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Is BYOD Suitable for E-Learning?

With the advancement of technology E-Learning gets more and more popular. According to Seamus Hand, who is director of development services at PulseLearning, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept and E-Learning are slowly coming together.

For example there are many training courses where attendees come and they use their own laptops. This is fine when the training is for freely available software or something that has little to do with computers. But what about when we are talking about a course about something very specific? Hand has listed a few of the benefits and disadvantages of BYOD for E-Learning.

BYOD is a major trend in some companies which allow their employees to use their own devices for work. Hand notes that employees now expect that the technology they use at home will be present at work too, or better than that. So if your budget is thin, BYOD is a great cost saver. And you don’t have to equip rooms with computers just for training.
BYOD also moves the office outside. This provides for more flexibility and you can take advantage of that for e-learning, too, Hand notes. You can be more flexible with the training schedule and leave options for the employees to catch-up on training and rewatch/reread the content at any time.

All of this will increase employee satisfaction. People will be able to use technology they are familiar and comfortable, will have extra freedom and will have easy access to knowledge recourses.

So from employee’s standpoint, BYOD and E-learning go well together. It seems that the disadvantages are mostly shifted towards the company. For example the IT department would have to support a much broader array of devices and platforms.
Developers of training courses would also have to take that into consideration and make their e-learning available and supported by multiple platforms and devices. This also prompts extended testing which could take time.

Hand gives a few advices that should help. The main thing is to focus on simplicity. This means simplistic content and visual experience coupled with a better handling of content. For example limit one idea per slide to avoid content overload on small devices. This will also make you opt for ease of use rather than focusing of specific device capabilities.

Finally, develop a solid BYOD policy for your company. There should be clear, well explained and detailed rules on what devices are acceptable, what employees can do and should not do. There should also be an extra course to help train employees to take better care of the security of their devices.