Technology & Learning

In 2016, Mobile Technology Takes Shape as the Future of L&D

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We already know that mobile technology is rapidly surpassing other methods of communication, but the magnitude of mobile’s impact on society is also causing quite a shift in how we behave and learn. Cisco reports that by 2019, 5.2 billion people will be mobile users – 70% of the world’s population. Additionally, US millennials, who currently make up the majority of the workforce, spend 91 hours per month within apps (ComScore). Organizations must take note of this shift in order to maximize the potential of employees through the learning methods they demand. As technology continues to disrupt the learning landscape and microlearning becomes the preferred method for transferring knowledge to the modern workforce, it comes as no surprise that Raytheon Professional Services (RPS) has a heavy focus on mobile in 2016. Based on the mobile learning strategies we expect to see L&D professionals implement in their organizations this year, we pulled together the following predictions for the months ahead.

L&D professionals will make improving mobile technology their focal point

In 2016, we believe the focus will shift to more authentic mobile learning that is largely personalized and potent. We’ll see mobile technologies evolve, allowing L&D professionals to integrate certain objectives based on specific learner needs. Supported by xAPI, these solutions will also provide tailored learning for employees and their specific aptitudes during the training process.

As mobile learning evolves to become more customized, this is the year we will also see mobile training apps on the rise. L&D professionals are beginning to build mobile training apps to serve as the hub for managing all of their learning tools, from gaming to e-coaching, to video vignettes, interactive PDFs, video files and beyond. Having all these learning tools available through one app interface allows for on-demand access that is trackable through xAPI and made available across a variety of devices through HTML5. Mobile apps provide a responsive learning experience so when learners access training through their desktop or mobile device, they will have a consistent digital learning environment.  Mobile apps have transformed the way L&D professionals implement, track and assess their learning objectives from one centralized hub.

Organizations will face the rising challenge of making coursework universal

Even with all of the advancements across mobile learning technology, certain challenges continue to exist. The biggest headache L&D professionals will face is overcoming the barrier of streaming mobile courses through a browser. Although streaming content is effective in certain environments, due to Network and WiFi constraints organizations will need to figure out a more appropriate solution for deploying learning content through mobile. Given the array of different devices employees turn to for gaining knowledge, L&D professionals need to ensure they implement a strategy for offering a universal, consistent solution. Part of this strategy should include researching the right platform for deploying learning content. In some instances, organizations will implement a platform—whether LCMS, or PC-based development tool— and then find out it is missing specific features their training courses require now or in the near future, ultimately creating a roadblock for learning and negatively impacting the bottom line. It is critical to be aware of the technology capabilities (and limitations) when exploring these platforms, rather than focusing on just the bells and whistles when choosing a vendor.

What’s coming next? Virtual Reality

While we’re forecasting mobile to be 2016’s big focal point in learning and development, we have our eyes on what’s looming on the horizon as the next possible disruptor for the industry. The recent advancements in Virtual Reality (VR) present a significant opportunity for improvement as it offers a low-cost solution with a multitude of engaging capabilities. Through VR we have the ability to introduce gestural technology, interactive graphics technology, immersive technology, creative use of sound and 3D gaming interactions– that don’t always require high-cost investments– to advance learning objectives in an even more interactive and memorable format.

How is your organization planning to integrate mobile technology solutions into your L&D programs in 2016? What are you seeing as the most disruptive technology on the horizon? We’d like to hear from you in a Tweet or LinkedIn comment.

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