(7 min read)

Hint: It has everything to do with effective mobile learning.

The past decade’s explosion of smartphone and tablet usage has magnified the importance of well-designed mobile responsive content as a vital part of any training program.

Recent studies echo clear mobile learning preference statistics, including how:

  • 70% of learners feel more motivated when training on a mobile device.
  • Smartphone learners tend to complete course material 45% faster than those using a desktop computer.

Additionally, most businesses rely on employees to use their personal devices to access business apps. The sum of those parts means mobile-friendly training content is a no-brainer.

That said, effective mobile learning doesn’t mean simply viewing a standard eLearning module on a smaller screen either. It means leveraging mobile responsive content that’s designed with smartphone and tablet usage norms in mind.

The best mobile responsive security awareness training content entices users to participate more frequently, keeping them engaged, informed with a comfortable learning experience. It also makes switching from a desktop to a smartphone or tablet and back again seamless and straightforward.

In the context of security awareness training, mobile learning does more than just entice users to participate and complete learning exercises. It also empowers them to retain the knowledge they need to keep their personal and professional data safe.

What Makes Mobile Responsive Training Content So Effective

Mobile responsive content is far from a new concept. However, it hasn’t become a focal point for security awareness training programs until relatively recently.

A big part of this progression lies in the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets in the average consumer’s daily life.

Consider the following:

As a result, an increased emphasis on mobile learning tactics, such as short micro and nanolearning modules, has changed the fabric of security awareness training programs.

What are the practical benefits of mobile responsive content versus a more traditional desktop-centric form of learning? In short, what makes it so effective?

Here are some of the biggest difference-makers:

Better information retention

Studies have proven that higher rates of knowledge retention are a direct benefit of mobile learning. In fact, eLearning Industry calculated that, in one global pharma company’s case, mobile learning increased overall knowledge retention about new products by 53%. Engaging mobile responsive content facilitates the non-desktop learning process.

Content is more immediate, accessible

Traditional desktop-based eLearning is like weekly appointed television viewing – you can only watch one episode at a specific time and in a specific place. Strong mobile responsive content aids in alleviates these constraints by training material available at any time, on any device – just like Netflix and other popular streaming platforms.

It makes pedagogical training easier

By retaining the instant feedback component of practical training tools like quizzes and real-world simulations, intuitive mobile responsive content design helps augments mobile learning from a pedagogical perspective. By contextualizing user knowledge, this type of content reinforces concepts and facilitates lasting behavioral changes.

How Mobile Learning Helps Change User Behavior

Arguably the most important reason to implement a mobile-friendly security awareness training program is that it supports a methodical, people-centric approach to learning.

This approach, outlined by Terranova Security CEO Lise Lapointe in her book “The Human Fix to Human Risk,” focuses on creating lasting behavioral change. As she points out, this involves more than subjecting users to lengthy training stints sporadically throughout the year.

“If you want to change people’s behaviors, you need to do more than ask them to do 15 minutes of intermittent training or to sit down in front of their computers for an hour once a year,” she remarks in the book. “Security has to stay top of mind.”

Mobile learning underpins this proven pedagogical approach in several ways:

Mobile learning helps flatten the “forgetting curve”

To truly change cyber security habits, users must be able to retain the knowledge they have absorbed throughout the program. With smaller, more impactful training modules and the ability to assess skills using practical components, users can continually test their knowledge and, over time, flatten their respective “forgetting curve.”

Mobile learning contextualizes knowledge and enhances comprehension

Speaking of those practical components, it is through this interactive means of contextualizing information that mobile learning trumps traditional, desktop-only options. To this end, mobile responsive content helps ground critical security awareness knowledge in the real world and, as a result, greatly improves user comprehension.

Mobile learning can help challenge users through incentivization

Sometimes, simply presenting users with a security awareness training opportunity is not enough – you must incentivize the learning process, especially in a mobile-centric environment. This can be done through leaderboards that rank users based on mobile learning scores, or completion rates to earn prizes.

Using Mobile Responsive Content to Keep Users Engaged

Once you’ve implemented mobile learning as part of your security awareness training program – then what?

As Terranova Security CEO Lise Lapointe points out in her book “The Human Fix to Human Risk,” establishing a mobile learning baseline is not the end of the journey. It is only the beginning.

“Your security awareness program is not a project, it is an ongoing process,” she explains. “Every issue that arises is an opportunity to make improvements to your overall program and fine-tune your upcoming campaigns.”

When it comes to mobile learning, the biggest issue many organizations have is keeping their users engaged over the long haul.

Some ways to accomplish this include:

Turn executives, managers into security awareness ambassadors

A surefire way to achieve universal security awareness training buy-in throughout your organization is to appoint program evangelists. Ideally, executives and managers should be part of this group, since their support for a security awareness training initiative will carry the most weight internally.

Regularly update your training program with new content

It is no secret that the breakneck pace of technological innovation renders older tech obsolete faster than ever before. The same goes for the security best practices that are cited in your training program. Consider supplementing your training environment with fresh responsive content so that users are always aware of the latest cyber threats.

Ensure that users are incentivized to participate

It is the age-old question that increased participation hinges on: What is in it for me? The answer, which must incentivize users to take part in the training program, needs to underscore the benefits of the knowledge embedded in the learning modules. In other words, how will your users be better off after they complete the training program?

Use clear, concise, iterative communication to increase participation

In any promotional materials that are used to notify users of a security awareness training program’s existence, make sure that all the important details are communicated clearly. You should also be rolling out multiple reminders over time, instead of sending out one internal email and hoping that all employees remember the specifics.

Get user feedback on content effectiveness and tweak accordingly

Listening to your user base is an indispensable part of the optimization process.  Collect everyone’s feedback and take note of what is working and what is not with regards to the training program’s content. With this intel, you will be able to tweak the modules accordingly to help users get the most out of the learning experience.


Regardless of size and industry, well-designed mobile responsive content is a key contributor to successful security awareness training programs.

It makes the process more flexible, accessible, seamless and, above all else, productive for all kinds of users.

Smartphones and tablets are indispensable tools for employees of all kinds. That’s why the best training initiatives take advantage of those devices instead of leaving them out of the equation.

The results, from both a knowledge retention and behavioral change standpoint, far outpace those gained from a traditional, desktop-first arrangement. Train your users on any device, at any time and in any location, and give them the tools they need to protect their sensitive data.

For a more detailed breakdown of the benefits of mobile responsive content, as well as tips and tricks for a successful training program implementation, download our exclusive whitepaper now by clicking below.



Discover How You Can Create Security Awareness Training That is Engaging, Informative, and Available on Any Mobile Device.