This article was originally published in Learning Solutions Magazine, 26 October 2015

When eLearning first appeared in the workplace, it was an innovative new way of reaching people. Employees learned at work in a way that few had learned before.

The difference with mobile learning (or mLearning) is that it’s arrived in the workplace with a familiar set of habits that had been honed by each device owner. Learning and development (L&D) is now just catching up to capitalize on the opportunity that’s presented.

At a time when the majority of us have integrated mobile technology into our daily lives the question shouldn’t just be: how do we get our learning content onto mobile? But, how do we (L&D) integrate into our employees’ digital lives—being where they are and capitalizing on their digital content consumption habits? This is because mobile habits aren’t all about stopping what we’re doing to concentrate on our device. They are often about combining what we’re doing with immediate access to information, know-how, or entertainment. It’s about making the most of downtime in order to work, connect, amuse, or inform ourselves. And it’s about getting from not-knowing to knowing and then carrying on.

The distinction to be made here is that mobile content consumption habits are rarely about “learning” but about finding things out and preparing to perform. Whether that’s by tailoring news feeds; accessing industry insights; connecting with friends, peers, colleagues, and experts; seeking “how-to” support; browsing for inspiration; or finding out specific information “in the moment.”

On top of this, the growing popularity of online video content has led to industry expert Mary Meeker to predict that by 2017, 74 percent of all Internet traffic will be video.

Thinking strategically

So, what does this all then mean for L&D?

The potential for mobile learning is to engage employees on their terms and provide content in a form that they recognize and want. But we know this, because we’re mobile content consumers ourselves.

When developing a mobile content strategy for L&D, think about the micro-moments that employees might be experiencing. According to Kim Larson, global director of Google BrandLab, 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.” Of course, these moments will be different for different employee groups, whether they be new-starters, new managers, experienced managers, budget-holders, salespeople, marketers, etc. One thing’s for sure, there are going to be plenty of them—and far too many for one person (or one small team) to plug with content.

Read the rest of this article in Learning Solutions Magazine

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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