by Nick Mead
Published on 31 March 2016
Learning management systems (LMS) provide a fast and cost-effective way for companies to train and manage their employees. And as this rapidly expanding market evolves, it's moving increasingly toward mobile LMS.
A mobile LMS helps your workforce get and stay knowledgeable, so you can react faster to new market trends and make your business more competitive. As with all new technologies or innovative ways of doing things, mobile e-learning has great potential to streamline employee training, but businesses are still figuring out how to implement it effectively.
Here, we take a closer look at the benefits and challenges of implementing a mobile LMS and what mobile learning can do for your company.
LMS applications facilitate all aspects of e-learning such as administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of courses or training programs. This can benefit organizations of all kinds, from educational institutions wanting to deliver courses online, to corporations needing to train, retrain, or maintain employee records and registrations.
While mobile learning has become increasingly popular in the educational sector, companies are just beginning to realize the possibilities of mobile in the workplace. A mobile LMS can deliver training or instructions wherever employees are, which decreases-or eliminates entirely-the need for expensive off-site training and travel.
Additionally, it can be used by employees on their own schedules, so downtime can easily become training time. In terms of access to information, a mobile LMS can connect learners to as much knowledge or as many learning opportunities as your training department can create. So when it comes to flexibility, an LMS beats traditional, face-to-face training methods.
Best practices for implementing a mobile LMS within a corporate environment, however, are still evolving. According to Troy Anderson, director of talent management for the team that built Bridge LMS, "Usability and functionality are two of the biggest challenges companies face when implementing a mobile LMS. It's also difficult for employees and managers to find, assign, and connect meaningful learning to career development, growth, and role-specific needs."
Anderson says companies are becoming more aware of this issue as they hire and attempt to train new generations of employees.
As more millennials enter the workforce, Anderson says companies are beginning to look for technologies that can meet this generation's preference for how and where they seek and consume information. For most, that means online and on their mobile devices.
"A mobile LMS should meet the needs and expectations of employees," says Anderson. "Not having a mobile LMS may decrease engagement and increase worker turnover as employees seek companies where they can learn, grow, and advance in their career objectives. Most importantly, e-learning should be delivered in a way that's easily consumable by learners."
A company that can't meet employees' needs and expectations for quality training may struggle to attract and retain top talent. As LMS goes mobile, the next logical step will be peer-to-peer learning-and any mobile e-learning platform that ignores this shift will get left behind.
Anderson notes that learning doesn't happen in isolation, so any LMS that can't connect learners in a virtual way-through sharing, validating, giving feedback, or providing insights and perspectives-won't hold its value.
Still, while mobile e-learning will become increasingly important, Anderson believes it will never be a replacement for a web-based solution. He says, "In order to deliver the most robust learning solutions, companies would be wise to implement an LMS that enables employees to access training program via mobile and the web."