The challenge of mobile learning content

By John Helmer

Illustration of happy learners using mobile learningResearch from Towards Maturity shows that two out of three learners find accessing mobile learning essential or very useful, and 57% like to be able to access learning on the go.

Meanwhile in the US, where 50% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework and approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency (according to learning solutions that support mobile learning are increasingly being seen as essential.

67% of organisations in the Towards Maturity sample now offer mobile learning in some form, but many struggle with getting the right content in place for this channel.

The options can seem bewildering. Should you build or buy for a start?

Then, if you’ve decided to buy off the shelf e-learning content, where can you find mobile content that really works on mobile devices?

On the other hand, if you’ve decided to build your own, what are the important design principles you should follow – and which is the best content authoring tool to use?

Because we know these are troublesome issues for many of our regular readers, we recently put together a webinar that brought together the key experts within Lumesse Learning on mobile content. Between them they span the key fields of knowledge about

  • OTS content for mobile
  • Learning design for mobile
  • Technology for mobile authoring

To watch a recording of this lively roundtable session  – click the link below.

Webinar: Mobile learning content. How to get it, how to build it ­– and how to make it fabulous

Flash conversion to HTML5 gains urgency for learning content

By John Helmer

graphic illustrating Flash conversion to HTML5 - superhero business man arrests declining arrow The long slow death of Flash could be entering a terminal phase – with big implications for any organisation that has large amounts of learning content developed in Flash.

Concerns have grown about serious security vulnerabilities in Flash (a patch released in March addressed 23 separate security bugs). Meanwhile, major video platforms such as YouTube, Daily Motion and BBC have either migrated to HTML5 already or are in the process of doing so. Now Google has announced that it will phase out full support for Flash in its Chrome browser by the end of 2016, seen by many as sounding the death knell. Other browsers, too, are following suit.

This raises the worry that Flash might be supported by Adobe going forward with less than 100% enthusiasm and energy – making security worries all the more intense when it comes to legacy content.

Of course, publicly, Adobe is committed to not leaving its past users high and dry: ‘the responsible thing for Adobe to do is to continue to support Flash with updates and fixes, as we help the industry transition,’ it told Fortune. However, the company’s statements leave no doubt as to where the future lies: ‘Looking ahead, we encourage content creators to build with new web standards.’ Meaning, principally, HTML5. Renaming its web animation software from Adobe Flash Professional to Adobe Animate CC was seen as yet another step in the company’s distancing itself from the Flash brand.

So where does this leave organisations with hours and hours of learning content developed in Flash – content that might be in daily use around the organisation, but which could increasingly become the source of business-critical security risks?

Continue reading

5 reasons why learning needs to get the omnichannel

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate Retail in LearningOops, here comes a buzzword. And surely we need another one of those like we need a hole in the head. But there’s a serious idea behind this one – the omnichannel – an idea that was born in the world of retail, but which has important implications for learning and communications across all business sectors.

Omnichannel has become a thing in retail because major shopping brands have seen changes in customer behaviour – around the huge proliferation of smartphone use and the convergence of physical and virtual spaces – that are seriously disrupting their markets.

According to Google, 82% of smartphone users turn to their phones inside a store when making purchase decisions. And that process of decision making is highly likely to blend visits to a store with visits to a website. A process of research that starts on smartphone might end up with purchase in a shop around the corner – or vice versa. And it might also involve use of a tablet and a desktop PC along the way.

Infographic giving statistics for consumer use of the omnichannel in purchase decisions

This is where shoppers live now, in the omnichannel, moving seamlessly between physical spaces in the real world and spaces accessed virtually, through a screen. It’s where we all live.

Continue reading

Hi-vis learning: how to do elearning without computers

By John Helmer

Two men on a hardhat site consulting a tablet computerHow do you do online learning when the workforce isn’t online? Sounds like an impossible brief? Well I’ve been talking to the account team at Lumesse Learning who are increasingly taking on just such briefs – and this is definitely not the non-starter it might sound like at first hearing.

In certain parts of industry – within the fast-growing service sector, for instance – large swathes of the workforce don’t come into contact with any sort of computer from one week to the next – let alone a computer with internet access. Think of the vast managed services industry, which supplies legions of cleaners, drivers, security guards and traffic wardens. Or Transport, or Energy – or the building trade: industries that employ legions of people in hi-vis tabards who are very much ‘in the field’ and don’t sit down at a desk to work.

Large companies that do this kind of work need the power and scale offered by digital learning at its best as much, if not more than, organisations where staff are plugged into their desktops all day long. Many have strong compliance drivers and large workforces. But sometimes it seems that the learning technologies crowd simply don’t see this problem.

Too often it seems that, so far as the elearning community is concerned, digital learning is just for people who measure out their days with coffee cups and post-it notes, sat at desktop computer and plugged into the corporate network.

However, we at Lumesse Learning love nothing more than a challenge. And more and more, it seems, we are rising to this particular challenge of creating learning programmes for staff who don’t work in offices – online learning for people who aren’t online.

Here’s how we’re doing it.

Continue reading

5 key considerations in using mobile for learning

By Steve George

Business woman checking mobile in airport loungeMobile is proving to be more and more significant as a platform for learning. Here are five key key issues you need to consider in making it work for your learners.

1. Competition

With the average mobile user now having more than 36 apps on their device (according to Google), anything delivered by mobile is fighting for attention alongside a multitude of other distractions. Facebook, Twitter, email, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans – they are all pushing out constant notifications. Competition for user attention is fierce and mobile learning needs to stand in line with the rest.

That said, in lots of ways the very multi-tasking nature of a mobile is a positive thing for learning. To drive adoption of learning you have to drive engagement. With such reliance on our mobile devices these days the average user is probably more engaged with their mobile than with any other piece of tech they use. You are effectively trying to engage someone with a medium that both supports and promotes multi-tasking, so you’re probably on to a winner.

Continue reading