The iPad is a computing device that has become the darling of the corporate world. According to the Mac Observer, 70% of fortune 500 companies are either testing or using these devices from Apple. The widespread usage of iPads has resulted in the opening of new vistas in online training. But before we understand how these gadgets have impacted the world of eLearning, it is necessary to understand 2 important characteristics of iPads.
- iPads are mobile devices. However, they cannot be carried around in the same way as smartphones. This is because of their relatively larger size when compared to the latter.
- The screen sizes of these devices are much larger than mobile phones. The iPads, currently in production, can be divided into two categories based on their screen size – one having a screen of 9.7″ and the other with 7.9″.
Let us now see how these characteristics can be used to deliver effective online training.
Unleash the full potential of eBooks
eBooks are widely used by companies to impart training to their staff. They can be very effectively used as process and product manuals, user guides, etc. iPad is the ideal device to “read” eBooks anytime anywhere. The large screen size provides excellent viewing experiences and enables access to the audio, videos, interactive components and animations in a very effective way.
Leverage the power of presentations
Presentations rich in media can be used as brochures, product catalogs, new-hire induction training material and so on. iPads can be used to provide excellent training through multimedia presentations. These devices provide high-quality learner experiences, thanks to their multi-touch interface. This interface, along with the relatively large screen size, enables a wider range of interactions when compared to smartphones.
Make the best use of games
Games help reduce the stress of training and therefore are widely used by firms in their online courses. iPads are the right devices to deliver anytime, anywhere training through online courses containing games, because the multi-touch screens of these devices facilitate a high degree of learner interaction. The superior Wi-Fi capabilities and processor capabilities of iPads ensure a rich gamified learning experience.
Provide the best training through simulations
Simulations are the perfect tools to impart training on the use of tools, equipment, complex technical processes and software applications. The hardware features of iPads make them the most appropriate devices to train your people using simulations. The high-speed Wi-Fi network enables efficient collaboration between your people to achieve the goals of simulations.
Impart knowledge and skills efficiently through videos
Videos are ideal to train your staff through demonstrations. This medium is extensively used by organizations to train their staff on products and in induction trainings. You can provide excellent training to your staff through videos using iPads. The large, high resolution LED backlit screen makes it the right choice for viewing videos. Furthermore, the powerful built-in speaker that comes with these devices ensures high-quality sound.
Various industries, including healthcare have reaped rich benefits from training their people using iPads. To learn more about the use of iPads by the L&D departments of healthcare companies, click here.
We have seen how iPads can be used to provide high quality training to your staffers. Let us now look at some of the aspects you need to consider while designing courses to be accessed on iPads.
It is important that you have a clear idea of what you intend to deliver to your learners using iPads. This helps you to effectively examine the relevance of the content and determine what to include in your course that is accessed on these tablets from Apple. By providing only the needed content that is appropriate to a given situation, you can make the best use of iPads to improve staff productivity. For example, an automobile company can divide a comprehensive 30-minute eLearning course on its new SUV into six 5-minute learning nuggets, each covering a specific part of the vehicle. A mechanic, who requires information about the fuel injection system of the SUV, finds what he needs quickly and easily without having to go through the entire half-hour course.
If you wish to use a course on multiple devices, including iPad, then you need to make sure that the course is consistent in its appearance, functionality and interactions on all devices. You need to avoid issues arising out of incompatibility with multiple operating systems and browsers. HTML5, a recent development in information technology, can be used to design courses that can be accessed on all learning platforms. However, this technology is still in its nascent stage. For more information on developing courses that are accessible on all devices, visit Multi-device compatibility!
Use of apps
Staying on with multi-device compatibility, another good option to ensure effective cross-platform learning is the use of hybrid apps. These apps, which are a mix of the features of native apps and web apps, ensure the flexibility of the former and also run on multiple devices. These apps enable offline learning as well because the learner need not always remain connected to the Internet. However, the use of hybrid apps results in average levels of performance when the content is rich in graphics.
An important aspect that you need to consider when delivering training through iPads is the security of your proprietary and confidential information. Data encryption coupled with password-driven login can be used to secure critical organizational information when web-based training (WBT) is imparted through iPads. However, problems arise when you use apps to impart training through these devices. The learning material is downloaded into the iPad and as a result, the loss of the device could mean the loss of sensitive data. Screen locks, auto-timeouts and access restricted by passwords are to a certain extent helpful in securing your company’s information. It is also a good idea to use the device management and application management features of iPads to protect information from falling into the wrong hands. For more information on the security of data stored in iPads, check out security features in iPad. You may also like to refer to guide to iPad security and MDM in the Enterprise – Page 1 and Page 2.
We have seen how effective training can be imparted using iPads. We have also examined the design considerations for courses accessed through these devices. It is time now to move further and look at 2 popular tools used to develop iPad compatible courses – Articulate Storyline and Lectora Inspire 11.
1. Articulate Storyline
Articulate Storyline is one of the best rapid course authoring software that is widely used to publish content to iPads. The content published using this tool can be accessed on iPads through the Safari browser. However, you can also publish the content to Articulate Mobile Player, which is a native iOS app that optimizes courses for these devices. Check out iPad-Compatible Interactivities Using Articulate Storyline and iPad-Compatible Interactivities Using Articulate Storyline – Part 2 to know more about the creation of interactivities for iPad-compatible courses, using Articulate Storyline.
2. Lectora Inspire 11
Lectora Inspire 11 is one of the widely used authoring tools to develop eLearning courses that can be seamlessly accessed on iPads. For more details on how to create rich interactive courses for iPad in 7 simple steps, visit creating iPad compatible courses using Lectora.
iPad is an excellent device on which eLearning courses can be efficiently delivered. By focusing on the design considerations and using tools such as Storyline and Lectora Inspire, you can develop very effective courses for these tablets that can provide high quality training to your people. What do you think? We’d love to hear your views.