Mlearning as a phenomenon is gaining immense popularity because of the various advantages that it brings with it. It is becoming an increasingly preferred way of dissemination and information sharing for all kinds of educational and training purposes. The worldwide market for mobile learning is estimated to reach $12.2 billion by 2017!
What is interesting to note here is the geographical usage and growth trends in the mobile education market. Asia has seen the world’s highest regional growth for elearning. This demand has grown stronger with time because of increased internet penetration and increased use of mobile devices.
THE KEN RESEARCH GROUP REPORT, ‘INDIA’S E-LEARNING MARKET OUTLOOK TO FY2018 – INCREASING TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION TO DRIVE FUTURE GROWTH’, ESTIMATES THAT THE MARKET SHOULD GROW AT A COMPOUND ANNUAL GROWTH RATE (CAGR) OF 17.4% OVER THE PERIOD FY2013 TO FY2018.
Asia also has the highest levels of smartphone penetration which has led to a rise in the share of mobile learning. India currently leads in ed tech growth right after the US, followed by China and UK. A growing trend has been witnessed in the use of educational apps in Asia’s mobile first markets, especially where the demography is characterised by a very young population. According to IDC, the number of PC’s will fall by 13% in 2017. The share of tablets and smartphones is expected to increase. There is a large market acceptance for elearning and mlearning products in the corporate training world.
Where is mlearning seeing the rise?
The rise of elearning and mlearning in Asia and Africa can be attributed to the heavy investment by government in projects related to literacy development. Similarly, government interventions in the Middle East have played a critical role in dissemination of elearning material as educational methods for not only students in elementary schools but also employees in the public sector.
With the ever growing millennial workforce who look forward to professional development and career growth much more than what their previous generations did, just providing training will also not be the answer to lower the high job hopping rate. Training has to be relevant, engaging, flexible and measurable. Training employees within the organisation is extremely critical.
As per a research by Lifelong Education and Labor Market Needs, 64% of executives who are recruited externally fail within four years of joining the organization.
Mobile devices along with the right technology can pave way for this is a huge way. Vu Van, the CEO of English pronunciation app ELSA opines that mobile learning trends in the emerging markets have to do with the lack of options. In her home country, Vietnam, people who come from a low-income family might not have a computer at home, but they do have a mobile phone.
To achieve increased levels of productivity as well as an ROI that justifies investment in training, businesses would need appropriate technological support. Mlearning which can be accessed on mobile devices has proved to achieve quality results in shorter time frames, by hugely cutting down training costs which is otherwise borne in a classroom environment. Online learning helps employees to keep themselves updated with the latest developments within the organisations, products and the market and also helps organisations keep their training budgets under tighter control. Because of the dynamism in the current market, it is mandatory for organisations to ensure that their employees are trained on a continual basis so that they do not get out-maneuvered by competitors.
A poorly trained workforce will only mean lower productivity and growth. Training programs need to be monitored and managed by a reliable and user-friendly tracking system that helps analyse results through insightful data on a frequent basis and sets the base for change. Such a system should have the calibre of providing data to learning experts through reports on productivity and assessments which can help in carving out future learning strategies which are much more effective.
The young workforce demands a lot of flexibility in their training programs. Small and medium size enterprises as well as large organisations are opening up to the idea of adopting cloud-based technology for conducting training programs for their employees. In particular, large corporations are moving towards SaaS LMS as it gives them a host of advantages like higher implementation speed, lower infrastructural expenditures, high-tech features, accessibility and insightful data analytics. As such, it will be interesting to note the future trajectory that this trend moves towards.