Over the years you kind of formulate your opinion on what works and what doesn’t, when it comes to training people or helping students.
However one problem has puzzled many a good designer or instructor, why some students, despite loving the course, drop off and never complete their course or book.
There is a reason, an unusual reason, one you wouldn’t ordinarily think of. Now, if this is the “right” reason it should resolve the problem, right? We found it did this in our deliveries uniformly. Here, in this video, we illustrated the learning difficulty and why it might be your reason too. A theory is as good as its result they say. So do test it out.
So, yes, we are dealing with a hidden literacy problem. When a learner doesn’t understand enough of his course, he will give up and drop off. He won’t tell you, it will be time or money or kids but finding out what he didn’t understand, often restores his interest. We deduct this to be the reason because we helping him to understand, solves the problem. However there is a slow and a fast way of doing this.
There are many ways to find his “misunderstandings” but asking him to define particular key words often works the fastest. You just go through the text and ask, what does ___ mean?
Microlearning is the flavor of the season and for a good reason. Today, it is an important component of formal and informal training. In this article, I share 15 types of microlearning that you can use for formal and informal learning.
Formal And Informal Learning In The Workplace: 15 Types Of Microlearning
A lot has been said about the challenge of dwindling attention spans. In fact, a recent study by Microsoft pegs that the human attention span at 8 seconds in contrast to a goldfish whose attention span stands at 9 seconds.
While I don’t necessarily buy the data of this report, the fact is that we all are multi-tasking, we live in a world of distractions, and we have limited attention span. Alongside high pressure at work (often with long hours that compete with our personal time), we need to find the time and do justice to training. In the last 2-3 years, microlearning has emerged as an effective approach that L&D teams can use to address some of these challenges.
What Is Microlearning?
As the name suggests, it is a short, focused training. It is normally 2-5 mins in run length (normally not exceeding 7 mins). Although it is short, it is designed to meet a specific learning outcome.
It has the following key characteristics:
Rich media formats
Action-oriented (wherein learners learn, practice or apply for the job)
What Is Not Microlearning?
Microlearning is more than splitting the larger eLearning course into shorter nuggets. As I have highlighted, it is aligned to a specific learning outcome and should trigger the learner to act.
How Can Microlearning Be Used?
Microlearning is short, focused, available on mobile devices and can be adapted to offer both formal and informal training. Here are a few options:
You can transform your traditional eLearning format or microlearning format to a series of microlearning nuggets that are connected seamlessly through a learning path. These are designed for mobile learning or mLearning format giving the flexibility to the learners to consume them on the device of their choice and at a pace that works best for them.
Supplement formal training
You can also use types of microlearning to supplement your formal training.
It can be offered as nuggets to provide a reinforcement to the primary, formal training. Alternately, you can offer a series of nuggets to challenge the learners (micro quizzes).
You can also design them as a series of nuggets for practice and eventual mastery.
You can also use it to supplement your Instructor-Led Training (for instance, for online pre/post workshop material or practices sessions).
Performance Support Tools (PSTs) or job aids
Microlearning finds a perfect match to offer performance support to the learners. PSTs are just-in-time learning aids that are available in the learner’s work-flow and are designed to address certain needs. They could offer a quick fix, a ready reckoner to support their task, or a checklist that enables them to create the output with the required quality. Microlearning can be used very effectively to meet these specific just-in-time learning needs.
What Are The Various Types Of Microlearning?
They are a great fit to summarize the key takeaways. The visual approach to summarize the key aspects leads to higher recall and retention.
2. Interactive Infographics
Like infographics (in terms of visual-based approach), the interactivity enables you to layer information and pack more details. As an extension, they can be used as short learning guides.
This is probably the most common format for microlearning and can be used to provide quick and just-in-time access to specific information.
4. Interactive PDFs
The more current avatar of the traditional PDFs, that allow longer reams of data to be packaged in meaningful info groups that the learner can browse through easily.
5. eBooks And Flipbooks
They make handy job aids wherein you can pack great visual appeal and interactivities. They are multi-device and can generate HTML5 output. You can also integrate audio and video to further enhance the impact.
View (Video-Based Learning)
1. Animated Videos
A popular format that can be adapted to create a variety of learning aids. It can also be a part of a traditional eLearning (context-setting or learning summary).
2. Whiteboard Animation
A picture is worth a thousand words. Explaining concepts through pictures (featuring illustrations, animations, and audio) creates a high engagement, and the image stays with the learners well past the learning interaction.
3. Kinetic Text-Based Animation
Sometimes, when minimalism scores instead of visuals, the animation of text (with sound effects) can be used to convey the required message.
4. Explainer Videos
As the name suggests, these are great to introduce a concept in an easy to understand visual manner. Sharp and focused, they can be aligned to meet a specific outcome very effectively.
5. Interactive Videos
While video-based learning is great, you can top it up through interactive video-based learning. You can add interactions (matching the learning interactions of eLearning courses) to create high impact learning experiences.
6. Expert Videos, Webinars/Recorded Webinar
We look forward to expert advice and insights. Using this approach makes them accessible to learners when they want to review or at the moment of their need.
These are again very useful formats that can be accessed on demand by the learner at the moment of their need.
1. Interactive Parallax-Based Scrolling
Another very interesting format that uses the parallax approach that is commonly used in websites. It uses the same technique to simulate a learning path that the learner can “scroll through”. Alongside the learning path, interactions and quizzes can be added.
2. Mobile Apps
A very powerful approach to offer learning is through a mobile app that is being talked about as the “future of learning”. Not only is it the right fit for learning on the go; it brings in the added advantage to do both online and offline viewing (when there is no internet access).
3. Complex Branching Scenarios
When you need to simulate complex, real-life situations that learners need to handle and gain mastery on, this format is the right fit.
Take a look at this video to know the 15 types of microlearning that you can use for formal and informal learning:
I hope this article provides you enough and more choices to select types of microlearning that would work in your organization for both formal and informal learning. If you have any queries, do contact me at email@example.com.
Irrespective of the assessment criteria or type of assessment used at the end of a course, we champion the achievement and base ‘learning’ on the final grade. For right or wrong, this is the state of schools, colleges, universities and MOOCs .. a pass grade equals success, not necessarily a quality learning experience.
When a course or programme goes through review, either for changes or it’s new, the conversation will always turn to the assessment. Is the assessment indicative of the course and the course aims? is the assessment type appropriate to the delivery method? Is it a straight forward 100% exam or mix of coursework and exam? If coursework is included in the final grade can the documentation be deliberately vague to allow flexibility in how and what the coursework is (project, group, video, report, tests, etc.)?
All well and good. Well, not really good but you know what I mean. But which is more important … the learning and knowledge acquisition or the assessment grade? Most of us would say the former, the learning and being able to retain an apply the knowledge. But education requires a certificate that shows more than just attendance. It requires to show the standard to which the holder has worked and can work. Without a score or grade (80% or 2:1) there is no meaning to the achievement for an employer to gauge the ability of the certificate holder.
Is there an answer? Could the achievement be recreated and reassessed to accommodate more meaningful information pertaining to the individual and how they ‘work’ and ‘learn’, and what kind of person they are? This is usually a reference on an application, but wouldn’t it be good if this had more emphasis on an application than a grade? Making something that can’t be gamed would be the hard part, anyone can find someone to write a glowing report and review, just like you can find online examples of buying the academic paper or script.
What comes first when planning your course? The learning, or the achievement? Click To Tweet
You could argue we’ve already got an achievement for learning that goes beyond the assessment with Open Badges. If so, why haven’t we seen them used more widely? What is holding us, or rather the employers, so tight to the grade result and not the achievement? A few years ago there was lots of talk about the scope and strength of Open Badges. Surely that hasn’t gone away. I hope it hasn’t gone away.
Scenario Based Learning (SBL) is used extensively as a learner strategy in online learning. Not only does it provide high learner engagement as scenarios depict real life situations making them relatable, it also provides a safe environment to practice and understand consequences of their action.
In this blog, I show you how to you can use Scenario Based Learning through 5 examples for both Formal and Informal learning.
What is Scenario Based Learning (SBL)?
Scenario Based Learning (SBL) in eLearning uses real-life situations to validate the learning comprehension and more significantly its eventual application.
It offers a highly interactive and immersive approach that can be used effectively by organisations to:
Check-point learner’s knowledge
Check if learners will be able to apply the learning on the job
From a learner’s perspective, it provides:
Problem solving environment that is relatable (as it depicts real life situations)
Safe mode to practice
Understand the impact/consequences of their decisions and choices
Why is Scenario Based Learning (SBL) a popular choice for Instructional designers?
You can use several design approaches to craft Scenario Based Learning. These could range from simple images and animations to videos and interactive videos and build up real-life situations. It can be used to check the comprehension as well as application across most of the corporate training needs.
You can craft scenarios at two levels:
Mini or basic Scenario Based Learning: This is used to validate learner’s recall and basic comprehension (good for basic problem solving)
Complex or Branching Scenario Based Learning: This is used to validate learner’s proficiency to apply the learning.
It is a flexible instructional approach and you can use it:
Within a traditional eLearning course at suitable junctures (such as “Pause and Reflect” or in a Check Your Understanding assessment).
Alternatively, you can drive the entire course through a narrative/a master scenario/story with a cast of characters and have a combination of scenarios within the learning path.
You can weave Gamification and Microlearning elements also with Scenario Based Learning.
What are the key benefits of Scenario Based Learning (SBL)?
You can use Scenario Based Learning to create both formal and informal training solutions. The key benefits you will see are:
Sticky learning experiences
Facilitate problem solving in learners
Provide guided exploration to learners
Safe practice zone and gain proficiency and mastery
Allow learners to make mistakes and through feedback re-inforce the right approach
Re-inforce primary messaging
How can you use Scenario Based Learning (SBL)?
At EI Design, we have successfully used this approach for corporate training needs including:
Examples for Formal Learning
Example 1: Compliance
This course uses a standard scenario-based approach with relevant imagery as a backdrop overlaid with text and characters. In addition, it has intuitive layouts to make learning simple, effective, and scalable for rapid development.
Example 2: Soft Skills
An interactive exercise demonstrating a conflict scenario at workplace where the learners could relate him/herself in the situation and make decisions. This mobile-friendly engaging interaction was designed to ensure sticky learning. Learners get a chance to walk through and interact with a series of scenarios in this multi-device course to identify and mitigate conflict situations at work place.
Example 3: Professional Skills
This module introduces learners to the different types of audio strategy available for use. More importantly, the goal is to help learners identify the most relevant and suitable audio strategy in a course. A storyline that uses branched scenarios is able to involve learners and provide realistic context for them so that they can utilize their learning effectively in a real-world setting.
Examples for Informal Learning
Example 1: Compliance
This nugget 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 workplace. Specifically, it uses a scenario to help learners identify a potential hazard and prompts the right action through the feedback.
Example 2: Soft Skills
This microlearning nugget features a branching scenario with a visual indication of how learners fare with the choices they make. The learners are presented with a real life scenario (a project need). Basis the learning of the primary learning course, they need to apply their knowledge and determine the right audio strategy for this project.
I hope this blog showcases the learning experiences you can create with Scenario Based Learning. You can weave in trending techniques like Gamification, Interactive videos into your scenarios to further enhance its impact. If you have any queries, do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want more insights on how you can you integrate Scenario Based Learning (SBL) in your corporate training?
Schedule a call with our Solutions Architecting Team.
If you recommended one book to someone to read, be it work-related or not, what would it be and why?
Here’s are four recommendations from me:
Creativity Inc. (Ed Catmull). Whilst mainly about the history of Disney Pixar this book is a fantastic insight into how a business or operation benefits from creative minds and creative approaches. I may not like Pixar or it’s film, but reading the book will give you a different perspective on how different approaches, and how you work with them, can benefit an individual and organisation.
Ready Player One (Ernie Cline). You may or may not like sci-fi books, but this one is a great look at the future. With everyone using OASIS, an all-access Facebook/Second Life mashup. The book is about who gets control of this behemoth of a system (and it’s money), but this book is great on so many levels, not least how Ernie Cline sees education in this future (very reminiscent of Issac Asimov here).
The subtle art of not giving a f**k (Mark Manson). Once you get past the title and profuse swearing there is a solid premise to this book .. learn how to manage your own life and responsibilities, as well as those who try and dump their troubles on you (personally or professionally). Well worth a read if you have ever felt you take on to much and can’t find yourself among the noise of others.
Learning with ‘E’s (Steve Wheeler). I have a huge amount of time for Steve and his work. This book is an insight into Steve, his work, his blog, and his thinking that if you have any interest in learning, eLearning and anything digital / teaching / learning then this is for you! Seriously, it is!
My last post was all about the ways in which familiarity can bring a sense of consistency to not only delivering online learning content, but also designing and developing it. This time I want to look at the way in which distraction can prevent the well designed and impeccably delivered learning materials.
Whether you work in an office or, like me at the moment, at home, we all look to manage our working environment. Working in an office, small or large, will often mean managing how people interact with you when you’re trying to concentrate, preventing the creep of office chatter or ‘work’ noise.
Personally, if I want to focus I use music and, when in an environment with others, headphones. Depending on the quality of your headphones you may find you provide more distraction for co-workers as your headphones leak sound. A while ago I bought a set of AKG Y50BT headphones … not noise-cancelling, I can’t afford a decent set of those, but these on-ear ‘phones are really good at reducing noise ingress. The only downside of these is that my ears get hot.
Working from home means I don’t have to wear the ‘phones unless I have to. I can have music playing in my study or, if I work in the kitchen or conservatory, from the laptop or Amazon Echo (yes, I got one). Obviously working from home is great, but that’s once the kids have gone to school. Come mid-late afternoon, they’re back. I don’t want to impact my home life so back I go to the ‘study’ (smallest bedroom, until I get the garden office built!), close the door and try and let the house carry on as normal.
You can’t really do that in a shared office either, can you? Some people I’ve spoken with while writing this have a dedicated ‘quiet’ room where one or more can go to work in ‘silence’, or rather without interruption. Now that’s a good idea!
Making sure those around us know when we’re available to chat or when we want to focus and not be disturbed. I’ve worked with people who’ve had different techniques for this; one had a sign they’d hang on the back of their chair when they’re not to be disturbed. One manager used to wear a hat when he wanted to focus and be left alone. Another used to put his headphones on.
All this is great for me and how I set my working environment up, but what about for those of us who are also learners? What about for learners who are not as experienced or comfortable in sitting down at a computer or computing device to ‘learn’? What does distraction mean to them?
Firstly we, the learning design/development community, have to recognise that no matter how hard we try we will never be the most important thing in the learner’s life – family, friends, work, fitness, health, etc. will always exert a pull on their time and commitment. We have to respect that and enable the learning to fit around their existing lives. Even those learners who are fully committed to the course(s) and spend as long as possible, or even longer than we recommend, need to be able to learn when it suits them. Learners will often be doing it after a full day of work, family, etc. No everyone is at their mental best at this time either, so we need to make the learning as ‘easy’ to access as possible (see my post ‘familiarity‘ for more on this).
I’ve often seen, in online courses, a timer at the beginning of a section – “Time to complete: 0.5hrs”. There are often timescales ‘imposed’ on the course itself, most MOOCs will say something like “5 hrs per week“. This has often raised questions about whether we ought to be this prescriptive about how long the ‘learning’ should take, after all people read or learn at different rates.
When you create your online course, do you help the learner by explaining how they can set up their time and environment to prevent distraction? Would the (novice) learner benefit from our experience if we told them “find somewhere quiet, turn the TV off, close down social media tabs, don’t look at your phone notifications, switch the phone to silent, etc.”. But what about those people who focus more when there is noise (not distraction, but noise .. music, family, TV, cafe, etc.). I know it works for me. Sometimes.
Distraction doesn’t mean isolation or quiet. Something distracting to me might be essential for you to focus and relax. The thing here, for me, is that we have had the luxury to find out these things for ourselves. For our learners, what can we do to help them find their ideal ‘learning environment’? If your course has an on-boarding process or initiation stage then use it to highlight what is expected of them, how much time (and how often) they ought to spend on the course and it’s readings.
Provide as much information for the learners, without overloading them, to make the decisions for themselves. And try it out.
Well, it’s over four months since my last blog post, and the longest gap in my 9 year blogging ‘career’.
Why is that? Well, apart from being busy starting and defining a new role in a new industry, I’ve not really had that much to say. I’ve tweeted, I’ve connected with people on LinkedIn, I’ve travelled (and posted photos of it, like this and this and this). I’ve rested. I’ve worked hard and lost lots of sleep over it too.
Oh, and we got kittens too! Mostly the bite or chew everything (including the wires), but sometimes they settle down and keep me company in my home office.
But what’s only struck me really in the last few days is the lack of interest in this blog. From me. I am still active on Twitter, I’m still learning about my ‘craft’ and still learning about my new role in an exciting start-up. I’m reading and writing a lot on ageing and the wellbeing of older people, it’s just not on this blog or even in the public arena. Yet.
Let me also be honest here, it’s not just the working environment that’s changed (shared open-plan office to my spare room acting as a home office) or the industry I’m working in (UK university to global start-up, or business school to medical/healthcare specialists), the change is in and because of me. I am constantly seeing change in my attitude and approach to issues, problems, solutions, conflict, design, learning, remoteness, connectedness (is that a word?) and my general social demeanour.
Yes, tweeting is fun and hopefully will continue to be (but then again, maybe not) but I’ve always prided myself on this blog and the way it helped me network, collaborate, communicate, reflect, etc. with everyone ‘out there’. I am still reading around the various disciplines of online/distance learning, MOOCs, etc. and putting the ideas and designs to good use. I still join online courses, not so many MOOCs these days, both for personal enjoyment and professional curiosity. I am growing as an individual and a professional, and the journey ahead is all new to me, again, and exciting too.
The rest is the future. Using the skills from my CMALT journey and as an assessor I continue to evaluate and reflect on what I do, why I do it, how it can be better (or at least different), and how I can be better (and sometimes different too). I don’t want to stand still, I don’t want to be pigeonholed into one role or a ‘one trick pony’. I am too dynamic for that – I’m not being big headed or facetious for saying this, nor am I being cocky or rude. I mean dynamic in so much as forever looking forward and around me, observing and capturing, learning from others to improve myself and my work.
Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. (William Pollard)
Usage of learning portals for corporate training initiatives is gaining momentum. In this article, I share 4 examples of how you can use them for both formal and informal learning to increase employee engagement.
Learning Portals For Corporate Training: What Are Their Key Characteristics?
Learning portals are knowledge repositories featuring learning paths, and they are designed to meet specific initiatives. They can be independent of an LMS or can be designed to co-exist with one.
Key Characteristics Of Learning Portals For Corporate Training
Unlike traditional learning where the training is “pushed”, the learning portals for corporate training are designed to be learner-centric, giving them the control on how they want to “pull” the information and learn.
As an extension to the learner-centric focus, learning portals also feature collaborative or social learning.
In contrast to discrete bursts of intense training (a characteristic of formal training), the learning portals provide the “learning as a continuum”. This is through the learning paths that feature assets for both formal and informal learning.
They can offer personalized learning to the learners (based on their interest or their proficiency gauged by pre-assessment).
They can be used as an effective mechanism to create a “learning ecosystem” where learners can contribute and continue to enrich the repository.
They are designed to be available in multi-device format, thereby offering the flexibility for learners to choose the device they wish to access it on (ranging from desktops/laptops to tablets/smartphones).
Given their intrinsic modularity (to offer multiple assets within a given learning path), they can meet the needs of diverse learner profiles. Additionally, they can offer assets to meet the needs of different learning styles.
They can be designed to motivate learners and encourage competition through a range of gamified approaches like rewards and recognition that can be viewed on leaderboards.
The assets in the repository can be used to offer formal training (fully online or support ILT sessions) as well as Performance Support (informal learning).
The assets design typically includes currently trending approaches like microlearning, gamification and typically feature wide-ranging assets that learners can:
View (videos and interactive videos)
Read (eBooks, Flipbooks, PDFs, and Interactive PDFs)
Learn (both formal training and informal learning assets in mLearning format)
Why Do L&D Teams Adopt Learning Portals For Corporate Training To Gain Employee Engagement?
The learning portals for corporate training can supplement the existing training delivery (particularly for key formal training initiatives) or create islands to facilitate social learning, create communities of practice.
Rather than limiting the interaction of L&D teams only for discrete formal training sessions, learning portals for corporate training offer a connect with the learners through the learning journey. This can now include both formal pieces of training as well as Performance Support Tools (just-in-time learning aids the specific learning exactly at the moment of their needs).
As a result, there is demonstrable higher learner engagement. This approach facilitates both knowledge acquisition as well as its application on the job.
I have already highlighted that learning portals are designed to be learner-centric and since they provide the control to the learners, you will see higher engagement and interaction.
To summarize, the learning portals for corporate training meet the business needs as well as the learner’s needs and expectations. This is why it makes business sense to adopt them as a significant part of your learning strategy.
In the process, you will see following gains:
Improvement in learner engagement.
Sticky learning (through steady reinforcement).
Increased application of the acquired learning.
Increase in learner interaction.
Higher completion cycles.
How Can Learning Portals Fit In As Part Of An Organization’s Training Delivery?
Learning portals for corporate training map directly to the 70:20:10 learning model and find a great fit for both formal training and Performance Support Tools.
To give you a sense of what a typical learning portal offers, here’s a quick summary of the features designed by us at EI Design:
Learning path/learning journey
Completely responsive design
Awards and leaderboards
Microlearning nuggets in various formats
Flexible design: Can be independent of an LMS or co-exist with an LMS
Extensive admin controls
We, at EI Design, have crafted learning portals for following diverse corporate training needs:
Induction and onboarding
Personalization (for professional skills training)
Best practices (corporate quality mandate)
Sales and marketing resource center
Out of these, I pick our top 4 to showcase you the possibilities.
1. Induction And Onboarding
This example showcases the most significant usage of learning portals. Induction and onboarding is a great case in point on addressing a niche but a crucial training.
Gamification (including scores and leaderboards)
2. HR Benefits
This example highlights the usage of a learning portal to create awareness of the HR benefits.
Narrative approach: Features story and scenarios.
Learning path maps to various levels.
Gamification (including scores and leaderboards).
3. Content Curation
This example highlights the usage of a learning portal based approach to create communities of practice and promote continuous learning.
Recommended learning paths
Learning paths that can be created by learners
4. Employee Engagement
This example highlights the usage of a learning portal for an employee engagement. While it uses a “fitness” based theme, its core objective is team building.
Take a look at this video that showcases these 4 examples in an engaging format.
I hope the examples in this article showcase how you can use learning portals for corporate training to address various training needs to increase your employee engagement and foster collaborative learning. In case you need any specific assistance, do contact me at email@example.com.
In your last interview, were you asked a question you thought was either too tough, too personal, too ambiguous, etc.? Did you think you ‘nailed it’ or did you come away confused about the purpose of the question, your response, or whether the interviewer was messing with you?
“…candidates often struggled with the question: “Tell me about your most significant technical accomplishment, the project that you’re most proud of.” Max Brown, ex-Tesla recruiter.
This doesn’t sound too bad, does it? I can think of a few examples here, but is it the kind of thing the interviewer is looking for. Brown says that “most people’s first instinct is to pick the project or achievement that sounds the most substantial on paper – but that’s not always the one that illustrates their actual technical ability” and that “it’s usually better to shine the spotlight on a smaller project where you can truly speak to all of the technical aspects. In many cases, the biggest, most impressive-sounding initiative you participated in was largely the result of a team effort.” Hmm, really. Well, here’s what I would say, and these were my first thoughts when reading the article last night …
How would you answer an interview question about your 'most significant technical accomplishment'? Click To Tweet
My most ‘significant technical accomplishment’ would probably be one of my first positive experiences using computers. Back in the early- to mid-80’s my Dad bought me a ZX81, and then a ZX Spectrum. Before we bought a cassette player to record and load games I had to type each and every game I wanted to play. Copied from magazines or books, this could take a couple of hours, required squinting intensely at code which, as I’m sure you’re aware, would be rendered useless if you got just one comma or semi-colon in the wrong place. I learned the hard way to pay attention, keep the finer detail in mind when trying to rush to finish before bedtime, etc. I also learned to fix the broken published code. I learned what form the code should take, how to reference other bits of code. I learned how to trust myself and my ‘intuition’ when the code was wrong, so I could fix it before continuing.
From this I learned to write my own games, albeit very basic, but it was still all mine, from concept to (working) completion. I remember a worm race … six or eight worms race from one side of the screen to the other with random generator controlling how fast each went. Whichever got to the other side of the screen won, and I got the whole family to watch and choose a worm! Quality family time, eh? It’s from here that much of everything I do now stems … my interest in computers and computing, developments in AI and VR, gaming (although less and less now, but I’m getting back to it through my kids), the Internet, self motivation and confidence, advances in wearable computing, etc.
If in doubt, here’s another perspective for your next interivew .. “never stop learning”.
Donald Kirkpatrick created the four-level model for training evaluation, which most organisations claim to cherish. For those unfamiliar, the four levels are as follows.
Reaction – this answers the question what did the learners think about the training. We measure reaction through surveys conducted towards the end of training (sometimes called smile sheets)
Learning – this answers the question what did the learners learn during or immediately following the instruction. We measure learning most often through a quiz or a skills demonstration
Behaviour – this answers the question did the learners implement their new knowledge or skills back on the job
Results – this answers the question what impact did the training have on the organisation. We measure results most often with financial reports. However, results can also be things like customer satisfaction.
In my last full-time job (before I became a freelance designer/developer), the facilitator or designer/developer would review his or her level 1 evaluations and retain this data for their semi-annual review. Occasionally the team manager would look at them, but more often than not, the team administrator would stuff them in a file cabinet, never to be seen again.
As a designer, I would look at the odd results from our level 2 evaluation reports. Unfortunately, our LMS wasn’t sophisticated enough to tell me which questions were proving to be difficult for my students. Had I known those types of results, I would have looked more closely at first the course content that would affect those problem questions and secondly I would review the question itself. I would ask myself was it written in such a way that could make it difficult for students to answer correctly?
I’m afraid to say that in my previous organisation we didn’t perform any level 3 or level 4 evaluations at all. There just was no demand for this information and very little time to conduct the research needed to get these results. Instead, our executive was more concerned about completion reports.
When I started working alongside Adobe, they granted me a complimentary license for Adobe Captivate Prime for a period. I was impressed with the simple yet effective level 3 evaluation tools built into the LMS. Each time an employee completes online training from Adobe Captivate Prime, the employee’s manager will receive a notification at a later time asking them to evaluate the on the job performance. Level 1 and 2 evaluations are great but what matters are behaviour and results. If you can combine the level 3 results provided from this LMS along with your company’s financial reports, you could say without too much uncertainty if your company’s learning strategy is effective.
Shortly after I trialled Adobe Captivate Prime I created the following video. It’s a couple years old now, but I think it’s still an accurate assessment of Adobe’s LMS product and how effective your learning can be.