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How To Develop Tablet-Friendly eLearning On A Tight Budget

It’s a common misconception that tablet-friendly eLearning design costs a small fortune. In reality, there are a variety of small, but effective, ways that you can modify your existing eLearning course. You can conserve your resources and stay on budget, while still making your eLearning content ready for mobile consumption. From supersizing your icons to shrinking your images down-to-size, here are 7 helpful tips for creating tablet-friendly eLearning experiences.

1. Make It Tactile

One of the biggest advantages of tablets is that they are touch-enabled. As a result, you can transform your eLearning course into a tactile eLearning experience. Online training simulations, serious games and even the eLearning course navigation becomes more immersive and interactive. That said, you also have to keep tablet limitations in mind when creating your eLearning course. For example, online learners usually do not have access to a keyboard or mouse. This makes it difficult to type in lengthy responses or participate in point-and-click eLearning activities. All of these interactions should be switched to touch functions for ease of use.

2. Go BIG… With Your Navigation Buttons

Even online learners with petite hands struggle with tablet touch buttons from time to time. You're dealing with a smaller screen size, which means that the buttons will also shrink to size. This is one of the primary reasons why your buttons need to be bigger and clearly visible. They should stand out from the rest of the page and feature brief labels. For example, where the button will lead the online learner or a call to action. The "bigger is better" rule applies to eLearning navigation icons, sign up buttons, and any other clickable graphics in your tablet-friendly eLearning course. Also, bear in mind that different tablet models have different resolutions and screen dimensions. For instance, mini-tablets may be similar in size to smartphones. And you don't want your buttons to become miniaturized as well. Unless, of course, you're going to supply your online learners with complimentary magnifiers.

3. Consider Memory Constraints

PCs and laptops usually have an abundance of RAM. The same cannot be said for tablets. You're working with limited memory, and you need to plan accordingly. All of the applications, operating systems, and other functions are already taking up a lot of processing power. As a result, your tablet-friendly eLearning course must be compact and compressed. All of your multimedia elements should be optimized for mobile viewing. Otherwise, your online learners are going to have to wait for lengthy load times and potential time-outs. Resize images so that they don't clog up the bandwidth and embed links to external eLearning videos. That gives online learners the opportunity to access bulky files when they are on a faster connection.

4. Make It Available Offline

People always seem to be connected to the internet these days. However, there are times when Wi-Fi isn’t an option and we have to venture offline. For this reason, you may want to offer downloadable eLearning content that online learners can view offline. Many LMS platforms now offer this capability, and simply sync the online learner's progress when they do connect to the internet. Offline eLearning course materials are also ideal for low bandwidth situations. The online learner doesn't have to worry about a sluggish connection hindering the eLearning experience. They can simply download the eLearning module, complete it at their leisure, and then sync to update the system.

5. Streamline Your eLearning Course Design

There are two primary reasons why you must streamline your tablet-friendly eLearning course design. Firstly, online learners are looking for specific information, which is why they are using their tablets to access the eLearning course quickly. Secondly, the memory, bandwidth, and other limitations leave little room for extraneous eLearning content. You have to impart the knowledge they need in small, targeted doses. Evaluate every eLearning image, text and activity to ensure that it earns a spot in your eLearning course design. If possible, make your eLearning content micro so that online learners get the facts, stats and skills they require to achieve their learning goals. If they don't comprehend it the first time around, they'll come back to it later to fully absorb the information. That’s the beauty of tablet-friendly microlearning.

6. Choose The Right eLearning Authoring Tool

There are so many eLearning authoring tools available, so it can be difficult to find the right one. However, responsive design platforms that support HTML5 are usually your best bet for tablet-friendly eLearning. Also, look for a tool that has a built-in previewer so that you can test every element on different mobile devices. This gives you the opportunity to make minor changes and adjust the layout along the way.

7. Screen Space Is At A Premium

The cardinal rule of tablet-friendly eLearning course design is treating screen space like a precious commodity. The average size of a tablet screen is around 10-inches. However, some tablets are more compact, which shrinks your eLearning content. As such, you need to find the perfect balance between readability and proportion. Stretching an eLearning image to make it viewable on the tablet will not only distort the quality, but take up too much space. You must also consider the screen orientation when creating your eLearning content. Some users will prefer portrait, while others opt for landscape. The eLearning course needs to adapt to vertical and horizontal layouts. If not, online learners will have to scroll and swipe to get the full picture. This is a distraction that can hinder the eLearning experience, not to mention frustrate online learners.

Now is the time to hop on the mobile bandwagon and make your eLearning course tablet-friendly. Browsers and operating systems are phasing out Flash. And you don’t want your eLearning left behind in the digital era. So, use these 7 tips to bring your eLearning course up-to-date and ready for multi-platform viewing.

Are you still unsure about investing in a responsive design tool? Read the article Responsive Design In Mobile Learning: 5 Reasons To Develop Mobile-Friendly Online Courses to learn the top reasons why you should use a responsive design platform for your mobile-friendly eLearning course.

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