Mobile Learning in Corporate Training: Tablet vs. Smartphone

The world is obsessed with mobile!We just can’t seem to live without it, right? If we’re not texting family or friends, we’re sharing the latest news updates or checking out the latest app we’ve downloaded – it’s fair to say, we’re on our phones round the clock!

Considering our level of mobile usage, it is hardly surprising that mobile Learning has become a popular element in blended training. In 2013, Toward Maturity reported that 43% of learners find accessing learning from their mobile device ‘essential’ or ‘very useful’.

Over the past five years, organizations across different industries have reviewed their L&D processes to determine how and where mobile can be leveraged to improve their learning strategies and boost the performance of employees. For those with large numbers of employees in the field or working remotely, using mobile for learning seems to be a no brainer.

But which devices provide the optimum learning experience? What do employees find works best – tablet or smartphone?

In 2014, Interactive Services embarked on a research and discovery campaign to determine what blended learning will look like in 2015. During the course of our research, we obtained some interesting feedback from senior learning leaders about the use of mobile in learning blends and which device is proving most effective.

Tablet vs Smartphone – the results are in!

  • Tablet – 75%
  • Smartphone 25%

According to our research, when it comes to learning on a mobile device, tablet is the big winner. 75% of all those who contributed to our research confirmed that they felt tablet-based learning has been more effective than smartphone learning. Screen-size, visibility and layout of content  were cited as three of the main reasons

The remaining 25% confirmed that smartphone met their training requirements. Convenience and accessibility of content for just-in-time training were cited as the two main reasons why smartphone was a more suitable choice of device.

The infographic below highlights the above data and additional feedback we generated during the course of our research:


Choose the right device for you!

The choice of device for learning and the impact it has on a business will ultimately depend on the needs of an employees and what works best for them in their roles. But the general consensus among those who have experience with mobile learning is that there is a better quality learning experience when using tablet over mobile. This might be due to the fact that tablet learning tends to be more of an immersive experience with many contributors to our research confirming that they have more time for learning when on their tablet than on their phone. This, of course is based on feedback from a limited number of people – it may not be the case among wider audiences.

If nothing else is certain about mobile learning, however it is that the design is paramount to its success. But that topic is deserving of a separate discussion and will be addressed by us in another article in the Mobile Learning in Corporate Training series.