One of the reasons why e-learning took a little bit of time to be accepted as a genuine training solution is because it introduced new and novel technologies that had never been seen before in teaching environments. Some employers were rather sceptical as to whether it would work, while members of staff had to get used to the learning techniques on offer. But before long, e-learning was the training solution of choice for countless organisations.
Even so, it would be wrong to compare the integration of e-learning with the future potential of m-learning or mobile learning. This is because we are already familiar and au fait with mobile technology, as it dominates and dictates modern society.
Therefore, when it comes to adopting mobile learning as a training technique, you shouldn’t be looking for ways to get content onto smartphones and tablets. Instead, you must think of how to marry up learning and development with the digital lives of your employees.
Modern day mobile learning
Most people in today’s digitally connected society will probably say that their smartphone or tablet is extremely personal to them. Along with functionality to help the user go about their daily routine, mobile devices also feature applications that deliver the latest news stories, social media trends, and information about every subject imaginable.
But it is important to make the distinction between learning and finding things out. Therefore, a mobile learning strategy must abide by the consumption habits of mobile users and not force training upon them. Mobile learning should also provide users with content they actually want to receive.
This should involve the “micro-moments” that employees are experiencing on their mobile devices. Google defines these micro-moments as "I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, I-want-to-buy, or I-want-to-know moments when people are turning to devices to find answers, discover new things, or make decisions.”
Although these micro-moments will differ depending on the learner’s position, from new hires to senior executives, it is fair to say that each and every staff member experiences them. For this reason, you can’t expect just one person or even a small team of employees to create relevant content for everyone.
Instead, the content creation process should be contextual, which changes to the wants and needs of the workforce over time. Inspiration for this approach can be taken from YouTube and its “CCC content framework.” This can help you to create, collaborate on, and curate content to produce appropriate learning materials and be there for employees in their various micro-moments of need.
The first aspect of the CCC framework is to create your own content. Think carefully about the I-want-to-do and I-want-to-know micro-moments your employers are experiencing and how to address them. Try to create content that captures the brand’s voice and embraces its core values.
Although your focus will be on educating employees, you should also try to make this content entertaining and inspiring. For example, a short video that addresses significant moments can get the audience’s attention and keep their interest levels high for the duration.
Several businesses are adopting this approach for induction days, performance management, selling tips, and other types of internal training.
The second aspect of the CCC framework is collaborating on your content with others. Along with broadening the relevance and reach of your mobile learning footprint, it also opens up the possibility of leveraging the experience and expertise of other creators.
These additional architects might be more obvious than you think too. For example, speak to your finance department to discover what content is needed to satisfy their micro-moments. This could involve processing payments, future forecasts or allocating budgets.
Across the business, approach employees from different departments and in different positions to discover what their most critical micro-moments are and how to solve them. They may even be willing to provide the content for your mobile strategy, as a recent study by Towards Maturity revealed that 84 per cent of respondents were willing to use technology to share what they know with their peers, which could include webinars or podcasts.
The third and final aspect of the CCC framework is to curate content that already exists. This can be anything from previous training materials, information on your company website, employee onboarding handbooks, or any other content that is easy to locate and curate.
The Internet is arguably the most important and extensive resource at your disposal. Use tools to find and filter relevant resources or give others the opportunity to point you towards valuable resources online.
After all, 87 per cent of people feel they should be able to communicate, share opinions, and interact with brands in real time. Although the same can be said for your organisation’s employees, any recommended content should still be referenced against an organisational context.
Piecing together a great content strategy for mobile
In contrast to e-learning, which required employers and employees to adapt to a new way of training, the prospect of mobile learning seems much easier to introduce and implement. However, it still presents a number of challenges, as organisations can’t get away with simply migrating existing training materials over to mobile devices.
Modern-day learners are using their smartphones and tablets to actively seek out the information they want to consume based on micro-moments of need. Therefore, training materials need to be available on mobile devices but also capitalise on the habits of their users.
But thanks to technology, this is a distinct possibility. In addition to creating content, which can include interactive infographics and entertaining videos, businesses have the ability to collaborate with others to identify what is required and transform existing materials to meet these needs. Make sure you are there for your employees’ micro-moments of need, enabling them to quickly and easily find contextually relevant content.