App developed for corporate training
14 May 2013, 17:06
Cape Town – The Training Room Online, which designs and develops e-learning material for the corporate, industrial and private sectors, announced that its developing an app in-house for corporate training.
“The demand for e-learning is growing exponentially in South Africa and on the African continent, and e-learning developers are increasingly looking to mobile platforms as the future of e-learning in a local context.
“We can’t, however, simply transport e-learning models that work overseas and expect them to be as effective here – not only in terms of the way apps for these devices are designed, but also in terms of the platforms they are designed for,” Kirsty Chadwick, founder of The Training Room Online, told News24.
According to Chadwick developers have started working on the app. She said the system is modular and that they’ve completed phase one and are roughly halfway with phase two.
“Each app is rolled out according to specific criteria. The current app that we are developing will be implemented on an iPad. The learners will be made aware of the app through channels such as emails, sms’s or conferences. Other apps are distributed through channels such as the internet. Each delivery is unique and tailored to suit the customer.”
Chadwick said the app will "primarily be for the iPad as this was the customer’s request".
“In the past we have developed mobile apps that are suitable for all platforms which have the ability to access the web,” Chadwick said.
She said the developers keep abreast of overseas trends, but each app is bespoke to the needs of the client or business process.
“In other circumstances, we tailor make the app specifically for the local market.”
According to her South Africans have a unique identity and culture “and we try to make the apps as accessible as we can for them.
“Having said that, smartphones and the internet have turned the world into a global village and there is no secret formula for what will work locally; or rather the secret is to develop a useful, user-friendly and, above all, well-made app that fulfils a need.”
With regard to the cost of data Chadwick said: “We are always aware of the cost of data, and who will be using the app. In any of our development projects, we aim to make the systems robust, secure and efficient, while keeping data usage as low as possible.”
Chadwick said the first challenge is the development.
“The apps need to be developed to be useful, secure, efficient and user-friendly. This can be difficult as we try to meet the client’s needs with the current capabilities of the technology that we have.
“The next challenge is delivery. We need to make sure that the app is delivered on the correct platform to the correct audience. Then lastly, it’s the deadlines. Clients often have campaigns that are planned around rollouts and launches, and we need to make sure that the app is delivered on time to ensure that the campaign will be a success.”
She said they are very aware that user capabilities and internet speeds vary and try to create their apps in such a way that they can deliver a useful and attractive app to the broadest audience.
“Research has proven that online learning can save up to 70% on training costs. E-learning classes tend to be up to 50% shorter in duration than traditional classes, thus reducing time away from the office.
“In addition to this, retention of information is increased by up to 60%. With the always-available nature of mobile learning, the time that it takes to train employees is significantly reduced – this contributes to increased productivity, which in turn adds to further cost savings.”
Chadwick said learners will receive training on how to use the app depending on the app that is being released.
She said some rollouts have formal training sessions, while others are supported telephonically or through email correspondence.
“We do try to develop our apps in a way that it is user-friendly. We offer documentation on the app which the user can refer to at any time.”
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