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M-Learning is forming as a new top training trend in Asia

Mobile Learning aka M-Learning is showing huge growth potential in Asia Pacific, the lastest results from Skillsoft’s 2015 Research Report reveal. The report, which is titled The State of Mobile Learning in Asia Pacific, highlights key insights into the availability of and preferences for m-learning, as well as challenges and concerns which impact the implementation of mobile learning in Asia Pacific organizations.

The study shows that there are some gaps in the learning and development scene in the region. “Skillsoft’s report indicates that there is strong growth for m-learning in Asia Pacific, with two thirds of decision makers having already adopted or having plans to adopt m-learning,” said Glenn Nott, vice president and general manager, Asia Pacific,Skillsoft. “With the uptake of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in 72 percent of organizations in the region, there is an enormous opportunity to adapt, shape and align m-learning programs to learners’ needs and organizational goals.”

Amongst the key findings of the report is that learners prefer to be involved in the design of skill development programs that are created for them. 63% out of 545 respondents say are adopters and users and have been involved in at least some elements of M-learning development and/or planning. This means that organizations should consult with their learners beforehand to see what type of content is engaging and most importantly – relevant for them. This them myst be used and aligned with the goals of the company.

Often m-learning is thought to be too expensive and complex to do. Respondents though think the benefits outweigh the costs. The top benefit is said to be the improvement in efficiency. M-learning allows for greater flexibility on both personal and professional level and give the learner more options to go through the content on their own pace. This benefit is listed on the top for more than three-quarters of respondents which include both learners and decision makers. The second benefit listed is improvement in business results.

According to the report, topics that have the most unmet demand were skill training and best practices for enhancing productivity. Leadership development and training topped the list of desired m-learning content that employees (55 percent of users and potential users) want access to on mobile devices but only one-third of organizations surveyed currently offer training on Leadership. Organizations must shift their focus to leadership development and training of current employees across all levels in order to build an internal leadership pipeline. In other words give your employees the feel that they are an actual part of the company and its goals, not simply working there for a paycheck.

The biggest issue with m-learning is that the content must be specially tailored. The report shows learners prefer interactive and visual formats which can be assessed on demand. These yield the best results, respondents say. People also want the trainings to last no more than an hour. All of this must be done on a smartphone which the respondents list as their top device in the ease of use category for mobile learning.

Organizations that have yet to adopt m-learning as part of their learning and development cited additional operating costs (56 percent), security and infrastructure concerns as key inhibitors.

“Organizations must consider the hidden cost of inaction. The cost benefits of making learning and development more accessible to the workforce, which drive increased productivity, efficiency and build a competitive edge, outweigh the inhibiting concerns,” Mr. Nott said.

About 57% of respondents say they believe m-learning makes learning more accessible and 46% say they think it is a good mechanism to include learning into the employees’ workflow. This would mean that people could be learning easily and without them even noticing they are actually developing new skills or learning ways to enhance their productivity. Of course, all of this is possible if the company first gives some thought to the possibility of using m-learning.

Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Pabak Sarkar