The rise of Mobile Learning: Why Millennials prefer learning on the go

     

Mobile learning is the new norm when it comes to eLearning, and it has successfully revolutionized the sector. M Learning is gaining a lot of traction because it provides the opportunity for collaborative learning on the go. Learners can log in from their favourite devices at any point and learn through bite sized lessons. Whether they choose to learn on their mobile phone or using their tablets or laptops, they have the flexibility to complete the course at their discretion, this improves retention as well as course completion rates.

What’s causing the shift to M Learning?

You may be wondering why the sudden shift to m learning has become so prevalent among learners. Here are the following key reasons we’ve identified why learners are adopting mobile learning in droves.

  • Change in learner profile:

    Every organization has three generations of employees, Baby boomers, Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z. The shift in the workforce towards more Gen Y and Gen Z employees, means that the workforce has become increasingly tech savvy. In fact Gen Y and Gen Z prefer learning on their mobile phones and devices rather than take Classroom sessions or conventional training. Hence the change in the demographic of the active workforce has led to a change in the learner profile and the learning preferences.

  • Transference of learning patterns:

    Many learners prefer to consume content in an audiovisual format rather than in text form. This helps them stay engaged and retain information better as well. Learners use M Learning to consume videos, podcasts, audio, and more on their mobile phone rather than pore over boring textbooks. This shift in learning patterns and content consumption formas has led to the rise of M Learning.

  • A shift in device use:

    Many companies have started using initiatives like “Bring Your Own Device” to save costs, and this has led to a lot of employees choosing to work on their tablets and mobile devices. In such a scenario, Learning and Development programs have to be adapted to these mobile devices. The companies that can create an effective M Learning program will succeed in engaging their millennial workforces.

  • Digital transformation:

    To be relevant in today’s day and age, companies across industries are undergoing a digital transformation. This is the case in even traditional industries such as retail, banking, wealth management and food service. In such a scenario, the L&D programs of these industries have to undergo a digital transformation as well. As part of the transformation process, classroom curriculum and intellectual property are being digitized and disseminated through mobile learning.

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Millennials: Decoding how they learn

Millennials form the largest percentage of the current workforce, and this has led to many changes in how organizations engage their employees. Organizations have had to figure out new training methods that appeal to these audiences. The approaches that worked with GenX and Baby boomers are outdated when dealing with the new tech savvy workforce. As the workplace transitions and leaders from Baby Boomer era retire, the organizations that find a way to effectively preserve Intellectual Property and communicate it to the Millennial workforce will succeed in retaining their competitive edge.

Millennials and Gen Z are the future of the work and companies must design their Learning programs to adhere to the strengths and weaknesses of their young workforce. Also, research has shown that millennial productivity increases manifold once their learning needs are understood and catered to.

So what are the factors that decide how millennials absorb information? Let’s find out.

  • Digital First:

    It goes without saying that millennials are “digital natives”, and they tend to absorb information differently because of their lifelong relationship with technology. Millennial brains capture information faster when presented in the form of video clips and graphics as they used to consuming content in this manner. They are also more keen on learning using humour or through situational settings rather than baby boomers. To cater to this mindset, organizations have to adopt Learning Management Systems that can digitize and serve content to users on the platform of their choice, be it on their phones, tablets or laptops. Trainers also have to adopt content formats that millenials prefer, such as using podcasts or creating Gifs, Memes and Videos to aid learning.

  • Omnichannel Learning:

    Millennials are attached to mobile devices and prefer consuming content on their phones and tablets. They also constantly switch from one device to another, they may start listening to a podcast on their phone while in transit and switch to their laptop or tablet while at home. In such a scenario, organizations must provide a seamless user experience across platforms to ensure that learning isn’t interrupted.

  • Social Learning:

    When it comes to information, search engines and social media platforms are the go-to resources for millennials, regardless of the topic. Millennials prefer to use social media or chat platforms to share various points of information and insights with one another. Social media allows them to gain instant feedback as well. Companies must take on methodologies that imitate the millennial approach, this will promote good connection and collaboration between co-workers. A Learning Management system that has social and chat integration can help facilitate easier collaboration between employees.

  • Microlearning:

    This learning process for millennials is quite popular, because it provides them with quick, short, easy to understand information, and it’s usually presented through short videos. Microlearning is amazing because it presents bite-sized information that reduces any kind of cognitive load, reduces the burden of learning, and gives the student a sense of empowerment. Mobile learning in education encourages these short sessions because they allow millennials to frequently engage in the information that will develop their skills, even if they have a busy week. Companies need to consider M Learning and microlearning because it will help their team curate learning resources along with creating learning material that will benefit employees of any generation.

  • Game on:

    In the past, video games have got a bad rep but if you incorporate gaming into a learning strategy, it can result in really engaging and productive training sessions. Gamification of online training helps people strategize better, create winning strategies, and solve problems while working successfully with a team. Gamification can be as simple as incentivizing learning using achievement badges , providing rewards for course completion, creating leaderboards to promote competition and more such easy strategies. Trainees can also be asked to take part in group exercises, solve puzzles related to daily tasks and even Hackathons to imbibe learning in a fun community setting.

  • Mentoring and coaching:

    Millennials are always looking for mentors who can take the time to coach them. So, by having mentors and managers or a buddy system where older professionals provide the younger colleagues with consistent feedback and provide open lines of communication, it can be quite helpful for the employees.

Advantages of mobile learning:

  • High flexibility

    M Learning includes using videos, images, podcasts, and various other multimedia assets that are popular on portable devices like smartphones. This means the learner can choose the learning format that he prefers.

  • Multichannel & Multiservice learning

    This is one of the most significant advantages of mobile learning, along with multi-device support. When it comes to mobile learning, the online learning environment allows one course to be available on various portable devices with online learning. The portable devices that can be used are smartphones, tabs, and PCs.

  • Better completion rates due to bite-sized learning:

    When it comes to learning on the go, the content that is presented on a mobile platform is concise and bite-sized. This means learners can learn their lessons on the go in short intervals of time. They don’t need to carve out time in the day specially for the task.

  • Learn at own pace:

    Learners want their eLearning experience to be as convenient as possible, and this means it should not interfere with their daily routine. When learners take part in self-paced learning they begin to yield better results and high-quality performance. This is one of the major benefits of M Learning, and learners can find information easily by using personal mobile devices that encourage their learning experience.

  • Collaborate easily:

    When companies begin engaging learners in establishing learning communities online, they develop effective collaboration channels. Knowledge can be seamlessly shared and the entire company can benefit.

  • More personalized:

    Tailor-made and personalized courses that are enabled due to m Learning promote high rates of completion as the audience is more engaged. If the user prefers audiobooks to text, they can learn via audio books. If they prefer video, they can choose video. Each learner can choose the best learning strategy for themselves as they have unfettered access to the content.

Developing a mobile-friendly L&D program

With mobile devices and mobile applications rapidly overtaking as the medium of preference for millenials, eLearning may end up exclusively on portable devices. This means that LMS programs will soon take on mobile-friendly versions to stay abreast with the trends. You can either choose to develop and custom code your own mobile friendly LMS or purchase the license to one off the shelf. It’s always preferred to go for a LMS that’s already on the market as the development and maintenance costs are much lower. A SaaS based mobile friendly LMS can future proof your learning and development program and enable your learners to learn from any location.

Manish Kachwala

Manish Kachwala is the Co-Founder of AlphaLearn, India’s leading Learning Management System. A believer in lifelong learning, he is passionate about technology, startups, blogging and tennis. He is a veteran of the e-learning industry with over 20 rich years of experience in the space.

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