How to incorporate mobile into your corporate learning strategy Featured

4:26pm EDT May 1, 2012
How to incorporate mobile into your corporate learning strategy

We hear about all types of learning, but there is really only one kind: The learning that drives the desired behavior changes and business results. Period. Anything else misses the point.

Learning has evolved and comes in many varieties from instructor-led to CBT, eLearning, vLearning and now mLearning, along with the systems that support them like LMS, LCMS, CMS and more. The bottom line is that learning doesn’t end when the formal class or session is over. And that is where mobile comes into play, says Josh Klarin, vice president of Business Development for the Consulting Division of Sequent.

“Mobile devices allow us to extend our learning environment and make critical information, performance support tools, refreshers and much more available to our workforce when and where it’s needed,” says Klarin. “The notion of ‘moment of need’ and ‘on the spot’ learning takes on a real meaning with real impact and results through mobile devices. There are even solutions that do not rely on being connected to the Internet and still provide measurement. So, the ‘no bars’ situation is not a factor.”

Smart Business spoke with Klarin about how to incorporate mobile into your corporate learning strategy.

How have mobile devices changed the game?

Mobile devices such as iPads change the learning game not only by their portability, but more important, by their capabilities. The use of high-quality HD video for simulations, role plays, improved learner interaction and engagement have demonstrated improved results in learning and retention.

How do you know which mix or blended approach is right for your organization?

Here are a few questions that can be asked when considering your strategy. Does it:

* Help you achieve your business objectives?

* Make learning more engaging and effective?

* Drive real change and create a learning culture?

* Extend the learning environment?

* Reach all users, at all levels at all times, when needed?

* Reduce classroom hours?

* Reduce/eliminate retraining?

* Provide immediate feedback?

* Identify areas needing attention?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you should consider what an extended learning environment can do for your program. Mobility is the solution. Associates are bringing their own devices to work (and everywhere else), extending the classroom to not only increase engagement, but add value to content, redefine performance support, improve access and enhance the user experience.

What else is on the horizon for the mobile market?

* Think of mobile as a distinct, standalone capability. It is part of the delivery options that are increasingly being requested and required by the learners and their leaders.

* Mobile learning is not a novelty. It is part of a newly defined solution that deals with shorter engagements, lean learning, and access. The key is finding its place on the learning continuum.

* As the Millennials continue to hit the market and move to higher positions, the way they are learning, and have learned at all levels of school, will become the norm and they will influence and drive these changes. They are now expecting to learn in a connected, collaborative, social and, in many ways, informal environment.

* It will also be easier to access shorter, video-based learning.  This will include gaming and simulations.

* The perspective here is that mobility drives the behavior. It’s the access to content when and where it’s needed that’s key.

* Instructor-led training will not disappear by any stretch of the imagination. But the tools they use in the classroom and the extended learning experience are changing.

* Consider what the LD and CLO teams are facing. Learning is coming back to the forefront. This is due in part to improved accessibility and better employee engagement through the devices.  Learning can be fun again. And effective  And measured. And prove its ROI.

* As employment turns positive, more will re-enter the market, and the need to train, refresh, and reinforce will increase.

It has always been a challenge to sustain learning and extend the learning experience beyond the initial classroom or course delivery.

Mobile changes the game and allows the CLO to reach all the learners, wherever they are, whenever they need it. It opens up access to critical information and allows the enterprise to reinforce learning, check knowledge and provide refreshers when needed.

Mobile is a wonderfully enabling solution and should be an integrated part of every learning strategy and plan. We should look at it as a true game changer that makes learning more accessible, effective and yes, even fun, while effectively improving business results and employee engagement.

Josh Klarin is vice president of Business Development for the Consulting Division of Sequent where he specializes in learning environment strategy and execution and leads the company’s mobile learning practice. He has more than 25 years of HR experience concentrating on learning to drive desirable results using learning technologies to address all aspects of employee development and engagement. These solutions help to build and retain workforce, improve leadership and development, and strengthen strategic partnerships with lines of business and partners across the enterprise. Reach him at (888) 456-3627 or jklarin@sequent.biz.

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