DevicesIf you’re seeing low completion rates and underwhelming post-test scores, you may be considering a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in your eLearning strategy. There is no doubt that BYOD in eLearning results in higher engagement. When your users are personally familiar with the hardware, they can work faster, more efficiently, and with less training. And you shed the time constraints of having to complete eLearning in the office or navigate VPN access issues at home.

But with BYOD comes the insurmountable challenge of compatibility. Since first launching in 2007, Apple has released 12 versions of the iPhone with 9 different operating systems. And that doesn’t even account for the tablets and android devices. It’s just NOT possible to develop web assets that are compatible with every device, browser or operating system. That’s why in BYOD, it is important to limit the number of devices you’ll support. Get a list of preferred devices from your users, then program for compatibility with the top 3.

HTML5 is a programming language that was developed so web assets could be loaded without the use of proprietary plugins and APIs — essentially eliminating the need for Adobe Flash. In short, it is compatible with most devices because the code runs independently. But HTML5 programming can be expensive and time consuming. It requires more organized planning and implementation to cut down on duplication of efforts and re-leverage code wherever possible.

BYOD in eLearning – Planning

  • Get your content and layout approved ahead of time. Developing a clear vision of the site prior to programming helps to eliminate unnecessary coding

  • Streamline your content and avoid flashy features that may not work on every device. It’s more important to reach a broader audience than it is to impress a select few.

  • Partner with a web expert. You don’t have the time or money to invest in someone’s learning curve. Use a web developer with experience in HTML5 coding specific to eLearning.  They may even be able to leverage existing frameworks and code for cost and time-savings.

Of course, even with all the planning in the world, you still need to test your finished product on multiple platforms. Testing for different factors like Operating System (OS), device and browser, will help you fix any bugs for a more consistent user experience across a broader audience.

For more information about Beta Testing, download our Beta Testing Checklist.

BYOD in Elearning – Security

When you’re collecting data and disseminating proprietary information to personal devices, security needs to be considered. Lost or stolen devices and outdated security software can leave you vulnerable to dangerous breaches. But while hackers and security breaches make for dramatic storylines in the news these days, you can sleep very well at night if you follow some basic security guidelines:

  • Passwords should adhere to password security guidelines and be changed often. Authenticate data and limit the number of login attempts. To learn more, visit OWASP.org

  • Encrypt all data, including that being sent or accessed by mobile devices in standby mode

  • Remove archived content and data within a specific timeframe

  • Use vulnerability scanning software and apply frequent patches

A signed BYOD policy can also help. It can be as simple as an easily accessible web form with a box users can check off to accept your terms and agreements before accessing their eLearning online. The following policies should be clearly stated in the signed document:

  • What happens if BYOD policies are broken?

  • What support (software updates, troubleshooting, maintenance, etc.) will be provided to your users

  • What safeguards are in place if a device is compromised?

  • What methods will be used for securing devices before they are retired, sold, or disposed of?

For more information on website security, click here.

Creative MediaWorks offers custom web development, graphic design and print solutions to the Life Science industry and their agencies with a focus on quality, deadline and accuracy. We achieve our quality standards through defined workflow processes, direct access to on-staff project talent, proofreading and quality assurance expertise backed by an uncompromising commitment to the most responsive customer service in the business.

For more information, visit our website www.creativemediaworks.com.

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