One of the most crucial functions in any organization is the Human Resources.
The HR function drives the organization, its culture, future growth possibilities and is also the first point of contact for prospective employees for the organization’s brand value.
It is interesting that HR teams witness an average 22 percent cost savings when they move to automated and digital solutions for process-jobs. There are other numbers which prove that an app backed HR function is much smoother, with transparent employee interactions.
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The other day, I found myself sitting across the learning manager of a large pharmaceutical company. He was faced with a daunting task – training his company’s medical reps, and if there’s one thing we all know about medical reps it is that they are always on the move. 2,000 medical reps running around the entire western zone are not a pleasant lot to get together in a room for training.
E-learning had naturally been the top suggestion internally, and our creds were impressive enough for him to ask for my suggestions on the matter. I hesitated for a bit (It was a sitter of a large deal if we just churned out the e-learning they wanted) and then suggested that a possible potent solution for the problem could be mobile learning. What surprised me though was the response I received…
“Well, we are planning to build a robust e-learning course with a specific focus on product knowledge and to host it on our internal LMS. I think it has a mobile interface as well. Won’t that be enough?”
For those of you who think that the solution is viable, do consider the difference between e-learning and mobile learning before any implementation.
- For starters, the purpose of e-learning is to provide in-depth knowledge on a subject, while that of mobile learning (m-learning) is to support an on-going learning process where the learner needs quick access to information, usually on the go.
- M-learning is designed for smartphones and tablets with each screen having not more than 1 idea, while e-learning is designed for consumption on a large screen that has the space for complex and detailed information.
- Lastly, m-learning is designed to be completed in 3 – 10 minute bursts, while e-learning requires the learner to go through each module with an average duration of 20 – 30 minutes.
I explicitly stated these differences to the manager, and not surprisingly, he took the point. Now, convincing his company is another matter, but he seemed up to the task. Whether the deal goes through or not finally, I am inclined to believe that it is better to do it right or not at all. Everybody should know that mobile learning requires expertise and specificity of thought and design. It is not simply e-learning on the mobile. It is not.
Mobile Learning, also known as Mlearning, is at present, the most confused term, if not misused, in the world of elearning. People often describe mobile learning as what is done on your laptop, as you can do it anywhere. But this certainly cannot be categorized as mobile learning.
So, what is Mobile Learning?
Here’s how eLearning Guild describes Mobile Learning:
“Any activity that allows individuals to be more productive when consuming, interacting with, or creating information, mediated through a compact digital portable device that the individual carries on a regular basis, has reliable connectivity, and fits in a pocket or purse.”
Let me simplify it further for you.
M-learning is any kind of learning that takes place via a portable, hand-held electronic device.
And in most cases, mobile phones, PDAs and Tablets.
Mobile learning is a form of distance learning and can be formal or informal, structured or unstructured.