Hold the Phones! 5 Things to Consider Before You Go Mobile
Take a look at this checklist of 5 things to consider before you start writing that mLearning strategy and asking for budget approval.
- Complexity of Devices
In order for an m-Learning initiative to be a success, you need easy-to-use mobile learning content that plays well on your employees’ devices. One of the challenges to developing m-Learning content is the number of devices, software platforms, screen sizes and apps on the market. If your organization has a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy, it may be hard to ensure your m-Learning works for all employees. Organizations with company-issued, standard smartphones or tablets often find it easier to start delivering m-Learning. For more information on BYOD, read this post: BYOD: The Trend and the Challenge.
- Size and Location of Staff
Are your key players on the go or stationed at desks and offices? If your employees primarily work at desk setups with laptops or monitors, they probably don’t need m-Learning. Organizations with frequent business travelers, outside sales teams or field service teams armed with smartphones and tablets are the most likely to benefit from m-Learning. Here’s an unexpected example of how traveling staff can benefit from m-Learning: Nearly half of the teams in the National Football League are now using tablets instead of playbooks in training camps and throughout the season. “Our coaches are here until 10 p.m. or midnight every night working on plays,” says Michael Kayes, the Cincinnati Bengals’s director of technology. “Now, they can push [new plays] out to the players’ iPad, and players get the updates, even if they’re at home playing Call of Duty… That’s 12 hours of difference, so that’s a huge upgrade.” m-Learning is a time saving strategy for coaches and a convenience for players, who are no longer lugging around 1,000-page binders. Plus, think of all the trees that just got saved!
- Return on Investment
Keep in mind the investment of going mobile. The Cincinnati Bengals had to purchase tablets, amp up the stadium’s Wi-Fi network so that it could handle the load of 100 iPads simultaneously downloading five or six gigabytes of video daily, set up mobile charging stations and get extension cords for every meeting room and classroom in case players forget to charge their devices. In addition, they needed to find an app to handle the mobile playbook program. You will need to find an affordable m-Learning app, such as Lectora Mobile, to deliver your mobile training content. Once you find the right m-Learning delivery solution, you will see timesaving benefits and employee engagement increases, just like the Bengals did. Even with the setup costs, mobile learning can have extraordinary ROI once you find the strategy that’s for your organization.
- Fitting It In
Do your employees work the standard eight-hour workday—or longer? According to government statistics, the average work day for American employees is now nearly nine hours, due, in part, to the adoption of technologies like cloud applications and mobile devices. Technology has blurred the distinction between work and everything else—but if you’re going to ask your employees to use technology for learning outside of the office, you need to make it worth their while. A great example is the way consulting company Deloitte gamified its online training programs to make the content enjoyable and engaging for the company’s more than 200,000 employees. Because Deloitte’s employees are extremely busy, the company designed gamified courses that can be completed in 10 minutes to an hour. Every time an employee completes a course, it’s added to his or her total number of points and badges. Employees are ranked based on these totals and the top earners are rewarded with coveted seats on the leader board. This post has some helpful tips that will help you gamify your next e-Learning course: Thursday’s Trending e-Learning Topic: Gamification.Just remember, if you’re going to ask your employees to fit m-Learning into their schedules, you have to create engaging, interactive courses that they will want to complete on their mobile devices.
Bill Cushard, an expert learning experience designer and facilitator, offers some simple guidance: “Whether or not mobile learning makes sense for a particular business comes down to what the business needs are and what the company hopes to achieve.” Will m-Learning improve your current learning model? The best way to utilize m-Learning, according to Cushard, “is by putting resources and tools in the hands of employees so that they can do a job in the moment.”
Feel like your organization is ready—and well suited—to make the switch to m-Learning? Your Everything for e-Learning Place can help! Check out Lectora’s helpful m-Learning resources or sign up for a free trial of Lectora Mobile for simple and secure m-Learning delivery and tracking. If you’re still trying to decide whether mobile is right for your organization, read this helpful post: Before You Go Mobile: 28 Mobile Learning Questions to Ask.