6 Ways to Use Mobile for Learning
The Mobl21 blog recently ran a post on Seven Learning Models for Mobile Learning with useful suggestions for mobile use cases. Mobile now allows learning to be available when and where you need it. You can make better use of “found” time to engage in needed learning activities or have learning available along side you as you perform a specific task. In this post we offer examples of Mobl21 use cases. I combined two of the seven Mobl21 models as they seem similar.
Mobile learning can certainly support assessments of traditional course comprehension that learners can take when it fits their schedule. It can also extend areas where assessments can take place. For example, a large telecommunication organization with a distributed sales force faced the challenge of increasing the effectiveness of their sales conferences. As a pilot project, the company decided to extend their training to take advantage of mobile devices to monitor and test individuals throughout the sales conference to ensure the meeting’s effectiveness. Sales representatives tested 20% higher versus previous post conference surveys that gauged the level of knowledge on new product introductions. The overall conference rating rose by 16% compared to previous years.
The first step in remediation is to ensure that learners actually took the training. For example, a transportation company repurposed content from online courses to provide material that ran on mobile devices to supplement their training efforts. Workers received training bites that they viewed while on the road during down times. The company was able to track what training had taken place through online, real-time reporting. As a follow up to the training, workers received quizzes to measure knowledge retention and surveys to get feedback on the initiative. The results included a 76% improvement in retention and a 30% improvement in being prepared for the job. These quiz results could also be used to present remediation learning activities for those who scored poorly. In a similar example, an energy company sent reminders out to those individuals who had not taken the mobile learning activities. After three months, the oil and gas company measured a 19% decrease in user errors due to changes in process or technology that was covered by the mobile learning.
Just as assessment and remediation can be provided after a learning event, mobile can be used to help prepare participants for a learning event. It can also help them start on a level playing field by covering perquisite content. Actually reading the perquisite content is often a task left undone by busy professionals. Now these same professionals are able to access this content in taxis, while waiting in an airport, and other situations that used to be “lost time.” Now they can add these “lost hours” to the productive part of their day and are much more likely to engage with learning and test preparation.
Guides and Indexes
In this example, a global insurance company used mobile learning as a way of reaching its workforce in a crisis situation. Job aides and checklists were sent to mobile devices to ensure that crisis workers were not missing a step due to the high level of stress at the emergency site. In each instance, management had the added benefit of real-time reporting to ensure everyone had completed the poll, read the instructions, used the guides, passed the assessment, and was ready to do their job. A post-crisis mobile survey indicated that emergency workers were able to assess damage 20% faster than in previous crisis situations.
Collaboration can take many forms. It can first involve the learners in deciding on what learning they need. In the above example on indexes and checklists the insurance first sent polls to workers to gauge the situation to determine proper response. Once assessed, information was then sent to workers as described above. Because they asked the learners first, the proper resources from the extensive knowledge capital of the firm was quickly put to work to provide better assistance to their customers, show the firm’s concern for their subscribers, and potentially reduce the size of claims. After collaborating on content requirements, collaboration can then be injected into the learning process itself in many forms through team exercises.
Supplementing formal learning is an ideal mobile learning use case where short segments can be distributed along with practice tests and assessments and the results analyzed to ensure knowledge transfer occurred. For example, a global pharmaceutical company used mobile learning to extend the new product introduction training provided to its worldwide sales force. The company used a variety of mobile learning formats, including text messages, images, audio, video, PowerPoint, and short quizzes to reinforce key concepts covered during the company’s formal training. The quizzes, along with real time reporting, enabled management to determine if the training was a success. Using this approach to supplement formal training, the company improved knowledge retention by 53% and increased sales representative retention by 27%.
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