by Michael Shapiro | April 20, 2015

Mobile app developer QuickMobile used the occasion of the North American Meetings Industry Day this week to release the app for its Mobile App Certification Program. The mobile event app educational course, announced at PCMA Convening Leaders in January, is a collaboration among QuickMobile, Meeting Change, Sonic Foundry and etouches. It's a self-directed, online certification course designed for professionals who want to understand how mobile technology can be used to enhance and measure success at events; participants can earn up to 10 continuing education units towards CMP accreditation and recertification.

The coursework for the $229 certification program is completed online via the new app, which provides access to 31 learning sessions divided into four modules. I had the opportunity to check out the app in advance and see its basic structure and content. Each of the sessions consists of a short video presentation lasting from about 5 to 33 minutes, with the average being about 15 minutes. (The final four are review sessions, ranging from 20 to 44 minutes each.) The sessions cover a wide range of information related to mobile event apps, beginning with their history and touching on components, uses, integration, marketing, sponsorship and more. There are two instructors who walk you through the presentations: Tahira Endean, CMP, manager of events at QuickMobile, and Brandt Krueger, owner of Event Technology Consulting.

Tahira, who narrates about half of the sessions, also collaborated with Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, president of Meeting Change, to create the coursework content. So it's worth noting that QuickMobile played a key role in developing and presenting this information, not only in developing the app; Tahira even narrates the presentation on selecting an app vendor. That said, I skimmed through a lot of these modules, and it appears the information is presented in an unbiased, vendor-neutral manner — which is consistent with my experience in presenting educational content with QuickMobile in the past. The company has made industry education a priority for a number of years. Just keep in mind that although this is a collaboration among four parties, there is but one whose primary function is that of an event app developer, so you're getting a QuickMobile perspective.  

Because there is so much material covered, the fact that participants can work at their own pace is a nice touch. One needn't even watch an entire video at once if there isn't time; the app remembers where you left off. According to the app, students can complete the entire course online, including the final exam. Or, they can do the first four modules online and then join a live session, with dates to be announced, for the review module. If a lot of people from the same organization want to review and/or take the exam together, QuickMobile can help to facilitate a date on-site.

The other course partners played key roles in development as well: etouches provided the registration platform, and Sonic Foundry contributed its Mediasite video-streaming technology to deliver the video course content. Using Mediasite, QuickMobile can track participant interaction — e.g., how many minutes an attendee viewed a video, where an attendee left off, and so on.

There's other useful-looking features in the app as well, including the ability to take notes, do practice quizzes, message other participants and take polls. Clearly, there is a steadily growing need for mobile app education in our industry; I'm curious to see if this format will work for those planners who most need and want that information. Please feel free to share your feedback on the course, either with me directly or, if QuickMobile allows me to keep my registration, by messaging me through the app.