Have you heard the of term Inertia? I am sure that most of us have. It is described as a resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion; this includes changes to its speed, direction or state of rest. Thanks to Sir Isaac Newton, we sure spent years understanding this law. But, surprisingly today we deal with a similar effect in an entirely different context - something known as 'Organizational Inertia'.
Every organization experiences a form of inertia at some point and time, and this aspect holds it back from moving forward, taking risks and adapting to new technologies. Mobile Learning Adoption is one such aspect that has been facing resistance for some time now. We have helped several organizations adopt mobile learning strategy and in light of our experience, the overall inertial state of organizations towards the adoption of mobile learning can be divided into three broad categories- Information, Infrastructure and Investment that can be further broken down into the following 7 barriers to mobile learning adoption:
- Lack of Foresight - Most organizations and the individuals in it fail to recognize and understand the actual potential of mobile learning. In addition, many of them fail to see how far technology has evolved and the impact it has on eLearning. With the growing emphasis on BYOD, self-paced learning etc. more and more organizations are now turning to mobile learning and it is no longer just an option.
- The Stagnant Curriculum - In eLearning what goes on desktop not necessarily be liked similar way on mobile. In many cases it has been experienced that the greatest barrier to mobile learning is content. Delivering the same age old content without modifications on a mobile device can't make much of a difference. The change here should begin right from content updation.
- The Nature of Learners and Instructors - At times the overall lethargy of the learners, and at times the adamancy of the instructors can hinder the process of moving towards mobile learning. In such cases both parties need to be educated about the importance of change, the benefits mobile learning brings etc. The other issue faced usually is the lack of technological awareness. Of what use is mobile learning when the learners/instructors do not know what mobiles/tablets or phablets are.
- Time Restriction - Sometimes, organizations only need the fastest option. Creating Custom mobile learning involves planning, implementation process that can be time consuming depending upon the requirement, and very often such solutions are not available as off-the-shelf products.
- Absence of Necessary Infrastructure - What does it take for mobile learning to work - just the devices? Having mobile devices is one thing - but what about connectivity, headphones (if required), essential softwares, and most importantly lack of training on how to use it.
- Financial Constraints - Mobile Learning requires investment and without the money adopting mobile learning can be tough. Many organizations believe that mobile learning is costly, this however is a misconception- because the cost depends mostly on the customizations required.
- Lack of Conviction - Yes, many individuals and organizations still insist that mobiles cannot be used as modes of delivering learning and this very aspect hinders the growth of mobile learning.
Mobile devices are evolving and so is mobile technology, adding to it are the smaller devices that are growing to be a part of our daily lives. Technology is bound to keep its pace of evolution. As learning service providers, we believe that adapting to changes is an essential part of evolution and also that such openness provides us a competitive edge over the others.
It's time that organizations overcome the inertial force holding them back from advancements and embrace the benefits of mobile learning. So get started now.