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Strong growth potential for mobile learning seen in APAC

Zafirah Salim | Aug. 24, 2015
Organisations must evolve training programmes to keep up with technology and the learning needs of an ever-increasing mobile workforce.

According to a recently released Skillsoft report, there is a strong growth for mobile learning in Asia Pacific, with two-thirds of decision makers already adopting or having plans to adopt mobile learning.

Titled 'The State of Mobile Learning in Asia Pacific' (APAC), the report highlights key insights into the availability of and preferences for mobile learning, as well as challenges and concerns which impact the implementation of mobile learning in APAC organisations.

Polling over 500 decision makers and learners across 16 APAC countries, the report revealed that learners prefer to be involved in the development and design of programmes created for them, with more than half (63 percent) - who are adopters and users - indicating that they have been involved in some aspect of mobile learning development or planning.

As such, organisations should consult their learners in the programme planning process to ensure that learning is targeted, relevant and engaging, besides being aligned with business objectives.

The key benefit of mobile learning as cited by more than three-quarters of respondents was the improvement in efficiency at both the organisational and personal level. Investments in mobile learning proved to yield tangible returns, with improvement in business results ranking as the second top organisational benefit.

More than half (57 percent) also believe that mobile learning makes learning resources more accessible, while 46 percent believe that mobile learning is a good mechanism to infuse learning into employees' daily workflow.

According to the report, topics that have the most unmet demand were skills training and best practices for enhancing productivity. Leadership development and training topped the list of desired mobile learning content that employees (55 percent of users and potential users) want access to on mobile devices, but only a third of polled organisations currently offer training on leadership. Therefore, organisations need to shift their focus to leadership development and training of current employees across all levels in order to build an internal leadership pipeline.

Skillsoft's study also identified that interactive and visual formats are the most effective for mobile learning (as indicated by 64 percent of the users and potential users). Meanwhile, 66 percent of such users desired learning that can be assessed on demand and in sessions lasting not more than an hour.

Additionally, smartphones were ranked as the most preferred device with "ease of use" being the most common factor for mobile learning device selection. Organisations that have yet to adopt mobile learning as part of their learning program cited additional operating costs (56 percent), security and infrastructure concerns as key inhibitors.

"Organisations must consider the hidden cost of inaction. The cost benefits of making learning more accessible to the workforce, which drive increased productivity, efficiency and build a competitive edge, outweigh the inhibiting concerns," said Glenn Nott, Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific, Skillsoft.


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