There's an old adage, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". Don't you think this applies for eLearning too? Though there are times when just going with the flow is not advisable, in most cases the trends do point towards major changes.
The advent of mobiles, its growing popularity, worldwide availability, introduction of newer technology etc. all pointed towards one such change and that was the coming of a new era of Mobile users. People are hooked to their phones (literally). And that includes your learners too. Adding to it the growing demand and acceptance of a policy known as BYOD. If you are a progressive organization and do not wish to be left out in the game, its high time that you assessed your eLearning catalog. Here are the questions you need to ask to know whether it is future-ready.
Q.1. Is it of Use Currently?
This question should be asked very seriously. The relevance of an eLearning catalog should be of prime concern at any time. If the catalog course is for an outdated technology it is time to archive it. Don’t waste your time modifying such content. In some cases, the content may be relevant but not used because of its text heavy nature, the format/technology used -could be Flash too (read about the death and resurrection of Flash here).
Q.2. Can it be Reused?
Once you have analyzed the existing eLearning catalog, the next question is whether or not the same content can be packaged using new technology. This would need some SME and Instructional Designer intervention for getting into a fair conclusion. Nevertheless, there will still be a large portion of the existing eLearning that will be chunked off or new additions to be made when the actual conversion takes place. Most organizations today opt for Flash to HTML conversion to keep themselves future ready. If you plan on doing so too, here are 5 pivotal steps to follow.
Q.3. Is it Interactive and Engaging Enough?
We are in an era of advanced technology, and the learners have evolved too. They now need the eLearning to be interesting, engaging, not to forget well designed. The eLearning designed until few years back had nothing but one aim-transfer information, which is why most eLearning catalogs would comprise simple text and image based courses with basic next-back buttons for navigation. But, it can’t stay so forever, can it?
Q.4. Is it Mobile Compatible?
You might think isn’t this what the whole blog is about? Yes, it is but your eLearning catalog doesn’t have to be entirely mobile incompatible. For instance, PDF formats of the user manuals for software/hardware can at times be used as is unless you wish to give it a complete makeover. The courses like the ones created in Flash or as PPTs can be easily converted to mobile compatible formats too.
Q.5. Can it Provide Offline Storage?
This again is related to the technology in which the eLearning catalog was developed. Earlier as most eLearning was desktop-based, offline storage hardly came into picture. But, when we talk about mobile, anytime-anywhere learning this can’t be ignored. Check whether the existing mobile compatible eLearning catalog is optimized to consume low bandwidth, and also check whether it can be hosted on an LMS that allows offline storage when required.
Q.6. Does it provide Multi Device Support?
When thinking about future-proofing, you have to essentially think long term. So, mobile ready is one thing, you also have to think about the other devices in the mix, the tablets, phablets, smartwatches and many more to come. So, if you plan on remodeling the eLearning catalog -design it in a way that it can be used on most of the devices rather than restricting it to one.
Hope this helps you in analyzing and understanding where your eLearning catalog stands in terms of being mobile-ready and future ready. So, get started now. The future is here, don’t wait for too long. It is time to show the eLearning catalogs some light, give it a new face and make them mobile/multi device ready.
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