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In this paper, mobile learning and priority communications are discussed together as the same technology applies. Both rely on the ready development, delivery, and analysis (was the content read, was ...

In this paper, mobile learning and priority communications are discussed together as the same technology applies. Both rely on the ready development, delivery, and analysis (was the content read, was it understood, is there feedback) of mobile content.

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Outstart Mobile Learning Outstart Mobile Learning Document Transcript

  • Mobilizing Learning & Priority Communications Business uses cases and technology advancementsOutStart, Inc.745 Atlantic Ave4th FloorBoston, MA 02111www.outstart.com
  • Mobilizing Learning & Priority Communications Table of ContentsMOBILIZING LEARNING & PRIORITY COMMUNICATIONS ........................................ 3 INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................3 BUSINESS APPLICATIONS FOR MOBILE LEARNING & PRIORITY COMMUNICATIONS ............. 3 Real-Time Training Evaluation to Ensure Results .................................................... 4 Reinforcement of Learning .......................................................................................5 Keeping Workers Motivated & Aligned with Key Corporate Initiatives....................... 5 Maximizing Down Time ............................................................................................6 Real-time Push of Critical Information ...................................................................... 6 Mobile Knowledge Management for Limited Connectivity Areas and Crisis Training 7 Mobile in Support of Change Management .............................................................. 7 TECHNOLOGY MATURITY RESOLVES KEY DEPLOYMENT IMPEDIMENTS ............................. 8 Video and Audio Requirements ................................................................................8 Deployment to Mobile Devices .................................................................................9 Security ....................................................................................................................9 Content Presentation.............................................................................................. 10 CONCLUSION ..............................................................................................................10FOR MORE INFORMATION ......................................................................................... 11 About OutStart ....................................................................................................... 11 Page 2 of 11
  • Mobilizing Learning & Priority Communications Mobilizing Learning & Priority CommunicationsIntroductionWith the power, instant connectivity, and ubiquitous nature of mobile devices, their usein support of learning and priority communication initiatives just makes sense. But broadadoption will not occur until businesses: • Familiarize themselves with the business cases and benefits • Understand that mobile content delivery technology has matured and is now addressing previous deployment impediments.In this paper, mobile learning and priority communications are discussed together as thesame technology applies. Both rely on the ready development, delivery, and analysis(was the content read, was it understood, is there feedback) of mobile content. Theirapplications are numerous and include but are not limited to: • Nuggets of information to reinforce existing training • Continuous learning updates • Verifying retention • Promoting new material • Testing for knowledge gaps • Determining worker opinion • Communicating new policies and procedures • Aligning messages to all stakeholders • Disseminating information from a variety of individuals • Mobilizing support behind corporate objectivesAs with any technology advancement, visionary customers lead the way while workingwith their selected vendor to identify and overcome key obstacles, help mature thetechnology, and ultimately provide solutions that work.This paper discusses leading business applications as experienced by these visionarycustomers as well as key issues that have been addressed through technologicalinnovation.Business Applications for Mobile Learning & PriorityCommunicationsThe following examples are actual business applications of mobile content delivery insupport of mobile learning and priority communications. Company names have beenremoved to respect confidentiality. Page 3 of 11
  • Mobilizing Learning & Priority CommunicationsReal-Time Training Evaluation to Ensure ResultsA telecommunication organization with a distributed sales force was faced with thechallenge of increasing the effectiveness of their sales conferences. They hadimplemented a learning content management system and were using online training andassessments to train their sales force, determine knowledge gaps, and assist inestablishing the agenda for sales meetings. As a pilot project, the company decided toextend their training to take advantage of mobile devices to monitor and test individualsthroughout the sales conference to ensure the meeting’s effectiveness.At the conference, sales executives used the mobile learning solution’s real-time testingand reporting functionality to determine what training material was being absorbed. Theyachieved these quantifiable results by sending a test to each sales representative’smobile device before each session to gauge their level of understanding on the topic.Another test was sent after the session to ensure key concepts were learned. All testscores were sent immediately to management for review as a whole as well as on anindividual basis. Based on these scores, management was able to: • Confirm knowledge transfer for their team • Adjust the agenda to provide additional training to groups on key topics that weren’t well understood • As required, create side sessions for individuals needing further training.Additionally, knowing that conference attendees were carrying devices, conferenceorganizers used the mobile learning technology to inform attendees of events during thesales conference. Examples of such communication included: • “Reminder to bring one example of an ‘ideal sale’ to the discussion being held in Conference Room B at 2pm.” • “The “Speeding up Your Sales Cycle” session has moved to Conference Room C to accommodate the large number of individuals signed up for this session.”The results they received post conference included: • Sales representatives tested 20% higher versus previous post conference surveys that gauged the level of knowledge on new product introductions. • The overall conference rating rose by 16% compared to previous years.Although this business application was in reference to a sales conference, the sameapproach could be used for other training opportunities, e.g., customer training, userconferences, and new employee induction training. Page 4 of 11
  • Mobilizing Learning & Priority CommunicationsReinforcement of LearningMobile devices are an ideal medium for reinforcement of learning and informationsharing. They also can provide access to training content when laptops and networksare less convenient or unavailable, e.g., prior to boarding a plane, waiting for a meetingto start, or riding in an elevator, train, or taxi.An example of this business application is a global pharmaceutical company that usedmobile learning to extend the new product introduction training provided to its worldwidesales force. The company used a variety of mobile learning formats, including textmessages, images, audio, video, PowerPoint, and short quizzes to reinforce keyconcepts covered during the company’s formal training. The quizzes, along with realtime reporting, enabled management to determine if the training was a success.Using this approach to reinforce the company’s formal training improved knowledgeretention by 53% and increased sales representative retention by 27%.Keeping Workers Motivated & Aligned with Key Corporate InitiativesSuccessful organizations acknowledge that alignment of their team with their CEO iscrucial so that the entire organization has a common vision, mission, and values, as wellas a clear understanding of key strategic priorities. This alignment can be a challenge fororganizations of any size but the challenge is extenuated when the organization mustdeal with different locations and time zones.To address this issue, a high tech company used a mobile priority communicationsapproach to record presentations from the CEO to distribute them to the entire workforcein order to address important company updates, e.g., product or services information,company updates, and new hire introductions.This approach worked well as the CEO was able to personally communicate through hisown words, while individuals were able to view the address based upon their schedules.Communications went out on an as needed basis, or, in some cases, became part of aweekly internal communications plan.The systems real-time reporting provided management with immediate feedback as towho had not yet viewed the message. Reminders were sent and tracking continued toensure that everyone viewed the messages.The pushcasts were followed by mobile surveys to measure the results. The datasupported the original theory as follows: • 40% more informed about their company • 60% more aligned with the CEO himself Page 5 of 11
  • Mobilizing Learning & Priority CommunicationsAlthough this business application references video for an executive address, the sameresults could be incurred if a PowerPoint presentation with an audio voice, for example,was sent from any team lead or member of an organization. As mentioned above, itcould also apply to any number of content scenarios, e.g., product or servicesinformation, company updates, or new hire introductions.Maximizing Down TimeOrganizations with a workforce that does not have convenient access to computers, hasa mobile workforce, or has individuals on a shop floor would benefit from mobile learningto reach their workers.As an example, a transportation company repurposed content from online courses to runon mobile devices. Workers receive training bites that they viewed while on the roadduring down times. The company was able to track what training had taken placethrough online, real-time reporting.As a follow up to the training, workers received quizzes to test them for retention of thematerial and surveys to get their feedback on the initiative. The results were: • 76% improvement in retention • 30% improvement in being prepared for the jobAlthough this business application references online courses adapted for mobiledevices, the same results could be incurred if audio, video, short quizzes, or polls wereused.Real-time Push of Critical InformationA challenge for any organization is keeping their workforce proactively informed ofcritical and rapidly changing information.An oil and gas company leveraged smart devices to feed their workforce in the field withcritical information. They sent information updates to individuals and provideddocuments through e-mails and text messages with a link to the downloadabledocument. Videos, presentations and audio clips were also distributed.The company used the mobile learning technology to obtain real-time reporting on whichmembers of the workforce had viewed the updated information. Reminders were sentout to those individuals who had not read the update.After implementing mobile learning for three months, the oil and gas company measureda 19% decrease in user errors due to changes in process or technology that wascovered by the mobile learning. Page 6 of 11
  • Mobilizing Learning & Priority CommunicationsMobile Knowledge Management for Limited Connectivity Areas andCrisis TrainingOrganizations dealing with crisis situations often need to communicate with members oftheir workforce when internet bandwidth is limited or non-existent. Cellular coverage, inthese situations, is likely the most reliable communication method to sendinstruction/training.A global insurance company used mobile learning as a way of reaching its workforce ina crisis situation. Polls were sent to workers to gauge the situation. Once assessed,information was sent to workers in the form of text messages, audio, video, and in somecases, diagrams detailing resolution tactics and providing training on specific topics.Job aides and checklists were also sent to mobile devices to ensure that crisis workerswere not missing a step due to the high level of stress at the emergency site.In each instance, management had the added benefit of real-time reporting to ensureeveryone had completed the poll, read the instructions, taken the training or simulation,passed the assessment, and was ready to do their job.A post-crisis mobile survey indicated that emergency workers were able to assessdamage 20% faster than in previous crisis situations.Although this business application was in reference to natural disasters, similar resultscould be incurred for any number or corporate crisis situations, e.g., a serious virus oncorporate computers where IT has no other channel to communicate with individuals, ablack out in a large corporate building, or a security threat within a office facility.Mobile in Support of Change ManagementWhen organizations are looking to rebrand themselves, one of the crucial areas ofchange is with its workforce. Cultural change can only be achieved through continuedreminders on the various aspects of the change program, e.g., risk awareness, followingcorporate guidelines, and communicating with customers. Mobile devices workextremely well in this situation.A financial institution, needing to rebrand itself, developed a portfolio of mobile learningmodules to present new corporate information to its workforce. The changemanagement program began with a mobile survey to establish the present view of theworkers; further surveys were conducted to measure the progress of the changeprogram. An audio-led animated PowerPoint presentation was used to introduce newcorporate messaging to all workers. This was followed by an assessment module wheremanagers had to demonstrate that they could not only recall the key learning points butalso apply them. The results they received were as follows: • 85% of managers passed the assessment module of the program. • The remaining 15% of managers were given mobile refresher courses in the areas where they required more training. Page 7 of 11
  • Mobilizing Learning & Priority CommunicationsAlthough this business application was in reference to a financial institution, the sameresults could be incurred by any organization wishing to implement cultural change orunify after a merger or acquisition.Technology Maturity Resolves Key DeploymentImpedimentsAs with all new technologies, there is a learning curve and maturation process as earlyadopters and innovation technology vendors work together to learn and deliversuccessful deployments. The business applications described above are examples ofsuch deployments.As a result of working with our early adopter customers, OutStart has gained extensiveexperience in mobile learning and priority communications, and has resolved keydeployments issues that needed to be addressed to enable broad business use.This section of the white paper will highlight these issues and OutStart’s resolution forsuccessfully addressing them.Video and Audio RequirementsThe concept of delivering audio and video content to learners’ mobile devices has gonefrom an idea to a requirement. Organizations recognize these mediums as highlyeffective ways to convey information to members of their workforce. The ability tocombine media-based content with assessment for a comprehensive mobile learningand priority communications experience creates a compelling mechanism for deliveringcontent and measuring effectiveness.The issue that arises is the lack of standardization of audio and video formats that canbe supported by mobile devices, even when dealing with devices from the samemanufacturer.OutStart suggests two solutions for delivering audio and video content to learners: 1. In organizations where there is control and standardization over which devices can be used by the workforce to consume media-based learning, developers can employ specific video encoding tools to encode to formats which are appropriate for the target devices. This can be done for little or no additional cost. 2. Where no device standardization is possible, streaming technologies can be employed to dynamically deliver content in a format appropriate for the device carried by each learner. There is generally little if any additional cost associated with this approach. Page 8 of 11
  • Mobilizing Learning & Priority CommunicationsDeployment to Mobile DevicesOrganizations implementing a mobile learning or priority communications strategyencounter the challenge of creating content that fits a wide variety of screen sizes andresolution settings, scales to various devices, and is portable.OutStart’s solution to this impediment focuses on how content is authored as well ashow it is delivered: • Development: Content should be developed generically in a device-independent manner. This allows maximum flexibility by removing the burden of tailoring content to individual mobile devices from the content developers and provides a measure of “future proofing” of the content. • Delivery: Content may be delivered in two ways: Either using the browser in a user’s mobile device or through an application installed directly on the device. 1. The browser-based solution has the advantage of providing broad-based device support but can be limited in its ability to tailor the user’s experience to any specific mobile device. 2. Learning delivery applications installed on the device can provide the user a “native” experience when consuming content. Typically, content is downloaded to the device and presented and tracked through the application, whether the user is connected to the server or not. The applications deliver the content in the same way as other applications with which users are familiar.SecurityWithin any organization, security of its intellectual property is important regardless of thedelivery mechanism being used. Therefore, delivery of mobile learning or prioritycommunications content must also adhere to the same protection and security as othermodes of delivery.OutStart’s solution provides a multi-dimensional approach to security to address themultiple ways in which learners may access content. Some of the ways in which securityis maintained for mobile learning and priority communications delivery are the same inwhich security is handled for computer-based learning. Examples include: 1. Authentication: Users are typically required to provide logon credentials in the form of a username and password prior to accessing any mobile content. 2. Encryption: Communications between the system delivering the content and the user’s mobile device should be encrypted so that sensitive information is not transmitted in clear text. 3. Authorization: Learning Management Systems (LMS) or other similar systems may be used as control mechanisms to determine which content is available to which users, and to provide tracking on content usage, test results, and survey responses. Page 9 of 11
  • Mobilizing Learning & Priority Communications 4. Device Centric Security: Content downloaded for delivery through an application installed on the user’s device should be stored in a format readable only through the application, and should be “locked” to the device to prevent it from being forwarded to unauthorized users.Content PresentationThe screen “real estate” available on mobile devices is smaller than on computerscreens, therefore content intended for mobile devices needs to be presented in a waythat matches the form factor (screen sizes and resolution setting) while providing a richuser experience. In some cases, existing content may be “scaled” to fit mobile devices,but in others it may be necessary to rethink the way content is laid out to optimize thepresentation for mobile delivery.OutStart’s solution provides the ability to develop content independent of mobile devices,providing the ability to take advantage of the user interface offered by higher enddevices while still meeting the requirements of lower end devices.ConclusionMobile content delivery has progressed significantly over the past 12 to 18 months. Earlyadopters have shown that applications can be deployed securely and with measurableimpact. By working with these early adopters, innovative mobile learning and prioritycommunication vendors such as OutStart have experienced their pains and challenges,and evolved and enhanced products to address these issues. Future mobile learningand priority communications deployments can take advantage of these technologicaladvancements to quickly and successfully deploy their corporate mobile deliverystrategy. Page 10 of 11
  • Mobilizing Learning & Priority Communications For More Information To learn more about how a mobile learning and priority communications solution can be best deployed in your organization, please contact OutStart for a business review and assessment, or visit www.outstart.com for more information. About OutStart OutStart’s software helps organizations constantly learn across a continuum of ways – formally, socially, and now through mobile. Recognized as a Visionary in Gartner’s Corporate Learning Systems Magic Quadrant since 2004, OutStart is regularly acknowledged for its industry leading solutions. In 2010 alone, OutStart has been named a Top Learning Portal, one of “Five Emerging LMSs to Watch,” and a winner of two Best of Elearning! Awards for OutStart LCMS and Hot Lava Mobile. OutStart’s award winning solutions include OutStart LCMS; OutStart TrainingEdge.com, a complete SaaS corporate learning system (LMS, LCMS, social, and mobile); OutStart Participate for social learning; Hot Lava Mobile for mobile learning and priority communications; OutStart Trainer for eLearning desktop development; and OutStart SoftSim for the development of software simulations. OutStart is honored to serve organizations that are surpassing expectations and delivering exceptional business results such as AgustaWestland, BB&T, Boeing Company, BT, CVS Caremark, DIRECTV, Hewlett-Packard, Internal Revenue Service, McDonald’s, MetLife, Prudential, Australian Defence Force, U.S. Navy, UK Ministry of Defence, Verizon Wireless, Xerox, and Yum! Brands. 745 Atlantic Avenue, Fourth Floor Boston, MA 02111 Phone: 617.897.6800 Fax: 617.897.6801 www.outstart.com © 2010 OutStart, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission© OutStart, Inc. Page 11 of 11WP_HLM_MLPC_1110_01