How To Deal Effectively With The Growing Presence Of BYOD In Education

BYOD has been discussed for many years. We have witnessed debates over its positive and negative influence on teaching results, its financial pros and cons, and its organizational aspects. There is still a lot to consider in order to elaborate the best ways to leverage BYOD, but one thing is certain: it’s not going away, and it’s a trend that will strongly influence digital education. Therefore, a question now is how a publisher can adjust to BYOD in education. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Top 3 Myths About BYOD In The Classroom

BYOD has gained some momentum in today's education system. More and more educational staff seriously consider the adoption of BYOD in their instruction. So let's place the next 3 myths about BYOD in the classroom right next to dragons, flying horses, and the treasure at the end of the rainbow.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

5 BYOD Mistakes To Avoid For Successful Online Training

BYOD can help your organization cut online training costs while reaping all of the corporate eLearning benefits but only if you can create a secure, well-organized online training strategy that keeps your employees in the loop. In this article, I will highlight 5 BYOD online training mistakes that your organization should avoid.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

4 eLearning Challenges In Creating Courses For Multiple Devices Including Smartphones

How To Overcome 4 eLearning Challenges Of Creating Courses For Multiple Devices  

Let us see a few challenges that we as eLearning specialists usually face while developing courses for multiple devices:

  1. Usability and global navigation.
    Grouping, Layering, Shifting; do we really need them all? When we design courses for smartphones and iPads, navigation and touch friendliness are two important aspects that need to be kept in mind. The interactive elements like tabs or buttons need to be fairly large and comfortably spaced so that the learners are able to click or select them as required. In the course of discussing usability, we need to lay special emphasis on global navigation. As the size of the devices got smaller, we realized that we need not have all navigation controls. What we did was implement a responsive menu, which means certain controls were grouped and positioned keeping in mind the size of the device. For instance, we often use the audio controls in our phones so this particular option need not be necessarily included in the menu. The readability is another important factor. The size of the text varies according to the resolution of the device, which means the higher the resolution, the smaller the text. It has been generally observed that 16-pixel font size works well across all devices. While focusing on this factor, we should consider three things while creating interactivity instructions:

    • They should be neutral to all devices.
    • They should be appropriate to the design and layout of the devices.
    • They should point to a specific task and not just be some generic information.
  2. Combination of operating systems.
    Multiple devices come with the challenge of having multiple browsers that need to be handled in a way so as to ensure a smooth learning experience. The foremost challenge here is to know which operating system or browser we are trying to target, especially when there are so many platforms to choose from. Coming to talk of popular browsers, the lower versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer comes with multiple challenges. Ever since IE6 has been declared to be phased out subsequently, IE7 and 8 has gained more prominence. But again the challenged with IE8 is that it does not support HTML5. The best option here is to run a system check to see if the browser of the target audience meets the standard requirements. Creating courses for multiple devices has usually been observed as a very tedious process for the reason that all targeted devices need to be tested for compatibility issues, which makes it not-so cost-effective. In fact this is one of the most crucial phases during which even the minute discrepancy should be observed and recorded, failing which would result in a sub-par learning experience.
  3. Content treatment.
    While designing a multi-device learning, the way the content is treated is actually dependent on the size of the device that is being used by the learner. Hence an eLearning specialist needs to ensure that the meaning of the content does not change while treating and placing it across several devices. A consistent look and feel of the text and the layout is of utmost importance here while ensuring user-friendliness. Also, when as designers we handle the content across devices, we should be careful about the placement of images. We can either reduce the size of the image by cropping it or scale it in a way that it is not displayed beyond a particular size. A combination of both works well in some instances. Another important factor to consider is the layering of interactivities, especially for smaller devices. For the larger devices, we had to limit the layers to two or three so that the navigation would not become complex for the smaller devices. Again here, the content chunking could be looked at from two different perspectives. One is how comfortable is your target audience with scrolling the content. If the course is created with only smartphone and tablet users in mind, then it is fine to chunk content in a way that users could scroll and view it. But if the primary user group is desktop, then it is better to avoid any form of scrolling content. When as designers we are doing analysis of content, it is at that point we should identify the types of content and think of alternative approaches using which we can treat that content. We should also decide at that point whether we should include that content for the mobile version.
  4. Development process.
    This is a crucial consideration when designing responsive learning for the fact that the process can make or break an effective learning experience. While focusing on the development process, we should bear in mind the following:

    • The process should be iterative and fluid. 
      What we mean here is that the process should allow ample scope for revisions to ensure that we are able to meet the commonly aligned goals or objectives.
    • Higher testing time should be accounted in the development process. 
      It takes a considerable amount of time to test the eLearning on different kinds of devices. If this is not kept in mind while estimating scope and budget, it may lead to escalations and customer dissatisfaction.
    • The storyboard should focus more on the core content and the visual elements.

We sincerely hope that the above-mentioned points have helped you in understanding the challenges to creating courses for multiple devices and you would consider the right set of activities to ensure learning success for your multi-device audience.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Using BYOD In Schools: Advantages And Disadvantages

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using BYOD In Schools   

So, what is this BYOD policy? BYOD was primarily a policy that was embraced by the IT departments of various organizations. According to,

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is the increasing trend toward employee-owned devices within a business.

But BYOD has permeated educational institutions as well. And these days students are asked to bring their own devices to schools.

Is BYOD Really Helpful?

Like almost everything, BYOD has its own merits and demerits. To start with the advantages, BYOD makes the process of imparting education cheaper, as schools don’t have to install their own technological devices. Furthermore, it ensures that students are more organized. And, if you want, you can also experience a unique classroom where students and teachers swap their roles. But there other benefits of the BYOD policy; here’s a quick look at some of them:

  1. Offers Comfort Of Using A Known Device.
    The most important advantage that BYOD offers is surely the comfort of using one’s own device. It may be easy for schools to install their own devices, but that wouldn’t help the cause; when students bring their own devices to school, they bring something familiar with them. This means that they can use it without hassle and are able to focus more easily on the lesson, as they don't have to think about handling completely unknown devices.
  2. Leverages Students’ Love For Their Devices.
    These days you can find many tech-inclined students who love their devices more than anything else; that’s why students remain glued to these devices round the clock. Using these devices to impart lessons is a great way to leverage students' love for their devices. This is expected to be more effective than the traditional chalk-and-blackboard method of teaching.
  3. Advanced Technology Makes Learning Easier.
    The advancements in the field of technology have helped to introduce lots of devices. Many of them have features which were hard to imagine even only a few years back. All these are not only making the process of imbibing lessons easier for students, but also helping to retain them longer. And all these can be best utilized if students are able to use their devices properly, so using their own devices surely helps them learn more effectively.

Although it offers some amazing benefits, BYOD comes with its cons. Here’s a sneak peek at the possible problems that this policy might lead to:

  1. How To Reduce The Distraction?
    That’s one of the most important questions to ask as a teacher who is looking to introduce BYOD in the classroom. The electronic devices can be used to perform so many things; no wonder they can be distracting. And, as a teacher, that’s not something you would like to happen in your class. Even if several websites are blocked, students who are quite tech savvy might be able to unblock them and visit them if they wish.
  2. Security: A Major Issue.
    Are the networks of the institutions properly secured? That’s a major question which is going to pop up if BYOD is allowed, as BYOD poses a few security issues. Moving too much data in the BYOD area can result in its theft. This is primarily an issue in offices and commercial organizations; however, it is also important to undertake the necessary steps to ensure safety while implementing BYOD in the educational institutions.

Using technology in classrooms has become widespread these days. Despite the few disadvantages, the benefits that BYOD offers are driving its increasing popularity across the globe and it is expected to be a regular integration soon in many more educational institutions around the world. In fact, BYOD is being dubbed as the upcoming revolution that the world of education is expected to experience quite soon.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

The Mobile Challenge: Giving The Modern Learners What They Want

How To Give The Modern Learners What They Want  

According to our In-Focus report, Mobile Learning in the Workplace, mobile learning is definitely on the rise, big time. Our research shows that it really took off in 2013; this was the year that mobile learning became the norm, rather than the exception. And it’s still growing.

Modern learners are pushing the mobile learning agenda, but many employers have taken up the challenge as well, recognizing that the future is mobile and implementing new learning practices. Some are more forward-thinking and mobile-advanced than others, and some are more tuned into how their workforce is learning and wants to learn than others.

When conducting our research, we found that the top learning companies -respondents in the top quartile of the Towards Maturity Index- are more likely to have incorporated mobile devices in learning than those in lower quartiles. This indicates that mobile learning offers real business benefits.

These are some of the key findings:

  • 71% of respondents are using mobile devices, up from 36% in 2010 and 47% in 2012.
  • This proportion rises to 83% (up from 65% last year) in top learning companies.
  • Top learning companies are also more likely to be using and developing mobile apps.
  • 52% provide learners with smartphones, rising to 60% in top learning companies.
  • 48% provide learners with tablets, rising to 57% in top learning companies.
  • 41% have a policy of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), rising to 66% in top learning companies.

As these figures demonstrate, most organizations have embraced mobile learning. A lot of them have formulated Bring Your Own Device policies. Some provide employees with smartphones or tablets. Tablets are the huge success story of the fast few years; the fastest growing market of all mobile devices.

Typically, Bring Your Own Device occurs in large organizations of 20.000 plus, multinationals and organizations with over 10 years’ experience of using eLearning. Furthermore, 38% of those organizations fall into the top quartile of the Towards Maturity Index.

Are these businesses enjoying any benefits as a result of their policies? We found that 43% of the Bring Your Own Device group reported improvements in organizational productivity because of eLearning, with 48% of their managers reporting additional business benefits. Plus, 29% say it has made a significant contribution to increasing organizational revenue. Those are the business benefits, what about staff benefits? Well, 37% of the Bring Your Own Device group said learners put what they had learnt into practice quickly, 34% said learners recommend eLearning to colleagues to improve job performance and 35% noticed positive changes in staff behavior. Those organizations providing smartphones or tablets to their workforce also report the same benefits, but to a lesser degree.

Organizations that are going mobile need to do it properly. They need to do it strategically and with a real understanding of what their learners want and need and how this ties into business needs. It’s very easy to do a half-hearted job; such as going mobile, but not enabling content for mobile use or not using learning tools that are best suited to mobile delivery.

A big concern for businesses –and quite rightly so– is always security. Going mobile can mean increased IT security risks, particularly with employees bringing their own devices into work. Organizations need to manage these risks as best they can, such as offering tablets or smartphones for employees to use or deploying Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology.

When done well, mobile learning brings many advantages to organizations; increased productivity, revenue, staff satisfaction, and so on. It enables modern learners to learn at the point of need and use that learning immediately in their jobs. What’s not to like about that?

Here's what our research of more than 5,000 learners tells us about what motivates people to learn online:

  1. 75% want to be able to do their job faster and better.
  2. 51% like to learn just for personal development.
  3. 50% want to be eligible for promotion.
  4. 47% want to obtain professional certification.
  5. 41% want to be enabled to earn more money.
  6. 39% want to keep up with new technology.
  7. 35% want to achieve/maintain a higher certification level.
  8. 35% want to increase productivity.
  9. 22% want to pass an assessment.
  10. 10% want to compete against colleagues for a high score.

The Towards Maturity Benchmark™

The Towards Maturity Benchmark™ is a useful tool to help you understand how effective your Learning and Development strategies are and how you compare to peers and top performing learning organizations.

If you are keen to find out how effective your Learning and Development team is, make sure you benchmark this year: it’s open until 31 July. More than 3,500 organizations have taken part to date, so there is plenty of data for you to benchmark against.

Start Your Benchmark.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

6 Benefits Of Using HTML5 In eLearning

HTML5 In eLearning: 6 Benefits eLearning Professionals Should Know

Until quite recently Adobe Flash was one of the most popular authoring tools for eLearning courses, thanks to its high level of interactivity, immersive graphics and engaging animations. However, with fewer smartphones and tablets being able to support Flash these days, HTML5, a mobile-friendly alternative, is becoming the new favorite among eLearning professionals. Here are just a few of the most notable HTML5 benefits that you may want to consider when choosing the eLearning authoring tool for your next eLearning deliverable.

  1. Reach a wider audience.
    The usage of mobile devices shows rapid growth. In fact, the number of people accessing eLearning resources via their smartphones and tablets grows daily, as individuals are now seeing that learning on-the-go offers a wide range of unique advantages. Given that Flash has not been supported by popular mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads, you will have to meet the demands of your mobile learning audience by creating HTML5 courses that can actually be accessed on these platforms or run the risk of not reaching a wider audience. By using HMTL5 authoring tools you can adapt your eLearning course on all screen sizes and even create smart meta-tags that give you the ability to optimize your eLearning course for mobile devices.
  2. Greater accessibility for learners.
    The simple truth is that many learners just don’t have the time to seat down at their laptops or desktops to access eLearning courses. Even though they may want to learn new information and develop their skill sets, life’s obligations prevent them from participating in lengthy eLearning courses or online training events. However, HTML5 gives you the power to create eLearning deliverables that can be accessed anywhere, whenever it’s most convenient for the learner, even offline, as it supports offline storage, which means that your learners can store the data for your app or eLearning course and access it at a later time without even connecting to the internet.
  3. Ease of customization.
    One of the most significant advantages of Flash is that eLearning professionals are able to customize the eLearning course, down to the last detail. The interactions are dynamic and immersive; even the graphics can be interactive.  HTML5 can also be customized with ease, without having the same accessibility limitations as Flash. eLearning professionals can customize the flow of the eLearning content adapting the viewing panel, which makes it accessible on a variety of different browsers and screen sizes.  Better still, you are able to make all of these modifications by simply changing the coding, rather than having to install a plug-in or master the nuances of a third-party program. You can then deploy your online applications and eLearning courses rapidly, thanks to the fact that they automatically work across all browsers, online platforms and operating systems.
  4. Multi-browser support. No plug-in is required.
    When your learners want to access an online Flash-based course they need to download a trademarked player or a plug-in before they can even view your eLearning content. On the other hand, HTML5 can immediately be accessed on Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple Safari or Mozilla Firefox without having to download a plug-in that enables the web browser to comprehend the code. This offers a variety of other secondary benefits. For example, learners will be more likely to enroll in your eLearning course if they know that they are able to access it across all eLearning platforms. In addition, they can quickly and conveniently log onto the eLearning course and start learning without wasting valuable time downloading a plug-in. This gives them more time to actively participate in the eLearning course.
  5. No restrictions on multimedia integration.
    The video that you integrate into your HTML5 course can be accessed on any browser or platform. Older authoring tools considered videos and other multimedia elements as a “black box”, which meant that they would appear as a black box if the user did not have the necessary plug-in or application. However, HTML5 allows for easy multimedia integration by eliminating the need for proprietary players and making video and audio presentations searchable in the browser. As such, you can create dynamic and interactive eLearning courses that feature multimedia presentations, thereby boosting the engagement of your audience and offering them a more comprehensive eLearning experience, regardless of the browser or device they use on a regular basis.
  6. HTML5 in eLearning is the new industry standard.
    One of the most convincing arguments for switching to HTML5 is that it is the new industry standard. eLearning professionals all across the globe are already using HTML5 to design their eLearning courses, primarily due to the fact that they want to capitalize on all of the aforementioned benefits. It even reaches beyond the Instructional Design industry. For example, YouTube announced that it will be phasing out Flash and utilizing HTML5, and Google rolled out its “HTML5Rocks” portal that features tutorials and articles that focus on this innovative program.

These are just of the arguments in favor of using HTML5 in eLearning. As more eLearning professionals begin to leave behind Flash and take up HTML5 the many possibilities that this tool can bring to the industry will inevitably become bigger and better.

Now that you’ve learned about the benefits of HTML5 in eLearning, read the article The Ultimate List Of HTML5 eLearning Authoring Tools to discover the top HTML5 authoring tools you have at your disposal.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.