I was waiting for my GO-train, ruefully thinking about the unfinished assignment in my online course. I travelled for 1.5 hours each way, to work and back. That was 3 hours of unproductive time. I wished my course was a little more mobile friendly. I could have completed my training and assignments during my commute. In today’s jet set age, people have food on the go, watch movies while travelling, connect with friends while waiting for their train-the list goes on. So, why not 'Learn on the Go’?
Being from the e-learning industry, I wonder what we as custodians of online learning can do to make learning accessible to our learners-on the go, anytime, anywhere.
Here are my thoughts: -
· How flexible? -Design courses that can be viewed as a video or heard as an audio or read as a book. Essentially, give learners the flexibility to choose a format they are comfortable with
· How compact? -Develop courses in byte sizes. Learning a quick concept before rushing into the next meeting or brushing up on forgotten facts just before calling it a day-it is all about micro learning today.
· How accessible? - Ideally, if online training can be done offline too, it will see a huge surge in training coverage. Imagine how great it would be to use unproductive time with no connectivity to access a course and complete training?
· How compatible? – Most importantly, make e-learning compatible with all device formats – laptops, tablets and mobiles. Makes it much easier to access training on an offline mobile app during a short break or during commute than having to view it on a bulky laptop!
· How communicative? - Having a platform to share your learning for the day or top of the mind thoughts and chat with a co-learner expedite learning through social learning. Having this hand in hand with the mobile learning app/site is a double whammy.
What's in it for the Learner?
It's the anytime, anywhere convenience and not having to take out extra time from work or your schedule to complete your training.
What's in it for Business?
Imagine developing a learning culture in your team-where everyone is constantly learning! But you know the best part? They don’t have to take additional time off productive work to complete it. Your team can continue being billable and still keep learning. And who knows, they may just learn something new that might create tremendous business impact.
What's in it for Learning professionals?
Remember those days of waiting for your learners to turn up in classroom sessions? Planning every bit of logistic to ensure it was all in place? Doing your best to keep them engaged and learning at the same time and also ensuring that they apply the learning back at the workplace. Phew! It is no small feat, I must say. Guess what? With mobile and micro learning, you can bid adieu to those troubles. You can have learners who are learning on the go and are in charge of their own learning. They need not be mandated to come to class or be chased to complete a 3-hour online course. It will be a pull approach isn’t of push. Isn't that refreshing?
The purists and naysayers might say that you cannot replace the human element and social learning that comes with classroom training. I agree, and all I am saying is- augment it with mobile and micro learning. Wouldn’t you love learning to be in the learners' mind space anytime, anywhere? Wouldn’t you want them to utilise their unproductive time more effectively, by learning something new? I look around at my fellow passengers on the GO-90% are glued to their mobiles-either reading, listening to music, using social media, chatting or talking. That convinces me that the answer to my question is a resounding 'Yes!'
So, those were my two bits for the day, which by the way, are being written on the GO! So, what are you waiting for? Let's Jet, Set, GO-Learn!
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