Mobile apps are increasingly being seen as the future of learning. Popularity of mobile devices and widespread adoption of mLearning or mobile learning is providing them the required push. In this article, I outline 10 reasons why your learning strategy must include mobile apps for learning.
Why You Need To Use Mobile Apps For Learning In Your Learning Strategy
Before deep-diving into the reasons why you should integrate mobile learning trends such as mobile apps for learning in your learning strategy, let’s take a quick look at 3 important, basic aspects (What, Why, and How):
- What: What are mobile apps for learning?
- Why: Why you should invest on them?
- How: How exactly can they be integrated into your learning strategy?
What Are Mobile Apps For Learning?
Mobile apps are a type of delivery format designed for offline viewing of Learning material for learners on mobile devices. Although the course needs to be downloaded to the device first using internet connection, it can be accessed without internet access from the mobile device for subsequent visits once the course has been downloaded to the device. Internet access is also necessary when it comes to tracking of learners’ progress via Learning Management Systems.
People are increasingly taking to mobile apps and the number of mobile app downloads that take place every year justifies that. According to a report, the number of mobile apps forecasted to be downloaded worldwide in 2017 stands at a whopping 2.6 million! It comes as no surprise that mobile apps for learning are an area you must invest on.
What Are The Advantages Of Using Mobile Apps For learning?
There’s a reason why more and more companies are pumping money into mobile learning technology and mobile app development year after year. Mobile apps are one of the hottest mobile learning trends driving the market today. According to reports, the global annual revenue generated by mobile apps will be $70 billion by 2017. The format comes with a host of benefits after all.
Some of the benefits of mobile apps are:
- Ideal for people looking for information on the move.
- Suited for online as well as offline viewing.
- Immensely popular with Millennials.
- Facilitate higher completion rates.
- Provide access to just-in-time information.
- Ideal for performance support.
How Can You Use Mobile Apps For Learning To Uplift Your Existing Learning Strategy?
Mobile apps are a good fit for both formal as well as informal training.
They can be used to offer bite-sized formal training or supplement formal training.
When it comes to informal training needs, they are an ideal platform to offer Performance Support. They can be used as Performance Support Tools (PSTs) and embedded in the learners’ workflow. If they are made available to learners on their mobile devices, there will be greater chances of them using them for just-in-time information and on-the-job support.
There are many ways to integrate mobile apps for learning into your learning strategy. Specifically:
- For primary learning (formal training).
Mobile apps can be used for formal training in the form of short learning nuggets and the nuggets could be part of a learning path
- As a supplement to formal training.
- They can be used as pre- and post- assessments for formal training (online or blended).
- They can also be used to showcase videos, examples, and scenarios to reinforce learning.
At EI Design, we have used mobile learning technology and mobile apps for learning for both formal learning as well as a Performance Support Tool. You can gain further insights on these through my previous articles:
- How to boost your workforce performance with mobile apps.
- How can you use mobile apps for microlearning-based training.
Now, let’s see why it makes business sense to invest in mobile learning trends and integrate mobile apps for learning to enhance your current learning strategy.
Why Are Mobile Apps For Learning The Right Fit For Your Learning Strategy?
Here is my list of 10 reasons why mobile apps are the right fit for your learning strategy:
1. Flexibility Of Usage (For Learners).
According to a survey, people spend 30 hours a month on average on mobile apps. They have become part and parcel of people’s lives because of the flexibility and ease of looking up information that they offer. The power of mobile apps can be leveraged to offer training to learners even when they are not connected to internet.
2. High Completion Rates.
The anytime, anywhere flexibility that mobile learning technology and mobile apps offer help learners take the training when they “want to” rather than “have to”; thereby resulting in higher completion rates.
If you’re a smartphone user, you’d know that pretty much everything you do –dropping in a message to someone, hunting for a restaurant nearby, getting your daily scoop of news, and so on– is through apps. You’ve ditched your traditional SMS and switched to WhatsApp messaging for a simple reason that it’s far more lively and engaging and comes with a host of features. The formats of mobile apps and mobile learning technology for learning are remarkably different from traditional eLearning. They provide very high engagement to learners thereby increasing recall and retention manifold.
4. Appeal To Millennials.
We spoke about people spending 30 hours every month on mobile apps. When it comes to millennials, the number of hours spent on mobile apps shoots up to 90. Millennials love mobile apps and these survey figures second that. If you’re looking at creating engaging learning experiences for millennials and mobile apps aren’t on your list yet, you’re missing out on something big time!
5. Easy To Push Updates.
Mobile apps are extremely user-friendly and offer organizations the flexibility to easily push updates.
6. Enable You To Further Leverage Trending Approaches.
From the social media platform you visit most frequently to your favorite game on your mobile device, they all come packaged as mobile apps. Here’s a huge cue you can take to enhance the impact of your training using mobile apps. You can leverage further on trends like microlearning, social learning, and gamification.
7. Can Be Adapted To Varied Training Needs.
You can craft mobile apps for learning to address varied training needs including compliance, soft skills, products, and change management.
8. Can Be Used For Performance Support.
Mobile apps are designed to offer “just-in-time” information. They are ideal for Performance Support intervention and can directly influence the organizational mandate to push the learning acquisition to its application on the job.
9. Can Be Used As A Supplement To ILT/Blended Training.
You can support ILT or blended delivery through assets (pre/post work-shop) or Performance Support Tools. An intervention like this will show a drastic gain in application of gained knowledge on the job.
10. Positive Impact On ROI On Your Training Spend.
By improving the learner reaction, learning gain, and finally its application on the job, mobile apps for learning will provide a demonstrable gain on ROI.
You can also take a look at this video to see why mobile apps are the right fit for your learning strategy:
I hope this article triggers a re-evaluation of your existing learning strategy and helps you leverage on mobile learning trends such as mobile apps for learning. If you have any queries or need support on integrating mobile apps for learning into your learning strategy, do contact me.