Mobile learning is extending the reach of how organizations deliver training by providing the benefits of e-learning to users who were previously out of reach. By expanding the access of e-learning, mobile learning enables organizations to provide knowledge and training to employees, partners and customers in new ways, increasing productivity and customer service. This article explores five critical steps to ensure that you get the most out of your mobile learning investment.
Organizations that invest in this new and powerful technology can expect to achieve numerous benefits:
- Reach workers or affiliates who do not have easy access to computers – such as in retail or shop floor environments
- Provide direct training for individuals who are in remote locations without consistent access to internet connections – such as oil rig workers or field personnel or frequent travelers who want access while in-flight
- Enable customers and partners easy access to training materials to extend learning outside of organization
- Access centralized reporting on all learning delivered (both mobile and computer-based) from within same infrastructure
TIP #1: MAKE USER EXPERIENCE EASY & INTUITIVE
The most successful solutions in learning, mobile or other, are those that are intuitive and deliver the content quickly and reliably. The first requirement to achieving this in a mobile learning solution means using a solution that provides native applications on the most popular mobile platforms. The second part of a compelling user experience is the delivery of rapid, consistent content on your chosen mobile platform. Because mobile networks are still inconsistent – with dead spots, weak connections and slow speeds, the best solution is to support downloading the content in advance and delivering it locally offline – regardless of network connectivity.
TIP #2: MAKE CONTENT COMPELLING
Content is king and the more compelling the content, the better. So a successful mobile learning solution needs to be able to provide users compelling content as well. And today’s mobile devices have near perfect audio and video delivery capabilities – so any mobile learning solution should be able to leverage these capabilities and deliver e-Learning content in both audio and video formats on the device(s) your organization is using.
TIP #3: REPURPOSE EXISTING CONTENT
Most organizations make large investments in content, as well as content development platforms and standards so that learning systems can achieve their business objectives. Selecting a solution that will let you efficiently and effectively repurpose this content for your mobile platform is key to the success of the mobile initiative. By contrast, implementing a mobile solution that does not provide a means to repurpose your current content can be extremely costly. Specifically, you can be left with either a mobile solution that has no content or a very expensive cost to re-create all your content from scratch.
TIP #4: CENTRALIZE REPORTING
Measuring the success of your mobile learning initiative means having the ability to report on the key metrics of your mobile learners. Having a mobile learning solution that does not offer reporting will prevent you from being able to measure the success of your project. Equally important is the ability to merge this data with a learner’s existing profile – without this cap m ability your organization is left to managing multiple profiles, transcripts, etc., which is not a very effective or efficient solution. So it is the key to evaluate your mobile learning solution to make sure that it provides not just reporting but integrated reporting with the other data in your e-Learning solution.
TIP #5: MAKE ADMINISTRATION EASY & SECURE
Making your mobile solution easy to use is more than imperative for your end users – it also applies to administration of the solution. Selecting a mobile solution that is both easy to administer while being secure requires several considerations. The first consideration is ensuring that your mobile solution can be imbedded within your current learning solution – this enables a single centralized administration capability. The second consideration is security: this is uniquely important in the arena of mobile learning because mobile devices can get lost or stolen and you want to make sure that any e-Learning content on the devices remains secure, especially when we are seeing growth of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) at the workplace.
To have a successful mobile learning solution, it is important that it is easy to use and compelling for all your key audiences – users, administrators and content developers. These means selecting a solution that natively supports your organization’s mobile ecosystem, integrates seamlessly with your current learning solution and allows your organization to repurpose, use and extend the content in which it has already invested.
This is an exciting time for learning technology. Critical workforce needs and advances in technology mean that learning professionals are at the forefront of the most important talent challenges. With the right technology, you can know that you are up to the task and ready to deliver.
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