In today’s always-connected world, the idea of accessing comprehensive learning materials without an internet connection might sound unlikely. But it can—and does—happen. Here are five offline learning myths to change the way you look at workplace training.

While 90 percent of companies offer digital learning1, many L&D teams still struggle to provide reliable access to eLearning courses and material for employees on the go—for example, when they’re traveling by plane, visiting a client or working outdoors. This is despite the fact these are often the times when learners want or need to access learning.

That’s a shame, especially when you consider that making learning available anywhere isn’t difficult. In this article, I’ll address a few of the enduring myths about the provision of offline learning and tell you why it’s an opportunity your business can, and should, capitalize on.

A person taking an eLearning course on their mobile phone

Offline Learning Myth #1: No One Needs Offline Learning

We are undoubtedly busier than ever at work—LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report shows that the number one challenge for talent development at the moment is getting learners to make time for learning2.

However, we value learning and want to learn. In the report, 94 percent of employees said they valued the accumulation of knowledge to the extent that they would stay with a company longer if it invested in their career development3.

Meeting learners where they are and providing learning on the platforms they are most comfortable with is very important. Three-quarters of learners use mobile devices for eLearning4, which is great news given the myriad of benefits mobile learning has been shown to offer, including significantly improved learner motivation and greater retention of information.

We know that learners use mobiles to access learning when they have short amounts of downtime. This saves them from having to carve out time to take a dedicated course at their desk, which is difficult when they are busy.

Delivering learning that fits into gaps in our busy days is key to engagement and success—particularly at times that might not traditionally be utilized, such as while traveling, commuting or in a break between meetings.

With a mobile learning app that enables offline learning, you can break down the possible barriers and meet learners where they are. You can provide learning on the platforms learners are already using.

This makes mobile-first design crucial when you’re creating a course. Your employees want to learn, so make sure the technology is there. Your eLearning authoring, hosting and distribution tool (or tools if you’re using multiple solutions) must offer an effective app through which learners can access your content.

Offline Learning Myth #2: Learners Only Access Material That Is Out of Date

Ensuring that learners are accessing the latest version of a course or training segment can be vital, particularly if you’re disseminating information about new products or rules.

When learning is downloaded for offline consumption, there’s an obvious risk that the content will become outdated if it isn’t updated—especially given the rapid pace of change in many industries.

Fortunately, a learning app will allow you to solve this problem. As well as letting learners access everything in one place, an app can automatically check and update material, pushing the latest edition to a learner’s device once they have re-established an internet connection.

Office workers looking at mobile eLearning content on a tablet

Offline Learning Myth #3: It’s Incredibly Difficult to Distribute Offline Learning

Delivering and updating courses used to require vast investments of time and money for L&D teams.

Sophisticated learning technologies have removed those resource drains, with dynamic updates giving organizations the power to distribute to websites, Intranets, portals, LMSes, social media sites and more in a single click.

Multi-device publishing should be instantaneous, not a drawn-out process. The best tools allow you to immediately publish and update your offline courses.

Offline Learning Myth #4: It Looks Horrible and Lacks Interaction

While the internet puts the world in the palm of our hands in terms of learning, we tend to think of offline learning as being much less interactive, such as being given a printed PDF.

In truth, learning technologies mean your employees can get the full learning experience even when they’re offline, including multimedia features and sleek, modern design.

Offline Learning #5: Offline Learning Can’t Be Tracked

L&D teams need to be able to see how their learning is landing. Tracking learner progress in detail is the best way to spot trends, improve material and measure the impact of learning across an organization.

While analytics are now giving us the potential for more insights than ever before, all that valuable data can be lost without the ability to capture what learners get up to when they take learning offline.

This risk is a common concern among businesses contemplating the benefits of offline learning. That’s why you need to make sure the learning courses you distribute are fully tracked with the power of Experience API (also known as xAPI or Tin Can) analytics.

Again, this comes back to working with an effective eLearning app. With offline learner data automatically stored and sent back to you once the learner has an internet connection, you can be rest assured that you’ll receive full insights—just as you would with online learning.

To discover how easy it can be to provide exceptional offline learning, get in touch today, or download our ebook, ‘12 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Authoring Tool’.

Additional sources:

1. LinkedIn Learning (2018), ‘2018 Workplace Learning Report’
2. LinkedIn Learning (2018), ‘2018 Workplace Learning Report’
3. LinkedIn Learning (2018), ‘2018 Workplace Learning Report’
4. Ambient Insight (2015), ‘The 2014-2019 Worldwide Mobile Learning Market’

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