iPad – a device that has revolutionized the corporate world. According to the Mac Observer, 94% of Fortune 500 companies are either testing or using this device from Apple. The widespread usage of iPads has resulted in the opening of new vistas in online training. The iPad is an information powerhouse, and various features of this tablet computing device go a long way in delivering high quality training to the “mobile” workforce. Today, we will see how to design a winning course for the iPad.
Before you embark on designing an iPad-compatible eLearning course, it is very important to find answers to the following questions.
- What is the relevance of the learning content delivered on iPads?
- What are the devices on which the online course will be delivered?
- What is the bandwidth available?
- How does the organization intend to use the capabilities of the iPad to deliver contextual learning?
- What are the security measures in place, to deal with theft or loss of these devices?
What is the relevance of the learning content delivered on iPads?
It is important that you have a clear idea of what you intend to deliver to your learners using iPads. This is necessary to ensure that the content delivered on your learners’ iPads is relevant to their needs. You need to structure the online training modules in such a manner that they help your people to enhance their performance. For example, a washing machine manufacturer can divide a comprehensive 30-minute online course on one of its products into six 5-minute learning nuggets, each covering a specific part. A mechanic, who needs information about the drain pump of the washing machine, can access it quickly and easily on his iPad, without having to go through the entire half-hour course.
What are the devices on which the online course will be delivered?
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. It is important to prevent problems of incompatibility, with multiple operating systems and browsers, to deliver good learning experiences. You can consider publishing your course to HTML5, which is platform-agnostic. For more information on developing courses that are accessible on all devices, visit this article on multi-device compatibility.
What is the bandwidth available?
In cases where the bandwidth is low, it is advisable to deliver the online training through native iOS apps. A native app “sits on the iPad”, and the user needs an Internet connection only to download the app and install it. Once the app is installed, it can be accessed offline. On the other hand, if the available bandwidth is high, you can use web apps which can be used through the browser of the iPad. To know more about native apps and web apps, check out this excellent blog.
How does the organization intend to use the capabilities of the iPad to deliver contextual learning?
The iPad has a plethora of networking and other features which help provide excellent contextual learning. Consider this scenario.
A salesman of a washing machine company is meeting with a prospective customer in Rockaway Beach neighborhood in Queens, New York. The customer asks the salesman whether any of his neighbors have purchased the washing machines of the latter’s firm. The salesman, using the geo-location feature of his iPad, gets the required information. This makes a good impression on the product and the customer buys the washing machine.
The tablets from Apple can also be used to provide contextual support to service technicians. Volkswagen, a leading German automobile manufacturer, uses an augmented reality iPad app to provide assistance to repair technicians working on its XL1 concept car. Check out this excellent video to see how this app works.
Many companies are also using iPad apps which can read Quick Response (QR) codes to provide their field personnel with the required information. For instance, a large pharmaceutical company provides its sales personnel with quick reference guides containing QR codes. A medical representative can quickly scan the QR code with his iPad and access a short clip containing the features of a drug.
What are the security measures in place, to deal with theft or loss of these devices?
It is very important to ensure the security of your confidential data, when you impart training though iPads. 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, issues could crop up when you use apps to deliver training. 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. You can also use the device management and application management features of iPads to protect information from falling into wrong hands. For more information on the security of data stored in iPads, check out the 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.
Thus, the right answers to these questions help design highly effective training using iPads. Hope you find this post informative. Do share your views.