Mobile learning 'adds value to a company'
Using mobile learning within an organisation can add value to the business and help deliver training that is relevant to its goals. This is according to learning technology manager at Macmillan Cancer Support Lesley McGuire, who spoke to Third Sector about her experience of using a virtual system that was made available to the charity's employees' mobile devices. Since 2009, health professionals working for the body have been benefiting from a suite of e-learning programmes, while staff at middle management level have also had access to a digital leadership toolbox designed to improve their skills. Over the last eight months, Macmillan has offered the resources in bite-sized chunks on smartphones and tablets after it shelled out £4,000 to make its online platform available on the handsets. Ms McGuire said all of the company's staff, professionals or volunteers can register to use its system and the HR team has matched specific parts of the training suite to the individual needs of workers. "We have to be careful not to overwhelm people with too much choice, so we try to pick issues each month rather than have them look at things that are not relevant," she added. The expert stated a key consideration when deciding whether to use the system was staff engagement, as the online learning packages provide employees with a way of finding out about issues such as health and safety. And at present, around 3,000 of Macmillan's 4,000 health professionals and 600 staff are signed up to use them. Ms McGuire also claimed she expects mobile learning to be a common feature of training in charities five years from now. She was quoted as saying: "The argument is about making sure whatever you develop works on mobile platforms and on any device - and if you neglect the mobile market for training, you are missing a trick." This comes after the learning technology professional recently revealed MacMillan is also using video-based mobile learning to teach its staff about teamwork, interviewing and coaching, time management, appraisals and coping with stress.