By Brendan Cournoyer, Content Marketing Manager, Brainshark, Inc.
With smartphones and tablets having drastically changed the way business professionals consume information, you no longer have to work remotely to be considered “mobile.”
With more employees now relying on mobile devices to access on-demand training and e-learning content whenever and wherever they want, instructional designers have no choice but to take the needs of mobile learners into account. Since we are in the beginning of National Distance Learning Week (http://www.usdla.org/ndlw/), now seems like a good time to review some of the basic steps for creating an informal training program that makes sense for mobile learning.
#1 – Identify your audience
Before you can even begin to design a mobile-friendly distance learning strategy, you first need to know which specific groups or individuals your training will be geared toward. Start small; identify one group that spends a lot of time out of the office, and gear your initial training toward them. That way, you can monitor your results before expanding to broader audiences.
#2 – Assemble your team
As with any training initiative, it’s also important to clearly define the role each team member will play. Ideally, these individuals will have a keen understanding of your learners’ needs—as team members may be tasked with supporting learners on a day-to-day basis, in addition to creating new content for distance training.
#3 – Develop your content plan
The key here is to ensure that your content is optimized for mobile viewing. Keep in mind the environment in which the training information could be viewed. Learners could take courses anywhere, from the comfort of their home or on a long cab ride. For this reason, the best mobile learning content obeys the following principles:
#4 – Determine your distribution strategy
Information shared for mobile learning should be easy to access and view from any device. Whether you are sending links via e-mail or directing learners to a custom Web portal, your distribution method should be seamless, and meet any and all security guidelines.
#5 – Make time for testing
Be sure to test everything ahead of time before rolling out your program. Have team members view and access content via multiple types of mobile devices, and/or find volunteers to walk through the training process themselves. This way, you’ll be able to identify any issues and bugs before the program goes live.
#6 – Launch your program
Once testing is complete, you’re ready to go! It’s a good idea to start small with only one or two mobile training courses, so you can adjust your strategy before investing more time on new training resources.
#7 – Measure your success
Are learners accessing content with ease? Are they comprehending the information you provide them? Understanding what works and what doesn’t will not only help you improve the program for your current audience, but will help you identify other groups within the company that could benefit from mobile learning going forward.
Brendan Cournoyer is a content marketing manager with Brainshark, Inc. To learn more about mobile learning and how to use on-demand video for corporate training, visit www.brainshark.comand follow Brainshark on Twitter: @brainshark. In addition, for more information on creating an effective informal mobile learning program, you can check out this short presentation from Brainshark: https://www.brainshark.com/brainsharkinc/vu?pi=zIpzrlkvIz2ZLyz0