2013 Global Trends in TrainingPart 3: Climb Onboard the Mobile Training Bandwagon

The mobile learning bandwagon will continue to accelerate this year as training organizations overcome their reluctance to climb aboard.

The continued introduction of new and advanced mobile devices in the marketplace, especially smart phones and tablets, is often described as both a blessing and a curse for workforce training organizations. While it’s true that, for some,  each new device represents another practical learning tool for busy employees and enterprising trainers, for others they present more technological challenge than opportunity.

Training professionals in the latter camp typically find three principal reasons to delay launching mobile learning programs. They have difficulty loading learning content onto their devices; they lack a dependable way to track whether mLearning courses have been accessed, completed and comprehended by students; and they worry about safeguarding proprietary information.

Yet these difficulties are not insurmountable, as many training organizations are discovering. That’s why mobile learning initiatives are becoming an integral component of workforce training programs throughout the world at enterprises large and small.  Successful solutions often combine technology with advanced learning administration support to ensure that each learner’s experience is optimized and the organization’s priorities assured.

Such solutions are often initiated with help from a training partner. Ideally, they involve a systematic method that ensures successful distribution, management, tracking and security of mobile content.

For example, one frequent complaint by users involves the cumbersome process tethering their mobile device to their PC as they “pull” assigned mobile content off servers. A better method is for organizations to “push” assigned content that is properly formatted directly to a learner’s mobile device without their participation.

In addition, proper control of learning content by the organization, and tracking of its use by each learner, can be accomplished with the installation of a personalized mLearning dashboard on mobile devices. This valuable mobile application can organize learning content into assignment lists, play lists and learning paths so that each learner can easily locate and access the content to which they are assigned.  The mobile application can also track and report content completion status, and can assess a learner’s comprehension of the material through associated knowledge checks.  These applications can also help organizations secure their content on the mobile devices. Through the application of powerful data encryption, training organizations can safeguard their proprietary information and expand the topic areas that they make available through mobile.

As they strive to employ such solutions in their mLearning initiatives, organizations are also discovering that successful implementation does not rely on technology alone. Another imperative is high quality content that has been specifically designed and re-purposed around the needs of busy learners and the exciting new devices on which they will increasingly rely.