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 all the time. Employees have moved on from desktop computers to laptops, and now tablets and smart-phones.
Considering 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 training – making it available as per the learner’s needs, 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, reflecting on their performance. Similarly, checklists can also be prepared for courses or sessions that highlight the learning’s crux 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. 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 podcasts can also be developed that provide performance support at the time of need. The 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 learner’s emerging needs. Videos can encapsulate concepts or topics in a way that appeals to learners as it has minimal text and attractive graphics. It helps learners gain quick knowledge quickly and apply it instantly to the area of work. Organizations can encourage knowledge sharing by providing learners with simple devices with built-in cameras to record videos and share them 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, infographics can be utilized to convey information. Infographics can be easily created and easily disseminated among the learners providing encapsulated and tabulated knowledge attractively. Infographics use graphics and minimal text to create visual representations of concepts, which works very well for the mobile platform. Also, infographics are image files that are compatible with all learner devices, and learners do not have to download any other supporting program. 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 learners’ perceived need.
To help and support learners, to learn and apply the learning to their work, it is necessary to provide performance support tools. There are many ways of utilizing the mobile platform, and providing performance support is certainly one of them.