Mobile Learning: Latest Data, Stats and Trends

The rise of mobile learning has left many L&D managers asking questions about their current content delivery methods. Is mobile the way forward for eLearning? Or is it just a fad?

This article presents evidence around mobile learning and what it can do for your employee education program.

Smartphone users love learning

The Road Ahead – Trends for Learning in 2018 - MicrolearningL&D managers often have difficulty implementing employee education programs due to a lack of buy-in from users. Implementing mobile into the learning blend may be a solution to help solve this long-standing issue.

Learners love their smartphone, but they also love learning. Towards Maturity reported 89% of smartphone users to be regular app downloaders, and of these apps, roughly 50% are used for learning. The research on when mobile learners engage with their learning content is even more impressive. Learner Events discovered 46% of learners use mobile learning before they go to sleep at night.

And businesses love mobile devices

Unsurprisingly, businesses are capitalizing on the popularity of mobile devices. Mobile device’s combined market value was expected to grow to over 53 billion last year according to Statistica.

Not only are smartphones a major contributor to the global economy, but their prominence in day-to-day life is leading to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies being implemented. Gartner predicts by 2020 45% of companies will have some sort of BYOD policy in place.

Mobile is a great learning tool for young and old

The flexibility of smartphones and other mobile devices has resulted in a piece of technology which has several purposes. One of which is learning.

There’s quite a large body of research to suggest mobile is an effective medium for learning, particularly with the younger cohort. Gallup reported millennials find it easier to engage with learning delivered via mobile rather than traditional methods such as desktop.

While millennials find it a more engaging medium, it appears the effectiveness of mobile-learning extends beyond the younger generation. LearnDash found 70% of learners felt more motivated when on a mobile device as opposed to a desktop.

It is hard to deny the value of mobile as a learning tool and this looks set to rise as more tech-savvy workers enter the workplace.

Mobile learning is growing rapidly

When the iPhone was launched in 2007, it was the beginning of the meteoric rise of the smartphone. It quickly became a must-have device for people of all ages all across the world.

Organizations have also been quick to the uptake of mobile in their operations. While it is common for an employee to receive a company phone, few might think one of this device’s uses would be mobile learning.

Towards Maturity reported 47% of organizations currently use mobile devices in their training programs and roughly 50% of all organizations understand the importance of providing mobile-friendly content to their employees.

The Road Ahead: Trends 2018 – The Best of the RestSo much so, it is becoming a key part of organizational strategy

As mobile learning becomes more popular and smartphone users appear to be an ever-growing group, organizations are moving with the times.

In 2016, Brandon Hall group reported mobile learning to be among the top 3 business development priorities for organizations, only falling behind seamless business alignment and improved data mining.

Supporting this finding is ARD’s company survey in 2015 which found 34% of respondents to have aggressively implemented a mobile learning program. This figure was just 15% in 2010.

Mobile is great in certain situations

While it is important to understand why mobile devices are useful tools for employee education programs, it is equally important to understand what contexts they should be used in.

Mobile devices are best used in certain situations. For example, reported mobile works well with microlearning content (short 2 to 3 minute modules), video content and simple interactions such as polls and short quizzes.

Overall, mobile learning is hugely beneficial

It seems quite clear that the introduction of mobile technology is having a positive impact on the learning community. This particular method of content delivery is showing to have a host of benefits for learners.

For example, Sciedu reported 70% of mobile learners are more motivated to learn when using mobile devices, while an Asia-Pacific Skillsoft survey discovered 72% of participants reported increased engagement when learning via a mobile device.

Mobile learning can be a time-saver, too. Merrill Lynch GoLearn reported mobile learners are, on average, 45% faster at completing online courses than desktop learners

These benefits extend far beyond the individual user, seeping down into organizational performance, with the findings of a 2015 Asia-Pacific Skillsoft survey indicating that mobile learning drives business improvement: 76% of the decision-makers reported business growth while 55% reported improved business outcomes after embracing mobile learning.

Overall, the use of mobile learning should not be overlooked by those in charge of implementing employee education programs in organizational settings. It is clear this method of delivery is effective at an individual and organizational level, as illustrated by the above research.

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