The conversation around mobile learning has changed in recent years. Where mobile was once viewed as merely a technical consideration (i.e., making sure training “works” on mobile devices), organizations are slowly realizing the potential of mobile learning through the unique impact it can deliver. The cadence of mobile learning is perfectly aligned with the needs and expectations of today’s learners. Whether through microlearning, spaced learning, learning journeys, continuous learning cultures or personalized learning, mobile is becoming a catalyst in helping organizations transform their learning landscape to deliver more value.
However, as mobile learning has become increasingly important, many organizations still don’t know how to go mobile. Too often, they aren’t sure where to start or can’t find the right use case, because doing so requires a radically different way of thinking about learning and development. Best-in-class organizations treat mobile as a new way to think about learning rather than as simply another mode of delivery. Here are a few real-life use cases that show how some organizations are using mobile to rethink their learning strategy.
Mobile learning is proving particularly effective as an onboarding tool in deskless environments such as retail, in-field technical support and safety. For example, challenged with rapid scalability in emerging markets, one global coffee retailer is using mobile deployment to help increase time to competency for its new-hire baristas to ensure a consistent brand experience.
Mobile learning also helps to promote a more journey-driven approach to onboarding, taking the pressure off single-event training. With a strong focus on reinforcement (baristas need to know hundreds of espresso drink combinations), employees now have a convenient learning tool in their pocket that helps them retain what they’ve learned.
Adaptive retrieval practices help support the onboarding journey in the initial weeks and months of the baristas’ tenure. Push notifications remind them to continue working on their skills, while weekly challenges, mini-games and leaderboards help sustain engagement. Finally, flashcards (e.g., on the right syrup ratios for customized drinks) give learners a self-paced reference tool, which they can use in the moment of need.
A Canadian financial services advisory organization required a radical approach to help break through with its unique target audience: entrepreneurs. Knowing that entrepreneurs are typically resistant to standard training modalities, this organization is leveraging mobile to create a new learning cadence that matches the needs of this ever-distracted and highly resistant learner. The organization has replaced large-format courseware with quick, on-the-go learning sessions that take place over the course of a journey, not during a single event. It has reimagined its presence training courses into a mobile format: Short lessons (no more than five minutes each), ongoing knowledge checks, personalized learning paths and a strong resource library for ongoing performance support allow entrepreneurs to acquire new skills without missing a beat. The organization can now meet its customers where they are, with training that meets their individual business and learning needs.
In an increasingly complex sales landscape, mobile learning is proving to be a differentiator for delivering content to sales teams. A major global automotive company is using mobile as a rapid deployment and alignment tool, empowering its salespeople on the floor to keep up with today’s sophisticated customer, who walks into a showroom ready to have a nuanced conversation about specific car models, pricing and what the competition is offering. Mobile learning is helping the company’s salespeople stay agile, providing quick updates on new product information and timely needs-based support through an adaptive learning engine.
Augmented reality is even playing a role in creating intuitive and quick access to content within a high-context environment. Sales reps can point their phone to a new model on the showroom floor and immediately see real-time information on specific aspects of the car. Off the floor, they can refresh their knowledge by completing retrieval practices, review key selling scenarios through immersive interactive challenges and consult with mobile-friendly job aids prior to their next customer interaction. For this organization, mobile is the necessary learning and performance tool to help their salespeople keep up with customers and be ready for every interaction.
Mobile is finding tremendous success as an effective training delivery platform when organizations identify the right use case, helping them realize the full potential of the medium. Organizations that succeed have a meaningful approach to design and are willing to validate mobile for its potential as a unique platform rather than as a technology wrapper. If you’re looking to make a bold statement for revolutionizing training, mobile learning can be the catalyst you need.