Leveraging SMS as a form of Offline Digital Training
What would you say if we told you that people can learn a skill and train using SMS-text based learning? Let’s talk about this for a minute. I’m sure you are wondering how this would even work and if it has been done before, but let us start with some interesting statistics.
Did you know that…“Africa has a 40% internet penetration (with an expected 11% increase in the coming decade), 60% of the population are still offline” ( IFC-World Bank Group). In comparison over 70% (approx. 800 million) of the population have access to mobile phones. This means that even with the onset of the pandemic and acceleration of digital training and learning there is still a large percentage of the population that will not be able to access key training… This is where SMS learning comes in.
As you guessed, SMS learning is basically using text based technology (without internet access) to share learning in micro lessons over a period of time. SMS not only allows learners to receive key lessons everyday for a period of time- an average of 10 days- but enables learners to respond to key lesson questions and quick feedback that can enhance their learning.
In comparison to other forms of e-learning averaging at a completion rate of approximately 25% (on a higher side) SMS learning has an average completion rate of 90%. According to research by Arist that ran across 800 users comprising executives, mid-level managers, entry level employees, and interns across several industries, taking courses on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and SMS, the team saw 94% completion rates”. But bringing it back home, Zydii launched our SMS- text based training in 2020 working with organizations like, Uber Kenya, Flone initiative and MasterCard Foundation to effectively train thousands of learners via SMS. The results have been excellent with over 90% completion rates and effective knowledge retention.
Sometimes it is not about building new technology but using tried and tested technology in a new innovative way.