Although agreement that providing learning content when and where it's needed is desirable, organizations still grapple with how best to incorporate mobile devices into their learning strategies.
Despite the relative ubiquity of mobile devices and the wide-ranging potential the technology has to enhance the learning function, most organizations have been slow to implement the delivery of learning content via mobile device. While learning leaders acknowledge that the capacity to provide access to learning content when and where it is needed is critical, crafting a mobile learning strategy—a complex proposition in and of itself—is essential.
Mobile Learning: Delivering Learning to a Connected World, sponsored by Upside Learning, is a follow-up to the 2011 collaborative report published by ASTD and the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, which was based on a series of in-depth interviews with thought leaders and practitioners in the field of learning on the topic of mobile learning.
The conversations focused on the state of adoption of mobile learning applications as well as thoughts about the future of mobile learning. Those interviews, along with a comprehensive review of existing literature, made it clear that organizations continue to grapple with the challenges presented by the continuous evolution of technology, its affect on instructional design, and the delivery of learning.
The foundation of Mobile Learning: Delivering Learning to a Connected World is an analysis of interviews and responses to an ASTD/i4cp survey of 567 business and learning professionals, 154 of whom reported that their organizations are currently using mobile learning.
Overall, the 2012 study found that there is a great deal of optimism in terms of the role mobile devices will play in learning in the future; more than half of the respondents believe mobile technologies will improve learning in their organizations in the coming three years. But despite its high correlation with both the Learning Education Index and Market Performance Indicator, less than one-third of respondents currently deliver learning content via mobile device.
Chief among the barriers to adopting mobile learning are budget restrictions, the challenges of addressing integration with legacy learning systems, and security concerns. And while some organizations have the capacity to deliver learning via mobile devices, they are not yet able to measure effectiveness. Among those organizations that have adopted mobile device content delivery, less than 10 percent have formal metrics in place to evaluate the effectiveness.
Mobile Learning: Delivering Learning to a Connected World found that for a variety of reasons, some organizations are not ready to incorporate mobile devices into their learning functions. And those that are in the process of creating a strategy for leveraging and integrating mobile devices into their learning delivery believe they are a few years way from fully assessing how mobile learning will help align learning's goals and outcomes with business needs and performance.
The full report is available in the ASTD bookstore at www.store.astd.org.