4 Advanced Microlearning Strategies To Use In 2021

For today’s super busy workforce, learning must be concise, bite-sized, available at the time of need, and accessible from anywhere and on any device. These changing needs have led to the growth of microlearning. In this article, we look at 4 advanced microlearning strategies to use in 2021.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

How To Enhance Virtual Learning With The Help Of Social Learning

virtual learning environment is a medium of learning where learners go through courses, study materials and learning aids through an online medium. It can be browser-based or a virtual training session through Zoom. Virtual learning offers activities, interactions, and resources within a course structure and provides different levels of assessment. Given this context, learners can access learning materials through peer-to-peer collaboration networks such as forums. As social learning is a continuous process of learning from other people within and outside the organization, it can be integrated into virtual learning through various means.

At the present virtual learning also happens through social technologies like blogs, wikis, discussion forums, messaging tools, conferencing tools, subject-matter directories, and videos. Organizations are increasingly using social learning in their training methodologies for improved learning retention, increased learner engagement, and reduced training costs.

The 70:20:10 Learning Framework

In traditional classroom training, most learners recall only 10% of what they have learned after 72 hours. Such lack of knowledge retention can harm the business of your organization. For example, a salesperson may face trouble recalling the knowledge learned at the appropriate time the next week, which could cost them a sale.

As per this methodology, about 70% of learning happens through on-the-job training and practical experiences, 20% through interaction with peers and colleagues, and just 10% in a traditional, instructor-led classroom training environment.

Why Social Learning?

Social learning helps employees with enhanced retention of knowledge, which is the primary goal of any training program. Social learning encourages learning in a working environment and allows learners to apply their knowledge to work. They can learn from peers, senior employees, or experts within the organizations. People learn from real-life scenarios/examples and by direct experiences. Research studies also indicate that social learning methods deliver a better ROI (almost 75:1 ratio) when compared to traditional classroom training.

Here are a few strategies on how to enhance virtual learning with the help of social learning.

Enhance Learner Engagement

A virtual learning environment allows you to manage the learning activities by using various means such as an LMS for learner administrations, learning platforms, and virtual instructor sessions. In social learning, employees can either start or take part in a discussion, training or coach others as and when a situation arises. This type of freedom to engage in their learning will directly impact increased engagement in their work.

As part of social learning, provide a network of mentors and peers, where information is created and distributed easily to employees. Thus, employees can obtain more practical knowledge and make better decisions through increased engagement with others.

Collaborate Proactively With Learners

Communication and collaboration among the participants with emails, chat, wikis, blogs, etc., are other key components of a virtual learning environment. Social learning is collaborative in its approach, happens in real-time, and has a direct relation to an employee’s work. Learning can happen anytime, anywhere, and by using any device. Organizations that support social learning need to have learning environments that foster conversation, discussion, and collaboration between learners across the organization.

Social learning involves knowledge sharing in a joint effort between peers, and between peers and facilitators. It promotes high-level thinking, good relationships, oral and written communication, self-management, responsibility, and leadership skills.

Encourage Peer Learning

Peer learning is a great way in which learners learn from each other. Participants connected can observe and learn from others, helping each other in the virtual session. Learners can directly learn from seniors and experts who have been in similar situations. In peer learning, learners receive more time for individualized learning, and interactions between employees promote active learning.

Learners get a chance to reinforce their learning by instructing others. Also, learners feel more comfortable and open when interacting with their peers. For companies, peer learning is a financially efficient alternative to hiring trainers or instructors. Research studies indicate that peer learning activities yield more benefits to the organization, such as enhanced team-building spirit, more supportive relationships, greater psychological well-being, and improved communication skills. Thus, organizations should encourage peer learning to achieve greater productivity.

Add Simulations And Gamification Elements

Simulations and gamification help facilitators turn their virtual learning into a more interactive experience. Simulations can turn virtual learning sessions into more interesting and fun learning sessions. Mock trials and digital simulations are great ways to enhance a virtual learning session and engage the participants more.

Gamification involves turning an activity into a competitive game for the learners. You can take learning concepts, assignments, and activities and convert them into interesting games. The facilitator can announce badges and rewards for winners and create that unique spark that attracts the learners’ interest. Gamification and simulations allow learners to observe real-life scenarios and examples.

Conclusion

The social learning strategies discussed in this article will help you improve learner participation and conduct successful virtual learning sessions in your organization. Social learning allows for better interaction between various learners. It is a great way to enhance your virtual learning experiences and take learning to the next level.

At Tesseract Learning, our learning and visual architects are constantly innovating and reinventing their approaches to design, develop, and deliver effective L&D programs.

I hope you find this article insightful and that it helps you enhance your virtual learning sessions. To learn more about how you can transform your virtual training, talk to us or write to me at <suresh@tesseractlearning.com>.

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4 Ways to Improve the Interactivity in Your eLearning Courses

eLearning courses can be more engaging when they have interactivities and no dull moments for the learners. eLearning courses can be made more interactive and engaging by adding gamification, high-impact graphics, and life-like animations. The learner has better control as interactivities allow learners to engage with the content better. In this article, we will look at four ways to improve the interactivity of eLearning courses.

Researchers in education and training domains generally believe that promoting interaction between the learner and the content has a significant impact on the effectiveness of the learning process. Interactivity in eLearning enhances the effectiveness of the learning process and deepens the learner’s understanding of the subject or concept. Interactivity keeps the learner occupied with a series of actions and reactions, through real-life challenges, experimentations, learning from mistakes, and dealing with unexpected issues and events.

Here are four ways to improve interactivity in your eLearning courses.

Use Virtual Reality In Modules

Virtual reality is an interesting way of engaging learners. In a VR course, you can use interactive hotspots and display the learning content in crisp and engaging formats using animations, short video clips, quizzes, mini-games, and so on. VR provides immersive experience using avatars, the interaction between characters, and the performance of tasks. VR videos with real characters can be used to create virtual simulations and test the decision-making skills of learners.

Use Gamification Elements In Design

Gamification in eLearning stimulates active participation and high learner engagement. It allows learners to practice and make decisions in a professional environment. Gamification in eLearning courses builds involvement and demands active participation from learners.

Studies indicate that learners are highly motivated when they are rewarded or challenged. Game-based elements like points, badges, scores, and feedback add higher value to your eLearning course. Learners get constructive feedback that helps in identifying the gaps and areas of improvement.

Use Hotspots And Cue Points

You can create clickable areas on the screen with the help of hotspots. You can also place them on videos to encourage learners to click on particular parts of the scene. For example, you are developing an eLearning course on heavy engineering equipment. You can implement interactive videos that use clickable hotspots. When the learner clicks on the hotspot, it displays additional information about a piece or part of the equipment.

Similarly, you can also use cue points when creating interactive videos or screens. These are like bookmarks in a book that you can place anywhere on the screen to trigger certain events. You can pause the video at key moments and display a question to the learner. The learner must answer the question to proceed further in the video.

Include Real-Life Examples And Scenarios

Include real-life examples and scenarios in your eLearning courses that challenge the learners to apply what they have learned, in a realistic professional context. The scenarios can be on selling a product or service, a customer service scenario, a frontline office scenario, etc.  Scenarios help learners to apply their knowledge in a real professional environment.

Interactive scenarios allow learners to understand the content better. In eLearning courses, interactivities are used to challenge the learners and their learning, to resolve common issues, and give them real-life situations, providing them with an opportunity to apply their knowledge. Scenarios enhance the interactivity of your eLearning courses by providing experiential learning for the learners.

Conclusion

Ensure that your interactivities add value to your eLearning course. Always think about creating interactivities in your eLearning course that engage a learner’s mind and are not just clicks on the screen.

At Tesseract Learning, our learning and visual architects are constantly innovating and reinventing their approaches to design, develop, and deliver effective digital learning solutions. They will work with you to bring your ideas to life.

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How To Enhance Virtual Learning With The Help Of Social Learning

Virtual learning is here to stay as more organizations continue to adopt it to augment their training. Virtual learning goes to the next level when we add an element of social learning to it. How can that be achieved? We will look at it in this article.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

How To Use Blended Training In 2021

The pandemic has affected the workplace in more ways than one, and that includes training. As a result of this pandemic, organizations around the globe are redesigning, and blended/hybrid learning is becoming the new normal. It is time for us to think of a more thoughtful approach to implementing impactful blended learning. Organizations worldwide are gravitating toward the new normal precisely because it works and also because it is important for them in the face of future disruptions.

As businesses deal with the transition, there is a clear shift from the structured and well-planned corporate learning to the more agile operational learning. Blended learning is the preferred choice for corporates not only because it is cost-effective, but also because it is a more natural way to learn and work at the same time. Combining conventional training with online training helps the organization have full control of how, when, and where the employees choose to learn.

We will have a closer look at what is blended learning, the benefits, the various blended learning models, and how to utilize them in 2021.

How Will Blended Learning Work In The New Normal?

Blended learning has been around for a while now. It offers the best of face-to-face/instructor-led training and eLearning/digital training. Not only can you benefit from the implementation of synchronous learning, but you also have the opportunity to benefit from “going at your own pace” techniques that are a part of asynchronous learning.

Blended learning can be used as a viable solution also as part of the continuous learning journey experience for the learner. A continuous learning journey means that the learner accesses content not just during the formal virtual training sessions or an online learning experience, but also during the lull periods, or what we call the “forgetting period.” What we mean here is that learners tend to forget the content they learned a few days after a class. To reap the full benefits of implementing a blended program, organizations can give learners other short nuggets using learning strategies such as microlearning to help them recall the learning and apply it better on the job.

To elaborate further, learners can play mini-games or take up some microlearning courses after attending a blended learning program. They can also download a PDF of the best practices covered in training. This is to ensure that the blended learning experience is complete and helps learners pace their learning better.

Methods To Create A Blended Training Program

There are various ways to create blended programs. Some are enumerated below:

  1. A program that starts with pre-training reading material that learners can go through, followed by a virtual training, and then a follow-up eLearning session.
  2. A program that starts with an eLearning program as an introduction awareness session, followed by a detailed hands-on workshop style training program, followed by refresher nuggets using microlearning.
  3. A virtual session followed by a series of microlearning [2] nuggets or mini-games that will reinforce the key concepts learned in the virtual session.

As virtual training sessions will be the norm, you must use the best tools available to conduct the sessions. Here are some of the tool options available:

  • Zoom
  • Cisco Webex
  • GoToWebinar
  • Adobe Connect
  • Google Hangout
  • AnyMeeting

Thus, blended learning represents a model that integrates technology to boost learning and deliver business impact.

Benefits Of Blended Learning

Learners across the organization can benefit from using a blended learning strategy. This is because a combination of learning approaches used in the blended program can stimulate their interest and increase their participation, thus increasing their efficiency.

Anyone would want to adopt a learning strategy that comes with great benefits! Let’s go through the top blended learning benefits for corporate training.

  • Increased retention of concepts learned
  • Better engagement, as there are multiple modalities of training
  • Better application of the learning, leading to increased productivity
  • Increased benefits to the organization due to increased engagement, participation levels, and performance improvement
  • Use of games and microlearning within the blend can take the learning and retention to the next level

Conclusion

To conclude, blended learning has several benefits and will be adopted in a big way during 2021. It is going to be interesting to watch how organizations use blended learning in a plethora of learner-centric offerings.

The post How To Use Blended Training In 2021 appeared first on eLearning.

How To Identify The Training Needs Of Your Employees

Identifying the training needs of your employees is a crucial task for business and L&D. If the training needs are not identified correctly, you end up providing a one-size-fits-all kind of training, which may not be beneficial in upskilling your employees in the long run. In this article, I will share a few methods of identifying the training needs.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

eLearning Trends To Watch Out For In 2021

With COVID-19 taking a grip over the world, organizations across the globe are forced to rethink how they conduct business, train, and equip their employees to meet the challenges posed by the disruption and business dynamics. How are organizations gearing up for the coming year in upskilling and reskilling their employees? We will look at some key trends that will reshape the learning landscape in the coming year and beyond.

The pandemic has created unprecedented challenges that have forced organizations to look for alternative forms of work such as work from home or remote working and bring virtual training to the fore. Earlier, virtual training was used only for the remote workforce or people spread across geographies.

Working from home is the new normal now. Several surveys have shown that working from home has helped people improve their productivity several notches. While the pandemic has forced this disruption, it is essential to understand that this will become a growing trend in the coming years. Organizations see the benefits of working remotely, and in some cases, businesses see work from home as the permanent solution and not a survival strategy.

For a more detailed look at the trends with tips on how to use them effectively in 2021, you can download our eBook on our website(do check the link in my profile).

Let us first look at technology trends to watch out for in 2021.

Technology Trends

1. Artificial Intelligence

Several surveys indicate that Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to grow and will continue to be the number one trend in the technology space for years to come. No wonder, many big names are latching on to it as it will help people get access to content and assistance.

We firmly believe AI is an important trend. It is increasingly being used for automating several mundane or routine tasks that were done by humans just a few years ago, enabling humans to focus on tasks that require higher-order thinking skills. One of the biggest trends has been process-based automation.

In the digital learning space, Artificial Intelligence has a big role to play in 2021 and beyond. It will help personalize learning experiences, interpret the data or the reports generated for the courses taken, and make better recommendations.

2. Learning Analytics

Learning analytics is where Big Data meets traditional quantitative methods in education. Governments, universities, testing organizations, and Massive Open Online Course providers are collecting data about learners and how they learn. However, it has been mostly untapped until the advent of tools, methods, and algorithms that have helped in capturing the real intent of learners.

Learning analytics helps in measuring the key indicators of learner performance and helps learners understand their strengths and areas of improvement, which they can work on. Learning analytics is going to play a major role in 2021 as more learning happens through the digital medium.

3. Personalized Learning

Personalized learning in simple terms means providing learning content and activities based on learner choice as well as performance. To help learners take the learning modules of their choice, learning paths are used along with pre-assessments or recommended learning paths based on previous choices.

We believe personalized learning will continue to be a top trend in 2021 as well. We see it being used in conjunction with Artificial Intelligence, assessment engines, and other tools, becoming a must-have in the armory of L&D teams. It will continue to make waves in the coming years as an essential form of learning.

4. Adaptive Learning

In adaptive learning, personalization of learning happens using algorithms, confidence-based assessments, and competency mapping to the training.

With adaptive learning, employees can have flexible learning schedules. Learners can choose their learning path. Learners can learn from the content at their own pace. Thus, employees perceive this training as an opportunity and not as a task to be completed.

Adaptive learning will ensure that learners get the right knowledge provided in the right dosage and intervals. Adaptive learning will be a prime trend in the year 2021 and beyond.

5. Learning Experience Platforms

Learning experience platforms or LXPs are increasingly used by organizations to provide personalized interactive learning experiences to help employees scale up to the next level. The objective of LXP implementation is to provide learners with a platform where exchanging subject expertise is easy and open. LXPs are increasingly seen as a good alternative to the traditional LMSs that are administrator-driven rather than learner-driven.

LXPs are bound to grow further and add many more learner-friendly features in the years to come.

6. Microlearning Platforms

Microlearning platforms have grown in the last year and will continue to grow as a strong tool for learners to access impactful bite-sized learning. There are several microlearning platforms now that aim to help learners learn subjects quickly and effectively. While some use assessment as their core strategy, others use courses and gamification to make the learning stick. The emphasis has been on performance, and that is helping organizations reap rich rewards.

Tesseract Learning also launched a powerful Microlearning platform, KREDO. KREDO helps organizations create and publish microlearning courses in minutes, roll-out seamlessly, and track the performance of learners with built-in intuitive analytics. KREDO helps organizations utilize the continuous learning paradigm for all types of learning interventions, including pre and post formal virtual classroom or digital learning sessions.

Let’s next look at the learning content trends that will dominate 2021 and beyond.

Learning Content Trends

1. Virtual Classroom Training

Virtual training has been the defining trend of the year and will continue to be a strong trend in the foreseeable future. However, for many organizations going virtual was not an automatic step.

Many were apprehensive at first about its viability and were skeptical of its success. The pandemic induced disruption of working from home and remote working forced organizations to adopt virtual classroom training. However, what they found was that it was working quite well, contrary to their expectations.

There were few caveats though. Training via a virtual medium requires a different approach and skills. The sessions cannot be overly long. Technology needs to work effectively for people in remote locations. Many people are averse to using webcams as they work from home, creating another challenge to address. Virtual training is more flexible as compared to traditional classroom sessions with live interactions, ready-to-use features, polls, and more that give you real-time data. With virtual training, you can administer tests in real time, collect feedback immediately, and conduct sessions for teams spread across geographies.

Virtual classroom training is here to stay and will be one of the top trends for the year 2021 and beyond.

2. Microlearning

Microlearning has been a top trend in the last few years. It will continue to be a part of the learning strategy for every organization, big or small.

“Microlearning mainly focuses on a specific objective, cuts out all the fluff, and supports the primary training or learning journey. Thus, it helps in better understanding and therefore, better retention of the concepts learned.” Microlearning can be used as one of the primary modes of training delivery for some learning programs or just before an eLearning or VILT session, or a few days after the formal training as a reinforcement of key learnings to help the learners remember the concepts well.

“Another advantage of microlearning is that it can be created and administered in a variety of formats. The formats include videos, gamification, quizzes, podcasts, activities, and much more.” Microlearning will continue to be one of the top learning trends during 2021 and the years to come.

3. Gamification And Game-Based Learning

Gamification is an important strategy that will continue to hold the attention of L&D and experts to provide the right learning.

“Gamification features like unlockable achievements give employees instant feedback whenever they do something positive [2].” You can also assign badges to specific pieces of content, like assessments.  “Gamification gives a sense of advancement to the employees. Employees get to learn something new by feeling in charge of the whole training, resulting in executing the tasks effortlessly, and thereby performing the best at what they know [2].” Gamification will continue to help organizations create engaging, fun, immersive, and memorable learning experiences.

4. Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality has been a popular mode of implementing a variety of training. Whether it is assessing an insurance claim or working in a hazardous environment or learning a high-risk or high-cost skill such as flying an aircraft, Virtual Reality is the training mode to lean on.

Instead of conducting drills, companies can help employees gain exposure to concepts such as emergency response in a hazardous situation, like a fire or flood or a tornado alarm, through a VR based module. Virtual Reality need not be implemented using 3D only. It can be implemented and still be effective with 360-degree photographs or videos. Using an appropriate mix of photographs and/or videos and overlaying them with interactions, VR can be a fun, useful learning experience.

With highly sophisticated tools, the development of VR material is easier and cheaper. Today you can experience VR across platforms. Based on the increased adoption and good business cases, the use of VR will continue to grow in 2021,  and it will grow stronger in the coming years.

5. Catalog Courses

You might be wondering why catalog courses? How can it be a trend? Well, this year the catalog course industry has seen a massive revamp. With more organizations going digital, the demand for catalog courses has gone up. Many new players are vying for the catalog business pie. The primary advantage of catalog courses is that they are on varied subjects and ready to use or deploy without much effort.

This offering will continue to grow, and it gives an option to the learners to learn new skills faster as they are available readily.

6. Continuous Learning Journeys

The continuous learning journey is a relatively new concept wherein there is a tacit understanding that people need to learn continuously to retain the learning imparted during formal training sessions.

It is important to note that people tend to forget or lose the information that they have learned after a few days. Sometimes it may be a few days or a few weeks. This is known as the Forgetting Curve. The curve shows how quickly we forget information over time when there is no attempt to retain it.

For example, microlearning can be used as reinforcement in the continuous learning journey of a learner. A continuous learning journey can be implemented from the time a learner joins an organization to when a new product is launched, when employees need to be updated about changes happening across the organization or any new piece of training. Microlearning platforms, like KREDO, make implementing continuous learning journeys for employees very easy.

Continuous learning journeys are the need of the hour. We have seen an increase in its adoption, and it will continue to grow in the coming years.

7. Video-Based Learning

Video-based learning strategy continues to be one of the preferred methods to communicate crucial messages to employees. They work well in a variety of situations such as raising awareness of organization practices, or when making learners understand crucial aspects of their work.

Video-based learning nuggets can be both self-running and interactive. Increasingly, we are seeing the growth of interactive video-based learning to make a better impact on the learner.

Be it a product launch, or a newly designed process, change management, key messages from the management team, performance support in the moment of need, video-based learning can serve a variety of learning needs.

Video-based learning adoption will continue to rise, considering its continued popularity among learners.

8. Social And Collaborative Learning

Social learning has increasingly gained the attention of organizations as an important form of learning. Social learning as well as collaborative learning have more takers in organizations looking to leverage the strengths of these forms of learning.

Collaborative learning, as the name suggests, is about the collaboration between individuals in the workplace through various modes, such as forums, informal chat sessions, sharing sessions, and learning circles. The social and collaborative learning methods are cost-effective as compared to other forms of learning. Further, social training is effective and efficient thanks to a plethora of platforms and tools that are now enabling this form of learning. The learning is open or transparent and encourages learners to overcome their fears of seeking new knowledge.

Social and collaborative learning is here to stay and will grow by leaps and bounds.

9. Smarter Content Curation

Many organizations are aware that the internet as well as their knowledge bases have a massive repository of content and information. They also know that users would prefer content that is the most relevant to the subject that they want to learn. For this, organizations are adopting content curation. However, content curation must be done in an effective or rather, smart way. Smarter content curation helps find the right learning content for the learners.

Content curation will become more sophisticated and turn into one of the best ways to create high learner engagement.

Conclusion

These are the trends we foresee as preferred modes of learning in the coming year.

Whether they are learning technology trends or the learning content trends, the trends will continue to impact the way learners learn and organizations benefit from these modalities and interventions. While learners will be able to apply their learning to the job better and retain the learning, organizations will save several manhours in training if these tools and methodologies are implemented effectively. These must be utilized by the organizations to make progress in their quest for becoming more agile and adaptive learning organizations.

We would love to hear your thoughts on what other trends will contribute to enhancing the learning space during 2021. This will help us in making a more meaningful contribution to the learning space.

The post eLearning Trends To Watch Out For In 2021 appeared first on eLearning.

How To Use Blended Training In 2021

After months into the pandemic-induced crisis, we are working remotely from home as though we are a part of the remote workforce by choice and not by chance! Training has gone virtual or digital. What is the scene with blended learning? How will it shape up in 2021? Let’s explore further in this article.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.