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Vocational Training Using Mobile Technologies

Page history last edited by Tanman 5 years, 1 month ago Saved with comment



Mobile Learning


To better appreciate the merits of vocational training using mobile technologies, one should understand the concept and practice of mobile learning. According to eLearning Guild, mobile learning “is any activity that allows individuals to be more productive when consuming, interacting with, or creating information, mediated through a compact digital portable device that the individual carries on a regular basis, has reliable connectivity, and fits in a pocket or purse" (Wexler, 2007). It is particularly useful in:


Delivering learning content and experiences to learners when and where they need it. It is instruction that can be accessed at any time and any place to support performance. Typically M-learning is accessed via a mobile device that facilitates just-in-time learning and on-demand learning. M-learning can be formal or informal, structured or unstructured. It is flexible, self-paced and self-directed. M-learning is driven by the learner, rather than the technology learners use to access it (Turner, 2012).





Vocational Training Through Mobile Devices





Vocational education is training that prepares individual adults for a specific trade, job or vocation. When mobile technology is used in vocational education its application can be extended to professional or on-the-job training and development. Whether one is being trained in a classroom, office, factory or in the natural environment, those who receive instruction are considered learners.


Increasingly, today’s learners (and newly trained workforce) are members of the so-called “Millennial” (formerly called generation Y in the 90's) and “Generation Z” cohorts. Many millennials and all members of generation Z are ‘digital natives’. Many "so called or self-proclaimed" experts believe that our current educational system was not designed to teach digital natives. Although this paradigm is slowly shifting in the public education system, much of the private sector has embraced the new digital paradigm—especially as it relates to mobile learning (M-Learning) for vocational training.


Learning is a phenomenon that cannot be isolated from the activity, culture, context, and environment in which it takes place ( Bogdan, 2013). Another excellent benefit of M-Learning is that “knowledge and capacities for decision-making and responsibility can be acquired directly at the real workplace and with familiar learning media and the acquired skills can be applied immediately following the learning periods ( Martin, 2009).”





Benefits of Mobile Learning/Vocational Training (Horton, 2011, Chapter 9)




  •  Enable learners to learn while traveling, waiting for something, and/or during down time


  • Allows learners to engage material at a time and location of their choosing




  •  Reduces cost of real estate, materials and physical infrastructure:  physical campus, classrooms, faculty offices, computers, labs, physical libraries


  •  Reduces difficulty in sourcing qualified teachers:  mobility allows more people to serve as teachers, experts, mentors, advisors and critics


Real World


  •  Learn from the true situational context—where the learning will be applied: office, ship, battlefield, crime scene, hospital, warehouse, factory, kitchen, sales floor, natural environment, etc…


  •  Teachable moments:  something can be observed that is not covered in training (can be recorded or noted for later questions/clarification)


  •  Learn from the whole world:  objects, locations, environments, experts, fellow learners, the internet




  •  Less physical strain: mobile learners vary their posture greatly throughout the day


  •  Good exercise:  mobile learners walk to sites, move through it, take notes, stretch, bend, assemble, push, pull, lift, open, close, engage, etc…


  •  Improved blood flow through the brain


  •  Change of scene and environment enhance mental stimulation


Instant Access to Mobile Tools/Tech


  •  Video, camera, voice recorder, note taking, internet, eBooks, GPS, maps, calculator, useful apps, text/email questions, etc…



More Benefits of M-Learning in Vocational Education 




According to the factual statistics in this video, it is apparent that Mobile Learning is changing the face of education and the social networks connected through it.  The United States is at the forefront in modernizing education and bringing the Millennial generation greater access to pedagogical methods on small and mobile devices. The overall advantage and the reason why society will continue to proceed in this direction of digital education is due to cost-effective and "going Green" motives.  Also Mobile Learning proves to be a success for this generation that is always 'on the go', therefore the flexibility allowed in M-Learning acts as another advantage.  






Extensive research derived from Towards Maturity's 2013 Benchmark Study, reveals key findings based on the responses received from 481 organizations, across 44 countries, spanning a range of industries, sectors, types and sizes.


Key findings (Overton, 2014):


  •  71% of respondents are using mobile devices up from 36% in 2010 and 47% in 2012)
  •  This proportion rises to 83% (up from 65% last year) of top learning companies
  •  Top learning companies are also more likely to be using and developing mobile apps
  •  52% provide learners with smartphones, rising to 60% of top learning companies
  •  48% provide learners with tablets, rising to 57% of top learning companies
  •  41% have a policy of Bring Your Own Device, rising to 66% of top learning companies


When compared with the 2013 Benchmark average values, those that specifically enable their content for mobile devices have gained:


  •  43% improvement in productivity
  •  73% improvement in revenue
  •  44% improvement in time to competency
  •  75% improvement in the number noticing positive changes in staff behavior


*Notably, those using mobile learning are at least twice as likely as non-users to exceed benchmark values and be in the top quartile for Towards Maturity Index.


Mobile learning Infographics



Design Considerations







Although the positive implications of M-Learning are compelling,“creating mobile learning can be expensive, difficult and risky. Before you dive into a detailed design, ensure that the rewards justify the likely costs—for  you and your sponsor (Horton, 2011).” For the most part, the effectiveness of any respective M-Learning efforts will hinge upon the design. Planning, knowing the target audience and thoughtful execution will be pivotal.




  • Design short, self-contained sequences that can resume where left off


  • Enable learners to download entire lessons/courses to play them offline   


  • Make content available as text AND audio


  • Let learners decide when to advance


  • Provide a solar charger or extra batteries (if providing the device)


  • Use larger navigation, controls and buttons


  • Make content very legible


  • Consider providing a stylus




  • Require a lot of typing


  • Require a lot of meetings


  • Overuse battery-draining activities (video, audio, GPS, etc…)


  • Overuse text—use audio too


  • Require complex formatting of text


  • Assign an activity with no obvious benefit


  • Use long video clips


Being an effective designer for M-Learning projects is difficult. There is no substitute for practice—a designer will learn much through trial and error. Although nobody can predict the future, it seems reasonable to say that people will continue to value and use mobile devices for many decades to come—until they are replaced by something else. It is important for the instructional designer/technologist to ‘meet the learners where they are.’ A majority of learners daily spend time on mobile devices. The challenge is to cultivate that time into productive learning that makes our society better. This perhaps is no easy task, however it appears to be safe to say the benefits outweigh the cost of that challenge.




Bogdan, P. (2013). Social media and the new academic environment: pedagogical challenges: Pedagogical Challenges. IGI




Horton, W. (2011). e-Learning by Design. John Wiley & Sons.


Martin, E. (2009). Looking Toward the Future of Technology-Enhanced Education: Ubiquitous Learning and the Digital Native:


     Ubiquitous Learning and the Digital Native. IGI Global.


Mobile Learning and Global Models - iXtentia and Extentia. (2012). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?




Overton, L. (2014). In-Focus: mobile learning at work. Retrieved from http://www.towardsmaturity.org/


Turner, N. (2012, March 21). What is mlearning?. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net


Wexler, S. (2007, August 7). Mobile learning : research library. Retrieved from http://www.elearningguild.com




Comments (2)

Tanman said

at 7:42 pm on Apr 20, 2015

I am having trouble formatting block quotes. When the page gets resized for various viewports (or viewer resizes the window) the formatting gets thrown off.

Nicole Everett said

at 3:33 pm on Apr 23, 2015

Yes, I experienced that same issue with editing other group wiki's, so I guess it's how this website portal was designed and we can't make those kind of changes.

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