4 Ways To Use Short Video In Corporate Learning

Social networks have gone all in on video, particularly short video. When should companies change the way they deploy training content to better align to the modern professionals who have gotten used to this type of content in their social feeds?

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

How Snapchat Is Changing Corporate Learning

The Impact Of Snapchat On Corporate Learning  

Technology changes fast. It’s common for an organization’s major software purchase to be outdated by the time it’s implemented into the workforce. As fast as technology is changing in the enterprise market, it’s changing 10X faster in the consumer market.

So why should corporate training care about what’s going on in the ever-changing consumer technology market? For the first time ever, Millennials (the major consumer of these technology applications) are the largest percentage of the workforce, and by 2025 they will make up 75% of the workforce.

Corporate trainers should care because their core audience is or soon will be young professionals. These learners have a different mindset; here are 8 traits of the corporate learner in 2016. These learners are savvy users of technology and are used to picking their preferred technology applications. One of the biggest choices they are now making is Snapchat.

For those of you not familiar with Snapchat, here is a quick summary of 6 things users are familiar with and now expect.

  1. Short, concise content.
    When I say short, I mean short.  10 Seconds per snap! These can be paired together to create a Snapchat story (always under 3 minutes).
  2. Visual-based.
    “Snaps” (the output of Snapchat) are video clips or photos taken from a mobile device.
  3. Unedited and imperfect.
    The app doesn’t allow for video editing or perfection. People are comfortable with video that delivers meaningful messages over cinema quality.
  4. Instant notifications.
    When new Snapchat messages come in users get a notification on their phone making them aware of it.
  5. On demand. 
    Snapchat messages are consumed when it’s convenient for the user.
  6. Text or chat friends.
    Interacting with each other through quick chat is extremely simple.

So how is this fast growing application changing corporate training? Snapchat’s two biggest effects on corporate training will be on a learner’s expectation of technology and learning content.

Here are a few ideas that any organization can begin to think about to align to the young professional using Snapchat:

  • Create Shorter Content.
    Break down content into microlearning, defined as short bite sized bits of content that ensure knowledge is transferred in a visible, tangible, or measurable way.
  • Use Video.
    Get those cell phone or computer camera's ready for action. Video has never been easier to create and now you don't have to be an expert editor to make video that people want to consume.
  • Utilize On Demand Learning.
    Millennials are much more inclined to seek out learning than any generation before them.  Give them a place to go learn and consume on their own.

Take note of the changes happening around you and begin thinking about how you can move away from an old school Learning Management System or tired content and begin focusing engaging and educating the modern learner.

You can find me on snapchat @johngeades.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

A Visual Guide To Elective Vs Directive eLearning

Elective Vs Directive eLearning 

Consumer trends point directly at a powerful and fast paced on-demand content consumption movement. Whether it be Google, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, or YouTube, the trend is real and here to stay. Training organizations have taken notice and are increasingly moving towards on-demand eLearning libraries to align with this trend. These on-demand eLearning libraries are leveraging curated content and internal content and being served up on a lightweight mobile learning platform outside of their traditional Learning Management System (LMS).

However there are still companies that are struggling to decide whether to keep their Learning Management System and their traditional mandatory (directive) content and or move to an on-demand (elective) or use a combination of both. These aren't easy decisions to make because of the time, energy, and money invested in previous programs.

Using the points found in the infographic, let’s compare and contrast each of these and look at how they impact a company when exploring the dilemma elective vs directive eLearning.

A Visual Guide To Elective Vs Directive eLearning

A Visual Guide To Elective Vs Directive eLearning

  • Learner Completion Rate
    • Elective
      When asking, not telling, a learner to consume content there will be a lower completion rate. Elective training is just that; elective.
    • Directive
      If a learner knows that they must complete a training program, 9/10 will. Having said that, let’s not confuse completion with engagement and understanding.
  • Learner Engagement
    • Elective
      A learner who seeks out specific content is likely to be more engaged. They understand the power of knowledge and subsequently took the time to seek it out. Of course there’s always the chance that the content won’t be viewed at all, in which case engagement will be zero.
    • Directive
      Unfortunately, many directive programs start with negative learner connotation before the programs even get started, mainly due to a history of poor programs or flavor of the month training programs. It’s important to get learner buy-in before assigning directive learning. This will allow the learner to open their minds to engaging with the content.
  • Suited For Which Type Of Training 
    • Elective
      “Just in time”: When the learner wants knowledge on a specific subject at the moment of need. Similar to how people search google or an intranet.
    • Directive
      Compliance: Great for organizations to ensure that they have educated their employees on specific regulatory compliances. An elective training simply can’t guarantee participation.
  • Learner Appreciation
    • Elective
      High: Think about how frustrating it can be looking through old workbooks or training material trying to find the information needed. When learners are able to quickly and precisely find the information they want or need it puts a smile on their face.
    • Directive
      Low: Now think of a time you’ve been made take an eLearning course that takes 6-10 hours to complete. Most likely you didn’t need to spend a whole day taking a course, or you felt like your time would have been better spent elsewhere. Learners tend to not appreciate mandatory training because they don’t always see the instant benefits of participating in it. Obviously, this isn’t always the case, but it seems to be the most common feedback.
  • Runway To Success
    • Elective
      Long: Organizations can create or curate all this great content and it may sit on the e-shelf gathering e-dust because employees aren’t used to having elective training. Therefore, on average the runway to success tends to be longer. If the content is aligned to the current needs of the employees, and is constantly being marketed and promoted to them this runway can be drastically reduced.
    • Directive
      Short: Success in directive training is typically measured by answering the question “did the training program get completed, yes or no?”. If a learner is required to take training content and its purposed is to be tracked and measured this way runway to success is short.

Selecting the right type of training approach (directive or elective) can go a long way to determining organizational training program success, for years to come. So next time you’re looking at your organization’s learning strategy, take a moment to run through this list and decide what’s the most important to you, your learners, and your organization for now and in the future.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

3 Keys To Building Content For The Modern Learner

How To Build Content For The Modern Learner

We recently collaborated with a client to create microlearning videos based on their pre-existing sales methodology and training materials. The client had a team of experienced instructional designers, subject matter experts, and course creators to script the content prior to our video engagement. We quickly realized what a struggle the team had writing or rewriting good concise learning content.

Seeing this struggle made it clear that other content creators had to be dealing with the same challenges.

Here are 3 challenges the team faced and how we helped improve their content creation process in order to align to the modern learner:

1. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.

There’s the old “tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them” method. Which we love, but there’s a difference between doing it succinctly and beating a dead horse. The great thing about online learning technology is it puts the learner in control. If they missed something in a video, they can use the play bar to rewind the video and play it back.

Improvement: Be deliberate with your delivery.
To get over this hurdle, you need to get good at editing. Whether it’s you or someone else on your team, read and re-read your content to ensure you’re not saying the same things over and over again. Act as if you have to pay a dime for every word you use.

2. Explaining Everything.

It’s an easy trap to fall into. If you are very close to your content, you may have the tendency to over explain because you know so much.

Improvement: Focus on one learning objective. 
If you continuously ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I want someone to get out of this?” as you write AND edit, you will keep yourself on track. Using this method, we are able to omit entire paragraphs in our editing process! Sounds simple, but many people write objectives at the beginning of a project, yet don’t rely on them to guide the process.

3. Giving Little Or No Context.

When teaching a methodology or process, it’s easy to jump right into the “how-to”. And, yes, we said to be succinct and to the point, but you also have to set the stage.

Improvement: Give context. 
To ensure content is recalled and remembered, create context for your learners. How can you relate the concept you’re teaching to something they’re familiar with? Short stories and relatable experiences are the best way to set the stage and create context.

The next time you’re challenged with creating a new training initiative in Learning and Development, think about these 3 challenges and try the improvements we implemented. We hope our experience will help increase your training’s effectiveness and shorten your production timeline.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Why Learning And Development Is The Most Important Department

Why Learning And Development Is Important

“Learning and Development, the most important department” wasn’t something I thought anyone would ever say, much less me. For the last 20 years, maybe longer, Learning and Development has arguably best known for “When the going gets tough, it’s time to cut the training budget”.

Truth is, it’s hard to argue that this was a bad business decision in the past. Products had shelf lives of 5 or 10 years and maintained their differentiation. So it made perfect business sense to be investing in product and innovation; not people. Today it is different though. A product’s shelf life is shorter than ever, and it’s tougher than ever to bring a new and innovative product to the market. Regardless if a company develops software, hardware, or pretty much anything in between, businesses have become the “ultimate fast follower”. It’s easier to move really quickly once something has been tested to work. There are tons of use cases, even something as simple as the iPhone 6 and its screen size.

Now on the point. There is one thing that companies cannot copy and it’s at the core of Learning and Development: People.

People are a competitive weapon and organizations that understand this create true differentiation over their competition, sometimes without them even knowing it. Take for example Chick-Fil-A. Sure the food is good, but it’s the consistent experience you get from their PEOPLE that separates them from the other fast food chains. Here is a question to ponder: “Do you think Chick-Fil-A would ever cut their customer service and onboarding process regardless of how bad business was?” Of course not!

3 Elements That Make Learning And Development The Center Of Your Organization

So what are the core elements that have to be present in order for a Learning and Development Department to be the most important department today?

  1. Being A Thought Leader.
    It’s just not good enough to stand on the sidelines and wait for a play to be called by a VP of Sales, CMO, or CEO. Learning and Development has to become proactive instead of reactive. The only way to do that is to bring new ideas and thought leadership to the organization. One of my favorite ways to do this is a concept called “finding the bright spots” from the book Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. The idea is to take big problems and solve them with small solutions. If Learning and Development can identify big organizations problems and look for individuals or solving or achieving them, there is an opportunity to be a thought leader and bring these small bright spots to the masses.
  2. Being An Innovator.
    Innovation and thought leadership go hand in hand. If you are looking for bright spots and bringing new ideas to the organization, you will then have the ability to introduce innovation that aligns with learner demand. Things such as learning platforms, social learning, microlearning, etc.: There has never been a time in my lifetime with more innovative ideas happening around learning.
  3. Flawless Execution.
    One simple way to do the opposite of being valuable is taking months, if not years, to bring new programs or new technology to bear. I hear it all too often; “Training isn’t relevant” or “That would have been useful last month”. Being able to identify and execute on a learning opportunity in a timely manner is vital if you want to make Learning and Development the center of your organization. Speed, speed, speed! It’s time to get programs and technology to 80% and perfect it over time. Trying to be perfect prior to an initial roll-out will cause paralysis by analysis and ultimately will drag out timelines and effectiveness.

The world around us is causing your Learning and Development department to be more important than ever. You don’t have to sell anyone on it, but you do have to have the vision and ability to execute it. Make these 3 elements a core part of your daily work life and you will make your Learning and Development department more valuable.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Why Video Is The Best Medium For Microlearning

3 Reasons Why Video Is The Best Medium For Microlearning

Let’s go back in time 5 years. It was 4 PM and I was bored, frustrated, and confused. I had been staring at my computer screen for the last 8 hours completing a sales training eLearning class. The first 20 minutes were exciting and engaging because I was looking forward to learning something that was going to help me improve my sales skills, make money, and help my company grow. The next 7 hours and 40 minutes made me want to throw my computer out the window.

Fast forward 5 years to present day. Not much has changed in corporate training or, for that matter, the corporate eLearning space. Yet, the world around enterprise learning is changing at an extremely rapid pace. There are 3 billion Internet users across the globe, 6.9 billion mobile phone subscriptions, and 2 billion active users on social networks. The very employees that organizations are training can, in the blink of an eye, Google or watch a YouTube video to learn the skills they need to do their jobs.

If organizations want to better align with employees, educational content has to be just-in-time, easy to access, and broken up into shorter, more easily digestible pieces. Enter Microlearning: For a full definition and 3 keys to making great Microlearning, check out: Why Microlearning is Hot in Professional Education.

Now that we agree Microlearning is where training is headed, the next most important thing to consider is the medium you choose to deliver your content. Could it be possible that the medium we choose be more important to improve knowledge transfer than our beloved content that we can’t get under 30 slides? The answer is YES. As Marshall McLuhan, the great Media Philosopher, said in 1964: “The Medium is the Message.” Simply put, the medium in which you deploy content to your people is more important than the content. It’s actually crazy to think about! But let’s not get too caught up philosophizing and get to the point.

Since the medium can make or break your training, which medium should you choose? The answer is VIDEO. Here are the top 3 reasons to support this claim:

  1. Alignment. 
    75% of Millennials visit YouTube monthly. Millennials coincidentally are going to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. But they aren’t alone. Regardless of age, people simply prefer video over other mediums. According to Neilson, video is the most popular content consumed globally. Think about it; if given a choice between watching an instructional video and reading a 3 page document, which would you choose?
  2. Retention and Transfer of Knowledge. 
    Video is the most effective medium for communicating information in a short period of time. Most people are visual learners, so combining visual examples with audio creates a higher likelihood of knowledge transfer. Studies show that humans only retain 10% of heard information after 3 days Vs 65% when visuals are added.
  3. Easily Produced. 
    Because of the advances in cameras and software, video is the easiest and cheapest to produce than it’s ever been. Check out this one minute video we built using an iPhone and the Splice App to show how we make Microlearning. It no longer takes an expert in video production to produce high-quality video that people want to consume.

One of my all time favorite quotes is from John Wayne: "Courage is being scared to death.... and saddling up anyways." Saddle up and commit to video as the Microlearning medium of choice for your organization.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Online Training: Evolution Or Revolution?

Online Training Evolution or Online Training Revolution?

As someone who runs an online training company looking to challenge the norm and disrupt an industry for the better, my answer might surprise you. First, lets look at a few facts:

  • 84.2% of Enterprises use eLearning for training and development. - Kineo
  • The top 20 LMS providers have over 250M users. – Capterra
  • $56B is allocated each year to eLearning. – ASTD
  • 93% of CEOs plan to increase or maintain their training budgets. – SkillSoft

These stats are staggering. To further the point, think of areas that would be tough for an organization to even think about making revolutionary changes: compliance training, per user intellectual property licenses, online learner history, eLearning courseware, etc. They prove to me that organizations currently don’t have the appetite for a revolution. Instead, they have to be evolution-minded. There’s a need to ensure current systems and content align with learners and has a place in the future. There are 5 major trends that organizations should follow to EVOLVE their online training.

5 Major Online Training Trends

  1. Mobile.
    It’s a no-brainer. The important factor is learning platforms and learning content need to be built around and for mobile devices. It’s not good enough just to be able to say it’s accessible on mobile, learning should be build for the best possible mobile experiences first.
  2. Measuring Results with Action.
    Mobile now allows us all to have a high-end camera in our pocket. Learners have to be able to show they are able to execute what you are asking them to learn. Every piece of learning content doesn’t require this ability but content creators have to think about this prior to ever building another piece of content.
  3. Pull not Push.
    The first thing most learners think is, “They are making me take this course”. The future is creating an environment where people want to go to learn or get the content they need to do their jobs better. People check their social accounts every day because they want to go there, not because they are forced. Think about ways to get your learning platform and content to do the same.
  4. Video-Based.
    People LOVE video. Video creates a human connection to content that can often be lost in other types of online learning. It’s also easier and cheaper to create high quality video than ever before.
  5. Microlearning.
    Microlearning is defined as quick and short educational experiences driven by the learner. Have you seen the show “House Hunters” on HGTV? For those who haven’t seen this 30-minute show, it follows prospective homebuyers as they check out three properties to find the best match to their their pre-set requirements. You can certainly sit through the entire 30-minute show and see every detail or you can tune in to the last 5 minutes and a summary of the show.  The summary shows the most important details of the episode and the homebuyers’ final decision. You get essentially the same content in 5 minutes as you do in the entire show. Which would you prefer? Microlearning is about creating experiences exactly like the last 5 minutes of House Hunters: visual, to the point, and engaging.

Many established online training companies have made major strides in one or more of these online training evolution trends, so no need to scrap what you have. If there are gaps in these areas, you can evolve over time. Just don’t wait too long or you could end up extinct.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

3 Ways To Measure Training Effectiveness

3 Ways Organizations Can Improve The Way They Measure Training Effectiveness

According to ASTD, the overall spending on employee training in the US is $165 billion and the average employee receives 30.3 hours of learning per year. The average cost to train each employee is $1,195.

What do these numbers tell us? Organizations care about training. Period. With so much effort devoted to training, the real question becomes evident: Did anyone really learn?

It’s clear that learning and development professionals are struggling to answer this question – a question we simply can’t afford to ignore any longer.

The days of measuring learning based on multiple-choice questions are gone. This type of measurement is focused on short-term retention of knowledge as opposed to a long-term ability to apply knowledge. Ultimately, the goal of corporate learning should not only to see a return on the investment of training, but to improve the skill sets of PEOPLE!

In today’s world, the ability to successfully DO something absolutely trumps the ability to pass a test. With the rapidly growing need to get employees educated and running at peak performance, organizations need to focus on other ways to measure learning is taking place. This will allow them to focus their time, energy and resources on training initiatives that move the needle.

Here are 3 ways to measure training effectiveness:

  1. Visual Confirmation
    In traditional trainings, learners demonstrate their knowledge by performing a role-play. Technology allows us to take role-plays a step further. Instead of demonstrating knowledge that may or may not be true to the learner’s job, learners now have the ability to share visual confirmation they’ve completed a task in real life. Imagine employees uploading a video or audio recording and/or submitting other visual proof of a task completed (for example a screen shot or video via smartphone). Now, imagine a training manager having access to those videos (and other visual proof) of employees using knowledge from a workshop in real life. Visual confirmation doesn’t only change HOW learning is measured, it can also impact the way we train by honing in on the most effective training initiatives and taking the closer look at those initiatives that aren’t “measuring up.”
  2. Social Ownership
    The ability to teach others is one of the highest forms of mastery of a subject. Social Ownership puts learners in the position to teach others by showing how they apply concepts in their real world. This concept not only engages employees to teach and learn from each other, it also gives training managers the ability to measure how well concepts are being implemented within the organization. These peer-teaching moments can be captured via video or by having peer-peer workshops.  Ultimately providing a new way to get employees involved and engaged to increase training effectiveness.
  3. Skill Assessments
    Creating a visual assessment of an employee’s skill set and performance before and after a training moment. These snapshots, or skylines, of a learner’s abilities can give a clear picture of performance and skill improvements you can directly tie to training. A simple example would be, testing a sales person’s current sales skills prior to training, then retesting the individual after the event to see the delta. There are so many improvements going on in this area right now because of data analytics, it’s a good one to jump on ahead of the curve.

These are just 3 ways organizations can improve the way they measure training effectiveness. We’d love to hear how you measure learning in your organization so we can continually be improving www.weskill.com

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Why Microlearning is HUGE and how to be a part of it

5 Microlearning Commandments To Create You Own Microlearning

If organizations want to attract, develop and retain talent in this generation, they have to adapt to their audience. To quote The Kinks, “give the people want they want”.

Even within my own organization, we have had to adapt the way we create and deliver our video-based eLearning. We’ve put together a list of the 5 commandments of Microlearning anyone can use as they begin to create their own Microlearning.

  1. Assign One Learning Objective Per Asset
    We define a Learning Objective by what the learner will do or know after they consume the asset. So focus on just one learning objective so the learner will know exactly what they need to focus on to ensure knowledge is transferred. The more objectives you try to introduce, the longer your content will be. Ultimately, you’ll lose your audience.
  2. Use Video
    70 percent of Millennials visit YouTube monthly. They simply prefer video over other mediums.
  3. Production Quality Matters
    Technology has made it so nearly everyone has the ability to create video – whether it’s on a smartphone, tablet, a professional camera or a GoPro. But bad video can take away from good content. It doesn’t take much to enhance your video quality without spending a lot of money. Try using natural light from a window, shoot in a quite room, and set up your camera slightly above your eye level. If you’re looking for more tips on creating quality video check out Wistia’s learning center.
  4. Timing is Everything
    Remember that 90-second statistic? Microlearning videos should be 4 minutes or less. Learners want to get straight to the point. When creating scripts for video, a good rule of thumb to follow is 120 words for every minute of video. Making a short, content-rich video requires the ability to self-edit. If your scripting assets, take a good look at the content, and eliminate ALL the fluff. If your content is still longer than 4 minutes, you’re probably breaking the first commandment.
    Here are a couple of tips: First, don’t waste time in a video talking about something a learner can download and review outside of the video. Second, assume your audience is intelligent. Don’t waste time telling them how to navigate through the videos (these are tech savvy people). And please don’t talk down to them or add insincere dialogue.
  5. Prove Learning Took Place
    When you build your content, think about how you will know learning took place. Instead of just asking them to answer a couple multiple choice questions, ask them to demonstrate their knowledge. For example, If you’re teaching personal branding, you could ask learners to send a video of themselves delivering a 30-second elevator speech. This not only allows to prove learning took place, but also creates the opportunity for coaching and improvement.
    After all, learning shouldn’t be a one-time event. Instead, it should be an evolving and adaptive process that creates a unique and personalized experience for each learner.

If you can begin incorporating these 5 Commandments as you venture into the world of Microlearning, you’ll be in alignment with current learning trends and more important this new generation of employees.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.