Wednesday 5 December 2012

#SympEventsTech – Mobile Learning and ensuring the capability of the learner


   I spent some of yesterday morning at another of Symposium Event’s conferences.  The most interesting session for me, just because of my own interests, was Andy Wooler’s one on mobile learning.

Andy quoted his colleague, John McClements, at Hitachi Data Systems Academy, defining mobile learning as:

  • Chunks of useful information
  • Delivered at time/place of need
  • Supporting performance
  • Easily accessible through many devices
  • Promoting learning at user's convenience
  • Self-paced learning
  • Key messages: alerts, updates, news
  • Rapid development and deployment.


Out of these, Andy spent most time on the importance of performance support, eg in the picture above, in sustaining competency levels post a training event.  This is partly about shifting training from an event to a process.  But it’s also about supporting learning in a way that’s going to lead to better retention of new knowledge or skills.

I thought this was interesting given my previous post on about shifting recruitment to focus on better generation of new capability through emphasising quality of hire.  It’s the same thing here.  Instead of worrying about the quality of training, we need to shift our focus to the competencies we’re creating, and sustaining – in a ever changing work environment.

I’ve often thought that this is one of the key benefits of social learning ie it’s not just that most people learn most things more easily in a social setting, it’s that when people have learned something with others, particularly if these are the people they’re then working with, it’s more likely that learning will be reviewed and revised – either because the people will make reference to it, or just because the people are there it’s going to act as a trigger to recollect the initial social learning activity.

So instead of the Ebbinghaus / Buzan forgetting curve, in which competency slopes off and fairly quickly pretty much disappears, competency is retained and potentially even further enhanced, as in Andy’s picture above.


If you’d like to know more, you may be interested in the session on enabling more effective Learning & Development that I run for Symposium.  Our next sessions are on:

  • 27 February 2013 – London
  • 1 March 2013 – Birmingham
  • 14 Mar 2013 – Manchester


This post is sponsored by Symposium Training, the training and workshops brand of Black and White Trading Ltd and one of the UK’s leading independent training providers for HR and related professions. With over 90 events a year, our conferences and seminars target delegates with interests in:
- HR Strategy & Practice
- Recruitment
- Health & Safety, Employee Well-being
- Pay & Benefits
- Employment Law
- Training & Development
- Diversity & Equality
- Employee Relations.

Symposium conferences typically feature 8-12 expert speakers per day, including professionals with first hand experience, academics, industry observers and other experts. Events generally provide strategic analysis of an issue and explore practical solutions for the workplace.

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1 comment:

  1. Jon, it’s great to see recognition of the fact that social learning is not just about people sharing and learning faster initially but is also about picking up and revisiting what they have learnt after their initial learning. This is the natural way in which we accomplish “the spaced learning” that good training aims to emulate.


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