The usage of E-learning began a couple of decades ago and presently it complements & supports Mobile Learning. As the word suggests E which can either be read as an Employee (in case of a corporate) or Empowerment (either for Self or for employee), the word takes on to the next paradigm of ENHANCING one’s own capability through the new buzz word of Digital. The intent of the organisation is to make employees learn through the Electronic tools which are readily available in the hands of the employee and can be easily digestible yet leave the taste of a high impact.
There has been a steady increase in the adoption of E-learning, Mobile learning for employee training in the last couple of years. In fact, it is becoming a significant part of an organisation’s training delivery today. It has also been able to leverage on the high impact learning formats that make the learning digestible with immersive approaches. E-learning is synonymous to online platforms like gamification, videos, interactive videos and mobile apps for learning to multiply its e-learning impacts. The reason e-learning for employee training is becoming a “must-have” approach from a “good-to-have” because of ease of accessibility in the hands of an employee at their convenience, ease of navigation, comprehensive information tabulated through links and linking to various modules which make collaborative learning a boon.
While the formal classroom training can always be a good approach to train the new recruits who just get inducted into the system as well as vintage staff for enhancing their cognitive & behavioural skills but as the organisations take on the bigger objectives wherein the employees also seek the growth path, enhancing their skills becomes imperative and hence the flexibility to learn with anytime, anywhere approach and be still on the go. E-learning breaks that barrier and leaves it with a permanent mark. Even during classroom training, session by prism philosophy ensures participants Bring their Own Device (BYOD) as it is popularly called and it’s just not another fad. On the trainee’ side too, BYOD is a win-win for both personal and professionally as they don’t have to manage separate devices. Corporates should from their BYOD policy leading to:
Cost Reduction: A BYOD policy allows organisations to drastically cut down on costs of both E-learning or m-learning. Trainees/employees can use their personal devices for professional work. The criticality and the success would be on the basis of the content that is comprehensible and yet user-friendly and easy to grasp. Important is Content that should be responsive and able to deliver similar learning experiences.
Productivity & Satisfaction: Technology familiarity is a prerequisite to harnessing the maximum potential of employees through e-learning or m-learning hence using own device leads to satisfaction and productivity.
On-The-Go Access: In busy schedules, it’s difficult to take time out for a training programme. LMS that fits “their” schedule works best because it allows them to drive their learning decisions. Employers allow them to access the courses anytime, anywhere, any location and most importantly on-the-go (in any transport i.e bus, train, airport). Since content is also available offline, this flexibility leads to greater learner engagement.
Collaboration: Because most of the employees’ devices today are high ended and have multiple applications which make it possible to assign for projects leading to a minimum of the turnaround time for the project.
Here are a set of best practices using prism (prepare, respect, implement, share and maintain) philosophy that you should incorporate in your organizational culture while adopting a BYOD policy:
Prepare: The research says 85% of users access their LMS from a desktop, 76% from a laptop, and to our surprise, only 9% from a smartphone. We’ve studied that employees prefer to learn from either a desktop or a laptop, but sometimes mobile learning is their only option. Make your employees prepare by involving them before the launch of BYOD to understand and willingness. It is important to be inclusive in your BYOD strategy. This will help to minimise resistance and gain support. Nowadays Mobile learning / E-learning for employee training is being used to address varied corporate training needs that include: Induction and orientation, all kind of Soft skills & Professional training, Product & Sales training, including Compliance training.
Respect: Know their devices. This is simply to aid instructional designers and the technology guys to have a better understanding of the kinds of devices that they are going to be designing for. “Giving flexibility to learners” and “Making them productive” sound too clichéd unless concrete steps are taken to actually facilitate learning whenever employees want it. Hence we need to respect each other’s gadget and time leading to productivity and better learning.
Implement: As per “Towards Maturity’s InFocus Report: “Mobile Learning at Work”, 47% of organisations currently use mobile devices in their training programs with 67% of organisations now offering Mobile Learning. India is picking slowly towards mobile learning. The BYOD policy works best with a cloud. If an employee can’t go through an E-learning / M-learning module while travelling or at home, then it’s no fun. Hence, implement and enable location-based learning.
Share: 68% of users while our research with corporates said they have adopted a blended learning approach to employee training. While using prism philosophy, we too ensure blended learning as same has been proven to improve learning performance, by increasing flexibility, and enables anytime anywhere learning to include face to face session which means Mobile learning / E-learning followed while employees are at home post classroom/face to face session. It caters to different learning styles (visual, auditory, and written components) and simultaneously improving people performance. Having so many different learning components helps keep learners on their toes, and highly engaged.
Maintain: Put a security system in place as employees’ use personal devices which are vulnerable to spyware. Enable security by using BI (business intelligence) for monitoring and detection of devices. You can also implement enterprise mobility management to prevent unauthorised access, file sharing needs to be secured, and loss prevention technologies to track sensitive data. With security infrastructure, the management role is key to sensitise employees to BYOD policy guidelines. Look and demand cooperation in complying with rules and everyday handling of data on personal handsets.
Organisation presently focusses on emerging technologies for transforming the Corporate Learning landscape. But, the most powerful element is not the tech itself, but knowledge of training subject, with attitudes of the users and the learners. We hope the use of a prism philosophy (prepare, respect, implement, share and maintain) will bring insight towards BYOD and should foresee the future. Mobile or e-learning LMS helps in providing a continuous learning experience. It provides the required training programs or courses offline with face to face session or classroom session and allowing learners to download content in their respective devices. An important feature is they can be accessed content/material offline. With high mobile penetration, where 300 million are connected to the Internet in India, Learning through a M or E-Learning LMS can truly become the ‘learning’ way of life. With a new-age learners i.e millennials, technology-driven learning is already taking giant strides that will bring a qualitative and quantitative difference in corporate training.
About the Author
Anubha Maurya Walia, Founder Director of Prism World, Creator of PRISM™ Philosophy carries 18 + years f rich experience in L&D and Quality. She is training & consulting corporates & institution and delivers Change Management, Leadership & Followership, Team Building, Emotional Intelligence, TQM & Six Sigma programs. The first lady in India, actively engaged in research work on Followership and her work has been acknowledged by a host of industry publications. Recipient of Emerging HRD thinker award (Gold Medalist) consecutive 3 times has trained 40000+ professionals and consulted in TQM implementation and Change Engagement & Learning. In her leisure time, she enjoys travelling & reading, watches movies.