How to Make mLearning Work for Workforce Training

Organizations that leverage mobile technology in their learning functions are reaping the benefits. In fact, mobile learning, known as mLearning, offers many opportunities for trainers and employers to engage learners in the learning process. In today’s Advisor, we get expert advice on implementing an mLearning program.

“We believe that mobile technology can become an engine of business learning in the same way the World Wide Web became the backbone of learning during the previous technological revolution,” says Alex Heiphetz, PhD, author of “mLearning: A Practical Approach to Mobile Technology for Workforce Training,” a policy paper from The McGraw-Hill Research Foundation.

Heiphetz maintains that “mLearning makes learning easier, motivates further learning, and encourages knowledge sharing and gathering.” In the policy paper, Heiphetz explains the advantages of mLearning and offers several pointers for effectively using mobile technology in employee training and development. Those advantages include the fact that mLearning delivers content that is universally accessible, can be adapted to fit the company and employees’ needs, increases the retention of knowledge, connects employees in remote locations, and saves time.

In addition, he offers the following five recommendations for successfully initiating and implementing mLearning programs. He says that an organization must:

  • Identify its immediate and long-term learning and organizational goals;
  • Establish the criteria by which success will be measured;
  • Ensure that mLearning works in concert with existing programs;
  • Evaluate the best format and delivery, available technologies, and virtual tools to match an organization’s needs; and
  • Select a pilot project with a representative user group and a typical, real-life learning assignment.”

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Heiphetz explains that mLearning is a critical tool to help organizations connect employees to information and expertise—when and where they need it. “Regardless of a company’s circumstances, we have no doubt that it will find something in mobile learning deserving of consideration.”

“Global workforce demographics, advancements in mobile device accessibility and capabilities, the emergence of effective mobile learning tools, and best practices from early adopters make this an opportune time for any organization to test mobile learning without assuming too much risk,” The McGraw-Hill Research Foundation notes in a statement about the policy paper.

Heiphetz is founder and president of AHG, Inc., a software solution company specializing in business services to training companies and educational institutions. He consults with corporations and universities on the benefits and logistics of virtual training and education programs.

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A free copy of “mLearning: A Practical Approach to Mobile Technology for Workforce Training” can be downloaded here.

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