Did companies ever wonder why their offices needed computers? Probably.
In fact, the president of IBM himself shared a dumbfounding prediction that there would be “a world market for maybe five computers” back in 1943.
But soon enough the computer was unmasked, not as an expensive competitive advantage, but rather as a necessary source of competitive parity. As a means of survival. In the 21st century, it’s nearly impossible to find a company that doesn’t embrace this tech as a daily business tool.
Today we find ourselves at a similar tipping point in mobile training strategy. The question is no longer “Why should we embrace mobile training?”, but rather “How can we optimize our it to achieve our training objectives?”
Statistics for 2017 have revealed that up to 91% of minutes spent on the Internet are on mobile devices. This is in the context of an increasingly fast-paced and high-pressure environment where people must access information on the move. So it’s probably no surprise that adults are turning to their mobile devices not only for communication and eCommerce, but also to learn.
Now, we know what you might be thinking. You’re thinking, “Yikes! Doesn’t mobile training mean ‘mobile training app development’, and ‘specialized technology’, and all sorts of other tricky, advanced things you know little to nothing about?”
Well sure, mobile training courses require certain technologies. But the good news is, it’s all much easier than you would think. Actually, developing a successful mobile training strategy can be (almost) as simple as saying your A to Z’s.
Interested? Then keep those eyes locked on your screen as we share some of the most essential and practical components of an effective mobile training strategy.
Assess The Fit
While almost any eLearning course has the potential to become an mLearning course, sometimes the shoe just doesn’t fit. So rather than wasting the glass slipper and diving head first into a mobile training strategy, start by assessing whether a mobile learning environment is suited to the needs of your audience.
Consider how comfortable your audience is when it comes to using mobile technology, whether they would benefit from a mobile training strategy that allows them to learn on the go, and what learning objectives they want to achieve.
People who are familiar with mobile functionality, have limited time available for learning, and need to achieve learning objectives associated with anything other than essay writing, usually make the best candidates for mobile training.
Build The Design
Imagine that you’ve just designed and launched a one-of-a-kind, groundbreaking mLearning course. The team is excited to see the product of all their careful planning, late nights at the office, and countless cups of coffee, come to fruition.
Less than 24 hours after launch the results are looking dismal. This is a brand new flexible learning opportunity, and nobody is even logging on. It’s an anticlimax of note.
Why? Because the course was designed for Android, but 90% of the audience is sales consultants who prefer to use iPhone – they like the “image” that the brand portrays. And now they’re having trouble viewing images and downloading most resources on the course.
This is why it’s so important to consider your mLearning design in the early stages of a mobile training strategy.
What kind of devices should your course be compatible with? Does the course use many images, videos or other graphics and will they still be effective on a small screen? Will the training require web access, or will you use mobile training apps that can operate offline?
Understanding the technicalities can be daunting. But getting in touch with a reputable Learning and Talent Development provider who offers user-friendly mobile training apps can shed a lot of light.
Create Engaging Content
A successful mobile training strategy recognizes that its audience consists of distracted, learn-as-you-go people who are seeking microlearning – that is, easy-to-digest units of information that are concise, focused, and interesting to engage with on a mobile device.
By using activities like interactive infographics, branching scenarios, quizzes, and stories, learners become more motivated to engage with the training materials. Of course, introducing competition, incentives, and even gamification (progression rules for moving to the ‘next level’ of the course) can also be effective ways to seduce the mind into new ways of thinking and interacting with information.
Just remember that no matter how fun and exciting the content, learners probably won’t engage if the learning resources and materials are not easy to navigate on a mobile device.
Drive Social Involvement
What is the purpose of phones if not for communication, right? And yet many digital learners feel secluded on their learning journey.
Part of a successful mobile training strategy is to recognize social platforms as a resource for motivating learners and connecting them with like-minded people. What’s more, peer interaction on relevant training topics can be a source of learning of its own.
So, build the drivers of social engagement, such as social media platforms, and even more formal collaborative learning spaces, into the mobile training design, making it convenient for distracted learners to connect and interact.
Ensure a Secure Platform
Would you post your credit card details on an open social media page? You’re obviously thinking “not a chance” and if you’re not, you should be!
Now perhaps mobile training courses don’t come to mind as something requiring protection. But mCourses are baskets of valuable (downloadable) learning content. More so, learners are exposing themselves every time they share a view, an experience, or receive feedback.
So, for the sake of the learners, and the sponsors of the mCourse, all precautions should be taken to secure the mobile learning platform through encryption and by encoding important information.
First Pilot With A Test Group
The funny thing about planning is that we almost never can understand the full scope of what we’re planning for – especially when it comes to technology. What this means is that we cannot account for all possibilities of what could go wrong.
So, included in your mobile training strategy should be a piloting component; a test stage before launching your mCourse, where objective people are nominated to work through the course content on a variety of devices.
For example, you may want to select someone to use a tablet, someone else to use a small-screened mobile phone, another person to use an Android device… you get the idea.
By piloting the mCourse on different devices, and using the feedback to iron out any issues, you can feel more confident that learners will be able to engage fully with the course content once launched.
Perfection is an endless pursuit. But it’s a pursuit that your mobile training strategy must embrace. And one of the best ways to do this is through information.
Tracking can be built into your mobile training design to provide data on learner engagement and performance. Additional sources of information can be completion surveys, where learners provide feedback at the end of the training or post-training competency assessment.
Time To Jump On The Mobile Bandwagon
Okay, so you’re wondering why the A to Z has stopped at G? Well, because a successful mobile training strategy doesn’t require more than 7 simple yet smart guidelines.
Of course, you have the tips, but working with a premier Learning and Talent Development platform will help immensely. eFront brings SCORM to mobile, meaning that you can use your industry-standard SCORM course content files for mobile learning natively, as you’ve been used to doing on the web platform for years. For the full story on how SCORM works on eFront for Android, read our post about this exciting feature. Simple as that.
The mobile bandwagon is here, and mobile training trends aren’t vanishing any time soon. This doesn’t mean that your eLearning strategy is a fossil. On the contrary, your mobile training strategy should be a welcome complement to a broader strategy on digital learning.