Mobile Learning is a major trend in the eLearning industry. Many have argued the finer details of mlearning extensively. As the leader of a training department of any size, you should be considering how you can leverage mobile devices to support enterprise-wide performance improvement. And if you are responsible for producing training for your customers then there are additional issues to consider as well.
There are technical questions that need to be answered as well as HR questions, and internal cultural questions. If you are new to the training world, these questions are part of the audience analysis commonly performed by instructional designers. However, don’t feel bad, even seasoned instructional designers struggle with understanding the nuances of mLearning at times, and forget about the bigger corporate picture that needs to be considered.
Mobile Learning technology can be very enticing and fun, but don’t get caught up in the new shiny object until you consider the larger enterprise and how mobile devices are treated. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking about the broader implications of a mobile learning initiative.
1. Talk to Your HR Leader
Do employees get paid for accessing training off-the-clock? This is an often overlooked part of mobile learning strategies. This is a big deal for a workforce paid hourly. Just because employees have mobile phones does not mean they want to be working 24/7.
On the flip side, your A-players are perfect candidates for mobile learning because they are self-sufficient and will take any opportunity they can to control their own time. They will gladly take mandatory training on a mobile device at home in the evening, so the work day is free from distraction. And for your highly motivated sales force mobile learning is an obvious solution. Consuming learning content in a taxi, waiting for a plane, at the hotel, etc.
Remember to know your audience. And who better to help you understand the humans than Human Resources, right?
2. Talk to IT
Does your company have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy? Does your company issue devices, or reimburse employees for mobile device expenses? And how can employees access the corporate network via their mobile device? And Remember, there are security risks to consider when delivering potentially sensitive learning content over the corporate network. Those risks increase significantly when you push that same content outside the corporate network...or allow your learners to pull that content as needed.
And while talking to IT is mostly about hardware, networking, and security solutions, your design capabilities can be part of the solution as well. Understanding the restrictions of your IT department simply defines the boundaries you must design within. Do not let their answers discourage you. Creative constraints build your skills as a professional. Work within those boundaries and provide a learning solution.
3. Talk to Everyone
Okay, that sounds a little vague and perhaps impossible. But with social media tools now part of the enterprise IT landscape, it’s really not that hard to communicate with everyone in your company. The hard part is getting them to communicate back. And therein lies your company culture...or at least a part of it. Get a feel for the pulse of your organisation and their tolerance for technology, communication, and learning.
“Talk to Everyone” means understand the culture within your company. Some people are still not comfortable with mobile devices. Others would love doing ALL of their work on a mobile device. And with those 2 being the ends of the spectrum there is everyone else between. Remember, learning is about people NOT technology. Even mLearning is more about the people than it is about the technology. eLearning supports the process of delivering training events, and content, but learning is about the people. So as a learning leader it’s your job to know the people.
*image courtesy of fitcom.co