Train on any device? 5 tips for a program that works.

mobile-learningWhile some percentage of your learners may love to sit inside the corporate office at their trusty, familiar desks to do training, a growing number prefer to be free to roam. The mobile, global workforce continues to expand for lots of good reasons, such as more and more companies trusting their people to work from anywhere, and more and more individuals making employment selections based on flexibility and freedom to be where they choose.

It makes great sense that we love our smartphones and tablets to enable these mutually beneficial relationships, while upholding our human need for connectivity, productivity, and continual learning. While most Litmos customers are well underway in creating their multi-device, mobile strategies, we wanted to offer some basic help for those of you still figuring out your plans. Hopefully, this can serve as a friendly reminder, as well, for those of you running more advanced programs because as you know, things will not stay stagnant and it’s an ongoing effort to stay on top of the latest in mobile learning trends and trajectories.

Here are a five tips to keep in mind when devising and revising your “train on any device” program:

  1. Security tops the list. Yes, you want to provide an amazing learner experience. And yes, you want to make them happy by allowing training across different devices. But, security is still priority number one. Especially if your organization allows a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, in which learners can bring their own personal mobile devices to work, including for purposes of training, then you need to ensure that company data is safe before launching any online learning process. If you think this isn’t you, think again. It’s estimated that 70% of on-the-go professionals will take care of business on their personal mobile devices this year. There’s never been a more crucial time to ask your LMS vendor about encryption and other security protocols as part of your “train anywhere” initiative.
  2. Ask or survey about device preferences. This may seem simple, but it’s a good starting point to at least know what devices your learners want to be able to access for training. If you’re not a Litmos customer, check to be sure your LMS doesn’t limit support for certain phones, tablets, or browsers.
  3. Short is likely better. You may be tired of hearing about micro-learning, but the jury is in. Learners like shorter, bite-sized training that they can get on-the-go and without slowing them down for a prolonged period of time. Plus, as we’ll discuss in the next bullet, this will make the learner experience better as far as load times and ease-of-consumption, depending on what device they’re using.
  4. Think about technical things like image sizes. When creating really good mobile training, you do need to consider bandwidth, as well as responsive design that will adapt automatically to smaller screens. Most top technologies will have this functionality built in, but be sure to know how your training is loading and appearing across devices. Want to know for sure? TEST, TEST, TEST…
  5. Commit to a feedback cycle. Let’s end where we began: ask your learners what they want. Once you’ve launched your program, check back in on a regular basis to make sure you’re still meeting learners where they are. With the rate of change in technology, it’s best to stay one (or more) steps ahead of what your mobile learners expect. Do they know about new devices that you need to prepare for? Are there outdated devices that no one really uses anymore? Are there hiccups in how any of the current courses run on certain devices? Make the necessary tweaks to keep the program up-to-pace with the mobile market.