With the rise of smartphones, ipads, notebooks and beautifully designed digital watches, technology is quickly replacing textbooks as the medium to obtain and decipher information. Interestingly enough, mobile learning has infiltrated many contracting firms involved in mining, construction, and manufacturing, as a new way to approach orientation training for contractor workers. The days when employers paid millions a year in training fees are over, replaced by a much slicker- and cheaper- operation that can easily fit inside your contract worker’s pocket.
It begs the question, why are employers turning to mobile learning, and what are the advantages for both the employer and contract worker? Let’s find out.
The Stats: Mobile Learning
Mobile learning is becoming an increasingly popular forum for learning and obtaining information. According to a recent study by the PewResearch Center, nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans are now smartphone owners, which is a massive increase from 2011 where the number stood at 35%.
More specifically, according to research by Michaels & Associates Learning Solutions, 100% of study respondents completed more training when it’s delivered in a mobile format. More critically, many participants said the format and layout of mobile devices enhanced their learning. The study also found that mobile learners tend to study 40 minutes more each week, and are three times more likely to track their progress. Additionally, 45% of participants spent less time in training, with no loss of knowledge or comprehension.
According to Litmos, mobile training allows for “some creative and innovative techniques” to be utilized that can “address the need for helping employees learn” a particular set of skills that may “otherwise be hard to teach.” More specifically, 82% of contract workers used a mobile device in 2013, with 40% saying they used the platforms for purchasing and increasingly for training purposes, as technology is mostly used by this subgroup for the purpose of convenience. Therefore, conducting training on mobile platforms allows the contract worker to be flexible with their training and take it whenever, and wherever, they want.
According to research by Jisc, mobile learning is “more than just using a mobile device” to access learning material or “communicate with others” and more about providing “mobility” to the learner. Furthermore, the research asserts that mobile learning “allows for the contextualization of learning that is impossible with desk-bound computing.” Although the research is aimed at the educational sector, there are some tangible benefits that mobile learning can offer you and your contract worker.
The Benefits of Mobile Learning
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Although Jisc detailed many benefits in their study- more notably in terms of access to learning by those in remote regions, and contextualization through GPS tracking systems- mobile learning will offer your contract worker so much more, more notably information that is digestible and a device that is flexible. Let’s take a look.
The first advantage to consider is that mobile learning offers you a way to provide your contract workers with information that is both digestible and understandable. Meaning that all of your training will be easy to read and navigational, for even the amateur technology users. There won’t be a need to provide reams of paper and long presentations, all of this can be incorporated into the mobile platform. Furthermore, these platforms give you an opportunity to provide maps and directions, showcase in-depth health and safety videos, offer podcasts and ebooks, and provide sufficient training, ensuring your contract workers are prepared on day one. Your contract workers will find it easier to read and digest information on mobile devices, the layout and text are a lot clearer, and workers may even have a number of language options.
Breaks Down Language Barriers
One of the marvels of mobile devices is that they are very much multilingual, regardless of the geographical location of your worker. Mobile learning gives you the opportunity to offer your training in a multitude of languages, and make that customizable to each region. In fact, this is something we have pioneered ourselves here at GoContractor. Our platform allows for a multitude of languages, across any region, which ensures no matter where your contract worker resides, they can receive adequate orientation training.
It’s Portable, Take Training Anytime, Anywhere!
Mobile devices are transportable and easy to store away inside your worker’s pocket. This means that in terms of training, your worker can take it anywhere and anytime. It could be 4 am, or 9 pm, once they have access to a mobile phone and a sufficient internet connection, they will be able to undertake training. Furthermore, by using mobile learning, you are putting the control of training into the hands of the contract worker. Don’t worry, with GoContractor, we will actually remind your workers that they have a course, or refresher training, left to take.
Mobile learning also offers your contract workers one great perk- flexibility. While the traditional method of training usually means your contract workers have to sit in a classroom for hours, mobile learning ensures this process is conducted in a speedy and convenient fashion. Your contract workers will not have to wait for the computer to boot up, they just have to log in and start their training.
How GoContractor Can Help
Here at GoContractor, our platform is fully customizable for mobile platforms, in fact, a number of our users in the past have used that option, which is generally quicker than the desktop alternative. GoContractor is an online orientation platform that allows your contract workers to register, upload documents and photos, and undertake their orientation training before they even enter your site. This process can even be adapted to suit the type of worker and the location of your site or plant.
How do I Know that the Person who Took the Training is my Employee?
Of course, verifying the identity of your worker can be an issue when they’re completing a task online. Technically, anyone could take the training and pretend to be your worker, which puts you in a bit of a pickle. However, with GoContractor, pretending to be someone else is impossible thanks to a new feature called Identity Capture. This new feature will allow you to verify that the identity of the user matches that of your employee. The feature works by taking a series of photographs of the worker while they take their course, and verifying that the person who arrives on site matches the person who took the course! You don’t have to include this feature if you do not want to, it’s very much up to you.