Technology is integral to the way we live and work, but it's never felt more important for businesses to keep up with technological advances than it feels today.
From enabling staff to work flexibly wherever it's convenient for them, to cutting down on physical meetings with the help of video conferencing, to using services like Basecamp and Slack to do away with email, businesses aren't just using technology to improve their products: they're improving the workplace itself.
But what does this have to do with eLearning?
You might use eLearning for continuing employee development, or to simply fulfil mandatory training requirements, but if the experience doesn't deliver on what learners expect from modern technology, it will only lead to frustration – and frustrated employees are demotivated employees.
So, where do you begin to make sure this isn't the case with yours?
Looking at the technology habits of the generation that's about to enter the workforce reveals some interesting insights into what the workers of the future will expect from their eLearning.
The BBC recently reported that young people between the ages of 5 and 16 now spend more time online than they do watching television, a change which can be attributed to the fact that 67% of young people today own tablets or mobile devices.
The prevalence of these devices has caused use of CDs, broadcast television and printed publications to decrease – all to be replaced by their digital mobile alternatives.
For employers, this means a new generation of employees is about to enter the workforce that's used to having instant access to music, news, television – in short, whatever media they want – instantly, whenever it suits them.
If you want to make sure your online training will be engaging to employees of the future, perhaps it's time to follow TV's lead and make it available on demand through mobiles, tablets, and PCs.
To do this, there are three main options: mobile compatible eLearning, mLearning and responsive eLearning, each with its own pros and cons:
Mobile compatible eLearning: sometimes described as mobile friendly, mobile compatible eLearning courses are usually designed with personal computers in mind, but built to scale down to fit mobile screens. Mobile compatible eLearning can be rapid to create as existing courses can be exported in a new format, but can result in text being too small to read, buttons being difficult to press, and a need to scroll from side to side to see the course.
mLearning: designed specifically for mobile devices, mLearning courses can work particularly well when you know in advance what kind of mobile learners will be using, for example in schools. Because they are designed for mobile, they are fairly quick to create, but may be equally quick to become outdated as the technology changes frequently. Due to bandwidth and memory issues, mLearning courses can often lack in depth, interactivity and multimedia.
Responsive eLearning: responsive eLearning courses are designed to work on mobiles, tablets and personal computers and dynamically adapt their design according to the device they're being accessed on. Responsive design is the standard for modern web and app development, and enables a familiar learner experience no matter what device is being used. This type of course requires the most initial investment of the three approaches, but the result is a course that can be created and updated once, and accessed on all kinds of device.
We believe responsive design is the best way to futureproof your eLearning and ensure it remains engaging, which is why we've invested in producing over 40 off-the-shelf responsive eLearning courses covering compliance and health and safety topics.
If you're not sure about responsive eLearning, try out free instant online demos of our courses today. No need to fill in any forms, just browse through our courses and if you like what you see, get in touch for access to the full versions.