Regina Saphier: Unnoticeable* Mobile Learning

Regina Saphier: Unnoticeable* Mobile Learning





People at many companies are basically forced to attend hours and days of boring and ineffective traditional training sessions. However… if training companies could remove this boredom and resistance to “training” by creating a “learning and sharing culture”, development could become invisible, fluid, natural, flexible and effective. Stop full frontal “training” and spread the material in the form of mobile optimized micro content (eg.: in an integrated series of gamified 10 minute videos).

* By unnoticeable I mean that people don’t notice that they are being trained. The experience is so smooth and playful that it does not appear to be a training session, rather it is an entertaining micro activity that can be accomplished anywhere and anytime.


MOOCs Are Here to Stay

Learning via MOOCs like Coursera eliminated the need to commute to educational institutions and they are freePeople are pulling away from “education”, and are attracted by “learning”. People with no financial power get digitally self educated.Some providers ask for exam fees (eg.: Coursera, Udacity, edX) and others ask for money when online tutors are needed (eg.: Udacity). This is how higher and continuing education changes. Therefore it is impossible for company training to remain the same.


When and How Is Mobile Learning the Most Effective?

Mobile learning is most effective when
1. it is enjoyable and almost unnoticeable (it gets you into flow or you feel in your element),
2. you can click freely on something that appears to be interesting to you (have achoice),
3. you are able to comment, remix, skip, review, practice the material (alone or with others),
4. learning happens while doing something entertaining (like watching an interesting and memorable TED talk),
5. something is appropriately challenging for your level (like a Coursera course), and when
6. you get immediate and clear feedback (that you can also share if you like).

So, if you are able to make your company training almost unnoticeable and enjoyable(as described above), and if you are able to display this measurable development process in a highly visible and elegant way on your employees’ LinkedIn profiles (and other social profiles): you succeeded with your mobile training program development (if it works smoothly, if people use it and if people are actually showing the expected improvements).


As a Training Provider You Can Ask for Money in These Areas:

1. personal employee mentoring (ideally online),
2. fluid measurement and exam-like outcomes that are valuable to the employer (so, obviously this is an expense that the employer should finance),
3. tailor made “unnoticeable learning processes” and content (like learning games… again financed by the employer),
4. additional in-person group activities (not resembling any traditional group training).


A New Kind of Effectiveness in Employee Development

If you do not have to force your employees to go to training sessions, that is already a plus. If the material that needs to be absorbed comes in manageable micro content format via their mobile devices, there will be learning everywhere, any time when people would perhaps get bored, like on the train, during lunch, and yes, sometimes during their working hours or at home in the gardenLess boredom, more learning, less resistance, more change. You would not bore them in a training room, no, you provide something interesting to watch when they would get bored otherwise (for example during the long morning commute).

Another goal is to provide appropriately motivating feedback to the learners, to reinforce their inner motivation or provide some external motivation when necessary. People with inner motivation will learn, and find badges less interesting. These people however might be competitive or cooperative, and that could provide motivation to others.Optimizing individual and group based company training services for mobile devices(tablets and smartphones) according to my humble digitally optimistic opinion is a very important goal. It could lead to a new kind of effectiveness in employee development.


Observe These Best Practices:

1. “unnoticeable”, cooperative, adaptive, flexible and regular mobile knowledge updates,
2. motivating, concise, mainly visual communications (videos, infographics, online and offline gamification, serious games… audio is ok too), and
3. clear knowledge level representation on social media (almost as a side effect… no need for paper certificates, just have a verifiable certificate or some other measure of attainment…)

Spread the learning in time and space via mobile technology, create the culture of learning and sharing, and use the in person training time more effectively for something truly creative. Flip the training!


Here I am reading my blog for you (click to listen):


More content regarding digital learning, MOOCs and Coursera on My Coursera Blog

Regina Saphier
Futurist. MOOC Blogger. Coursera evangelista. Online Essayist & Storyteller. Virtual Human.

This text first appeared on LinkedIn on June 19, 2014 with the same title and content.


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