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The challenges of mobile learning in corporate training


Mobile learning isn't the cakewalk you think it is. John O' Brien highlights a few sticking points and what you can do about them.

Mobile learning and BYOD were undoubtedly two of the big buzzwords of 2014. But despite the benefits we keep hearing about and the fact that many organisations have deployed mobile learning solutions, just how effective is mobile learning as a tool for performance improvement? How do people that are using it really feel about it, and what challenges has it presented?

In 2014, Interactive Services ran a research campaign to determine what the future of blended learning is. During the course of the research, some very interesting feedback was generated about the impact of mobile learning on global organisations.

Our research determined that two of the biggest challenges presented by mobile learning are the following:

Evidence of impact/success

Despite the obvious benefits of mobile devices for anywhere/anytime learning, many organisations are struggling to see any real success from it yet. In our research, 30% of people confirmed that evidence of impact was one of their organisation’s top barriers to deployment of phone-based learning.

Mobile is still a very new technology and mLearning is in its very early stages. Clearly, it will take a more time for organisations to see how mobile learning has improved business performance.

Conclusion: I believe that with more organisations making mobile a part of their learning strategy and as mobile technology evolves and improves, stories of success will increase globally. The effects of using mobile on learning and development will become more apparent in terms of cost savings and ROI and this will result in more organisations using mobile in their learning blends.

Organisational infrastructure and technology

From research, technological infrastructure and security were cited as a major challenge. 45% of people confirmed that these were barriers to implementation of mobile learning in the workplace.

Cyber security is holding many organisations back from implementing mobile learning. Despite the obvious benefits of mobile, business owners and key stakeholders are not willing to compromise on security and risk potential breaches of their information networks. And with many high profile cases of cyber-attacks over 2013 and 2014, it is hardly surprising that many people are being so cautious.

Conclusion: Technological infrastructure and security may now and always will be a concern. But over time, advances in security and development of processes that make networks more difficult to penetrate will alleviate many of the concerns people have about using mobile for learning and other activities in the workplace.

John O' Brien is digital marketing executive at Interactive Services, an award-winning developer of custom elearning and blended solutions for global Fortune 500 companies. He has been working in sales and marketing for over 10 years. His skills range from blogging to search engine optimization and web design. John can be contacted @Learn_IS or via LinkedIn. If you’d like to learn more about the impact of mobile, video and other learning technologies on business performance, our Blended Learning 2015: The Future of Learning whitepaper will provide you with some very interesting data.

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