Dramatic Use of Educational Data Mining in Corporate eLearning

Data in Day-to-Day Life

Every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created and stored in databases. Most of the decision-making daily is a result of the statistical analysis. Facebook knows to suggest new friends, Netflix knows the television shows you would like, and you look up Trip Advisor to check the highest rated restaurant, betting on the statistical data that you will have a good stay.

GoodReads is another popular book recommendation engine. Its algorithm leverages the search of over 20 million different data points, considering the preferences of nearly 6 million users, as well as the rating system which is the key component of the site.

Another striking online service that makes use of data and databases is Pandora Radio. This service provides various song recommendation based on users’ music preferences.

IBM Watson, a pioneer in the field of Cognitive Medical Analysis, uses diversified medical information across the hospital branches, to help doctors save time during diagnosis.

But how is this data visualized and analyzed to provide accurate statistical information to users?

This data-informed approach is emerging from a new generation of Data Mining. Data Mining is the process of analyzing hidden patterns of data, segregating and forming meaningful relationships between them.

But, can data mining and corporate eLearning shake hands?

Data Mining in corporate eLearning

All corporate learners deserve a great learning experience, one that affords every opportunity for them to grow. But every corporate learner follows a unique roadmap to build their careers. Every L&D department in the organization needs the right data in the right format and at the time. This data enables them to understand their learners and guide them aptly on their respective learning journeys.

All said and done, educational data is huge and cannot be analyzed using spreadsheets. They need an in-depth analysis of the hidden data in order to understand learners and their learning behavior. Now, enters EDM.

Before we understand what is EDM we need to know what learner data is.

What is Learner Data?

Data helps us make connections that uncover insights about a learners’ learning behaviors. These learning behaviors when analyzed forms a pattern which helps the L&D and Instructional Designers to understand the learners’ needs. The pattern that is collected and interpreted is called “learner data”.

The learner data usually includes academic and demographic information- as well as information from assessments, online surveys and polls, leaderboards, L&D observations, and learner’s Digital Body Language.

With this in mind, let’s understand what is EDM and its uses in corporate eLearning?

Educational Data Mining

eLearning is a blessing to the data miners. eLearning has large amounts of learner data which are endlessly generated and ubiquitously available. Learner data is an exponentially growing nightmare, in which unstructured information chokes the L&D department without providing any articulate knowledge. EDM was born to tackle problems like these.

EDM is emerging as a research area with a suite of computational, psychological and research approaches for understanding how learners learn.

This now leaves us with a question how can EDM have an impact in corporate eLearning?

Three Dramatic Uses of EDM in Corporate eLearning

EDM aims at using algorithms to leverage better learning results in order to enhance learners’ decision making. Let’s see how EDM can be used in corporate eLearning.

1. Discovery of Learning Behaviors with Data Models

EDM is a unique technique that involves forming a validated model for leaner behaviors. The models are formed by the learners’ digital footprints. When these footprints are analyzed on a regular basis it forms a pattern. This pattern is called the map. L&D professionals can analyze this map to form questions about learner’s learning behavior. This technique is called Map Probing.

Using this technique, L&D professionals can build models to answer questions such as:

  • What sequence of the topic is most effective for the learners?
  • What learner actions are more associated with learning?
  • What learner actions indicate satisfaction, engagement, learning progress, etc.?
  • What features of an LMS will lead to better learning?
  • What will predict learners’ success?

2. Usage of Learning Analytics and Visual Data Analytics

EDM helps to determine the hidden learner data in the learning environment. The learner data is collected and reported by using learning analytics. The collected learner data will be in the form of tables and relationships, devoid of learner’s ability to understand it. Hence, they should be visualized in the form of graphics to tap the ability of learners to understand their progress. Thus, visual data analytics is used.

Learning and Visual data analytics apply EDM models to answer questions such as:

  • When are the learners ready to move on to the next topic?
  • When are the learners falling behind in a course?
  • When is a learner at risk for not completing a course?
  • What grade is a learner likely to get without intervention?
  • What is the best next course to be suggested to the learner?
  • Should a learner be offered additional help?

3. Instructional Principle Analysis

EDM helps to address certain questions related to instructional design principles and strategy in order to make learning environments more learner-centric. Questions such as:

  • Which instructional design practice is effective at promoting learning (e.g., microlearning vs. game-based learning)?
  • Which curriculum to follow?
  • Does the newly added curriculum work better when compared to the previous one?

EDM helps in studying the effectiveness of different learning system components and instructional practices that can contribute to the design of better learning systems. Thus, EDM will have strong implications on eLearning.

Conclusion

To cut long story short, clearly, there is a place for EDM in eLearning. As training and content move online, EDM will enable eLearning to be always assessed at all levels. L&D professionals will benefit from understanding the possibilities of the development of EDM. EDM will continue to grow in the coming years.

Suggested Reading:

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5 Distinct Uses Of Self-Directed And Adaptive Learning In A Corporate Habitat

Have you picked a new skill in the last years? Or studied a programming language on your own? In this article, I talk about the self-directed learning and its similarities with adaptive learning.

How To Use Self-Directed And Adaptive Learning In A Corporate Habitat: 5 Ways To Consider

People are enthralled by stories of individuals who renounced traditional education yet still become champions in their field. Bill Gates, Ellen DeGeneres, Anna Wintour, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison; none of them have a college degree, but they have achieved a level of success only a few can match. How did they do this? What is their secret?

In my previous article on “6 Benefits You Should Know About Adaptive Learning in Corporate Training“, I spoke about the overview of adaptive learning and its benefits for corporate learners. But, in this article, I would like to sketch the similarities between self-directed learning and adaptive learning. Are these two similar? Before we dig deep, let’s first understand what self-directed learning is.

Self-Directed Learning

Nowadays, self-directed learning is more of an organizational necessity. This is because of the constant need for re-skilling due to increased technological advancement. New knowledge hoards so quickly, and industries change swiftly that traditional learning styles and paths cannot keep the gait. Unless you had a degree in clay jewelry fad of Ancient Egypt, chances are your degree is outmoded. Nonetheless, some newly detected Bedouins will capsize the terracotta archetype.

So, What Exactly Is Self-Directed Learning?

Malcolm Knowles, an educator and chief for adult learning, has described self-directed learning as a process:

“in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes.”

So, how does this ring a bell with another learning strategy? Don’t you think it is analogous to adaptive learning? Well, I think there is a fine line between adaptive learning and self-directed learning. I feel, self-directed learning is all about the learning context created by learners whereas adaptive learning is about the learning context the computer algorithms create. But the major fleck between the two learning methodologies, is that, they engage learners in learning through a growth mindset.

Adaptive learning framework is built upon confidence-based assessments. Let’s take a look at it next.

Confidence-Based Assessments

Learning through growth mindset involves confidence. The algorithms are created to test the current understanding of the learners and also their confidence of the subject by additionally qualifying the questions with confident/not confident choices.

Here is a course that has the confidence-based assessment and the associated remediation that is provided immediately after an incorrect answer.

Let’s now have a look at the 5 distinct uses for corporate Learning and Development:

1. SMART Goal Setting

Adaptive and self-directed learning enable the employees to set Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-defined goals on their learning journey. These goals help employees to be constructive even in their off-productive hours. They give the ability to break down the learning material and give employees enough time to learn each chunk. Thus, it avoids ambiguous, amorphous, unrealistic, irrelevant, and delayed learning.

2. Flexible Learning Schedule

Most of the corporate training programs make use of limited resources and materials. This means, the training programs are sparse and scheduled in such a way that it disrupts the employees’ working schedule. Who wants to attend a training session in the middle of a major project-deadline?

Adaptive and self-directed learning legitimize employees with flexible learning schedules. Both the learning methodologies give the employees to choose their learning paths. They also provide them with digestible learning content which can be learned at their own pace. Thus, employees see training as an opportunity and not as a task to be completed.

3. Opportunity For Continuous Learning

Employees, nowadays, are expected to take charge of their own learning. This can be achieved through adaptive and self-directed learning. Both the methodologies provide the right learning processes and strategies to the employees to embark on their learning journey.

Adaptive and self-directed learning also support errors and mistakes. This, in turn, helps the employees gather the necessary evaluation, take time to reflect on them and track their progress effectively. This thereby encourages a growth mindset which in turn fuels continuous learning culture in the organization.

4. Create Your Own Motivation

A conventional method of training path gives employees a clear-cut motivation; to complete the training to be on the project. But in adaptive and self-directed learning, employees will create their own motivation as this encourages them to never stop learning.

Adaptive and self-directed learning uses the philosophy “the more I understand, the more I get excited about it”. Thereby, nourishing the internal motivation of employees.

5. Communicate Shared Organizational Objectives

Employers can support adaptive and self-directed learning by communicating the organizational needs and goals to the employees so that they can align their personal visions with these goals. The employee’s personal vision will act as an inception for them to lay out their work-related learning goals. By shackling employee’s learning goals with organizational vision, employees’ learning can be directed to business outcomes.

Conclusion

Self-directed and adaptive learning is a smart way for organizations to invest in enabling their workforce. They are one of the many strategies that are can be used the quench the contemporary learning needs of employees. They can foster a lifelong learning culture among the employees.

Suggested Reading

  1. Top 8 eLearning Trends For 2019

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Implementing Video-Based Learning Strategy Effectively In Corporate Learning

With the rising popularity of videos, even corporates are leveraging on using them for educating their employees. Videos can be human based or animated. How exactly video-based learning should be implemented is the focus of this article.

Introduction

Video-based learning is a powerful and effective method of learning new concepts. When implemented correctly, video-based learning solution has the right impact on the minds of the learners. Videos have the power to captivate, entice, and educate learners. Rightly built video-based learning snippets, meaning right sized videos with appealing graphics, visuals and narration help the audience connect well to the subject being taught and lead to better decision making.

Video-based learning in corporate learning improves the retention of concepts due to their appeal and in turn improve productivity of employees Organizations reap several benefits when they implement videos to announce new products or teach innovation and cutting-edge concepts.

Why Videos?

The popularity of videos on social media platforms or vlogging platforms cannot be overemphasized. Music videos have garnered billions of views in YouTube. Many professional and amateurs use YouTube to teach and entertain their audiences. In social media platforms, videos have time and again proven to be the method to “break the internet”.

Video-based learning nuggets if built carefully and that have the right elements like interesting narration, graphic elements can hold the attention of a learner for longer duration of time.

Create better learning experiences using video-based learning

Videos help organizations to communicate important messages to their audiences. There are majorly two types of videos, tutor/instructor based (human) and animated videos. In the former, the strategy and script needs to be crafted and given to the tutors to enact and shoot as well as record the video. On the other hand, the animated videos are created basis the scripts and visualization. Some use green screens to record the speech of the tutor and then add the background elements during the editing process.

Video-based learning add value to their existing learning solutions and lead to performance enhancements.

Videos are powerful methods of communicating important new announcements related to the product and company policies and change management. Video-based learning nuggets can be developed using motion graphics, white board animation, kinetic text animation and so on.

Engaging videos leading to action and implementation

When developing videos, we should ask ourselves, “will this solution lead to better learning outcomes?”, “will this video lead the audience to take concrete action?”, or “will this video empower the learner to make better choices?”. It is important to focus on the actions that learners will perform while taking the video-based learning tutorial. The focus is both on the visuals and the text that delivers the message. This approach helps learners perform better.

Some useful stats point to the usage of videos at workplace.

Workforce Inclines More to Videos

“Employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than open an email or read documents.”

– Forrester Research

Benefit of videos

Better retention of concepts

Video-based learning help the learners remember the concepts well if they are crafted well and have the right mix of animation and text elements.

Better impact leading to better productivity

Learners benefit from videos and use the new learning to improve their performance and thus leading to better productivity. Organizations are pleased if the business goals and learning outcomes are met for the monies spent on the solution.

Having said this, lets look at a case study of successful implementation of video-based learning.

Case study: Innovation message

The customer was looking for a short video to announce as well as briefly explain the various steps that the organization was taking to implement innovative practices across verticals and departments. They wanted us to create the video with highly impactful visuals that would go well with the core message being sent. We brainstormed and came up with mock-ups which were then approved for producing the high-quality video. The customer said the implementation was accepted well and was successful in spreading awareness across the organization on the various innovations.

Case study: Understanding Drug Discovery Process

The customer wanted to roll out video-based learning nuggets across organization on the concept of timelines of drug-discovery as they wanted to sensitize their audience about the need for sometimes longer duration of discovery-test-adoption. The video-based learning was a prelude to the actual course on drug discovery which had interesting activities.

Conclusion

Videos have time and again proved to be effective in communicating important messages, concepts and ideas to the workforce. We believe videos can help engage audiences to learn and understand the concepts better.

Suggested Reading

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Using 4 Mat Model for Creating Engaging Digital Learning Experience

The 4Mat model of instruction design is an offshoot of the Kolb’s learning styles. How exactly it can be used to create better digital learning experiences is the focus of this article.

Overview of the Model

I have presented in my previous article on Kolb’s model that all learning happens due to real world experiences which then help people form mental models of that experience. Some people actively experiment with the new learning and create further experiences on the subject.

In the Kolb’s learning cycle, the learning begins through an experience the learner has. The experience then makes the learner reflect on it, think about it and create new mental model that he/she can apply it in another situation. Through careful application, the experiences are refined and further changes are made to create another concrete experience.

The 4 Mat Model is derived from the Kolb’s model in that there are new and easier terms that are overlaid on it. The right brain part of the model calls it “why” and “what” of learning. The left-brain part is about “How” and “If” of the learning, that is how the process works and can be implemented and refined through “what if” scenarios. The diagram is given below.

4Mat Model Explained

The 4Mat model was propounded by Dr. Bernice McCarthy’s that talks about learning styles and behaviorism in a concrete manner. 4Mat attempts to take advantage of the learning styles (as explained in Kolb’s model) to achieve better learning outcomes.

The model integrates the 4 parts of the learning cycle and can be illustrated as below:

4Mat model answers 4 key questions that are necessary for the learning cycle to complete. They are:

  1. WHY?
  2. WHAT?
  3. HOW?
  4. IF?

Source: 4mat4learning.com.au

Let us look at each question to understand what they imply.

Why?

The why part of the learning cycle is crucial to understand, why is it important for learner to know the concept. What happens when they do not understand the raison d’etre of the concept. A simple example is safety training wherein the learners are told why the need to learn about the concept of safety and what will happen if they are not aware of the safety processes.

This can be introduced as an example or a picture or an analogy. Learners who are in the first stage of the cycle are “experiencers” and want to connect/attend to the concept. So, for the new experience to ingrain in their mind, they would require a “why” component to play out clearly.

What?

The question “what” is asked when we are trying to conceptualize the new information that is being presented. After the experience is done with, a question that often comes to our mind is, “what was that? What happened?”. This is part of the thinking where the learner or observer starts to make sense of the new experience, new concept or new content and integrates that into the experience using reflection and contemplation. This is a natural process and should be presented carefully to the learners. Taking our earlier example of safety, learners are presented as to what is safety, what are the various aspects of safety that they should take into consideration at workplace.

How?

The next question “How” tries to answer as how one should apply the concept that is learnt. So, this forms the logical or reasoning part of the brain, and the learner tries to sequence the information and apply it into daily life. So, if we take the example of safety again, here learners are presented steps to stay safe, or procedures that they must follow to stay safe. A good corollary for this is how to use a fire extinguisher in case of fire emergency in office. The “How” part of the model takes the lions share in terms of designing a course. Learners are often interested in “how to get things done” rather than what the process is all about. This is natural for today’s busy learners and learning designers must provide sufficient content in the course for the how part.

What If?

The last question relates to the concretization of the experience. After applying the concepts learnt, the learner gets new questions in mind which must be answered to refine the response. A simple example would be what if a particular type of fire extinguisher is not available? What if the building’s evacuation plan is not available and so on. So, these additional what if scenarios help learners to refine their understanding of safety better. They play out all possible scenarios of emergencies which they then take to a logical conclusion. In terms of Kolb’s model, this part helps learners equip themselves better and should not be neglected by the learning designers. A good checklist or job aids should be prepared so that learners are ready with correct responses in all situations.

Case Study

We have developed several courses and have applied 4Mat in designing them. One such course was for drug discovery, where we first explained, why drug discovery is important and why it takes a long time to come up with drugs that can be released to market. The how part of the course contained a decision tree activity wherein the learner could try out various combinations of molecules and see how much time does a drug take to be tested on rats, then humans and then go through the approval by the respective drug administrators before getting released to the market.

Conclusion

To conclude, 4Mat model is a simpler yet an effective way of imparting instruction by combining all the 4 parts of the brain and addressing the concerns of varied types of learners.

Related articles:

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4 Tips On Making Your Microlearning Strategy A Success

With Millennials increasing in the corporate environs we need to keep our microlearning engaging. Here are four tips on how you can create a successful microlearning strategy.

Introduction

Microlearning is an interesting way of teaching concepts to, in short, focused nuggets or micro-bites. As a matter of fact, microlearning is a trend that is here to stay. According to studies by Alorica, by 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce and the average attention span for the generation would be 90 seconds. With short attention spans, do you think having microlearning as a learning strategy would effectively address the challenges of shriveling attention spans and distractions?

Before we continue, let’s have a look at the cause of shriveling attention spans and distractions.

The Why Behind Subsiding Attentions Spans

According to Pike’s 90/20/8 rule, a concept or content can be thought for 90 minutes without a break; however, the content needs to be chunked into 20-minute sections with interaction for every 8 minutes. How does it affect a microlearning strategy? Let’s look at it next.

Brian Dwyer explains that, according to brain research, a learner’s ability to sustain attention is affected by the periodic variations of the neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate attention. The brain works in periods of high attention levels followed by multiple periods of low attention levels. These variations occur at regular intervals of 90 minutes. Learners stop focusing or tune out if adequate breaks are not incorporated in training.

Maintaining the attention of millennial employees had become a difficult task in organizations due to the variations in their attention spans. This was when “microlearning” was introduced in organizations. An impactful microlearning nugget is not more than 3-5minutes, which means that learners can effectively comprehend and retain information. This is crucial, as it impacts the microlearning strategy that is devised for impactful learning.

Microlearning In Corporate Environs

In today’s corporate environment, what is needed is a wholesale transition from theoretical knowledge to practical action-based knowledge. This comes from accepting the fact that a person’s job is fluid and what he/she already knows matters less when compared to how quickly they can learn.

To build this rapid learning culture, organizations began experimenting with microlearning. A solid microlearning strategy involves delivering short, impactful learning experiences for employees, to help them learn effectively and efficiently while working.

But, how do we implement a microlearning strategy successfully?

How To Make Your Microlearning Strategy A Success

Microlearning is inherently agile and captivating when it comes to learning. But, the real benefit of microlearning relies on how it is drafted, designed, formulated and implemented.

Here are four guidelines you can keep in mind while devising a microlearning strategy to drive better employee performance.

1. Learning For The Moment Of Need

A moment of need acts as a catalyst when the employee/s require help, guidance, or learning to accomplish their tasks. Most standard eLearning is hard to aid at the moment’s need; so, by the time employees get to the task, they are already occupied with something else. Thus, leading to less engagement, less utilization, and less impact.

As employees approach the moment (for example, sales meeting, solving a real-time problem, a presentation, or even promotion) they use microlearning to prepare. For example, say a salesperson wants to give an elevator pitch to one of the important clients. Before going to the pitch, he will brush-up his skills on the subject using microlearning nuggets. During the pitch, he puts what he has learned into practice. After the pitch, depending on the client feedback, he takes up a microlearning module to improve his performance.

Here is how microlearning can act as a catalyst for better learning:

2. Architecture For Change In Micro-Behaviors

The main aim of microlearning should be to change what people do rather than what they know. Workplace behaviors – like constructive feedback, design thinking, or decision making – are complicated to implement in practice. Microlearning makes new behaviors less intimidating by helping employees to gradually build consummate fluency at focused periods.

3. Add More Of Micro-Interactions

The best part about microlearning is that you can help learners get straight to the point where they practice and learn the concepts.

Instead of a swipe-swipe experience, the objective of a microlearning course should be to actively engage the learners. For this, we need to have micro-interactions.

Micro-interactions could be a simple moment where learners need to perform an action that shows what they have learned in the module by simply selecting the like button. They can also answer a quiz and receive stars for the performance. The micro-interactions help learners to focus more on the content.

Micro-interactions are small, but add an engaging element to the learner.

4. Put It Into Practice

Learners need to be constantly engaged, and what best than to end a module with a call-to-action. It helps in proving the progress to learners. For example, here is one at the end of a health and nutrition course:

Call-to-action is simple, concrete and a small win. After the completion of the action, the learning is likely to feel good.

Conclusion

Together, these four strategies will get employees in the habit of learning and developing all the time. Microlearning helps employees to develop a habit of continuous learning which in turn helps organizations succeed.

Suggested Reading

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6 Benefits You Should Know About Adaptive Learning In Corporate Training

Adaptive Learning In Corporate Training: 6 Benefits You Should Know About

The learning industry has seen rapid advances with the introduction of newer modes of training, such as Augmented and Virtual Reality. Furthermore, we have seen a rapid growth of gamification as an important method of imparting training. Despite all these innovations, L&D professionals or learning designers still talk about the issues of learner retention. Very little has changed over the last few decades on how to keep learners motivated for learning. How can we train employees and increase their skill levels effectively? It is imperative for L&D to evolve and use a learning solution that works.

L&D managers should desist from using solutions that are appealing yet unproven in their effectiveness. Instead, they should try adaptive learning in corporate training. Adaptive learning is increasingly being used by learning professionals, as it helps organizations provide personalized training to their employees. Before we delve deeper, let’s first understand adaptive learning.

Overview Of Adaptive Learning

One size does not fit all. Adaptive learning is a methodology that is used to implement learning that suits the needs of a learner or, in other words, adapts to confidence as well as the understanding of the learner.

Consider a standard eLearning course that has course content and elements. In a standard learning practice, learners login to the LMS, go through the course and answer the questions that follow on the concepts. If they answer the question correctly, they go to the next topic. If they are unable to do so, they are asked to re-attempt the quiz.

In a standard learning path, all the learners have a similar experience of the course. They go through the same screens and answer the questions.

Adaptive learning, on the other hand, does not adhere to the standard flow. Learners in an adaptive learning course might all start with the same content or video, but based on their answers and confidence levels while answering the questions, the platform feeds them only relevant content they need to master rather than all the content. So basically,

“Adaptive learning is a technology-based system that analyzes a learner’s performance in real time and modifies teaching methods based on that data.”

Here is an example of a confidence-based assessment.

Adaptive Learning In Corporate Training And Its Benefits

Adaptive learning in corporate training is the future of employee training. Adaptive learning provides methods and learning paths that are unique to each learner. Furthermore, through inbuilt efficiencies, adaptive learning helps the organizations to meet their business and training goals.

Here are 6 advantages of using adaptive learning in corporate training explaining how it can elevate corporate learning.

1. One-To-One Instruction

Adaptive learning helps in providing focused attention on an individual. Current eLearning methods do fall back when it comes to providing personalized feedback. Adaptive learning technology uses algorithms to accustom itself to the learner needs to be based on the tasks and responses. This, in turn, emulates one-to-one instruction, which is necessary in today’s corporate world.

2. Greater Time Efficiency

Adaptive learning helps learners to spend half the amount of time that they take in a standard course if they have a clear understanding of the concepts. A “personalized approach” is what helps learners to achieve the same. The important point here is that learners need not go through the content which they are already aware of. Instead, they focus on the content that helps them become more competent. Thereby, helping the employees save humongous time off the floor just for training. Thus, adaptive learning in corporate training helps organizations build better training.

3. Confidence-Based Approach

Adaptive learning utilizes a confidence-based assessments methodology to test the current understanding of the learners. Learners are asked to answer questions on content they claim to be confident about. This approach is very useful in knowing what the learners are consciously or unconsciously aware of, and hence is an indirect method of providing personalized feedback and learning.

4. Create Individualized Learning Paths

Adaptive learning platforms collect data as the learners progress through the modules. This data is then used to help personalize goals, learner content and an effective learning path for each learner. The data stored also helps to regulate the training, so they meet the needs of learners.

The adaptive learning platform’s ability to track the performance of an employee in his or her “skill” also provides HR managers a scale of measurement of whether the employee is ready for a promotion. Thus, adaptive learning in corporate training helps learners advance faster in achieving their goals.

5. Personalized Learning For A Heterogeneous Group

Adaptive learning is ideally suited for a group of learners that are diverse. Adaptive learning is tailored to all types of learners, whether they are beginners, intermediate, or advanced in their understanding of the concepts.

6. Provides Focused Remediation

Instead of wasting time over-studying topics learners have mastered or under-studying concepts they haven’t yet grasped, adaptive learning in corporate training helps learners focus on areas of weakness with efficient remediation.

Conclusion

Adaptive learning in corporate training solves pressing challenges that organizations and learners face by custom-tailoring the learning paths continuously and creating individualized learning paths.

Adaptive learning is here to stay and will be increasingly adopted to foster better learning outcomes and retention of learning, as well as better application to the job.

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Top 8 eLearning Trends For 2019

The year 2018 has been quite hectic for eLearning with newer trends taking traction. What will unfold in 2019? What are the key trends to watch out for in the coming year? I will share my thoughts on the same in this article.

eLearning Trends For 2019: Which Form The Top 8?

We are in the last couple of months of 2018, and as the year is winding down, it’s this time of the year when we look expectantly towards the new one and the trends that will affect the learning industry—specifically the eLearning landscape. Let’s look at the top eLearning trends for 2019 that will become stronger as we move forward:

1. Adaptive Learning Going To The Next Level

In my last year article on eLearning trends for 2018, I had predicted that adaptive learning will become stronger with greater adoption. It seems to head that way, as many new players are emerging. Adaptive learning, supported by confidence-based assessments and strong analytics and measurement of training effectiveness, is taking learning to the next level.

Very soon, in 2019, adaptive learning will make further strides in the eLearning marketspace. Organizations and learners will benefit as organizations ensure that there are better competition rates, and learners will enjoy the learning process as they get to see only that content that is personalized to them. Using effective assessments, learners can skip the content that they are completely confident about.

LMSs are slowly gearing up to compete with platforms that are offering adaptive learning. Hence it will be an important and interesting trend to watch out for in the coming year. My gut feeling is, adaptive learning is here to stay and the experimentation phase is over, and it will all about action in 2019.

2. Microlearning

Microlearning was a strong trend in 2018. I have seen that organizations are increasingly looking at microlearning as an important solution. It is a great method of implementing learning in small chunks that are objective driven and can be easily and quickly deployed within organizations.

Organizations that are looking to take advantage of microlearning will continue to benefit from this interesting and innovative mode of learning.

Learners benefit too as they get through the modules quickly and can repeat the learning many times as well. Retention is better, and they are less fussy about going through a boring hour-long module.

Microlearning can be implemented as videos, small games, quizzes, and infographics.

The great advantage of microlearning is that it can be implemented on any device. I feel microlearning will continue to be a strong trend in the year 2019 and beyond.

3. Artificial Intelligence And Learner Assistance

Artificial Intelligence assistance has picked up in the eLearning space. Organizations are now offering innovative solutions where bots are able to guide learners both on the learning path, as well as during the courses.

Artificial Intelligence will be used to predict learner behavior, as well as help personalize the learning. Based on the modules that were taken by learners and the difficulties or challenges faced, better personalization will be brought about. Voice-guided bots will also help learners to search for key content in modules. As I see it, organizations will be implementing newer methods of Artificial Intelligence support for their learners in both the learning process and during the moment of need. An example of this could be an intelligent chatbot that can act as support for technical queries.

Added to the mix is the use of robots for helping kids and people with special needs to learn new skills, and help them in the moment of need.

My take is that Artificial Intelligence will continue to be a very strong trend, and that it is something that will change the learning landscape in 2019 and beyond.

4. Gamification And Game-Based Learning

Gamification and game-based learning were strong trends in 2018. Organizations are increasingly looking at investing in game-based learning to empower and engage their learners better. It has been observed that gamification has improved retention rates and better application of the subject matter learned at work.

Organizations will look to implement more game-based solutions, as they see them as value adders for the organization-wide learning. Games that are well thought out, well designed and address the needs of learners engage them effectively. It has been proven through numerous implementations that games help in releasing happy hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin.

A learning organization is one that takes advantage of game-based learning.

In my opinion, game-based learning is here to stay, and will continue to be a strong trend in the year 2019 and beyond.

5. AR/VR/MR

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are both growing rapidly as important modes of implementing learning content. It has been observed that K-12 has adopted Augmented Reality in a rapid way to teach various subjects, such as Science and Math.

The great thing about Augmented Reality is that it can augment the existing content through interesting overlays of graphics and images that can pop out and thrill the learners. More than the thrill, it is the experience itself that helps learners connect to the content better.

Virtual Reality continues to grow as it is used in teaching various safety-related procedures. Organizations are now looking at Virtual Reality as an important solution, as eLearning companies use effective Instructional Design strategies to enhance the VR experience. Using a mixture of 360-degree photographs, interactions, and many more elements, VR is becoming a useful experience. Organizations are also investing in cognitive learning products that are augmented by VR especially for children and people with special needs.

Added to AR and VR is the exciting new modality called Mixed Reality or MR. Already big players are making investments in MR which combines AR and VR to a great effect.

Organizations will continue to take advantage of this interesting trend in the year 2019 and beyond.

6. Video-Based Learning

Videos are one of the hottest modes of training right now. The popularity of video-based sites like YouTube have forced organizations to adopt more videos into their training. Be it Instructor-Led Training that is interspersed with anecdotal or contextual videos, or eLearning where videos play an integral part in disseminating information, videos are here to stay.

The focus is on decreasing the load time and the size of videos using various tools. Video-based learning will continue to grow and will be an important trend to watch out for in the year 2019 and beyond.

7. Social Learning

Social learning involves collaboration between individuals at the workplace through various modes, such as forums, informal chat sessions, sharing sessions, and learning circles. Social learning has picked up in the last few years thanks to the emphasis on building a learning organization. As more collaborative tools are developed, social learning will continue to grow and leave an impact in the year 2019 and beyond.

8. Content Curation

Content curation has found a lot of support from the learning community and professionals in 2018. What will the year 2019 hold for this wonderful method of curating information and providing the learners with just-in-time information? I feel LMSs will continue to grow and offer content curation as an important method of sharing information, and provide the right experience to the learners. I see that content curation will continue to be a strong trend in the year 2019 and beyond.

Conclusion

These are the trends I foresee as preferred modes of learning in the coming years.

I would love to hear from you with suggestions on what other trends can contribute to enhancing the eLearning space during 2019.

Further reading:

The post Top 8 eLearning Trends For 2019 appeared first on eLearning.

Striking a Nerve: The Benefits and Neurobiology of Story-Based Learning

Stories have power. They delight, enchant, teach, recall, inspire, motivate, challenge. They imprint a picture on our minds. In this article I will be talking about benefits of story-based learning.

Introduction

It is quiet and dark. The theater is hushed. James Bond skirts along the edge of a building as his enemy takes aim. Here in the audience, heart rates increase, and palms sweat. I know this to be true because instead of enjoying the movie myself, I am measuring the brain activity of a dozen viewers.

Many L&D managers and instructional designers have already discovered the power of storytelling in a practical sense – they have observed how compelling a well-constructed narrative can be.

In my previous article on How Good Storytelling In Elearning Can Engage Learners In A Meaningful Way, I spoke about the impact of good storytelling. In this article I will dig deep into the neuroscience and benefits of story-based eLearning.

Why your brains love good story-telling?

We all enjoy a good story, whether it’s a novel, movie or simply something one of our friends are explaining to us that they’ve experienced. But, why do we feel so much more engaged when we hear a narrative about events?

It’s quite simple. If we listen to a PowerPoint presentation with boring bullet points, certain parts of the brain get activated. Scientist call these Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Overall, it hits our language processing parts in the brain, where we decode words into meaning. And that’s it, nothing else happens.

On the other hand, when we are being told a story, things change dramatically. Storytelling evokes a strong neurological response. During the tense moments of in the story the brain produces a stress hormone called cortisol, which allows us to focus. While the cute factors in story, brain produces oxytocin that promotes connection and empathy. A happy ending in a story triggers the limbic system, our brain’s reward center, to release dopamine which makes us feel more hopeful and optimistic.

Thus, a story can put your whole brain to work and enable an emotional connect with the learner. So, how do stories create emotional connect and how can this be used in eLearning?

How do stories impact eLearning?

In eLearning, knowing how to leverage good storytelling and foster emotional engagement in a learner is powerful. Here are five ways stories make eLearning more engaging:

Stories act as an emotional glue

Stories are the emotional glue that connects the audience to the message. Much of what people remember from a learning experience are the feelings of the underlying message rather than a multitude of small facts. Stories are an important way to tap into the heart of the audience, providing a channel for conveying a deeper message based on emotion.

Creates focused connection with the concept

A story creates the context within which knowledge arises, and hence it is the fastest, most accurate means for knowledge sharing. By telling a story, we understand the concept more than we explicitly know. Stories, thus, set stage for further learning.

Stories compel action

After listening to a story, the learner is compelled to invent a parallel story appropriate for their environment. The result is a story ‘owned’ by the learner who is simulated to co-create and ‘own’ key ideas and associated attitudes. A good story has the power to change attitudes, perceptions and ultimately behaviors.

Stories give meaning to data

Many learners perceive data as meaningless numbers. This happens when the data is disconnected to anything important in their experience. But when the data is placed in a context of a story, it comes alive. This will then be embedded in the learner’s mind forever.

Stories transcend one’s current environment

Good storytelling can transport learners out of their stuffy meeting rooms and offices into world away from workplace. In this altered reality, the mind becomes more open to perceiving and thinking in new ways. Stories are more like a refresher to prepare the learner for the training.

Let’s now have a look at a case study for which we used story-based approach.

Case Study

Hospitality Industry

In modern hospitality business, it is all about competence of people. The modern customers demand a high level of service. We developed a course for one for customers from the hospitality industry using the story-based approach. The course begins with a story where, a dissatisfied customer approaches the hotel manager and complains about the intern. She complains that her bed has not been made properly and how it has impacted her experience of the stay.

The story sets the context for the course on why it is important to keep the customer happy and hone the skills for bed-making. Thus, a story-based approach was quite useful here.

Conclusion

Story-based learning may seem like an old-fashioned tool, today – and it is. That’s exactly what makes it powerful.

We use LXD or learning experience design in a way that the courses that we build are useful and meaningful to our audiences.

Further reading:

The post Striking a Nerve: The Benefits and Neurobiology of Story-Based Learning appeared first on eLearning.