5 Useful Steps To Follow When Creating Mobile Learning For Your Workforce
Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com

Embarking On Mobile Learning For Your Workforce? 5 Essential Steps To Keep You In Track

We have been talking to a lot of prospects and clients that have current training materials created in PowerPoint, in Flash, or in pdfs. The content is rich, it conveys the intent, and the…well, then, it is static and doesn’t enable user engagement and interaction.

There is definitely a felt need for delivering content to the workforce on their own devices at any given time. This is a collaborative dance that needs to happen between the various platforms, the multimedia, the inter activities, the various types of hardware – read devices, and all these to deliver the right content to the right employment, the right way.

So, how do you optimize the production and delivery of the content to each device in your organization? How do we ensure that much interactivity works? How do you ensure that the content is media-rich, engaging and still reaches your employee wherever they may be?

The answer comprises 5 parts:

  • Creation
  • Execution
  • Delivery
  • Feedback
  • Creation

Note that the first and the last points are the same, except that creation at the end happens based on feedback received.

1. Creation Of Content

Design defines content. There could be many variations or conflicts here. But the course needs to be created with the understanding that the screen of the user is going to be of multiple sizes, and that you cannot force fit a desktop course into a mobile one. So, prepare yourself for additional Instructional Design and creative work .

Become better writers. Better editors. Cut down verbiage. Get more visual imagery in the small screen. What about the interactivity? Will there be enough space? In short, think small! There is no other way. We still see courses with a ton of words that are crammed into a 6-inch screen. This is more of a disservice to your users.

2. Execution

It's time for a migration of legacy content. Many companies have used proprietary tools or have created courses using various authoring tools like Flash or Articulate, Captivate and such. These make the courses difficult to reuse and repackage and unfit for mobile delivery.

Standardize your mobile delivery tool to HTML5. It is easy to look at short-term gains to push out a course using a less expensive or template tool. Resist that urge.

Content needs to be rewritten or redesigned , edited or suitably broken up. So, the one that can fit into a 15 inch or a 20-inch monitor can, now, also fit into a 6-inch phone screen.

So, now if the written content has been redone, what about the visuals? How do you shrink it? Is it relevant? Should it be resized?

Do it once. Do it right. The one-time investment in converting legacy content assets to HTML5 ensures that content to virtually all current and future mobile platforms and browsers.

Caution: If you have content in non-Latin languages like Japanese, Korean, Turkish,etc., spend some extra time to get the User Interface right. HTML5 is powerful, but it is not a magic wand.

Avoid proprietary tools or specific authoring tools that lock you in. Interoperability, between proprietary software applications and proprietary hardware platforms, is often significantly difficult. Proprietary tools also impose restrictions and limitations that throttle your ability to progress or scale your courses.

Decide on HTML5 as a standard, since that could guarantee you independence from device and software restrictions during future-proofing releases and offerings. Do a pilot before a complete roll-out. This will enable course-correction. We would recommend the pilot straddle all browsers and platforms.

3. Delivery

It does not matter if just a paltry percentage of your stakeholders use a mobile device to access your content. Adopt HTML5. It needs to have a responsive web design –which means create once and adapt to many screens. A responsive design enables auto-adaptation to different screen sizes for an optimal viewing experience across every browser, platform, or device. It reduces panning, scrolling and resizing.

Though it might mean additional work for the IT organization, you may need to decide if you want 2 versions of your website. In other words, one for your larger screens and one for the smaller devices. The larger screen desktop version, for example, may have inbuilt pdfs, whitepapers, and more content.

4. Feedback

Your stakeholders will respond to your mobile content. Be prepared to listen. Brickbats or bouquets. They may need time to get adjusted to take quizzes on their device. This may necessitate a constantly evolving situation of design adjustment. Maybe color corrections, too. Or even ask for minor modifications. Allow for this.

5. Creation

Most companies are sitting on a goldmine of existing content assets. Technical user manuals, support-knowledge bases, bulletins, training materials hold value to your employees and to your clients. These are revenue generation products that idle.

You will need a unified, content-driven strategy –a development through delivery– to create a library of content that is consistent across internal departments that can be harmonized for further value creation.

So, go ahead and implement a unified mobile content strategy. The secret to getting it done is to get it started!

 

Close