M-Learning at Work
In today’s high-tech world, personal electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops and notebooks have become part of everyday life. This proliferation of personal electronic devices has paved the way for mobile learning or m-learning, defined as learning across multiple contexts through personal mobile devices.
Touting numerous benefits, m-learning is becoming more popular among companies and learners alike. For starters, learners no longer have to be physically present in a classroom to learn. With an internet connection, they can access content or interact with portable technologies through various mobile tools and apps, providing them greater flexibility and convenience.
Mobile learning’s accessibility allows learners to sharenotes and ideas with other users virtually anywhere – making instantaneous robust online discussions and reception of feedback and tips possible. By substituting books and notes for small devices, learning content can also be tailored to suit individual needs.
The statistics speak for themselves. A 2013 to 2014 Towards Maturity Study conducted with responses from 538 Learning and Development professionals across 44 countries found that 83% (up from 65% in 2013) of top learning companies have adopted mobile learning in their workplace. The reasons for the uptake in mobile learning vary, but include improving employee engagement, increasing appeal to the millennial learner and having access support at the point of need.
In additional, the report “In-Focus: Mobile Learning at Work 2014” also noted that companies with mobile learning have seen significant improvements in their business compared to non-mobile users. These benefits include:
- 43% improvement in productivity
- 73% improvement in revenue
- 44% improvement in time to competency
- 75% improvement in the number noticing positive changes in staff behavior
The future of mobile learning is a rosy one. As functionality on devices improves and connectivity becomes more affordable, this will create new possibilities for better mobile learning solutions that are fast, seamless and accessible to many.
This article first appeared in IALeads (April 2015 issue), an e-magazine from the Institute for Adult Learning.