The post Webinar on Strategies To Create Compelling And Immersive Compliance Training – Featuring 8 Examples appeared first on eLearning.
In our early years, informal learning is the significant way we learn. In fact, we continue to learn through this approach even at the workplace. In spite of this, many people are skeptical about the impact of informal learning at the workplace. However, I believe that it should be part of the overall learning strategy as learners respond positively to it and organizations can easily provide support to promote it.
In this blog, I begin with the definition of formal and informal learning and outline the key differences between them. Then, I share the benefits you will see as you promote it. I wrap up with 5 informal learning examples that you can use.
What Is the Difference Between Formal and Informal Learning?
Formal learning is gained through structured or formal training. Typically, managed by L&D teams, it is based on the Training Needs Analysis (TNA). As a logical extension, it has definite learning outcomes. It will typically have assessments to check how learners fared against the desired gain.
Formal trainings are delivered through structured formats that may include one or all of the following:
- Instructor Led Training (ILT).
- Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT).
- Online Training.
- Blended Training.
Most of the times, this training is managed by L&D teams and would have a roll-out and completion schedule.
Informal learning on the other hand is the impromptu or spontaneous learning. It is triggered, driven, and sustained by the learner’s intrinsic motivation and passion to learn. It can have varied elements that can include learning from others, practice, reflection, or evaluation of new aspects of interest.
What Are the Benefits That Informal Learning Offers?
- Focused learning: I believe the biggest advantage that informal learning offers is the sense of control that it offers. As adult learners we like this.
- Higher relevancy: It enables learners to have a more satisfying learning experience as it does not have the pressure to complete by a certain date, clear the test, achieve a certain level of scores and so on.
- Flexible learning: Since informal learning is driven by the learners, they can piece the learning journey from various sources and different channels. This will match their learning styles, their aspirations, and the way they want to learn.
- Continuous learning: Again, since the control of informal learning is with the learner, it need not stop as a given training session is over. Instead, it allows learners to be on a continuous path to enhance their skills, practice, and improve their baseline proficiency to the required levels of mastery.
How Can You Promote and Use Informal Learning at the Workplace?
Learning at the workplace happens all the time. Even without realizing we are watching and learning during meetings, discussions, or over a coffee.
You would possibly relate to some of the situations:
- Sharing the strategy that worked—during the sales review meeting.
- Tips on handling a difficult customer situation—during the project management review meeting.
- Sharing the best practices that helped you optimize a specific task.
- Sharing a link on how the organization-wide tool can be used optimally.
- Coaching or mentoring by a colleague when you were stuck in a transaction.
5 Informal Learning Examples That Illustrate How Organizations Can Promote Informal Learning at the Workplace
Organizations can further facilitate informal learning in many ways, including using the following 5 informal learning examples that I am about to share. These informal learning examples reflect the semi-structured support for informal learning that will go a long way in promoting a better learning culture.
- Example 1: Facilitated or semi-formal forums that encourage knowledge sharing, problem solving, or change management.
- Example 2: Curated content that allows learners to pick learning nuggets that are of interest or will help them perform better or address a problem.
- Example 3: Coaching and mentoring or buddying up a new inductee as they learn the ropes.
- Example 4: Informal Expert speak sessions (from the internal team or guest speakers).
- Example 5: Volunteering.
I hope this blog provides some ideas on how you can promote informal learning at the workplace. As you will note from these informal learning examples, this can be easily facilitated by organizations and will help you create a continuous learning environment.
If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact me at email@example.com.
Want more insights on how you can use informal learning at the workplace?
Schedule a call with our Solutions Architecting Team.
The post Promoting Informal Learning at the Workplace—Featuring 5 Examples appeared first on eLearning.
Diagnostic tool: Is this a gnome or what?
Want to help people diagnose a problem or identify the best person to contact? Be inspired by this fun example created by Krishan Coupland in Twine: A Primer on the Capture and Identification of the Little Folk of Myth and Legend.
This is basically a text-based flowchart, sending you down paths depending on the characteristics of the creature you’re trying to identify.
This type of interaction has a lot of potential uses in business, where the little folk might be replaced by types of tools, people to contact, troubleshooting steps to follow, or any other type of flowchart-y decision.
I’d prefer a quicker, visual flowchart when possible, but this text-based approach lets you include more detail.
Custom advice made scalable
One of the most common questions I get is, “Will action mapping work for my project?”
To relieve the pressure on my in box, I created a Twine interaction that answers that question. I used variables to keep track of answers.
For example, you might say that your client is a non-profit organization ($org is “nonprofit”) and their goal is to make people feel confident or engaged ($goal is “feelings”). As a result, you’ll see advice tailored for non-profit organizations and feelings goals.
You might want to try the interaction before reading more, or the rest of the post won’t make much sense.
The variables are set when you answer questions at each decision point. Here’s how one decision point looks.
Earlier, the user identified whether their client was external, internal, or themselves. Now they’re being asked what type of organization the client works for.
If they answer “Business,” a variable that tracks the action mapping score ($am) gets 2 more points. This score will help decide whether action mapping is appropriate.
If they answer “Non-profit or government,” the action mapping score increases by only 1, due to the goal-setting issues that often plague those types of organizations.
If they answer “University or school,” the action mapping score doesn’t increase, because it’s likely that action mapping won’t be appropriate. That will get decided in the next question, which asks who the audience is.
The questions continue assigning variables and changing the action-mapping score. Users who want to prepare people for a knowledge test will be told early on that action mapping won’t be appropriate. Others will continue until they see the final advice screen.
The final screen uses the variables that have been accumulating to display text unique to each variable. Here’s a snippet.
In the above excerpt, if you said that your goal was to have people do something differently, you get a confirmation that action mapping will help. However, if you said that your goal was for people to be aware of something, you get some advice on how to change that so you can use the model more successfully.
Several additional paragraphs of text appear on the advice screen, all based on the answers you gave earlier and the variables you were assigned as a result.
This took some time to develop, but it has also saved a lot of time by reducing the number of questions I get. This kind of tool can reduce the need for training and relieve the pressure on help desks by providing instant answers tailored to each situation.
Scenario design: There are still some seats available
The June session of the live, online scenario design course still has some seats available. Learn to design scenarios by designing scenarios, with my personal feedback. There are sessions for people in the Australia-Pacific region as well as the Americas and Europe. Check it out.
Microlearning based trainings, particularly as Performance Support (that is, specific job aids or learning aids to support formal training) have been around for few years now.
In the last 2 years, we have seen acceleration in adoption of Microlearning for formal training. Using a series of Microlearning nuggets connected over a learning path or learning journey has proved to be an effective way to offer formal training.
With an increased maturity on its usage for formal training and informal training, Microlearning is one trend that is here to stay.
What is Microlearning?
The concept of Microlearning is not new. In traditional eLearning approach, the Instructional Designers would focus on chunking the source content into manageable bites of information that are easy for the learners to assimilate.
Microlearning has its roots in the same concept and in today’s context it is a short, focused learning nugget (designed to be 2-5 mins long and normally not exceeding 7 mins). It always has an associated outcome (it is this aspect that differentiates it from being merely an eLearning lite).
Given its size and precise definition, it is designed to promote learning on the go. Increased usage of mLearning or mobile learning as a core part of learning strategy has further accelerated the usage of Microlearning.
How can Microlearning be Used in Corporate Training?
At EI Design, our Microlearning based training is a mature practice that has evolved steadily over the last few years. We have established the practice for Performance Support Tools (PSTs or job aids) and now we offer it not just for informal learning but increasingly for formal learning.
The range of our corporate training solutions that use Microlearning-based training approach include (but not limited to) the following:
- Induction and Onboarding
- Soft Skills
- Professional Skills
- Application Simulations
- Product Training
- Sales Training
- Compliance Training
- Change Management initiatives
From this huge repository, I pick 5 killer examples that showcase Microlearning-based approach for employee training.
1. Professional Skills Training for Instructional Designers (Content Types)
This example features a Microlearning course with a story-based visual wrapper.
Diverse microlearning formats (including videos in different design approaches) have been included in the flow of the course. The learner scrolls through to reveal content and interact at specific points to view the nuggets.
2. Account Management Fundamentals (Interactive Infographic based nugget)
This example features the Interactive infographics based approach is used to create a micro-guide wherein the progress of the learner is gamified.
The learners need to get a requisite number of points to move to the next level. They gain points from reviewing the content as well as challenges. Additionally, there is an expert who provides tips and key points to aid in solving the challenges. On completing a level, they get a badge.
3. Generic Compliance: Health, Safety, And Environment (HSE) at Workplace
This example features a video that uses high impact, contextual imagery and recaps the basic aspects of an HSE compliance course.
It reinforces the need for constant risk assessment of hazards at a workplace. Specifically, it uses a scenario to help learners identify a potential hazard and prompts the right action through the feedback.
4. Professional Skills Training (Time Management)
This example features a microlearning nugget that uses two innovative strategies, namely Scenario-based learning and Gamified activities.
5. Compliance (Data Protection)
This example of a Microlearning nugget, “A date with Data Dave” features interactive parallax-based scrolling (that is commonly used in websites).
It has engaging visuals, and conversational language, which engages and takes the learner through three offices with varying levels of data security. Along the journey, the learner is provided tips and best practices to protect data.
I hope this blog gives you pointers on how you can use Microlearning-based approach and address your formal and informal training needs. I hope the featured Microlearning examples for employee training show you how you can use the techniques to create engaging and high-impact corporate training.
If you have any queries, do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want more insights on how you can use the power of Microlearning solutions to enhance the impact of your corporate training?
Schedule a call with our Solutions Architecting Team.
The post 5 Killer Microlearning Examples for Employee Training appeared first on eLearning.
What Are The Benefits Of mLearning?
In this article I will touch upon the benefits of mLearning, why it is gaining momentum, and why it must be a significant part of your learning strategy. Additionally, I will share 5 examples that showcase successful application of mLearning. Let us start with the benefits:
- Flexibility to learners.
At the top of the benefits list is the flexibility mLearning offers. This includes:
- Flexibility and choice of device to access learning “anytime-anywhere”.
- Flexibility of learning with more varied formats (videos, podcasts, and so on).
- Flexibility to learners.
- Better completion rates and higher retention.
The bite-sized or microlearning approach makes it easier for learners to initiate, complete, and retain learning better.
- Collaborative learning.
It is a great way to engage with peers to share learning experiences and be part of communities of specific practices.
- Higher engagement.
The experiences are more immersive and statistics reveal that more learners complete the courses through mLearning than traditional eLearning.
- Multi-device support.
The same course is available on varied devices ranging from PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
- Performance Support.
mLearning is becoming the preferred approach to provide Performance Support intervention as mobile devices are an intrinsic part of the learners’ work-flow. This facilitates an easy access to information while at work and increases the probability of usage and retrieval.
- Learning path.
Mobile devices can also be used to update learners on their “learning path” thereby facilitating “learning as a continuum”. With more people depending on phone-based organizers, integrating links in organizers to commence/resume the courses saves time for learners.
- Better completion rates and higher retention.
What Is Driving mLearning’s Rapid Adoption?
- Changing learner profiles.
The mix of learners in organizations now includes traditional learners, baby-boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y. A significant percentage of learners (particularly Gen Y) prefer using tablets and smartphones for learning.
- How learners learn.
As an extension to the changing learner demographics, more and more learners seek different formats to learn (particularly videos, podcasts, access to bite-sized learning, or micro-learning on the go). They also want learning to be part of their work-flow (that is, self directed).
- Changing learning device preferences.
This is resulting in initiatives like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) facilitating learning on the device of the learners’ choice.
- Maturing of tools and technologies.
Particularly, over the last three years:
- Most Learning Management System platforms now offer the required flexibility of mobile delivery as well as platforms for social learning.
- The range of available mLearning authoring tools has widened. The tools can now be used to create both rapid as well as high-end custom solutions.
- Changing learner profiles.
- Adaptive frameworks.
These are designed for a single build to work on PCs, laptops, and tablets. (You can also have a variant called Adaptive+ framework that can provide a supplement of the primary learning on the smartphones. However, the smartphone build is a separate build and is normally a lighter build than the primary course.) More options to pick the approach that is most suited for learners have emerged. You can now opt for:
- Responsive frameworks.
These are designed for a single build to work on PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
- Adaptive frameworks.
Can You Manage Without A mLearning Strategy Today?
Well, the answer is rather obvious; this is a trend that cannot be ignored and the need of the hour is to adopt a two-pronged approach:
- Migration of legacy courses.
You can use this opportunity to redesign some of your older courses to╬┐ and also get the multi-device flexibility. This can create a better learning experience and provide the flexibility for learners to access the courses on the device of their choice.
- mLearning strategy for new development.
This should be able to leverage the power of mobile devices to create an immersive learning experience. As highlighted earlier, you can opt for Adaptive or Responsive approaches.
- Migration of legacy courses.
Where Can mLearning Be Applied?
mLearning is a great fit for formal learning and Performance Support. It can also be used effectively to foster a collaborative or social learning environment.
Let me illustrate how it can be used to provide enhanced learning experiences through my favorite 5 examples.
mLearning Example 1
Induction Program With Gamification: This is my favorite example that showcases how you can use gamification for an Induction program.
We chose the 100 days Induction cum onboarding plan to map to a theme of a mission that needed learners to clear various levels within the stipulated time. It also had leaderboards to enable them to assess how they are faring against the other team members.
You can also refer to my article Benefits of Gamification in eLearning to see how it can improve learner recall and retention.
mLearning Example 2
Time Management Featuring Immersive Learning Strategies: The difference here lies in the way we engaged the learners with the time management concepts.
We removed “Select next to continue” by making the information flow more intuitive. To engage learners further, we brought in a few gamification concepts (interactive exercises) in the learning path.
mLearning Example 3
Compliance-Combating Money Laundering: This example reflects how you can enhance a legacy course during migration to mLearning format.
The legacy course was text-heavy and as you will see from the screenshots, we relooked at the visual approach in the mLearning format to reduce clutter. We also did extensive layering of content to further limit the on-screen text.
mLearning Example 4
Agile Development Methodology Featuring Interactive Video: This example is also one of my favorites as it reflects marrying the Agile concept to an innovative strategy, that is, interactive video (both reflect changing dynamics).
The content adapted well to fielding questions that the learners may have had in their mind as the Agile approach is a relatively new concept. We were able to leverage on the power of interactive video to clearly establish the gain in a very short run-length.
mLearning Example 5
Industry Vertical (Oil and Gas) Featuring Thematic Visuals: As you will notice in the screenshot, we have used industry specific visual design as the theme for the entire course.
I hope this article has given you the required insights to determine how you can use mLearning effectively in your organization. If you have any comments or suggestions, please reach out to me.
The post What Are The Benefits Of mLearning? Featuring 5 Killer Examples appeared first on eLearning.
Gamification in eLearning is fast emerging as an effective technique to engage learners. It has found its place under the sun for serious learning (that is, meeting specified learning outcomes). In this article, I will share 6 examples that outline how we have created immersive learning experiences using gamification for varied training needs like induction and onboarding, professional skills enhancement, compliance, soft skills enhancement, and behavioral change programs.
Using Gamification In eLearning
Let’s first understand what gamification is and how it is different from playing games.
In one of my earlier articles on gamification, Top 6 Benefits Of Gamification In eLearning, I had highlighted both these aspects as follows:
- Gamification is about more than just playing games (in fact, sometimes it does not involve playing games at all). It can be defined as the concept of applying game-design thinking to non game applications.
- Wikipedia defines gamification as “the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems”.
What Are The Benefits Of Gamification In eLearning?
Again, I will recap from my article the key benefits of gamification:
- Better learning experience.
The learner can experience “fun” during the game and still learn if the level of engagement is high. A good gamification strategy with high levels of engagement will lead to an increase in recall and retention.
- Better learning environment.
Gamification in eLearning provides an effective, informal learning environment, and helps learners practice real life situations and challenges in a safe environment. This leads to a more engaged learning experience that facilitates better knowledge retention.
- Instant feedback.
It provides instant feedback so that learners know what they know or what they should know. This too facilitates better learner engagement and thereby better recall and retention.
- Prompting behavioral change.
Points, badges, and leaderboards would surely make training awesome. However, gamification is about a lot more than just those surface level benefits. Gamification can drive strong behavioral change especially when combined with the scientific principles of repeated retrieval and spaced repetition.
- Can be applied for most learning needs.
Gamification can be used to fulfill most learning needs including induction and onboarding, product sales, customer support, soft skills, awareness creation, and compliance.
- Impact on bottom line.
On account of all these aspects that touch and impact learners (better learning experience, higher recall and retention, catalyzing behavioral change, and so on), it can create a significant performance gain for organizations.
- Better learning experience.
Does Gamification Really Help Learners Recall Or Retain Information Better?
The answer is an emphatic “yes.”
This is summarized very effectively in the following statement (as per Wikipedia):
“Gamification techniques strive to leverage people’s natural desires for socializing, learning, mastery, competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism, or closure.
Gamification strategies include use of rewards for players who accomplish desired tasks or competition to engage players. Types of rewards include points, achievement badges or levels, the filling of a progress bar, or providing the user with virtual currency.
Making the rewards for accomplishing tasks visible to other players or providing leaderboards are further ways of encouraging players to compete.”
How Can You Ensure Success Of Gamification In eLearning?
Success of gamification in eLearning is driven by the power of the concept that it is based on. An effective gamification concept is one that:
- Captures (and retains) learners’ attention.
- Challenges them.
- Engages and entertains them.
- Teaches them.
Gamification In eLearning: 6 Killer Examples
While gamification has been applied in several domains, our focus has been on its application in serious learning. The games that we design are therefore geared to meet definite learning outcomes.
Our gamification strategies broadly map to:
- Complete gamification, wherein:
- Tasks or concepts that are overlaid on the learning content but are not related to the content.
- Contextual tasks or concepts that are overlaid on the learning content.
- Partial gamification (notably in inline checks and end of course assessments)
In this article, I will share 6 examples that will illustrate how gamification (full or partial) can be applied to your key training needs in:
- Induction programs.
- Professional skills enhancement.
- Soft skills enhancement.
- Behavioral change.
- Gamify assessments for traditional eLearning courses (partial gamification).
Example 1: Induction Program.
The gamification concept: We chose the 100 days induction cum onboarding plan to map to a theme of a mission that needed learners to clear various levels within the stipulated time. It also had leaderboards to enable them to assess how they are faring against the other team members.
Reference: You can also refer to my earlier article What Are The Benefits Of mLearning? Featuring 5 Killer Examples, where this example was featured.
Example 2: Professional Skills Enhancement (account management fundamentals for project managers and account managers).
The gamification concept: An avatar based gamification approach. The highlights of this approach were:
- Creation of different learner paths.
- Alignment of the learning and gamification path to the proficiency of learners.
- Presentation of a mix of questions in each path (mapping to real-life challenges commensurate with the proficiency level of the learners).
- Non availability of learning aids of theory (lifeline) for higher proficiency learners to make the challenge tougher. (The complexity and the nature of the challenges posed to the learners tested their cognitive proficiency to tackle the situation at hand, thereby resulting in immersive learning.)
Reference: You can also refer to my earlier article Gamification in learning through an avatar-based serious game concept, where this example was featured. The article provides further insights on the concept and its application.
Example 3: Compliance.
The gamification concept: We created a simulation based, task oriented gamification course, which was interactive and engrossing.
- The game scenario was mapped to the context of risk management and the incremental learning was provided at each stage of the game as the learners took the challenges and overcame them.
- To achieve this, we incorporated a real work environment (visually), an element of challenge (bonuses and bombs), rewards for success (caps, badges), and learning through activities including elements of surprise and delight.
- We provided the learners the choice to seek support while performing the assigned task like in a real life scenario mapping to actual human behavior in such situations. This ensured a true simulated environment to encourage application of knowledge through performance.
Reference: You can also refer to my earlier article Gamification in Compliance, where this example was featured. The article provides further insights on the concept and its application.
Example 4: Rewards And Recognition.
The gamification concept: This too uses an avatar based approach. The learners go through a series of gamified activities that map to the required qualities of a given reward category. The activities simulate and reinforce the qualities the individuals have to maintain to win. The scores lead them to gaining the reward. This approach also features leaderboards.
Partial Gamification: Features Gamified Activities Or Gamified Assessments
Here are a couple of examples that show how partial gamification techniques can be applied to a traditional eLearning course. This simple value addition can make a standard eLearning course more fun and engaging.
Of the two examples of partial gamification techniques featured here, the first one shows a gamified activity while the second one shows a gamified assessment.
Example 5: Soft skills / time management – A gamified activity on time wasters.
Example 6: A gamified assessment.
This can be used to enhance learner engagement in any traditional eLearning course.
The power of gamification in eLearning that is aligned to learning outcomes is clearly evident in these 6 examples. I hope this article was useful in helping you understand how you can use gamification in eLearning for almost all of your training needs.
At EI Design, we have a very mature gamification practice and we can help you in transforming your traditional eLearning approaches to more immersive gamified approaches. Do reach out to me for pointers on these.
Are you expected to “train” everyone on new software? In my previous post, I recommended that you first try everything but training. Make the software easier to use (yes, it’s often possible!). Create job aids and help screens.
Did that work only partially? Are you convinced that people need formal training? This post is for you.
What you’ve done so far
As described in the previous post, you’ve already:
- Set a measurable goal that justifies the existence of the project.
- Listed the specific, observable job tasks that people use the software to complete.
- Identified why each task might be difficult and looked for ways to make it easier.
- Asked for improvements to the software to make it easier to use.
- Created easy-to-find job aids, help screens, and cheat sheets.
- Tested those changes to see if they were enough on their own.
Now you’re convinced that people need formal training as well.
Expand your definition of “training”
Your organization might define training as, “Everyone goes to a room and is shown how to use the software” or “Everyone takes an online course that walks them through it.” They view training as a one-time event that’s delivered the same way to everyone, regardless of their pre-existing knowledge.
Let’s consider two marketing employees who are expected to learn MegaMailer, which sends promotional emails to subsets of customers.
- Kate: In her previous job, Kate used a program called Mail-a-lot to send emails to a database of customers. MegaMailer takes a similar approach.
- Ben: Ben has also sent out marketing emails, but he did it by copying and pasting the recipients’ addresses into the TO: field of the email. He’s never used a database of customers.
Conventional MegaMailer training would force both of them to sit through a presentation about what is a database, record, and field. But Kate already knows all that. What’s a different approach?
“Let Kate skip the stuff about databases,” some people would say. “She can start with the presentation about MegaMailer’s interface.” But what if we go a step further?
We can avoid unnecessary presentations and provide spaced practice if we try this:
- Create self-contained activities that help people learn by doing.
- Make these activities available on demand, on the job. Don’t lock them inside a course.
1. Create self-contained activities, not presentations
Consider plunging people into realistic simulations or scenarios in which they complete a task similar to the task on the job.
You could give them a faithful recreation of the software, some simple screenshots to click on, or the actual software, but using fake data (a “sandbox” where people can play safely).
An example activity for Ben and Kate could be: “We’re going to send a mailing about the MegaChomper BigBoy toy to all big dog owners. First, you’ll create a list segment of all customers who own dogs that weigh more than 15 kilos.”
Ben and Kate see this activity first, not a presentation about the software. They immediately begin using the software for the same kinds of tasks they complete on the job, but with optional help.
2. Link to basic knowledge instead of forcing everyone to see a presentation.
In the “create a list segment” instructions for Ben and Kate’s activity, the words “list segment” could be linked. Kate already knows what that means, so she doesn’t click the link. Ben isn’t sure, so he clicks the link to learn the basics about lists and segments.
3. Provide how-to information as optional help instead of walking everyone through it.
People who are already familiar with the type of software will want to plunge in and try it. Others will want a lot of guidance. Make them both happy by providing optional guidance.
For example, when Kate sees that she needs to create a segment of big dog owners, she confidently jumps into the software because she’s done it before with another program and suspects it won’t be very different. Ben has a lot less experience, so he clicks “Show me how to do it” and sees a short video of the steps involved.
The amount of help could be tailored more finely. For example, Kate might like just a hint showing the first menu item to use. However, Ben might want a lot more help. In addition to the how-to video, he might like a second, more in-depth presentation that explains what a database is, how fields like “DogWeight” were created, how the information about dog weight got into that field, and so forth.
For an example of different levels of how-to help, see this activity for complex medical software, designed by Allen Interactions.
4. Start easy and build skills gradually
Choose simple tasks for the first few practice activities. In our imaginary example, creating a list segment is the first step to creating a mailing, and it’s also one of the easier steps. Maybe we’ll have Ben and Kate practice creating a few more segments before they move on to the more complicated step of using an HTML template to create the content of the email. This is a type of scaffolding.
For an example of in-activity scaffolding, see if you can learn Zeko. The story reinforces vocabulary you’ve learned so far while adding new terms.
5. Provide realistic feedback, if possible
Strong scenarios and simulations don’t stop you and say “Incorrect!” They just show you what happens as a result of your decision, and you conclude from that how well you did.
This can be tricky with software simulations, especially if the tasks are complex, with lots of ramifications. So this might be too much for your project, but for our imaginary marketing scenario, feedback might look like the following.
- Kate is supposed to send the mailing about the MegaChomper BigBoy toy only to customers whose dogs weigh more than 15 kilos. When she creates the list segment, she incorrectly tells the software to send the email to all customers except those whose dogs weigh more than 15 kilos.
- Instead of saying “Incorrect!” we show the natural consequence of her mistake: Owners of tiny dogs complain about annoying emails that advertise toys that their dogs can’t even pick up.
When should we show the feedback? That depends.
If Kate is just practicing list segmentation, we could show it immediately. She creates the segment, and we flash-forward to show the future result.
If she’s further on in the activities and is practicing the entire mailing process, we can withhold the feedback until the end. This is especially useful if our process includes a check step. Maybe the process looks like this:
- Create the list segment.
- Choose the correct HTML template.
- Enter the content of the email in the template.
- Double-check the list segment to make sure it’s correct.
- Schedule the email for sending.
This gives Kate a chance to recognize and fix her earlier error, as well as having her practice the entire process.
If she doesn’t catch her error, the end result will be annoyed emails from owners of small dogs, plus an optional explanation of what she did wrong. If she does catch her error, she can fix the segment before sending the email, and she sees the happy consequence of lots of MegaChomper sales.
Make the activities available on demand, on the job
In our example, we’ve created several standalone practice activities. Each one is self-contained because it links to supporting information. It’s not an activity trapped in the middle of a presentation.
As a result, people can try the activities as they need them. Maybe all the activities are linked on an intranet page. We can (and should) show a recommended path through the activities. But people can still directly access an individual activity.
This is especially useful for reinforcement. Let’s say that Ben carefully worked through all the activities about list segments and using the HTML template. He then was put on a project that involved creating lots of HTML emails while someone else created the list segments.
Two months later, Ben needs to create a list segment but has forgotten how. He goes to the bank of activities and chooses some list-segment activities to practice again. Once he’s confident, he creates the segments he needs for his current project.
I’m not just making this up
This activity-driven approach might make intuitive sense, but intuition can’t always be trusted. Luckily, there’s also research that supports the plunge-them-into-it technique.
Again, you’ll want to provide structure, such as a recommended path through the activities, and carefully increase the difficulty with scaffolding. You want people to feel competent, not frustrated.
New: Invite me to your workplace to brainstorm
In a one-day visit to your workplace, I’ll help you:
- Identify and conquer the forces that are inspiring information dumps
- Help your team transition from content producers to valued performance igniters
- Establish new procedures that make it easy for everyone to create activity-rich materials
- More deeply embed action mapping in your workplace
Hey, New Zealand and Australia!
NZATD in mid-May: I’ll be in Auckland in mid-May to speak and run an informal workshop at the NZATD conference, along with many other colleagues with valuable things to say. I’m also available for a few on-site consulting visits in the area.
Scenario design course for you: The June scenario design course includes a session for people in Asia-Pacific time zones. Check it out here.
Listen to me rant, again
Celisa Steele of the Leading Learning podcast recently interviewed me, with a focus on how associations can adapt action mapping for professional education.
This new page on my site links to several other recent interviews about action mapping and scenario design.
From times immemorial, stories have been used to pass knowledge and wisdom through the generations. Using stories for eLearning (or Storytorials) is an established creative Instructional Design approach that creates relatable and engaging learning experiences.
In this blog, I share two story based learning examples on professional skills training.
A story-based-tutorial or a storytorial blends the power of storytelling and principles of Instructional Design to create engaging learning experiences.
What are the key benefits of using a storytorial or story based learning approach?
The key advantages of using a storytorial or story based learning approach are:
- We all love a good story and it makes the learning fun
- It leads to a higher retention, we always remember a good story
- A compelling narrative will keep the learner hooked even when the content is dry or difficult
How can you design a storytorial or story based learning approach?
Like a story, this Instructional Design approach can have a single narrative that connects all components of learning into a single fold or multiple plots (scenarios). All we need to watch out for is the fact that the story should uplift the way content is presented and it must be relatable. Else, it will not create the required impact.
Let me showcase this through 2 examples that illustrate how can you create the required learner engagement, create a sticky learning experience and uplift the content by stringing it through a story.
Example 1: Writing Effective Storyboards
Learning mandate: Explain the key components of a storyboard and provide the tips and guidelines for creating an effective storyboard.
Instructional Strategy: Writing a storyboard is one of the primary and essential requirements expected of an Instructional Designer. How can we present the relevant information in a manner that is not preachy or prescriptive and will enable learners to apply it in an actual work environment? These two aspects formed the basis selecting a storytorial or story based learning approach for this course.
A story-based learning approach (a storytorial) has been used as an innovative and engaging strategy to present information that would serve as a refresher to most IDs in the field and enable new IDs to apply the learning to create effective storyboards.
The Story: The Course highlights key aspects of storyboard creation through the character of Nina, who is an Instructional Designer and has bagged her first job as an ID:
- The interview process, preceded by the preparation for the interview serves as a tool to reinforce or refresh some basics of storyboarding skills.
- Nina’s first assignment, after bagging the job, forms the remaining part of the “story” and highlights the key aspects to remember while creating a storyboard.
Example 2: Content Types and Their Visualisation Approaches
Learning mandate: Explain the content types and how each can be presented visually to build an engaging and interactive course.
The Story: We felt that instead of listing out or describing various content types and their visualisation techniques, it would be helpful for learners to go through a story that reflects this information in a much more engaging and interesting format.
The story introduces us to a team of Instructional Designers, who have been assigned the task of creating an eLearning course. Their analysis of the storyboard and its review and discussions around the ways to present the content of the eLearning course form the premise to present the information on content types.
Note: Both examples featured here are part of our suite of 15 online courses for Instructional Designers. This series features many other creative Instructional design approaches.
I hope this blog provides you with insights on how you can use story-based learning strategy to enhance the learning experience. If you have any queries, do contact me at email@example.com.
Want more insights on how you can use creative Instructional Design techniques and achieve a better learner engagement?
Schedule a call with our Solutions Architecting Team.
The post 2 Great Story-Based Learning Examples to Create Engaging eLearning appeared first on eLearning.
Effective Gamification Strategies For Corporate Training
Usage of gamification strategies for corporate training, particularly for serious learning to meet specific learning outcomes, is more than a buzz today. Throughout its journey and evolution over the last five years, gamification is a significant part of any organizational learning strategy today and is clearly reshaping corporate training.
Take a look at the following stats:
Worldwide revenues for game-based learning products reached $2.6 billion in 2016 . The global five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a robust 22.4%. Revenues will surge to $7.3 billion by 2021.
Despite the impact of gamification strategies for corporate training, there are still concerns about their effectiveness. In this article, I address some concerns and then showcase the gamification strategies that you can implement.
1. Can Gamification Meet Specific Learning Outcomes Like Traditional eLearning Or Is It ‘Just Fun And No Specific Learning Gain’?
It is a myth that gamification as a strategy cannot meet specific learning outcomes. In fact, it does so with an added panache of higher learner engagement and “fun as you learn”.
At EI Design, we have met this mandate, demonstrating a clear learning gain by:
- Applying game mechanics in a non-game situation
- Providing a platform and a safe environment for learners to face challenges that they would face in real-life situations
- Designing solutions with ‘serious game-based’ concepts and mapping the game objectives to the learning objectives
- Creating learning portals that integrate the best of microlearning techniques, social learning, and customizable learning paths
2. Why Should You Adopt Gamification As A Significant Strategy To Engage Your Employees And Boost Performance?
If you were to ask an employee what are the top two things that motivate them, you are likely to hear recognition and rewards. It stands to logic that what motivates employees must be a part of the learning strategy so that we have an engaged and motivated audience for the training.
This is where gamification for learning fits in.
It also stimulates collaboration and over a period of time it creates the required behavioral change or improves performance. Incidentally, this is also supported by research. Gartner, in the Gamification 2020 report, predicts that gamification will have a significant impact on:
- The design of employee performance
- Globalization of higher education
- Emergence of customer engagement platforms
- Gamification of personal development
3. What Factors Contribute To Successful Gamification In Training?
For the gamification strategy to have the required impact, it needs to:
- Capture and retain the learners’ attention
- Challenge them
- Engage and entertain them
- Teach them
Hence, the gamification concept must be tested against each of these aspects. If it clears this litmus test, you will see that the gamification strategy will have the required impact.
In addition, gamification can be used as a key tool to drive engagement in the following ways:
- Accelerated feedback cycles
- Clear goals and rules of play
- A compelling narrative
- Tasks that are challenging but achievable
4. Can Gamification Strategies Work For All Types Of Corporate Training Needs?
From an approach that the corporates were skeptical of to earning a reputation for being a high-impact learning strategy, gamification has come a long way. Today, organizations have realized its potential, and the fact that it is widely adopted doesn’t come as a surprise at all.
At EI Design, we have been using gamification techniques for corporate training for over four years now. We have used gamification techniques:
- To address various training needs (including induction, onboarding, behavioral change, soft skills, and compliance).
- To make traditional eLearning-based training interesting with partial gamification.
- To pep up ILT training (through gamified assessments).
- As part of set learning paths (featuring various learning assets).
- In tandem with other innovative strategies like social learning, microlearning, and Performance Support.
I have picked 5 examples that match top 5 corporate training needs:
Example 1: Compliance (Code Of Conduct And Business Ethics)
Gamification strategy: The learner embarks upon a quest to unlock the “Code” document by going from one location to the next, each corresponding to a topic. The Visual Journey Map signifies these locations. At each location, the learner gets acquainted with one aspect of the code. To move to the next location, the leaner must attempt a challenge which will allow them to get the “key” to the next location. The learner is constantly challenged through the level-based approach and is rewarded with points and bonuses for good performance. They can view a comprehensive scorecard of their performance at the end of each topic.
Example 2: Induction And Onboarding
Gamification strategy: It features a mission-based strategy where the learner creates an identity and then goes through different missions, each related to an aspect of the induction and onboarding training spread across a period of 100 days. The visuals resonate with the theme of a military mission. Learners have a dashboard which shows their achievements, leaderboard, social activities and progress through the missions.
Example 3: Professional Skills Training
This is an example of conversion of an existing eLearning module into a gamification solution making Account Management fundamentals engaging for the Project Managers.
Gamification strategy: It features an LMS-based solution consisting of four different levels (each mapping to the desired proficiency level). The learner faces challenges at every level but they get support in the form of learning aids (microlearning nuggets) and expertise (access to expert feedback). The objective is to gain a badge at each level and garner points for attempting challenges and completing learning nuggets.
Example 4: Soft Skills Training
Gamification strategy: This is a simulated module for managers to improve their skills in interviewing and selecting candidates.
The managers go through a simulated recruitment process where they view candidate profiles and conduct interviews in a virtual environment. This is followed by an evaluation process where a decision is made about which candidate to select. At each stage, they get scores, bonuses, and penalties for the decisions made. Additionally, they get performance-based feedback to improve their skills.
Example 5: Technical Training (Application Simulations)
Gamification strategy: This example demonstrates a portal or a platform-based solution that hosts multiple modules on an application simulation. The simulations provide learners with points for performing tasks successfully. If a learner gets stuck at any step, hints are provided but points are deducted proportionately for each hint. Additionally, there is a dashboard that can be used to track progress across modules. It also has a provision to post questions to experts for support and guidance.
I hope this article provides the requisite pointers to convince you to introduce or expand the use of gamification strategies for your diverse corporate training needs. You will certainly notice higher learner engagement and desired impact (performance gain). If you have any queries, do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here at action mapping central, we’re all about scenarios — realistic activities that help people practice what they need to do on the job.
“That’s all fine,” some people say. “But people need to be taught basic concepts before they can apply them. You can’t just throw people into an activity without first teaching them the concepts.”
I say that yes, we can throw them into an activity that requires knowledge that they don’t yet have. The trick is to make that knowledge available for them to draw on as they need it.
Here’s a basic example.
Add fractions without knowing how to add fractions
Let’s consider the plight of people in the US, the land of feet and inches. When calculating building supplies, Americans often need to add fractions.
Our learners are American construction workers or similar people who often need to figure out the total length of two boards. We’re designing elearning.
A lot of designers would say, “First we need to show them a video on how to add fractions. Then we need to provide an example in which Pablo the friendly foreman adds the length of two different boards and explains step by step how he does it. Then we’ll let the learners do it with two other boards. This is tell, show, do, which everyone knows is the best way to teach.”
Let’s try it a different way. Let’s make me one of the learners. Math was not my best subject.
- I’m plunged into an activity that requires me to figure out the total length of a 5-foot, 2 1/2″ board plus a 3-foot, 4 3/8″ board. I’m trying to determine if I can put them end-to-end to get the length required for my porch deck. I realize I have no clue how to calculate the total length.
- I click the optional link called “How to add fractions.” I see a quick tutorial on how to do it in general. If I had remembered anything from math class, this tutorial probably would have been enough for me.
- I apply what I learned in the tutorial to the problem, but I’m not sure I’m doing it right. The answer I got is one of the options, but something seems wrong about it.
- I click the other link, called “See how to solve it.” This shows me the first step to solving the problem and then displays a “Next” link, giving me the option to see the next step. When I click “Next,” I see the next step, and I finally understand what I need to do. I go back to the problem and solve it. If I didn’t get it after seeing the first two steps, I could have kept clicking until I saw all the steps and the actual solution.
- The course also offers a downloadable, printable job aid that includes a quick reminder of how to add fractions, so I can look at it on the job.
This is a very different way of “teaching” stuff. Its advantage over “tell, show, do” is that it puts control in the learner’s hands. People who already know how to add fractions simply complete the activity and move along quickly, while people like me who don’t know the method stop, learn it, and then apply it.
Since this is self-paced elearning, we could adapt it to the learner. If someone views the support materials before solving the first fraction-adding problem, we schedule another fraction-adding problem for them (and maybe another and another, depending on how they seem to perform). In contrast, the people who solve the first problem without help move on immediately to a different type of activity, because they’ve shown that they can already add fractions.
Each person gauges for themselves how much they know, seeing and filling their own knowledge gaps. Everyone goes at their own pace, digging deep into the how-to material or skipping it. No one has to sit through a presentation about stuff they already know.
And, importantly, the designer shows that they respect the learners as functioning adults with life experience. For a lot more about that, see the recording of our recent webinar on motivation.
Scenario design course: Seats still available
There are still seats available in the scenario design course that starts on Feb. 6. Learn to design scenarios by designing scenarios, with personal feedback from me. Sign up here.
Vote for topics
What do you want to hear about in this blog or future webinars? Enter your own ideas and vote on others’ here. To add an idea, click “Give feedback.”