Vancouver, WA — Oct. 14, 2012 — Whether a fleet's mobile device policy is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or COPE (Company-Owned, Personally Enabled), Instructional Technologies, Inc. makes online driver training as easy as A-B-C. Today, Instructional Technologies, Inc. unveiled access to PRO-TREAD driver training via smartphones and tablets. Clients can access PRO-TREAD on smartphones and tablets starting Nov. 1.
"Whether a fleet issues company-owned mobile devices, or expects drivers to bring their own device, smartphones and tablets have been adopted faster than anyone could have guessed," said Dr. Jim Voorhees, President and CEO of Instructional Technologies, Inc.
"And the most important asset a fleet has is its drivers' time. By letting drivers take lessons on mobile devices at a time that's convenient to them, a fleet is spared the expense of classrooms, traveling training personnel, and non-driving hours for drivers. Drivers appreciate the flexibility to get the training done when and where it makes the most sense for them," Voorhees said.
Same Face, Whole New Skeleton
"On the surface, PRO-TREAD hasn't changed at all — keeping the simple user experience unchanged was the goal," said Aaron Purvis, CIO of Instructional Technologies. "But in the background, everything has changed, from the way we produce lessons, to the way we publish and track them. We didn't just want to just toss videos onto a smartphone — even though our competitors can’t manage that yet. Mastery-based training means ensuring the driver understands the material. Lives depend on it."
PRO-TREAD Mobile Launches Nov. 1
Mobile is currently in beta with selected clients now, and it will be launched live to all users Nov. 1. "We'll go live with our top 20 lessons, which account for about 80% of the lessons taken over the past year," Voorhees said. "These include our excellent family of CSA courses, including pre-trip inspections, hours-of-service, speed management, Hazmat loading and placarding, and others."
Major Advances in PRO-TREAD:
No Fast-Forwarding: Perhaps one of the biggest features is that for animated sections of the training, the user cannot fast-forward. To finish the lesson, they have to watch it. If they try to scrub forward, an alert pops up, tells them to stop, and sends them back to the section's start.
Full PRO-TREAD Experience: Mobile couldn't be a "lite" version. For many drivers, a smartphone or tablet might be their only exposure to fleet training. That means mastery-based learning, with quizzes that reinforce the content. When drivers login using a mobile device, they'll see the ever-growing list of lessons that are mobile-friendly. When they login using a computer or laptop browser, they'll get the full list.
Phasing Flash Out of PRO-TREAD: In 2005, when we moved away from computer-based TREAD-1 and launched PRO-TREAD on the Internet, Adobe Flash was the best way to get a great experience with low bandwidth. But then Apple's iPhone didn't support Flash, and Adobe's own support flagged. We saw the writing on the wall, and started planning a move toward HTML5 and CSS. A side-benefit of moving away from Flash is that it will be easier for ITI and our in-cab partners to support PRO-TREAD training on EOBR devices.
Universal Experience: Rather than going the expensive mobile app route — supporting apps specific to Android, iOS, Microsoft, BlackBerry, etc — we went for a browser-based experience. This means we're able to maintain consistency without leaving out users of less popular mobile devices. It will also improve the experience for users on EOBR web browsers.
Faster Custom and Client-Sourced Training: The new back-end system that drives PRO-TREAD dramatically improved our ability to easily host client-sourced training content and weave custom content into standard training.
About Instructional Technologies
Instructional Technologies, Inc. (ITI) is the No. 1 provider of online driver training to the trucking industry through its PRO-TREAD product. Founded in 1995, the 23-person company has produced over 500 custom training lessons and nearly 100 standard lessons, and served over 5 million lessons since moving online in 2007. Courses include topics like CSA training, pre-trip inspection, speed and space management, backing and docking, safe lifting, medium-duty trucks, and OSHA training. PRO-TREAD includes a training management system that simplifies and automates reporting and compliance. ITI also provides fleet management training, including online courses on recruiting and retention, workers’ comp, safety and security, operations, and maintenance.