This article was originally published in Learning Solutions Magazine, 25 November 2015

The potential for mobile learning is to engage employees on their terms and provide useful learning in a format that they recognize and want. But we know this, because we’re mobile users ourselves, and that realization can be the inspiration for a better understanding of how to make mobile learning successful. Here are five tips that will help you as you identify your mobile learning content.

Look at yourself first

Analyze yourself and how you use your mobile devices for learning. It’s interesting that our mobile content consumption habits are rarely about learning but often about finding things out, preparing to perform, and discovery. The worst sin of corporate online learning has been creating or sourcing eLearning that we ourselves wouldn’t choose. So, first of all, pay attention to what youdo and then ask peers, colleagues, and friends what they do, too.

Deliver learning content in a format that people want to engage with

YouTube is the world’s most popular content website, with “how to” searches increasing by 70 percent every year, so learn from them and use video whenever you can. Industry expert Mary Meeker predicts that by 2017, 74 percent of all internet traffic will be video. But don’t be daunted or paralyzed by the thought of not getting video right. YouTube isn’t all about high-quality production either. There’s nothing quite like getting the right people in front of a camera to share high-value messages and instruction.

YouTube is also easy and pleasing to use. The UX (user experience) of your mobile learning platform could be even more important than your content, as today’s users simply won’t tolerate poor UX.

Anticipate moments of need

We now know that video is king. But what do you record? To capitalize on how we find what we need online when we need it, think about the micro-moments that employees might be experiencing. According to Google, micro-moments are the “I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, I-want-to-buy, or I-want-to-know moments when people are turning to devices to find answers, discover new things, or make decisions.” Try to come at this from two different angles: what do you want employees to do and to know, and what do they want to do and to know?

Don’t feel you have to mobilize all your learning at once

It’s great that you’ve mobilized your first initiative but your people won’t be clamoring for all their learning to be immediately available to them on their devices. Often, the pressure we feel comes only from within ourselves. By all means, you’ll receive requests and recommendations, but the trick is to create more contextually relevant content over time and put together a schedule to deliver it. And while you’re planning…

Get others involved

There will be some content that you create because you own the initiative but create is just one of YouTube’s three C’s of content creation named in the link above. In addition to this, you should seek opportunities to collaborate with others too. Whether they be colleagues, peers, partners, vendors, or clients. In fact, it’s the experts and specialists you want to collaborate with—and empower them to own some of the creation too. The third opportunity of the three C’s is to curate. Again, ask for help from others you work with to suggest content that already exists: online and within the organization. Remember that the value in curated content is making it clear why it’s important to the learner—the context.

About David James

David James is a seasoned Talent Management, Learning & OD leader with more than 15 years of experience in the field. Until recently, David was Director of Talent, Learning & OD for The Walt Disney Company’s EMEA region and has since joined Looop.co as Learning Strategist. Renowned for extraordinary levels of learner engagement, Looop is a powerful online learning platform for business that capitalises on how people really want to learn today.

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