Trends in Learning and Development: Mobile Learning

By Freddy Mitchell, Dr. Laura Hume & Kenny Simon

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: It’s a version of e-learning that I can take with me, and I can provide content on specific pieces that the learner needs just in time.

Kenny Simon – Client Director: Mobile learning can take place on a smartphone, on a laptop, on a tablet, when you’re sitting anywhere.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: Mobile learning is perfect for a blended approach, where you can have smaller sections on your mobile device. And people can get to it at point of need. It’s great for on-the-job training.

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: But mobile learning is more than that, mobile learning is also an opportunity for us to build collaboration, to build communities of practice, and really create a learner centric environment and culture.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: I think what’s innovative is doing it well. Yes, it’s been around for a long time, but I still don’t think we’ve figured out how to do it well and how to do it in an instructionally sound way.

Kenny Simon – Client Director: One of the considerations is the size of the screen. You don’t want your employee out in the field scrolling and scrolling and scrolling, trying to get to all of the information that they need to see that’s critical. So consider the screen size when designing.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: Make sure that you’re not putting ten hours of training all to be taken at one time on a mobile device - that’s exhausting to do. That’s not a good design.

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: A good example of mobile learning is with a client I worked with that used this for workers that were in a field operation capacity, so they needed just-in-time learning when they were on the job. Having all this robust training ahead of time was doing them no good because it could be weeks before they would actually use that skill. So they used mobile learning as a method to check in with their device on certain days or key events, and they would get those key learning concepts just before they needed it and they could go in a practice those skills and use it just in time.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: It used to be that the production costs were very high, and now we have audiences with the advent of YouTube that are very forgiving of low fidelity options - they don’t need hugely high production value. They’re fine with hearing an expert talk through “here’s how you play a guitar” and then making sure it’s visible and you can see how it’s done. But they don’t need tons of bells and whistles in their videos. So it can be a very cost effective thing for companies to do, again, if it’s designed in an instructionally sound way.

Kenny Simon – Client Director: You can’t edit some of that out? OK, sorry!