eLearning Trends: How Hot is Mobile Learning in 2012?

Mobile Informal Learning

This eLearning post initially appeared on the Brainshark Ideas Blog and we have repurposed it with their permission. Brainshark provides the leading cloud-based software for creating, sharing and tracking online and mobile video presentations.

There’s no denying that the increase in smartphone and tablet adoption has spurred a lot of action in the mobile learning space. But while the opportunity is there for businesses and higher education, is mobile learning really the eLearning trend to watch for this year?

It’s certainly near the top of the list. A recent article by InteSolv cites a study from Brandon Hall research that determined about “28 percent of smartphone users use their phone as their primary way to access the Internet.” It’s no stretch to say that when you throw tablets into the mix, that number will continue to go way up.

But mobile learning these days is about more than just remote access; it’s also a matter of flexibility. The same article notes that “so much of what Millennials do now is ‘off the clock.’” I’d argue that in regards to eLearning, this goes far beyond a single generation. Business professionals of all ages have grown accustomed to accessing information on their own terms. From a corporate training standpoint, for example, employees have already become more comfortable accessing information on-demand. With more mobile-friendly eLearning content, companies seem to be betting that they can bring even greater flexibility to remote workers as well.

What’s driving the trends?

More higher education institutions seem to be embracing the “mobile revolution” this year. In a report from Campus Technology, Pat Schoknecht at Rollins College, cited mobile learning as “the biggest trend on the instructional technology side,” adding that he expects more faculty members to begin using mobile applications to compliment their teaching objectives beyond the classroom.

As far as formal training in businesses goes, the interest in mobile learning is certainly there. In a recent global survey for the E-Learning 247 Blog, Craig Weiss found that nearly 69% of respondents cited mobile learning as an essential component of their ideal LMS platform. Yet Weiss notes that very few full-scale Learning Management Systems are currently offering mobile learning as a native offering.Signpost showing trends in eLearning

“What they really mean is that you can view the LMS and courses via your mobile web browser,” he writes. “To me, that is not truly mobile learning.”

As a result, informal learning programs could become more in vogue. Enter solutions like Brainshark, where organizations can simplify the content creation process, share that information seamlessly (yet securely), and track viewing behavior, course completion and quiz results.

Of course, exactly how organizations implement mobile learning is something to keep an eye on throughout 2012 and beyond. What seems certain, however, is that it should easily remain near the top of the eLearning trends list for the remainder of this year.

As Weiss points out, “[mobile learning] is going to be red hot in 2012, regardless of the product line or market.”