Technology has evolved rapidly over the past few years and so has the way we work. The workplace has transitioned from traditional desk spaces to a large and fluid area where people are connected to each other all the time. Employees have moved on from desktop computers to laptops, and now tablets and smart-phones.
Taking into consideration the ever-expanding numbers and geographical spread of employees, technology-aided learning has been adopted in large numbers – across varied industries. Mobile learning has also made a powerful contribution in the area of training – making it available as per the needs of the learner, anytime and anywhere. Can mobile learning management systems provide more than just learning nuggets or can they be utilized to provide performance support well?
Here are some ways that the mobile learning platform can be utilized to enhance the learners’ performance:
To enhance and support the learning imparted in class or through an e-course, course notes can be shared after an instructor-led session or once the learner completes an e-course. This re-enforces the learning and increases its impact drastically. The learners can refer to these notes from time to time, and refresh their learning which then reflects on their performance as well. Similarly, checklists can also be prepared for courses or sessions which highlight the crux of the learning through tabulated pointers. Through the mobile device, the learners can refer to these anytime and anywhere – especially during actual work.
Another performance support tool can be sent as practice assignments so that learners can practice newly acquired skills outside of the class as well. The assignments can also be sent after the learner completes the e-course. The added advantage is that the learner can read up an e-course on the mobile learning management system and then the same system provides practice assignments to develop the skills gained.
Short audio recordings or podcast can also be developed that provide performance support at the time of need. In-house podcast can be developed by instructors or the learners themselves to encourage sharing and peer-learning.
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Similarly, videos can also be created to gain the instant appeal of all learner groups. Videos are a great way of providing performance enhancement tools through mobile learning as it delivers just-in-time learning – which can be assessed as per the emerging needs of the learner. Videos can encapsulate concepts or topics in way that appeals to learners as it has minimal text and attractive graphics. It helps learners gain quick knowledge quickly and apply it instantly on to the area of work. Organizations can encourage knowledge sharing by providing learners with simple devices with built in cameras to record videos themselves and share it with fellow learners.
It is important to keep in mind that in the mobile platform, reading space is constricted. Also, the opportunity to read is when the learner is on the move. In this scenario, info graphics can be utilized to convey information. Infographics can be easily created and easily disseminated among the learners providing encapsulated and tabulated knowledge in an attractive way. Infographics use graphics and minimal text to create visual representations of concepts, which works very well for the mobile platform. Also, info graphics are image files that are compatible with all learner devices and learners do not have to download any other supporting programmed. They also take up very little hard-disk space and thus can thus be saved or stored in the device for further utilization as per the perceived need of the learners.
To help and support learners, to learn as well as apply the learning on to their work, it is necessary to provide performance support tools too. There are many ways of utilizing the mobile platform, and providing performance support is certainly one of them.