Decades ago the buzz word was E-learning as the digital cost saving, the far-reaching panacea to all learning ills. Now we have M-Learning or Mobile Learning.
I am not convinced that many people see that there is a difference between these. M-learning is being seen as learning which is delivered digitally via mobile devices with the promise of cost saving at the forefront. So why should people in the L&D “corner” do something about this? …Understandably, they may see the desire to differentiate as still more learning pedantry.
Too much focus on the word “learning” and not enough on the impact of learning on performance
I, for one, believe that we are still faced by a very similar challenge to the one we faced more than 31 years ago. When we first started our business, we spoke about learning to impact on performance rather than just learning alone. What do I mean by this reference? Well, the research on the impact of E-Learning makes pretty poor reading as has the research on the impact of traditional classroom learning.
Same old fixation with content, not the activities which transfer learning to performance
We, along with many of our competitors, have shown how activities which drive the application of learning is the place where more weight should be applied – a move away from the myopic concern about content rich and content only. What do I mean by activities? Chances to apply learning, relentless practice, feedback and coaching from managers, advice and challenges from colleagues.
These activities provided by people in our learning circle or Performance Hub ensure we can apply learning content effectively. Just look at the research.
The risks of seeing E-Learning or Digital learning as stuff which you can do alone are real. Perhaps Mobile or M–Learning is offering us a learning life raft. One which is full of people who are looking to use feedback and advice to evoke more performance focused learning.
So let’s make sure that the term “M-Learning” is positioned clearly as more than content
John Donne was right – “no man is an island entire of itself” – we all need need people around us to support, feedback, and challenge in order to improve our performance.
So maybe we should take this opportunity to use the term M-Learning to position the impact of activities surrounding learning content on performance as well as the content itself.
We believe that M-Learning should not just be about:
✗ Learning on your own or learning remotely
✗ Using technology to access content alone
M-Learning should be about:
Using technology to involve others to track and get the best from all sorts of blended learning activities; face to face training, practice, coaching, and feedback activities.
I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on M-learning and its impact on performance. And if you would like to discuss how you could implement a digital learning approach that encourages the application of learning, please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
‘No Man is an Island’
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.