Level 6: Rich Media
Level 6 is the final stage of the mlearning content model comprising rich-media formats such as podcasts or video, targeted firmly at the smartphone/netbook audience. Content in either of these formats has the ability to engage, convey and capture a mobile user, and therefore the higher the production value the greater the impact the content will have.
NOTE: This is part 7 of 7 and the conclusion of this continuing series; please see earlier posts for more background information.
Level 6 Content Types
The CellCast Solution supports media-based content in podcast audio and video formats. In both cases, the CellCast Server provides a simplified Content Creation Wizard that assists in uploading and creating needed media-based content. Typically the Content Creation Team will either source the appropriate media file, or create it from scratch using a variety of industry standard tools such as Audacity for podcasts or Apple’s Final Cut Pro for videos. The CellCast Server then automatically processes each uploaded source file using the CellCast Transcoding Engine – an included feature/service that encodes and generates compatible media files for each of the defined mobile devices within an enterprise. This server-based process yields professional-level content conversation results by any content creator. Typical Use Cases for Level 6 include:
Level 6 rich media content is probably the most challenging mlearning content format with respect to cost and performance. As the file sizes are typically larger (1MB or more) even when optimized for mobile device playback, the Training team needs to weigh the cost vs. benefit of deploying over their carrier network. If the data package for end users is limited then Levels 1-5 may provide a more cost effective deployment strategy. However, in cases where capacity on your smartphone plan is measured in gigabytes per month, rich media video/audio content are an ideal choice.
Another factor to consider with Level 6 content formats is download performance vs. network availability. If the user does not have access to a 3G or Wi-Fi network, then limiting the video/audio duration and size needs to be a prime consideration when preparing your mlearning rollout strategy.
Finally, with a little foresight and planning, much of the visual, rich media-oriented learning content you plan to produce to meet Level 6 requirements can easily (and automatically) be re-factored for delivery to alternative mobile learning-capable devices, including standard media/MP3 players or Apple iPods® (audio or video), using traditional content delivery methods like real simple syndication/RSS and Apple’s iTunes® application.
Summary – Level 6
Rich media content (videos, podcasts, Flash clips on supported devices) are the most engaging and entertaining form of mobile-friendly content, but each introduces higher levels of content authoring and delivery complexity for any Training team. That said, larger organizations may already have libraries of existing rich media content that can be converted to mobile-friendly content using standard utilities found within the CellCast Server platform. Several popular 3rd party tools are available across every desktop platform to assist authors in capturing and producing high quality media content. Training time for SMEs and administrators varies depending upon their experience and knowledge of media content production and deployment, but averages 2 to 4 days. Finally, the coordination and delivery for Level 6 assignments represent the most complex mlearning scenarios, but these challenges are largely mitigated using standard features found within the CellCast Server platform.