Responsive Design: An eLearning Necessity?

November 19, 2014

Marley Wagner

Category: Enterprise Learning Solutions, Learning Administration, Learning Management, Managed Training Services

In the United States, people spend an average of 7.4 hours looking at screens each day. Time online is spread between smartphone, tablet, PC/laptop and television. With tons of devices in varied screen sizes being used by the trainees and employees, there is a dire need to make training content available on and optimized for different devices.

Why Responsive Design?

The device we choose to use at a particular time is driven by the amount of time available, the desired goal, where we are located and what our state of mind is. In other words, context drives device usage. So, when designing eLearning, consider the context it will be used in before you decide if you need to allocate resources to responsive design or if the majority of your learners will prefer to just take the course at their desk or on a laptop.

Since using responsive design for learning development is often more complex, resulting in higher costs and more time, you want to make sure it’s necessary before you go down that path. There are several tools that can assist. For example, ANCILE uPerform™ is performance support software that delivers targeted high-quality learning content to employees. It allows authors with no programming experience to create, edit and publish procedures, task-based simulations as well as eLearning courses in formats such as HTML, PPT, PDF and Word, and then quickly deploy the content to the entire workforce via the web. Content can be published locally, to a website or a learning management system (LMS).

Five Reasons to Use Responsive Design

  1. Your mobile workforce uses various devices and software.
  2. You would save time and money by optimizing learning initiatives.
  3. You want to keep your content current.
  4. You want to stay current with learning technology trends.
  5. Context and just-in-time learning is key.

With Adobe Captivate 8, you can create responsive eLearning courses that can fit perfectly in different device sizes in both horizontal and vertical orientations. You can author as you always have—content will rearrange itself for the new tablet and mobile views. You can also tweak and/or design content for specific devices and use the in-product preview to see how your course will appear on various screens. And finally publish as a single project to automatically deliver the most appropriate experience for your learner’s device.

Another option would be to create a mobile resource guide that accompanies a longer, content-heavy piece of desktop eLearning. For example, you could include some videos that demonstrate the principles covered in the course, or highlight quick tips from each module. This is a great way to make the most out of the graphics and content you already created for the desktop eLearning course and then repurpose them as a responsively designed mobile reference.

Responsive design may very well be the key to your mobile or blended learning approach. But because every company is unique and different, it’s important to think of your learners first and their specific needs and goals before diving into responsive design.

Need assistance in designing your eLearning strategy? Contact Education Services Group for more information.

About Brad Pierce

President of Education Services Group

Brad Pierce is a thought leader in education revenue management with a focus on marketing, sales strategy, and operational best practices. He is passionate about pushing innovation by leveraging new technologies and creating partnerships. Brad earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from DePauw University and his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his family.