Helping a Higher Order of Thinking Skills
article by Tim Dingle CDO Academy of Vocational and Professional Training Ltd.
The world of online learning is changing very rapidly. Instead of the old mantra of ‘e’ Leaning, we can now truly think about ‘mobile’ learning or mLearning. There is no doubt, mLearning is hot. And for good reason. If done right, it can produce great results by decreasing costs and improving performance.
Recently, I had a conversation with someone new to mLearning and it struck me that she didn’t fully understand the value of mLearning. I think this is common as more people are joining the world of mLearning. Understanding mLearning’s value helps you make the best decisions about when and why to use it.
So here at the Academy of Vocational and Professional Training, we recopognise the power of mLearning and suggest the following reasons why it will dominate the online education market.
1. Decreased training costs. Producing learning content is time consuming whether it’s online or not. With mLearning, each time the course is accessed your return on investment improves because you are dividing the fixed production costs by number of uses. You also have savings through decreased travel, reduced material, and hopefully improved (and more efficient) performance.
2. Less material costs. Let’s say you have to train how to arrange equipment in a sterile environment like an operating room. If you had to use the real environment, it would be costly. Even setting up a fake environment has material costs and labour. By creating the environment online and letting the learner practice, you never have to worry about the costs associated with set up, use, and clean up.
3. Increased productivity. Because mLearning is not bound by geography or time, you can control training’s impact on production by training people during down times. In addition, with the current economy, you’re asking people to do more with less. So mLearning is a great way to give them the tools and skills needed to enhance their performance.
4. Getting the message across. You may have a great facilitator, but that’s no guarantee that the courses are presented the same across sessions. mLearning allows you to create a standardized process and consistency in the delivery of content. It also compresses delivery time.
5. Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning Live learning events require that those who participate align their schedules to the training calendar. mLearning eliminates this because the course can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
6. Giving the freedom to fail. Real learning requires some failure. But no one likes to fail in a classroom full of other people. mLearning lets you fail without fear. This encourages exploration and testing of ideas. With the right feedback you create a great learning environment. Worst case, you can always start over. Something you can’t always do in class.
7. Learning and Retaining. The combination of multimedia and instructional design can produce a very rich learning experience that is repeatable. Throw in some good practice activities with feedback and you have a learning environment that’s going to help your learners retain the course content which will produce results.
8. Student Centred learning. Look out the window at a car park. My guess is that you’ll see a dozen or more different cars. They all do the same thing, yet we have personal opinions about what we want to drive. The same for learning. Learners want control. mLearning allows you to offer control to the learners in a way that classroom learning doesn’t.
mLearning Nurtures a Learning Organisation and Community
9. Learning Management. Many people see mLearning as only the authored courses. But mLearning includes all sort of online technologies. If you incorporate some of the tools that allow collaboration and conversation, you can capture organizational knowledge that is available for future learners.
10. The Sharing Economy. The foundation of a learning community is built on sharing what you know with others. This is where incorporating a forum or wiki really adds value to your mLearning. Depending on how the course is structured, you can encourage sharing of resources and insight gained from the course.
In addition to all these advantages, mLearning is really good for the environment. An Open University’s study found that producing and providing distance learning courses consumes an average of 90% less energy and produces 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student than conventional face to face courses.
One of the challenges with making mLearning effective is how you manage the courses and access to resources. I’m an advocate of freeing up the course navigation and giving the learner more control .If you’re using a learning management system you might consider how that impacts the learning.
MLearning is cost effective and can produce great results. It’s all a matter of how you use it. Have at look at our online learning system, mLearning and the eLearning future. Go to: www.expresstraingcourse.com or call us on 0203 551 2621
Tim Dingle BSc (Hons), PGCE, MIBiol, MBA has been involved in education, management and training for the last 30 years. Tim is a former Headmaster of a top school and gained an MBA with a distinction. His dissertation was on Body Language and Interview skills. He has a unique insight into teaching, leadership and management and has now written 24 books on a variety of topics in education. His background in management also includes being Chairman on England Schools Rugby and running a successful Comedy venue. He is rained in NLP and other advanced brain strategies and lectures on these topics around the world. His academic pedigree (in Biology, Teaching and Body Language) combined with his Mediation skills, gained him a place on the Board of the Global Negotiation Insight Institute (which used to be the Harvard Negotiation project). He has an inspirational style and his enthusiasm for learning is infectious. Tim was an officer in the Royal Navy Reserves for 20 years and is a Yachtmaster and successful sailor.
Tim Dingle is the Chief Development Officer at The Academy of Vocational and Professional training.