What makes a successful MOOC?

A number of multi-coloured hands reaching up to education icons.

MOOCs are the modern day marmite of the digital learning scene. We want to steer clear of all of the clichés that have already been postulated and stick to what we know best. We hope you’ll find our practical, realistic advice on delivering a successful MOOC beneficial as you make plans for your own online learning.

We think MOOCs are fantastic because they offer dramatic cost savings, a standardised level of training across large organisations and can allow people all over the world access to the leading academics in a subject.

There are three things intrinsic to a MOOC’s success:

  1. High levels of interactivity
  2. Best practice pedagogy
  3. Appropriate technology


Interactivity is essential in all forms and styles of learning. Learners grow and develop whenever content is delivered in a way that makes it memorable.

To inspire knowledge retention and stimulate thought amongst MOOC users, consider the following ideas:

  • Storytelling is being used across a broad spectrum of organisations because it captures the heart behind a lesson and delivers it in an entertaining way.
  • Problem-based learning can easily grab a learner’s imagination. Rather than completing a series of monotonous tick-box quizzes, learners are posed with real life problems faced by other individuals or organisations.
  • Gamification allows learners to apply knowledge and be rewarded as they progress.
  • Social learning allows a group of learners to come together to solve problems as well as give and receive encouragement. The creation of assignments to be posted on social forums creates conversation and stimulates thought amongst learners.
  • Progress tracking and instructor involvement encourages students by showing them how far they’ve come and allowing them to ask questions and receive advice when they get stuck.


MOOCs present an opportunity to turn learning on its head. It is possible to design learning content in line with how the brain actually learns.

MOOCs are in a position to apply contemporary pedagogical principles and break free from the traditional and often ineffective styles of teaching that have crept their way into many organisations. By monitoring learner activity using big data, administrators can even test the effectiveness of different teaching styles.

In order to be truly successful, it is important that MOOCs do not simply copy dated models of learning from the past but are used as a forum to design new, better ways of learning. We face new challenges than ever before and require a new approach to learning.


If you’re able to successfully create a MOOC for your organisation, make sure you don’t fall at the last hurdle. When choosing an E-Learning provider, be sure to ask all of the right questions from the beginning. You’ll need to know what browsers will be able to support your E-Learning content, whether mobile devices will be supported, if the systems technology is up-to-date and whether it will require regular updates.

It’s really important to choose the right technology to support your learning goals so make a list of all the technical specifications you require before you begin to search for an E-Learning provider and you won’t have any regrets later.

Organisations all over the world are choosing to develop MOOCs because they offer possibilities and opportunities to engage with learners on a greater scale than ever before. MOOCs won’t work for everyone but if you have a restricted budget, a large learner audience to reach and are ready to adapt your learning content to make it more accessible, then a MOOC might just perfect for you.

Have you recently developed a MOOC? Please comment below and let us know what worked and didn’t work for you. Feel free to share this blog with others who you think may benefit from it. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

New to E-Learning? Where to get started

Infographic containing the E-Learning advice from the blog below.

This infographic is available to download here.

1. Learning strategy
Define your aims and identify issues that need to be resolved.

2. Set quantitative goals for progress and definitions of success
Make a list of measurable outcomes you could expect to see as a result

3. Identify a solution that fits both the goals and the audience
Keep in mind the age and background of users, their level of technology adoption and what sort of devices they will be using to access learning content

4. Get buy-in
Communicate issues, goals and expectations to stakeholders. Make sure they understand the value of a new E-Learning programme

5. Ask internal subject matter experts to summarise content
Identify the experts within your organisation and ask them to share their expertise with you.

6. Assess the technical requirements
Check out our Jargon Buster handbook for E-Learning newbies.

7. Instructional design
Apply best practice pedagogical principles. Think rich, concise content, heaps of interactivity and beautiful multimedia.

8. Begin to design and develop
Keep in mind accessibility and usability when choosing fonts and colours.

9. Pilot
Ask an internal group of stakeholders to test and review your learning campaign.

10. Amend where necessary
Take on board the feedback given by your pilot group and decide which changes are necessary. Small, incremental change will help to ensure that the baby isn’t thrown out with the bath water.

11. Collect data on learner progress
Check out our blog: Big Data: Big Results for E-Learning?

12. Assess the success of your E-Learning
Check out our blog: How to work out if your E-Learning programme is a success and what to do if it isn’t.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

How to work out if your E-Learning is a success and what to do if it isn’t

Image saying containing an illustration of a businessman flying into the sky in a rocket with a briefcase on which has been written the word SUCCESS. The title of this image is 'How to work out if your E-Learning is a success and what to do if it isn't'

In a bid to rush to the next project, many E-Learning professionals carelessly skip over the evaluation process. Because we believe it is vital to learn from experience, our mantra of the moment is:

 “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”.

Therefore, today we want to take the opportunity to unpack best practice in E-Learning evaluation.

Evaluation is often overlooked because people lack the time, patience or clarity on the right approach or tool to use. Often, they are unsure of what data to collect or how to use it once they have collected it.

The first step in evaluating an E-Learning campaign lies in identifying the success metrics or performance parameters. These are formed by aligning or comparing organisational aims and goals with the results of the learning campaign.

Following this crucial first step, there are a number of ideas and approach methods to evaluation. One of the foremost ideas being propounded currently is Kirkpatrick’s taxonomy.

Kirkpatrick identified four levels or criteria for successful training evaluation:

Level 1: Learner reaction

Level 2: Learner knowledge

Level 3: Learner behaviour

Level 4: Learning results or impact

Sadly, many learning and development departments move no farther in their evaluations than level one or two.

They listen to how a selection of learners feel about the learning campaign and measure how much information they have retained but fail to research how the newfound information is being applied or what impact it is having on the organisation.

So what are the best tools to use to evaluate success?

We recommend a combination of the following:

  • Knowledge assessments both before and after completing training to assess learning progress;
  • Conducting a pilot to spot flaws early on;
  • Using big data to track learner engagement as well as weak points within the E-Learning content;
  • On the job assessments by management to gauge behavioural changes;
  • A forum (such as Survey Monkey) to receive feedback from learners about their personal experience;
  • Encouraging learners and stakeholders to give feedback in the long term; and
  • Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method suggests that we must look at success at an organisational or system level rather than just the individual learning programme. Brinkerhoff also asserts that it is useful to look at the “outliers” i.e. those who have been particularly successful or unsuccessful. By looking at these outliers, it may be possible to identify the differentiators between E-Learning success and failure on an individual level.

Now what?

After using this toolkit to evaluate your E-Learning success, you may find that learners are happy, clued in, applying their knowledge and your organisation is flourishing.

Hooray for you!

If you have a different result and find issues with your E-Learning, then take a deep breath, it’s going to be okay!

There are a number of reasons why your E-Learning campaign might not have hit the target this time.

It could be as a result of lack of support from management, the learning campaign being too theoretical or inaccuracy in identifying knowledge gaps pre-training. Luckily, your evaluation should point you in the right direction.

An important nugget of knowledge to keep in mind is not to throw the baby out with the bath water. In the majority of situations, change can be made in small, incremental amounts.

We recommend asking the people who have given you feedback and identified issues to become part of the solution by suggesting what they would have needed or preferred to better their learning experience.

There is always room for improvement and evaluation is one of the most consistently helpful tools we have at our disposal as learning and development professionals. Just remember our mantra, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”.


Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. We’d love to hear about your biggest E-Learning successes and failures. What is your strategy for recovering and fixing your mistakes? Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.


Top 5 Features of Articulate Storyline

Here at Aurion HQ, Articulate Storyline is our E-Learning authoring tool of choice. We like it because it produces fantastic learning content that hits the target both in terms of visual appeal and learning outcomes. Find out five reasons we think Articulate Storyline is fantastic:

Infographic displaying the information contained in the blog below.

This infographic is available to download here.


1. Ease of use

The PowerPoint style interface will put new users at ease instantly. Storyline is designed as simplistically as possible with the option to build your own slide or use one of the Articulate templates as a starting point. Storyline is great for instructional designers and learning professionals at any level of technical expertise.


2. Tracking and Reporting

Storyline content is Tin Can, SCORM and AICC compliant so any data tracking and reporting is an integrated part of the content development process. Learner progress and outcomes can easily be recorded and measured using your learning management system (LMS) or using Articulate Online.


3.    Interactivity

Great E-Learning contains high levels of interactivity. Storyline allows you to quickly create:

  1. Screen Recordings
  2. Quizzes and Assessments
  3. Slide Layers
  4. Triggers
  5. States


4.    Characters and Templates

Storyline contains a number of templates and character packs which mean you don’t have to spend hours building your E-Learning design from scratch. For those developing or following brand guidelines, it is possible to create a template and share it with colleagues to ensure there is consistency in the E-Learning that you produce.


5.    HTML 5, Flash and Mobile devices

E-Learning created on Storyline is publishable in HTML5, Flash and the Articulate Mobile Player, meaning it is available to learners on a wide range of devices. Users can tap into learning content whenever, wherever with whatever device they prefer.

Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

4 Types of “Problem” E-Learners and how to deal with them

In an increasingly tech-savvy and budget driven age, the potential for E-Learning is limitless. The key to a successful E-Learning strategy is buy-in by people at all levels of an organisation. Sadly, anyone who has ever delivered an E-Learning programme will know that there will always be people who find transition difficult. We’ve identified four types of E-Learners to watch out for and how to deal with them when you spot them:

Infographic representation of the blog

This infographic is available for download here.

1. The Technophobe

Who? Often, but not always, this person is of an older generation and has limited experience with technology. They are timid as a mouse around the computer and if they had their way, they would print out the whole E-Learning course and complete it manually.

How to bring the best out in them: The greatest tool at your disposal for a technophobe is buckets full of encouragement. Every time they complete a task, make them feel like a champion. User interfaces should be simple and designed intuitively, with the learner in mind. If your organisation has a high concentration of technophobes, consider introducing blended learning or providing equipment so that these E-Learners can meet in groups and help each other out with the technological side of things.


2. The One with Great Intentions (but not much else)

Who? This particular character is enthusiastic and excited about all of the new facts and lessons they can learn with all of the beautiful online content you have created. However, when it comes to actually completing online modules, they fail at even the first hurdle of logging in.

How to bring out the best in them: Expect that you will have to sell your learning content to them. An enthusiastic person like this one will have many different interests competing for their time. When you release a new course, create a short description that tells the learner how much of their time they will need to spend and give them two or three returns they will gain from investing their time. If you can engage this learner and get them to take part in and enjoy your E-Learning, you’ll find that their enthusiasm is infectious.


3. The Shortcutter

Who? This type of E-Learner is their own worst enemy. They would like all of the benefits of hard work without actually having to do any. In their constant rush to the next achievement to add to their trophy cabinet, they have little more than superficial knowledge in any particular area.

How to bring out the best in them: There are three keys to slowing down this student long enough for them to learn something. Firstly, you can make it mandatory to spend time on each page of learning. Secondly, consider integrating assessments into the learning content to identify knowledge gaps and diagnose additional learning material to fill those knowledge gaps. Last but not least, try to create spectacular E-Learning content that distracts them from racing on.


4. The Spoon-fed Student

Who? This individual has always consumed superior quality, highly personalised learning content, which is certainly no bad thing in itself. However, because they have always been looked after so well, they tend to lack the initiative to further explore external learning content that would supplement and improve their learning experience.

How to bring out the best in them: The first step to creating a great E-Learning experience for this student is to communicate expectations. If he/she knows from the beginning that it will be beneficial to read supplementary materials, then that will hopefully plant a seed in his/her mind. We recommend that you include regular prompts throughout your E-Learning course that refer learners to relevant websites or repositories of valuable information. Try creating a social platform for learners to communicate and grapple with difficult questions. To kick-off conversations in these online forums, you could set a project which requires students to interact. If you succeed with this type of student, you won’t only have taught them something new in your subject area, but also the value of taking initiative.


We’d love to hear about difficulties you have experienced when delivering E-Learning and successful techniques you have used to overcome them. Join the conversation on twitter using the hashtag #elearningwin. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

Big Data, Big Results for E-Learning?

Cloud of words associated with Big Data

Any data, whether it is big or small can provide a useful insight into learner performance and experience. Whilst big data is nothing new and has been a familiar term for a number of years, we will explore whether big data can improve your E-Learning.

In many circles big data has become a buzz word, but what does it mean?

Big data is the gathering of information that is so expansive and complex that it is difficult to manage or organise utilising traditional methods. It is characterised by its ability to quantify events or facts that haven’t previously been traceable in data form. It can uncover correlation between events but not necessarily causation.

So, how can big data be used in E-Learning?

The use of big data relies on the principle that human behaviour has a level of universality and therefore can be predicted through trends.

With just a limited amount of information about a learner, we can predict a wealth of information, including future behaviour. It doesn’t take a huge amount of data mining to gain a fairly accurate insight into an individual learner.

Through data mining and analysing, it is possible to track:

  • An individual learner’s knowledge gaps;
  • Parts of a course where learners often get stuck;
  • Pages or topics that are shared or revisited most often; and
  • When learners tend to tune in to E-Learning.

This information in turn means big data will allow:

1)    Increased personalisation of learning content

Research and data analysis can allow E-Learning providers to identify correlations. For example, if a learner struggles with one topic, relevant data may be able to illustrate that there is a correlation between those who find that topic difficult and those who find a later topic a struggle. Using this information, learning instructors could identify a knowledge gap that is causing this issue and resolve it at an earlier stage.

2)    Instructors to provide timely motivation

If users consistently drop-out of a course or fail at a particular point, learning instructors could recognise this using big data and rectify the course accordingly by providing more encouragement or even making assessments less difficult.

3)    The testing and evolution of learning theories and content

Big data allows instructional designers to see what content works in successfully instructing learners.  They can then amend content accordingly, using the knowledge they have gained in order to restructure it and remove or improve any weaknesses. In addition, big data allows for the widespread testing of learning theories, allowing learning theorists to draw empirical conclusions about how people learn.

As with all new things, there are things to be wary of:

1)    Privacy

The media increasingly report that our digital lives are subject to monitoring of Orwellian proportions. As a learning instructor, you will want your voice to be one of authority and confidence. Therefore, be clear with learners what information you are collecting and why. Learners want to know that they can trust what you have to say and that information they share with you is in safe hands.

2)    Relevance

When using big data, setting a good foundation is important. It is vital to capture information that is both accurate and relevant before it can begin to be organised in such a way that creates meaning for E-Learning decision makers and administrators.

It is of no question that big data is set to be a very practical and tangible asset to E-Learning. If learning administrators can capture the appropriate information and organise it effectively, they can personalise learning to suit individual learners and ultimately create better E-Learning.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.



More Informal Social Learning; Less Formal Training

Less formal training; more informal social learning

March 12th 2014 marked the 25th birthday of the World Wide Web. Over these last 25 years, we have seen huge technological growth that affects every individual and organisation in society. The way that we communicate and convey information has totally changed. As a result, the ways in which we learn have also changed.

In this post, we consider how engaging and stimulating learning content must incorporate informal social learning and embrace the technologies which assist it.

What is informal social learning?

In the words of informal learning guru Jay Cross:

Informal learning is the unofficial, unscheduled, impromptu way most people learn to do their jobs. Informal learning is like riding a bicycle: the rider chooses the destination and the route.”

In the past, individuals were able to learn and develop by tapping into the knowledge of those around them and turning to relevant literature. The learning curriculum in schools and organisations reflected this by placing high emphasis on knowledge retention. Successful individuals were often those who were able to gain access to the best academic institutions and social networks of other like-minded and educated individuals.

How has education culture changed over the last 25 years?

We now live in an information saturated age where there are limitless access points to new information and learning. How often have you asked a friend or colleague a question only to hear the response, “Google it”?

Web-based technologies greatly lessen the obstacles that learners were forced to overcome in the past. As the demographic of the workplace shifts to contain more people who grew up in an age where new technologies and social media are an integrated part of daily life, it is natural that the style of learning and training will adapt to engage with learners and technological advances.

In addition, the skills required from employees in the workforce in recent years have changed and shifted in line with technology’s ability to do things faster and to a higher quality than previously possible.

We’ve created a list of social media tools you can use to enhance learning:

  • Social assignments are great for creating community and maintaining user engagement. Novelist and investigative journalist Amanda Ripley talks here about students engaging in a Physics MOOC by responding to a challenge to apply trigonometry and geometry learning to real life then posting it online for other students to see. This challenge not only allowed students to evaluate how much they had learnt by putting it into practice but also created space for discussion and new ideas.
  • TweetChat has been around for almost as long as Twitter. You can create your own topic or “hashtag” and allow open conversation between learners. Using a content curator, you could even extract the best or most interesting ideas discussed and publish them to a blog. If learners miss live conversations, they can catch up using Storify.
  • Twitter lists are a curated group of Twitter users that have something in common. As a supplement to elearning, you could use a twitter list in order to gather a group of learners together.
  • Youtube channels create an excellent forum for additional learning material and for interaction between learners. If a picture speaks a thousand words, just think of the learning through discussion potential in a video.
  • There are a number of different Wikis that can be used including Wikispaces and PBworks. Essentially, they are a platform where you can share a range of resources including documents, PDFs and media. Most Wikis also feature an opportunity for discussion.

It is important not to overlook the power of LMS integrated social learning. Many LMS systems come with the ability to create a social learning platform for learners. Creating in-built social learning allows you to tailor it to your learners and makes it accessible and more likely to be used. If you would like to discuss the capabilities of an LMS with in-built social learning capabilities for your organisation, please get in touch with us at info@aurionlearning.com

To sum up, informal social learning is a great tool when used as part of a blended approach to instigate conversation between learners and create access to more relevant learning content. In an increasingly social and collaborative age, it is time for educators to join the conversation.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. We’re interested in hearing what you think about Informal Social Learning. How have you been able to use it to supplement learning in your organisation? Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.



10 Apps all E-Learning Professionals need to have

In the constantly evolving field of E-Learning, it’s essential to keep up-to-date with all of the latest technologies, to be surrounded by enthusiastic people and keep on top of your task list. To help you stay on top of your game, in no particular order, we’ve compiled a list of apps that will help you stay connected, current and enthusiastic about E-Learning:


You can download this infographic here.

1.  MindNode MindNode
iTunes App Store
MindNode is a brilliant mind-mapping tool that will allow you to record and organise your ideas into an intuitive visual format. As you input information, it will begin to arrange itself so that you can focus on the content instead of the layout. Featured by Apple as an “App Store Best”, it is well worth the price.For those on an Android device, check out Mindjet.
2.  GotoMeeting GoToMeeting
Free to install, In-App Purchases     
iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store
The GoToMeeting app means that you can attend meetings and connect with your colleagues or clients wherever you are. It is easy, convenient and reliable, with screen-sharing capabilities that enable you to view your colleagues’ presentations and reports.
3.  Trello Trello
iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store
Trello is an organisational tool that will allow you to easily manage your to-do list, break down bulky projects into simple steps and most importantly serve as a focal point for organising the division and completion of tasks on a group project.Trello makes it easy to share pictures and links as well as communicate obstacles and progress between team members. Because everything is instantly synced and saved to the cloud, all of your devices will be kept up to date.
4.  Instruction Design Guru Instruction Design Guru
£1.83 on Google Play, £1.99 on iTunes
iTunes App Store, Google Play
Instructional Design Guru is a reference and performance support app designed by E-Learning Guru Connie Malamad. It is great for both Junior Instructional Designers and for those who have been in the complex and constantly evolving field of Instructional Design for much longer. Connie has defined over 470 terms from the areas of Instructional Design, Cognitive Psychology, Social Media, Multimedia, Technology and Law and shares great tips from her many years of experience.
5.  Reeder 2 Reeder 2
iTunes App Store
Reeder 2 is the must-have app for viewing RSS feeds from all of your favourite websites in one place. Reeder 2 is simple and easy to use, making it perfect for RSS newbies and pros alike. For Android users, gReader has been referred to as “Hands down the incomparable king of RSS readers for Android” by AndroidPolice.
6.  Learnist Learnist
iTunes App Store, Google Play
The Learnist app is a lively knowledge network. Learnist enables you to follow experts, tags and topics which interest you, making it perfect for sharing and finding out new information.Learnist allows you to pose burning questions to specialists and to access and share a range of information related to E-Learning in an interactive multimedia format.
7.  Evernote Evernote
iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Blackberry World
Evernote is the ideal app for helping you to remember all of the big and small things from your day to day life. It can store entire webpages, notes, files, images, audio and much more so that it can be accessed by you whenever and wherever you need it.
iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store
The TED app delivers over 1700 talks and videos recorded at TED conferences worldwide. These talks feature some of the most innovative movers and shakers in the fields of Technology, Entertainment and Design.The TED app presents a great opportunity to tap into the knowledge of some of the world’s most brilliant thinkers. The ‘My Talks’ section will allow you to download talks so you can tap into informal learning and new ideas even when you have no connection to the internet. As a learning and development professional, If you’re not learning yourself, then you’ve missed the point.
9.  Scoop it Scoop.it
iTunes App Store, Google Play
Scoop.it is a handy content curation tool that will enable you to keep up to date with industry trends and insights. With this app, you can select, edit and publish content curated from suggested posts, other curators and from all over the web. You can then share interesting content on a variety of social media platforms.
10.  Fruit Ninja Fruit Ninja
iTunes App Store, Google Play
There are few better ways to wind down after a day of hard work than to slice some virtual fruit with a ninja sword. You deserve to have some fun!

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

Five Basic Learning Principles every L&D professional needs to know

As learning and development professionals, it is our role is to ensure that everyone within our organisation knows and understands the information they require to function effectively and are able to apply it.

With so much content available to us on a daily basis, you can easily get buried under a mountain of it before we even find what we are looking for. It is very unlikely that we are able to increase the amount of hours in a day; so instead, we’ve compiled a list of five simple learning principles that remind us how to create great learning content:

Infographic displaying the five basic learning principles all L&D professionals need to know. All information contained is in the text below.

This infographic is available for download here.

1. Boredom kills.

Neurologist Judy Willis explains that all information that comes into the brain is filtered through the amygdala. It is the area of the brain responsible for deciding what memories are stored and where.

When a learner becomes bored, the amygdala becomes hyperactive and it sends all of the information it receives to the lower 80 per cent of the brain. According to Judy, this is the “animal brain, the reactive, involuntary brain”. Boredom means that important learning content isn’t remembered.

2. Repetition rocks – use it or lose it.

Most people will have experienced the sore hand and bad hand-writing that accompanies the first day back to school after a long summer break. The same issue follows learners into adulthood. Just like the muscles in our hands, neural pathways are weakened over time. This means that if learners are not using knowledge or skills gained through training, they will begin to forget it.

3. We all have an information limit.

Educational Psychologist John Sweller first coined the term “Cognitive Overload” in 1998. The idea is that we have a finite amount of working memory at our disposal to process and understand information. When a learner is presented with information, it is important that it is delivered in bite-sized chunks which he or she can reasonably process.

4. We all need a reason.

If a learner can’t make the connection between learning content and application in their everyday life, they won’t have a reason and therefore the motivation to understand the topic presented to them. As the person guiding learning and development, it is your role to communicate expectations and the motive behind learning a particular piece of knowledge or skill.

5. Primacy – If at first you don’t succeed.

The first time learners receive teaching, it creates a strong impression upon them. It’s important to present information in a logical and clear manner at the start of any training module. The foundation of learning that you set in place becomes the map students use to navigate all further information.

We know that our list is by no means extensive; there are many different factors to be taken into account when authoring great learning content. We would love to hear what principles you think are most important when creating learning content that engages learners and have worked for your organisation. Please feel free to leave a comment below with if you can think of anymore principles every L&D professional needs to know. We would love to hear your learning and particularly e-learning successes.
Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

E-Learning Love: 5 Questions to help you decide if a learning app is ‘The One’

It’s that time of the year again when love and romance are in the air. As we look for ways to woo our learning and development strategies, whilst delivering creative, cost-efficient and effective ways of engaging employees in workplace learning, many L&D professionals are turning to apps.

Before our romantic tendencies get the better and you get ‘carried away’,  it is important that you assess whether or not a new piece of learning technology enhances learner experience. To help you with this, we’ve compiled five questions to help you decide if your new idea for a learning app is ‘The One’.

Valentine's Day Themed Infographic displaying the five questions to determine if a learning app is "The One".

  1. Will it help reach your organisations learning objectives? Make a list of the learning results you would like to see in your organisation and what learning outcomes you can realistically expect to see if you manage to successfully implement an app
  2. Does it make content harder or easier to access? It’s important to note the demographics and characteristics of your learners. Factors like age and income will affect access to mobile devices and adoption of technology. Most learners will appreciate the simplest access routes to learning. Don’t forget to consider whether or not an app will allow you to present learning content in a way that is user-centric.
  3. Should you go for HTML5 or native app development? Opinion highly differs throughout the industry on this point. Both HTML5 and native app development contain their own problems and benefits. Danny Brown says that for those who don’t want to be held back by Apple or Google, who have the need to constantly update information and who don’t want users to download an App, the best option is to choose HTML5 app development. However, for those with one device type in mind, who are seeking the best user experience and require secure data then going native is the best option.
  4. Do you have the right skills in-house to develop an app? If you decide to build a mobile web application, you will need a developer, designer and instructional designer and if you decide to build a native app on a number of platforms you will need the same team plus additional web developers proficient in a wide range of coding languages. If you currently don’t have internal capability, that’s not to say that it is impossible to develop an app, just that you will need to look at the budget you have available to outsource the app or to train staff internally in the skills you are lacking.
  5. Do you have a plan in place for future updates and app maintenance? App development is not just a one-off task but a real commitment of the time and resources it takes to update and maintain both learning content and the technology that supports it. It is important to have both organisational buy-in and a group of individuals in place who will ensure that your app will continue to have relevant and up-to-date content.

This infographic is available to download here.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.