Simplify Your Training with mLearning

Can you guess how much the first cell phone weighed?

Seriously, take a moment and guess.

If you guess a whopping two pounds, you would be correct. The first cell phone came out in 1973.

Since then, cell phones have evolved not only in their compactness but also in what they can do. A luxury item for business executives is now an extension of all of our lives.

In the first few decades of the cell phone, development was focused on making it look and feel better and more practical for everyday use, along with reducing its cost so it can be used by the masses.

But once cell phones could give internet access, and especially when the iPhone was released in 2007, the possibilities of what this device can do were endless. Making them an integral part of our everyday lives that we know them as today.

It’s pretty amazing there’s a time when a cell phone sending text messages, taking photos, and even accessing the internet felt unfathomable. And now, we can even conduct training with it.

Mobile learning, or mLearning, is defined as the delivery of learning, education or training on mobile devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. mLearning allows training and support to be taken anywhere, making it flexible and convenient for companies to use.  Many businesses are taking advantage of mLearning to educate employees and clients more efficiently, especially with remote working being more prevalent than ever.

As a trainer, you should know about all the different options you have for training, an mLearning is only going to continue to grow in popularity. Consider this blog post your quick guide to mLearning.

 

Why mLearning?

The prospect of mLearning has created a long list of the advantages it can bring to a company.  One of the most obvious advantages is the flexibility and convenience of using mLearning and accessing information at any time – anywhere.  But mLearning also allows the content to be customized to the learner, and can benefit different types of learners (i.e., visual learners, auditory learners, spatial learners, etc.).  Since people take their mobile devices wherever they go, mLearning allows users to make use of their spare time, or ‘dead time’, such as while standing in line at the bank, waiting for the bus, or even in between meetings/projects.

Advantages include:

  • Convenience and flexibility
  • Customized learning
  • Makes good use of spare time
  • Tailored to different learning styles
  • Larger access to information

When mLearning is Used

mLearning is most commonly used for training and education purposes.  The majority of training or learning in the workplace occurs on the job.  However, it can be costly and time consuming to require employees to attend meetings, conferences or other training sessions away from work.  Recently, many businesses have begun to implement mLearning, which allows employees to stay in the workplace to acquire additional training or knowledge.  With mLearning, employees can gain new knowledge faster and be more up-to-date on any changes or company additions. 

mLearning has also become a helpful tool in training new employees, since it allows for the company to reduce group or individual training sessions and allow the employee to learn on their own terms.  Not only does this allow the company to save on training hours, but allows the training manager to evaluate which employees are ready to begin work and which ones may need more help before starting on their own.

mLearning is most commonly used for training and education purposes.  The majority of training or learning in the workplace occurs on the job.  However, it can be costly and time consuming to require employees to attend meetings, conferences or other training sessions away from work.  Recently, many businesses have begun to implement mLearning, which allows employees to stay in the workplace to acquire additional training or knowledge.  With mLearning, employees can gain new knowledge faster and be more up-to-date on any changes or company additions. 

mLearning has also become a helpful tool in training new employees, since it allows for the company to reduce group or individual training sessions and allow the employee to learn on their own terms.  Not only does this allow the company to save on training hours, but allows the training manager to evaluate which employees are ready to begin work and which ones may need more help before starting on their own.

What mLearning is Delivered On

Technology has changed the way we receive information.  Computers have replaced reference books when it comes to learning new material, and now mobile devices are changing how we access information that has already been digitized.  One of the key aspects of mLearning is using these mobile tools to access new information for education and training purposes.  These mLearning tools allow learners to access the information needed from anywhere and at any time.  Many of the devices used have become a common household need, such as mobile phones and notebook computers.  With technology on the rise, employees are more than likely to own at least one mobile learning tool they can use for future mLearning.

Common mLearning tools:

  • Mobile phone
  • Tablets
  • Notebook/laptop computers

The FRAME Model

In mLearning, the Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education, or FRAME, model was created by Dr. Marguerite Koole, and is designed to show how the different aspects of mLearning work with each other to enhance learning and overall user success. Although the FRAME Model is generally applied to any form of learning with technology, it has become a great tool in defining and illustrating the different aspects of mLearning.

Three aspects of the FRAME Model:

  • Device aspect
  • Learner aspect
  • Social aspect

The Device Aspect - The first aspect of mLearning is the Device aspect, which focuses on the physical and functional characteristics of the mobile device used by the learner.  When beginning mLearning, one of the first steps is to choose a mobile device to use.  The characteristics and capabilities of this device can play a role in the success of the learner.  The hardware of the device must be suitable for the course, such as the size/shape, storage units and any additional input/output devices.  Additionally, the software must be able to perform properly as well, such as the processing speed, response ratings, general power and the likeliness of malfunctioning at some point. Although this aspect is often overlooked as a separate component, it is a very important part of mLearning because the learner cannot connect to the learning materials without a device that works properly and efficiently.

Criteria observed for the Device aspect:

  • Physical characteristics
  • Input capabilities
  • Output capabilities
  • File/Storage abilities
  • Processing speed
  • Error rates

The Learner Aspect - Another aspect of mLearning is the actual learner themselves.  This aspect refers to the learner’s individual capabilities, such as their use of memory and prior knowledge when learning and how they merge prior knowledge with newly acquired knowledge.  It also describes how learners use emotions and personal motivation to guide their sense of learning, and how they best learn and process information. mLearning is a convenient and accessible way to distribute training, but it is important to remember that it requires significant motivation and self-guidance from the learner, so communicating the impact and benefits of the training is crucial.

Criteria observed for the Learner aspect:

  • Prior knowledge
  • Memory capabilities
  • Emotions/Motivations
  • Learning styles

The Social Aspect - A large portion of mLearning is done individually, which can make the social aspect of mLearning sound almost like a contradiction.  But the social aspect refers to processes of social interaction and cooperation that the learner has with other users, and with the learning material itself.  After all, learners must follow rules and obey guidelines, such as following deadlines and studying the correct material. Cooperation allows users to communicate with one another and exchange ideas, knowledge and even learning practices. The majority of the social aspect boils down to the ‘culture’ of the learner and the environment.  In mLearning, this environment involves the virtual surroundings the learner must submit to in order to access the material.

Criteria observed for the social aspect:

  • Conversation/Speech
  • Cooperation
  • Culture practices
  • Social interactions

Conclusion

mLearning is really more accessible to deliver than ever, and can be the solution to convenient training.

You might be thinking, “Okay, I am sold on offering mLearning, but how do I even do that?”

That’s where we have you covered.

Our eLearning Library and all of the courses that are pre-loaded into our Learning Management System are compatible with mobile devices, so you can start your mLearning training today.

Have you offered mLearning? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Posted by Katelyn Roy on

  • Tags: corporate training, eLearning, hybrid learning, Learning Management System, mLearning, Soft Skills Training

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