What are the differences between eLearning, mobile learning, and microlearning?

Tim Schreuders

Tim Schreuders

eLearning blog post

In our earlier article, we wrote about eLearning, mobile learning, and microlearning. We explained what eLearning is and discussed the meaning of eLearning, mobile learning, and microlearning. But what exactly are the differences between these different forms of digital learning? After reading this blog post, you will be completely up to date.

Table of Contents

What online training options are there?

eLearning, the name says it all, is about electronic or digital learning. There are many forms of digital learning. Examples include taking online training courses and watching video instructions. Mobile learning and microlearning are a form of eLearning where the training takes place respectively on a wireless device and lasts only a short time. We will dive into mobile and microlearning later on. First up is eLearning. 

What is eLearning?

All of the above examples are a form of eLearning. As long as it involves a digital device and learning, it falls under the category of eLearning. More and more companies are using some form of online training for their staff. Often, digital learning is combined with traditional forms of learning, such as classroom courses. By offering eLearning, you facilitate employees in their development. You teach them knowledge and skills. In addition, you create more employee engagement and motivation by offering eLearning.

Examples of eLearning programs

Would you like to train your retail or hospitality employees on customer focus or conflict management? Explain the new inventory system to your employees, communicate upcoming promotions or teach product knowledge. Numerous e-learning programs can be of interest. You can opt for an online course that they can do from home. You can also have them watch educational videos, complete a digital poll, quiz, or questionnaire, or include gamification forms to playfully train your employees. 

Our blog post 10 things to consider when setting up your eLearning program provides more information about eLearning programs.

What are the benefits of eLearning?

eLearning has many advantages over traditional and classroom learning. First, eLearning is flexible and fast. Your employees develop their skills and knowledge faster than with physical training and can learn when and where it is convenient. Useful if you have multiple locations, for example. Other advantages of eLearning are its price and environmental friendliness. After all, you save yourself, the trainer, and the participants from renting and traveling to a physical training location. Finally, eLearning is fun and interactive. It will certainly appeal to your employees, especially the younger ones, who dominate the frontline workforce! 

Enough reason to delve further into the possibilities of eLearning, for example, by reading our blog What is e-learning and how to use it in the workplace

What is mobile learning?

Mobile learning, also known as mLearning, is learning by using a mobile device. In mobile learning, employees follow short, manageable training courses via a wireless device, such as their smartphone or tablet. With m-learning, you no longer send training courses via e-mail or intranet. The courses are available directly on your employees’ personal smartphones. Ideal for frontline employees without desks and laptops! So they can brush up on their skills at home on the couch, on the train, or even during quiet moments at work. mLearning is also perfect for keeping abreast of all developments at work.

Examples of mobile learning

Mobile learnings commonly used by retail organizations and hospitality companies are refresher and onboarding training, sales training, quizzes, and questionnaires. An all-in-one employee app with online training modules, is also a suitable solution for on-the-job training. As your non-desk employees can take courses, read messages and check next week’s offers whenever and wherever they want, mLearning is hugely interesting and convenient for retail and hospitality businesses.

Onboarding App Example
Onboarding training is a popular use case for mobile learning

What are the benefits of mobile learning?

Easy, accessible, and flexible; that’s mobile learning. Everyone carries a smartphone these days, so mobile learning is a godsend. Employees stay up-to-date with the latest developments anytime, anywhere, and can complete courses and absorb news from wherever they want. This is exactly what the younger generation wants – 71% of them prefer mobile learning to computer-based learning activities. As a company manager or owner, you can also follow your employees’ progress via an easy-to-use dashboard. Bring on that higher engagement, improved skills, and more efficient way of working!

What is microlearning?

Microlearning is a form of learning in which material is presented in no more than five minutes. This fits perfectly with the preferences of younger generations, like millennials and Gen Z. People’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter due to the enormous amount of information we receive. This fast and interactive form of eLearning via mobile, tablet, or social media is particularly suitable for conveying information. And for strengthening the connection with your (young and non-desk) staff. 

Examples of microlearning

Examples of microlearning are summaries of articles, infographics, slides, quizzes, polls, videos, links, and images. Suppose you want to introduce your catering staff to the sandwich of the week. A video of someone making the sandwich is then a top idea. In at most a few minutes, everyone will see what ingredients they need and how to proceed next week. Or do you want to boost the team’s knowledge of your brand? Create a short quiz with questions about your brand. Success guaranteed!

What are the advantages of microlearning? 

The big advantage of microlearning is its accessibility. People don’t have to specially log in to another e-learning platform but can access the microlearning directly from their smartphone in their employee app. This allows you to make changes quickly and makes communication a breeze. With microlearning, you develop employees quickly and easily because training is short and can be adapted to the individual. You can read about the benefits in our microlearning blog post. In short: with microlearning, you make learning a fun experience!

Your next step in building a successful online training program

eLearning, mobile learning, and microlearning are more than interesting for companies that want to deliver quality and retain their customers and employees.

To encourage your employees to continuously improve their skills and knowledge, it’s important to offer them the best solution to do so. Instead of offering separate solutions for every part of the employee experience, we believe that to fit the needs of the modern workforce, you need to provide your workforce with an all-in-one employee app. Internal communication, digital training, forms, checklists, and surveys; all accessible in one place, in the palm of your hand. 

Do you want to know more about this employee app? Watch the explainer video below, request a live product demo, and discover what Oneteam has to offer.

Tim Schreuders

Tim Schreuders

Tim Schreuders is the Customer Success Manager at Oneteam. In his role, he is responsible for helping customers get the most out of Oneteam. He turns the valuable user insights into practical tips for the Oneteam blog.Fun fact about Tim: He’s a Oneteam user encyclopedia. Ask him anything and he won’t stop talking.

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