Why Is Mobile Learning A “Must-Use” Strategy In The Hybrid Workplace?
One post-2019 reality that all employers face is the changed work paradigm. The transformation of workforces from the occasional “work from home” mode into a predominantly mobile and remote one means employers must deal with all aspects of a hybrid workplace. Training must pivot to support this new work model. And one of the most critical strategies for success in this new work paradigm is mobile learning—the ability to give learners the choice to learn on the go.
The post-2019 era is also evolving as an era of rapid changes to business landscapes. Mobile learning is imperative for rapid upskilling/reskilling of employees at speed. Employees and employers can both also leverage mobile learning for continuous learning. By creating an ecosystem based on a Learning in the Flow of Work (LIFOW) model, of Learn-Practice-Apply, L&D leaders can leverage mobile learning to support constantly evolving business needs. L&D professionals and learning managers can learn a lot from studying successful mobile learning examples.
How To Leverage Mobile Learning In Corporate Training
One key advantage of mobile learning over traditional eLearning or classroom-based training approaches is that it empowers learning on the go and permits employees to learn using any device of their choice. That’s why mobile learning needs to be a part of any training strategy for hybrid workplaces.
You can harness the power of mobile learning beyond “anytime, anywhere,” to an approach that aligns with learner tasks in the changed workplace dynamics, as shown here.
Leveraging Mobile Learning Across The 70-20-10 Model
Many mobile learning examples leverage the 70-20-10 model, developed by Morgan McCall, Robert Eichinger, and Michael Lombardo at the Center for Creative Leadership. In a hybrid work environment, when used effectively, mobile learning can be leveraged across the learning spectrum defined by the 70-20-10 model, including for informal learning, which provides 70% of learning; just-in-time learning, which contributes to 20% of learning to hybrid employees; and formal learning, which rounds up the remaining 10% of corporate learning.
LIFOW And Moment-Of-Need Learning
Hybrid employees typically don’t have the level of in-house support that comes with working in the office. The primary objective of LIFOW is to create an ecosystem of Learn-Practice-Apply. Hybrid learners who face a work problem can learn something quickly, apply that learning to the immediate work challenge, and move forward with their work lives. Using just-in-time learning aids can help mobile learners achieve this objective. Hybrid employees can access bite-sized learning content such as video on demand when faced with an immediate work problem, such as “How to use ‘Search’ in the new LMS.” They can quickly learn and practice that skill, and then apply it to solve the issue at hand.
The new hybrid work paradigm is characterized by a workforce that’s largely independent (remote) and self-directed. By making bite-sized learning nuggets that are consumable on mobile devices available to hybrid employees, mobile learning can become an ideal tool to assist those employees to embrace a path of continuous learning. A learner-centric approach to mobile learning will also help self-directed learners create their personalized learning journeys.
Offsetting The Forgetting Curve And For Reinforcement Learning
The fast-paced hybrid work environment means employees must continually learn and apply new knowledge, information, and ideas in their workplace. This leaves room for employees to forget seldom-used processes and procedures. There are many ways through which mobile learning can help offset the Forgetting Curve and assist employees in continually revising and reinforcing previously learned skills, notably through flashcards, cheat sheets, PDF documents, checklists, and so on.
In support of dealing with the challenges of the Forgetting Curve, mobile learning is also a great tool to encourage a culture of continuous learning. This is especially relevant in hybrid workplaces, where remote employees typically can’t access on-demand, in-person peer support.
Driving Deliberate Practice
Practice makes perfect, and deliberate practice, using mobile learning aids and tools, helps extend the effectiveness of formal learning. Trainers can use a range of mobile learning examples, such as simulated exercises, quizzes, and video content, to encourage a culture of continuous practice to hone previously learned skills.
What Strategies Can You Adopt To Enhance The Impact Of Your Mobile Learning Programs?
Training leaders can adopt some of the following strategies to augment the impact of their mobile learning programs for hybrid learners:
- Mobile apps for learning – Many hybrid employees carry their mobile devices 24/7 and use them as work aids. A learning app can push learning nuggets—Tips and Techniques, Thought of the Day, Top 5 Things to Remember—to help remote employees stay on top of what they need to learn.
- Gamification – Because of a greater propensity for distractions and interruptions, it’s easier for hybrid employees to disengage from learning. Gamification, as part of a successful mobile learning strategy, can make learning more engaging and appealing to remote employees.
- Microlearning – Hybrid employees typically work on the go. This means they usually access training on mobile devices. Microlearning strategies, using condensed courses, abridged content, and small-footprint learning aids (light on graphics and shorter in length), can help hybrid learners better absorb and apply mobile learning content to the workplace.
- Videos – Make these short and succinct, and go easy on the graphics. Video-based mobile learning examples may include summarizing key policies and procedures or offering quick (three- to five-minute) instructions on how to perform a specific task.
- Social learning – Hybrid employees might not work alongside or at the same time as their colleagues. To bridge that gap, training managers may leverage social media platforms and other moderated social learning opportunities.
mLearning programs must adapt to each organization’s needs. If some of the above strategies don’t work well for your organization, you may leverage others—such as podcasts, interactive videos, virtual reality, augmented reality, infographics, and simulations—to support diverse and modern formats of learning.
What Formats Of Mobile Learning Work Better In The Hybrid Workplace?
Not all hybrid workplaces are alike, and not every training strategy is identical. Each has its unique needs and constraints. There are, however, several successful mobile learning formats that L&D leaders may adapt into their own training strategies.
- Podcasts – Create five-minute daily/weekly podcasts about topics of workplace interest that hybrid employees can listen to during work breaks, or while running personal chores.
- Microvideos – When designed as small-form-factor content, a hybrid learner can quickly download and watch microvideos. These videos can serve multiple purposes, including as quick job aids, review, and reinforcement learning tools, and as learning content to be watched between meetings or tasks.
- Simulations – These may be in any format—videos, infographics, or 3D content. Hybrid employees can use them to quickly understand critical aspects of a workplace challenge; how to enter a complex sales order, basics of troubleshooting, what to do before submitting an expense report, etc.
- PDF checklists – Hybrid employees can use these checklists as aids in doing less-frequently performed tasks. For example, ensuring they’ve addressed all critical requirements before submitting their annual performance review package.
- “How to…” guides – Great mobile learning formats for this use case may be to supplement other forms of learning content. For instance, typically under-pressure hybrid employees might not have the time to review a 1,000-page QA manual each time they review a client’s credit application. A one-page interactive flowchart titled “How to validate credit worthiness…” could quickly lead them through the process. It’s important to note that this format does not supplant the 1,000-page manual. It simply acts as an alternate job aid in expediting a particularly tedious work process.
- Online templates – Because hybrid employees might not work the same shifts or identical hours as fellow teammates, pre-populated templates are good mobile learning formats for training them on new processes and procedures. Trainers may create templates that address frequently encountered work situations and host them online. Hybrid employees may access these resources either in a time of need or even peruse them as learning tools and learn best practices from them.
- Practice quizzes – Design a series of micro-quizzes that employees can access online anytime, using any device, and from anywhere. For instance, to supplement a course about the new HR system, hybrid employees may test their knowledge using multiple choice quizzes on various topics; filling timesheets, reporting workplace harassment, complying with new health mandates, etc.
Examples Of Mobile Learning In The Hybrid Workplace
Through 7 examples, I illustrate how mobile learning can help today’s learners at each juncture of their day—at work, during their free time, or over the weekend.
With this approach, you will be able to relate to how easily you can scale your employee training with mobile learning, particularly in the hybrid workplace.
1. Engaging Mobile Learning Combined With Gamification For Leadership Training
The purpose was to train learners on key leadership traits using a gamified approach. Just the way in-person leadership trainings can be made impactful with activities and role-plays, online training needs scenarios, gamification, and engaging interactions for real impact.
The approach taken in this example did just that. Here’s how:
- Scenario-based questions on real-life situations were used to make hybrid employees relate to realistic work situations.
- Time limits were applied to increase engagement and make the activities competitive.
- Logical game elements and a scoring mechanism were mapped directly to learning outcomes that suited the needs of hybrid employees.
- Rich visuals were used to make the learning engaging and appealing.
- The User Interface was designed to work best for hybrid employees who were on the go.
2. A Word Game For Cybersecurity Training
The goal of this training was to help hybrid employees understand key cybersecurity terms. The approach used made the experience interesting and appealing to learners.
Here’s the approach in a nutshell:
- The experience was based on a relatable offline board game, so hybrid employees could quickly relate to it.
- Custom feedback and enriching sound effects were used to enrich the learners’ understanding of cybersecurity terms and boost their recall.
- Hints were used to address the needs of hybrid learners with varying levels of expertise.
3. Creative Mobile Learning With Gamification For Etiquette Training
This training was designed to train and evaluate hybrid employees on their knowledge of meeting etiquette.
Here’s what it entailed:
- An enriching experience created using highly customized feedback, flashcards, custom points, rating scales, and more.
- The combination of several game elements in one environment made it not just a fun game, but also a memorable learning experience.
4. Story-Based Gamification With Negative And Positive Reinforcements
The requirement was to create an impactful compliance course that would allow learners to explore the impact of their decisions.
- The approach used a character, a story, and a powerful game logic that drove the learning experience through challenges and customized feedback.
- Learners were made to help a lead character in his journey of uncovering the truth using well-thought-out questions and quick decision-making.
- Good decisions took them ahead and bad ones took them a few steps back. This way, constant reinforcement through a story made the learning fun and effective for hybrid employees.
5. Learning Through Effective Imagery And Intuitive Game Logic
Here, the requirement was to create a training on effective body language. The approach leveraged the use of imagery and effects to replicate (and even augment) the effect of in-person trainings, thereby fostering a perfect remote learning experience for hybrid employees.
- Carefully picked imagery from multiple sources was used to depict various body language nuances.
- What made the game more engaging was an effective game logic, a points system, and fun sound effects.
- Customized feedback for every selection made this a great learning experience.
6. Leading A Mission With “Clues”
The purpose was to create gamified learning on eLearning principles and theories to help training managers facilitate learning for a hybrid workforce.
- Powerful visuals and story-based writing was used to make the experience akin to achieving a mission by helping a training manager.
- The game logic was centered around clues and custom scores based on the number of attempts learners took.
- The plot was designed to be strongly relatable for training managers.
7. Getting The Right Sequence
In this course, the learning was focused on teaching the sequence of steps in a process. Learners were asked to rank options from one to three and given customized scores for their inputs. This approach works great for training hybrid employees with processes and systems, sometimes more effectively than an in-person training.
- The game-based learning was centered on realistic scenarios placed within the story of a lead character.
- Decisions taken by learners were also linked to real-life results, like customer satisfaction scores.
- The differentiating factor was the ability to enter text on the screen to arrange objects and use hints at the cost of reduced scores. All of this was brought into action through a fully mobile-compatible experience, facilitating top-notch learning for hybrid audiences.
The dynamics of our workplace have changed—with the new hybrid work model now entrenched forever. Employers and L&D specialists must, therefore, respond with appropriate strategies to support remote/hybrid employees. Mobile learning is one such “must-use” strategy.
I hope the mobile learning examples showcased here will help you implement them into your overall training strategies and make learning more engaging and effective for the hybrid workforce.
Meanwhile, if you have any specific queries, do contact me or leave a comment below.