Mobile learning is a great way to put skills and professional development in your employees’ own hands. This is an exciting opportunity, and many companies are understandably looking to take advantage of it in their own operations. But unless you get it right, it could well end up another failed project.
Mobile Learning: What It Is and Isn’t
Some of the excitement around mobile learning appears to be attributing benefits or functions to it that simply aren’t the case. Kicking off a major project like implementing mobile learning is a huge corporate undertaking. You need to know right off the bat what you’re getting into.
One disturbing trend we’re seeing is companies assuming that mobile learning is the same as e-learning (think sites like Coursera) or a replacement for their onboarding or training programs. I can’t stress this enough—if you’re looking for onboarding or training help, mobile learning is not for you.
So What Is It?
Mobile learning is an excellent post-training tool. What do I mean by that? Mobile learning gives you the opportunity to provide on-the-job refreshers and mini-lessons after employees have been on-boarded.
The most important thing to remember here is that mobile learning is about reinforcing things your team has already learned.
How to Set Up Your Mobile Learning Practice
Here are some tips to help you make your mobile learning focused, relevant, and sticky.
Decide on Your Mobile Learning Objectives
In many ways, you establish the chances of your mobile learning succeeding right at the start, as you’re planning the implementation. Do you know what core skills your employees need the most? Identify the main skills you want your employees to learn using your new tool, so you know what you need to focus on.
At this point, I’m going to let you in on the most important thing you need to remember when you’re implementing mobile learning. Less is more. You may have a long list of nice-to-have objectives you want to achieve with your program—but the fewer objectives you have, the more successful you’ll be.
The best way to do this is to look at your current training programs. What skills are you teaching effectively right now? Do you know where you have training gaps or why certain skills are falling short? Is skill retention among your team low? These are all ways to identify a small set of objectives that will truly help your business.
Create Relevant Materials and Learning Pathways
Once you’ve decided on your objectives, it’s time to start planning and creating your content. Remember: less is more. The last thing you want is hour-long videos or twenty-page instruction manuals. You want to aim for short and informative materials.
You’ll also want to decide how you’re going to develop your content. Some mobile learning vendors offer libraries of generic content. If you decide to take advantage of this offering, you’ll need to think about where there may be gaps in that generic content. You could find you’ll need to create a little of your own content to fill them.
Of course, you may decide to go with creating everything yourself. I know, this seems like a daunting task. But remember, you want short engaging pieces of content. Combined with a well-planned development process, you’ll find the project is a lot less time consuming than you might think.
Of course, you can also decide to only use generic content. In that case, you’ll still need to go through the content available and make sure your team are only seeing what’s relevant to them.
As you can see, getting your content together doesn’t have to be an onerous task. With good planning, you’ll be fine. And if you need it, help is available with Axsium’s experts, who regularly build training materials and oversee change management efforts.
Build a Sticky Mobile Learning Launch Plan
Mobile learning can be a great tool to enhance and reinforce your training program. But we all know training programs don’t do any good if they’re never used. When planning to launch your mobile learning tool, you need to think about where and how you want your employees to engage.
Should you ping your employees with mobile learning refreshers at scheduled intervals after in-person training? Will you manually trigger learning paths for employees having trouble with certain skills? These are the sorts of questions you’ll need to ask. And remember, automate where you can to properly maintain the tool.
Good mobile solutions have robust analytics that identify who is engaging with what content. You can use these tools to monitor your mobile learning use and identify opportunities to draw attention to important but unused content.
You’ll also need to consider how your team will engage with this new tool. Do you use gamification? It can certainly increase engagement, but do you want to risk your customers seeing your staff playing a game on the job?
In the same vein, what devices do you want your team to use to access the tool? If you encourage staff do download the mobile learning platform to their personal mobile devices, should they be using it on the shop floor? If you provide a device for the new tool to be used, does that nullify the benefit of the mobile format?
Axsium and Mobile Learning
Mobile learning platforms are an exciting development in the corporate world. But like all innovations, it’s important you know exactly what you can and can’t do with them. With that understanding, you can build a development and launch plan that will make your new mobile learning platform a success.
Axsium has extensive experience building training implementation and launch plans that engage employees and get consistent use. In fact, many of our dynamic mobile learning plans have exceeded 90% engagement and use at organizations across retail and hospitality.
With the right plan, you can do the same. Getting the plan right means having engaged employees well-trained by materials that are made for them. And if you’re not sure if you have the resources to achieve this goal, an Axsium expert is always available to support you.