Research reveals reality gap in mobile and informal learning


The expectations for mobile and informal learning in UK organisations are outstripping adoption rates, according to a survey carried out by GoodPractice in conjunction with Reed Learning and INL Consultancy.

Of the 300 respondents, 60% reported an increased reliance on informal learning, 54% predict a growth in their use of social media and 70% highlight the importance of learning technologies, including mobile solutions.

This finding is supported by a separate survey carried out  by the British Institute of Learning and Development (BILD), in which 59% of respondents said that informal learning is being used or actively promoted in their organisations.

However, the GoodPractice survey also revealed a gap between what organisations want and what is actually happening. Only 24% of respondents have an agreed strategy for informal learning. Similarly, only 21% have trialled any kind of mobile learning initiative.

Despite these results, 60% said they plan to increase spending in these areas in the future. Nigel Paine, a strategic advisor on learning and talent, said: “This report confirms a lot of assumptions; the desire to move to mobile, the need for a strategy for informal learning and the impetus around employee engagement. But this confirmation is actually dynamite. It gives a locus and a context for all those involved in L&D and the senior executives that support it.”

Recent research conducted by GoodPractice also points to the importance of continuing to invest in informal learning, but from a managerial (rather than a senior L&D) perspective. The Learning Habits of Leaders and Managers research report revealed that when they are faced with a new or difficult challenge at work, leaders and managers demonstrate a strong preference for informal learning and social support.

The Learning Trends research also shows that improving employee engagement has become the number one driver for learning and development departments. And while leadership development remains the most critical task on the learning professional’s agenda, the focus is broadening. Areas including talent management, employee retention and performance management have all increased in importance.

[Picture credit: Philip Jackson]







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