Designing E-Learning M-Learning Tablet PC SweetRush

At a party recently, I noticed that the kids were missing. My mom instincts kicked in, and, slightly concerned, I asked one of the fathers where his son was. His answer only required one word: “iPad.” Sure enough, the kids were huddled around a game, having a great time, clicking and swiping to their hearts’ content.

As we all know, tablets are not just toys for kids, though they do offer a host of game-based learning apps for the young ones. We adults can become pretty addicted to using the sleek, intuitive, touch-screen interface for work and for play.

In corporate training, tablets offer the promise of mobility, like smartphones but without the eye-straining small screen. Learners can take training courses on the retail floor, at the airport, and even at home, without dragging out a PC.

More and more of our clients want to offer their learners the flexibility to take their e-learning courses on either PCs or tablets. The convenience to take the course whenever time permits — at the office desk or on the go — increases the likelihood of compliance and completion.

Just as the ways you interact with a PC or a tablet are very different, so too are the methods for developing training for these different platforms. Currently there is no single technology that equally embraces the entirety of the PC and mobile worlds. This means that the desired delivery platforms for a project must be considered separately before choosing the right authoring technology: different platforms may necessitate using different authoring software.

How do vendor-partners such as SweetRush manage to design training for both PCs and tablets?

First, your vendor-partner should conduct a mobile analysis. This involves getting to know the types of mobile devices that your learners are currently using — or the lack thereof — and the technology standards and guidelines that we need to meet.

Mobile analysis will point us to the best approach for development of courses for mobile deployment. This is a critical step in the process, because your vendor-partner needs to understand the types of mobile devices the learners are using and how they are using them.

For more detailed information on mobile analysis, check out my colleague Catherine’s blog, “M-learning: Is It Right for Your Organization?

Second, the most successful vendor-partners will harness a combination of standard authoring software with proven success records (such as Storyline or Lectora®) and internal proprietary technology. Existing tools and engineering frameworks can limit having to re-create the wheel, passing cost-savings on to you, and reducing development timelines.

With the ever-changing landscape of platforms and operating systems, finding a vendor-partner with a strong R&D team is essential to be able to respond quickly to new developments.

Currently, the statistics for tablet use are lower than you may think: about six percent of the global population owns a tablet, accounting for just less than five percent of global Internet usage. Compare that to desktop computers, which dominate Internet usage with 76.2{d89e4f83f6b6a066fc09cee339cefb53fa8e17050e8090b978ce7abfcf69967c} globally (19.1{d89e4f83f6b6a066fc09cee339cefb53fa8e17050e8090b978ce7abfcf69967c} for mobile).

Yet, as a solution architect working with Fortune 500 companies, the trend I am seeing is toward more courses becoming available on tablets. At some point in the near future, I expect the answer to the question, “Where are you taking your training?” will be just one word: anywhere.

References:
http://www.businessinsider.com/smartphone-and-tablet-penetration-2013-10
http://gs.statcounter.com/press/new-statcounter-data-finds-that-tablet-internet-usage-is-less-than-5-percent-globally

Photo Credit: ebayink via Compfight cc

(2) Comments

  1. Kerri Simmons

    Glad you like the post! I would be curious how your organizations are accessing training these days…via LMS? at work? smartphone? tablet? Just curious!