There is no question that mobile devices are changing corporate learning forever. However, this doesn’t mean classroom-based training or formal eLearning courses are going away, it just means the mobile movement is demanding companies to rethink their training strategies and to create learning programs especially for mobile devices.
"Within the next five years, we are going to be not just changing but transforming how we train and educate based on mobile," predicts Daniel Burrus, chief executive officer of Burrus Research Associates Inc., a Hartland, Wis.-based consulting firm. “Mobile learning is a bigger deal than most organizations realize. It represents an amazing disruption and opportunity in how we educate" he adds.
Companies cannot ignore mobile learning anymore. If you’re still planning your training strategy for next year, it might be useful to know about some of the most relevant statistics.
1- Mobile-only users now OUTNUMBER desktop-only users.
According to a Google report of 2016, the number of mobile-only users has grown, and they now surpass desktop-only users. Multi-device usage too has increased, and people now effortlessly switch between smartphones, tablets, phablets, and laptop computers to manage their lives. The numbers below prove how mobile device usage now outnumbers desktop PC use:
- 80 percent people use smartphones
- 57 percent people use more than one digital communication device
- 27 percent people use ONLY a smartphone
- 14 percent people use ONLY a computer
2- Mobile users will increasingly own and use more personal devices at work.
By 2018, the average mobile user will own and use more than three personal devices, according to a report by Gartner, Inc. And by 2020, this number will be an average of 4.4 per user.
Increased mobile penetration, greater and faster adoption of new technology, improved communication infrastructure, and more reliance on real-time information for decision-making purposes will drive mobile device usage.
3- Mobile Internet usage has increased.
Between 2010 and 2015, daily mobile Internet usage has grown from 0.4 hours to 2.8 hours.
Millennials Mobile Usage
Is your company ready for the Millenials? It should! Millenials will make up 50% of the worforce by the end of 2020.
4- Millennials are tethered to their smartphones.
According to Mitek and Zogby Analytics, almost 90 percent of all Millennials have their smartphones with them 24x7 - meaning their phones never left their side, and 80% of them reported they instantly reached for them right when they woke up.
5- Many of them use ONLY smartphones.
According to comScore, 20 percent of the Millennials use ONLY their smartphones to communicate. Desktop usage has fallen among this section of the population.
6- Millennials in the 18-34 years age bracket have the highest mobile usage.
The following numbers show that Millennials aged between 18 and 34 years prefer consuming content on mobile devices to desktop computers:
- About 97 percent use mobile devices
- A fifth of them are mobile-only users
- A paltry 3 percent consume content only on a desktop device
Mobile Behavior and Preferences
7- The smartphone is the most-used mobile device today.
We look at our smartphones an average of 221 times a day. Now here’s an interesting perspective: we stare at our smartphones for more than 20 percent of our waking time.
8- Tablet usage is growing by the day.
According to a report by the Forrester Research, tablet sales have increased a whopping seven times in recent years, from 56 million units in 2012 to 375 million units globally in 2016.
9- More people prefer the vertical orientation when they consume educational content on their mobile devices.
According to the eLearning Guild Research, about 59.9 percent of people prefer the vertical orientation to consume training content on their mobile devices as opposed to 40.01 percent people who prefer the horizontal orientation. About 88.4 percent of people use large tablets when they are in a sitting or reclining position while 81.3 percent people use their smartphones when they are standing or walking.
10- Where people use Mobile Learning
According to a study by Michaels & Associates, 52% of people using mLearning use it in bed after waking up and 46% in before they go to sleep.
11- Screen sizes of mobile devices have increased
The use of mobile devices with 4.5-inch or larger screens has increased since 2014 while those of tablets and smartphones with screens less than 4.5 inches in size have leveled and decreased, respectively.
12- The emergence of "Phablets": tablet and the smartphone are increasingly looking like each other.
Technically, the tablet and the smartphone are different devices that should deliver unique experiences. However, the lines between them have blurred in recent times, and it is now difficult to distinguish between the two. The notable areas of difference are: apps, battery life, camera, and web browsing experience.
Mobile Learning in the Workplace
13- Companies have realized the power and relevance of mobile learning as a business development tool.
Companies across the world are increasingly recognizing the need to create focused strategies for designing and implementing mobile learning. According to a survey by the Brandon Hall Group in 2016, mobile learning now features among the top three business development priorities for companies and ranks only behind the need for seamless business alignment and improved data mining.
14- Smartphone users are increasingly using their mobile devices to learn.
According to the findings of a survey by lynda.com in 2015, 30 percent of smartphone users reported using their phones to consume organizational training content. The results of this study point to an increasing trend among professionals to consume learning on the go, a development that meets their need for on-demand content that aids workplace performance. Soon, mobile learning will be the primary way employees will access educational content.
Also, according to Ambient Insight 2012-2017 Worldwide Mobile Learning Market Report, 74% of learners use mobile devices for eLearning.
15- More companies have implemented Mobile Learning.
According to the ATD 2015 Mobile Landscape report, 34 percent of all companies surveyed have aggressively implemented mLearning programs for their workers, compared to 15 percent in 2010.
16- Top content areas delivered to mobile devices
According to this year’s findings by the Chief Learning Officer magazine, about 1 out of 3 learning managers delivers compliance and technical skills training to mobile devices.
17- Video + Mobile = Perfect match
According to the findings of a 2011 Brandon Hall poll among more than 300 L&D professionals, video is an effective instructional medium because learners report increased engagement with this learning format. So it is not a surprise that video ranks third among the most-preferred formats for delivering educational content to mobile devices, according to a 2012 ASTD report on mobile learning.
Mobile Learning Benefits
18- Mobile learning improves learner motivation.
Mobile learning improves learner motivation that in turn, increases the willingness to take the courses. According to the findings of this study, 70 percent of the respondents reported improved motivation to learn when they were able to use their mobile devices to navigate the courses successfully.
19- Mobile learning boosts learner engagement.
According to the findings of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Skillsoft survey, 72 percent of the participants reported increased engagement with mobile learning.
20- Mobile learning improves learning time.
The findings from the Merrill Lynch GoLearn initiative provide evidence that mLearning slash learning time. During this experiment, one group of virtual learning- and mobile-savvy workforce undertook the training on their mobile devices while the other group used traditional desktop computers to learn.
The smartphone users completed courses an average of 45 percent faster than those who took the modules on their computers. The test scores were also equivalent for the two groups, proving that instructional effectiveness is not impaired when training is delivered to mobile devices.
21- Mobile learning makes organizations more adaptive to market changes.
According to the findings of a CSE Software, Inc. survey, 72 percent of companies report that by embracing mobile learning, they have become more responsive to marketplace changes.
The findings of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Skillsoft survey also indicate that mLearning drives business: 76 percent of the decision-makers reported business growth while 55 percent reported improved business outcomes after embracing mobile learning.
Mobile Learning, A Growing Industry
22- Mobile learning is a growing trend.
According to the T+D Magazine, mobile learning is an emerging trend that will reshape the workplace. GSMA & McKinsey reports that mobile learning will be a $70 billion industry by 2020.
Mobile learning is being driven by:
- Increased use of smartphones and other mobile devices
- Improved digital connectivity
- Growing need for advanced digital learning outlets
- Growing need for on-demand training content
- Increased mobile adoption among learners in the BFSI segment
23- Revenues for mobile learning products and services will increase steadily.
According to the Ambient Insight report, The 2014-2019 U.S. Mobile Learning Market, revenues for mobile learning products and services in the U.S. will reach $2.1 billion by 2019 compared to $1.6 billion in 2014.
The revenues are being driven by increases in:
- Content digitization measures
- Tablet adoption
- End-users demand mobile content
- Demand for learning apps among a focused group of users
- Desire for location-based content
- Use of augmented reality apps
- Innovations in augmented reality apps
- Number of virtual reality learning apps
24- Fastest-evolving learning technology in the global learning tech industry.
According to Ambient Insight 2014-2019 Mobile Learning Market Forecast, by the end of 2019, revenues for Mobile Learning will more than double in 66 countries out of the 119 countries analyzed in the report. Revenues will more than triple in 32 countries by 2019.
25- The Mobile Learning Market in Latin America is in a boom phase.
According to a new Report by Ambient Insight. The growth rate for Mobile Learning products and services in the Latin America region is 32.5%, second highest regional growth rate in the world after the Africa region. Revenues will more than quadruple from the $362.3 million reached in 2012 to a staggering $1.4 billion by 2017.