartphone, without compromising content accessibility and the aesthetic experience of learning. EdApp’s learning technologies not only offer responsive design but is a mobile-first platform, meaning that it is more than just ‘mobile-friendly’; in fact, learning content is designed to be ideally interacted with on a handheld screen that allows for swiping, push notifications, games, quizzes, badges, and social interactions. Courses in EdApp follow an instructional design that natively uses minimalist yet aesthetically engaging gamification templates perfectly suited to smartphone screens, requiring little to no zooming or scrolling.
Mobile Training Examples and Features
A mobile training program might encompass any digital learning and development from soft skills to procedural knowledge, corporate learning activities, blended learning, compliance training, or company onboarding. The imagination of your learning leaders and subject matter experts is the only limit with this adaptive learning approach. Even online training that is usually best done face-to-face can be complemented and reinforced through mobile microlearning and virtual classrooms by either flipping the content of learning objects or providing refreshers.
Push Notifications on Mobile Training Platforms
Notifications are entrenched within our smartphone culture; in fact, the average US smartphone user receives approximately 46 push notifications a day. Mobile training solutions such as EdApp use learning trends, such as push LMS notifications (which can be enabled at different intervals) to retain engagement and maintain user momentum. Imagine that an employee got halfway through a module while waiting for their coffee order…you would want them to complete that cycle of learning as soon as possible to maximize retention and understanding. A gentle reminder, or ‘nudge,’ as we say in the mobile learning space, to pick up where they left off can be a highly effective method of maintaining learner consistency and avoiding stagnation.
As well as providing a toolkit for content upload alerts, notifications can also be an effective method of turbocharging employee performance and engagement by tapping into game mechanics. Push notifications can provide a motivation boost when they notify employees of awards, badges, and prizes. Additionally, notifications can foster a collegial community within teams by sending discussion forum alerts and encouraging peer-to-peer teaching.
Team leaders might also consider strategically timing notifications to boost productivity and reinvigorate employee motivation. For example, a message might be deployed during a typical afternoon slump period that encourages team members to grab a quick pick-me-up, whether that be coffee or sunshine, and complete a short burst of mobile training to get the brain firing on all cylinders again.
Mobile Training Case Studies
Providence Health & Services
Learning and development for clinicians has always been a significant pain point for healthcare organizations. As Darci Hall (2021), vice president and chief learning officer for Providence hospitals, aged care, and home health services, points out, the ‘boots on the ground’ nature of the work means that employees struggle to find the time to participate in traditional learning modalities. According to Hall, ‘when a nurse must spend time off the floor to participate in training, that creates an additional burden on the rest of the team, which can ultimately affect patient care…but just-in-time learning can address that issue.’ After running a compliance mobile training pilot group, the results spoke for themselves. Participants appreciated that training time was cut by more than two-thirds and that they could complete it in pockets of time on their own mobile devices. Based on the productivity gains from the trial, Providence estimated that the ROI of implementing a mobile training strategy would be $4 million for each enterprise-wide online course.
Deloitte recently made the switch to EdApp’s course management system and mobile training platform and is now reaping the rewards with overwhelmingly positive feedback from team members. From an enterprise perspective, it allowed trainers the flexibility to deploy region-specific micro-courses to different teams. From an employee perspective, the ease of use and flexibility of the learning experience was a game-changer. Jennifer Siu, a manager of leadership and learning at Deloitte, noted that ’99% of the time the feedback [which was also collected via the platform] has been amazing…[including] the ability to do the course at ease on their mobile in the comfort of their bed was just a winner for us.’
Mobile training ultimately provides enterprises with on and off-site consistency across all teams, whilst also providing instant feedback, boosting user engagement and retention, flexibility, and a much bigger bang for your learning and development buck.
Bruck, P. A., Motiwalla, L., & Foerster, F. (2012). Mobile Learning with Micro- content: A Framework and Evaluation. In Bled eConference (p. 527-543).
Hall D. (2021) ‘Microlearning Meets Compliance.’ TD: Talent Development. 75(5):42-47.
Shail M. S. (August 02, 2019) ‘Using Micro-learning on Mobile Applications to Increase Knowledge Retention and Work Performance: A Review of Literature.’ Cureus 11(8): e5307