Can the Commuter Hour and Mobile Learning Work Together?

Posted on May 31, 2016

Have you considered what your employees who commute to work on public transport do with that time? For many it is a time of boredom, filled with playing games, reading books, checking Facebook, or surfing the Internet. Could you replace those activities with mobile learning courses that benefit your business?

One of the benefits of mobile learning is that the courses exist on phone apps. The courses are also constructed using microlearning techniques, so the learner goes through them in short sessions, and a module may only take five minutes to complete. This is perfect for commuters.

Even if your employees are only on the train or bus for 15 or 20 minutes, they can complete some of the modules. Over time, this will add up and improve the employee's knowledge and skills.

So, in practical terms, mobile learning and commuting are a good fit. What about the motivation factor, though? Would your employees be willing to do work-related activities during non-work time?


One of the key benefits of mobile learning using microlearning structures is that it is learner-centric. In other words, the learner decides how they want to progress through modules. The learner also decides which modules to complete and the pace of progression. This is motivating for learners, and most organisations find that their employees take charge of their learning and self-improvement.

There are also other features of mobile learning that make it a good fit for the commuter hour:

Better use of time – The mainstream alternative to delivering courses is to hold training sessions where people get to meet with a trainer. In many situations employees don’t feel this is a good use of their time. They often feel pressure about the workload building up while they are doing the training, and they struggle to retain the information delivered. In other words, employees often believe this type of training is unproductive. Mobile learning makes much better use of their time, as it can fit into their day whenever it suits them.

Feedback – One of the key features of mobile learning and microlearning is regular feedback. This is usually delivered through short tests and quizzes where the learner is tested on the knowledge they have learned. This is highly motivating, as it shows the learner they are grasping the concept and progressing.

It’s social – Social sharing is a key aspect of mobile learning and makes progressing through courses feel less like work than alternative forms of learning. This makes it more likely that employees will take part during their commute.

It is fun – With games and quizzes built in, your courses can be fun. You can also use rewards to add a competitive aspect to the course.

Some employees will want to use the commuter hour as an escape from work, so microlearning won’t apply in all situations. However, if you approach it the right way, the courses will provide an opportunity for real self-improvement and empowerment, and many will be open to it.

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