Topics: Program Design & Delivery
The Wall Street Journal recently posted an article entitled The Rise of Apps, iPad and Android", in which the author, Andrew Dowell, highlighted 10 trends in mobile technology. More interesting than the trends themselves were the author's predictions of what will be coming down the pike:
The mobile device market is growing, and it doesn't appear it will slow down anytime soon. If #3 proves true — that corporations will be focusing on developing apps for corporate use of mobile devices — then some changes will be necessary to ensure that the needs for delivering high-quality, relevant performance support is in the plans. Performance support on-the-go cannot be an afterthought: it is a strategic imperative. By the same token, e-learning design and development will have to be modified to meet the needs of a mobile workforce learning via smartphones, iPads, etc. Following are a few actions items that learning leaders can plan for now to stay ahead of the curve.
In global corporations and those companies that have functions that travel widely, such as sales, product maintenance, and public relations, enabling mobile performance support may be the key to ensuring higher performance levels while on the road. The first step would be to take currentperformance support materials and modify them to be accessed and viewed on mobile devices. Some companies are utilizing social media and online communities of practice as an alternative method of performance support, which could be easily accessed on smartphones and tablets.
The massive explosion of tablet device launches and sales, and the increasing popularity of iPads and competitors by a mobile workforce, means that learning will likely need to be chunked differently for quick browsing. Instructional design for mobile devices will need to rely less on repetition and linear learning design and more on scanning contextually meaningful materials.
Because smartphones are becoming cheaper as the data plans are costing more as this Wall Street Journal article mentions, e-learning will need to be revised to chunk information to support these devices and their capabilities. Itt is especially important to remember that the data plans are shifting away from unlimited consumption and toward charging for use, so close examination of user needs, context, and learning goals will be necessary to maximize the effectiveness of your mobile e-learning approach while minimizing the operational cost of the learning.
As the number of apps is growing exponentially, it will be important when you select and/or develop your learning apps to market them internally or, better still, make your e-learning web-accessible to mobile devices. Your workforce will need to be aware of the apps, be able to easily access them, and quickly learn how to use them so that your mobile learning efforts do not go to waste.
The incredible growth of mobile device usage and capability has changed the rules. Consider whether an investment of time and money in "mobilizing" learning or performance support content would benefit your company. But don't consider too long — the mobile device market is forging ahead with or without you.
Modifying training design and delivery for different cultures falls under Program Design and Delivery in the CorpU 12 Dimensions of Learning Excellence.
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