Free Webinar: Successfully Implement Your Learning Management System (LMS)

I’m doing a free virtual session on November 29 for anyone implementing a new learning management system! Content is based on my book LMS Success. Come join our awesome, always energetic audience.

Register here: https://elearningindustry.com/webinars/successfully-implement-your-learning-management-system-lms

Here is the session description:

Congratulations! You’ve selected the perfect Learning Management System. Now what? Join Katrina Marie Baker in this 60-minute webinar for a lively discussion and some amusing war stories from past implementations.

Our agenda will cover how to:

  • Complete your implementation so smoothly that executive leadership is in awe of your project management skills.
  • Avoid common pitfalls that cause your implementation to stretch out longer than originally expected.
  • Work effectively with your LMS vendor to determine a timeline, set expectations, and get everything done on time.
  • Assemble an administrator team that is excited, knowledgeable, and well organized.

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Free Webinar: Trends In Training And Learning Management

On November 21, I’m doing a virtual session covering the biggest trends in training and learning management! Just in time for the new year. The audience is always super involved, which keeps things entertaining.

Register here: https://elearningindustry.com/webinars/training-trends-and-learning-management?utm_source=presenter&utm_campaign=adobe_webinar_nov21

Here is the session description:

Join Adobe’s Senior Learning Evangelist Katrina Marie Baker for this lively conversation about the latest trends in training & development. Based on recent studies and research, the session will explore what people are doing in organizations around the world, and how organizations can achieve great results with modern learning programs.

Katrina Marie Baker will discuss the:

  • Impetus behind creating and developing virtual universities
  • Growing demand to encourage learner immersion and ongoing engagement
  • Rise of mobile learning
  • Role of skill-based learning in business training
  • Use of gamification for learner engagement and motivation
  • Ongoing expectations of learners for video
  • Proving the value of your learning program through more relevant reporting

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Recommended Reading Summary: A Chapter from “How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School”

I recently posted some recommended reading that relates to a virtual class I recently taught on gamification.  (Here is the recording.)

This is my own summary of the first chapter on the list.  I highly recommend the entire book, which is available for free from the National Academies Press.  It was written in 2000 but it contains some great foundational information.

Chapter 1: “Learning: From Speculation to Science,” from How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, by Bransford, Brown, and Cocking.

The current methods we use to deliver learning have been shaped by research within the field of education, as well as related fields.  In recent decades, teachers and researchers have discovered approaches that assist the learner in understanding and retaining new information.  Learning professionals now design curricula from a perspective that is more focused on the learner’s needs.  Research related to child development, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience has molded the current approach to early education, and has influenced how emerging technology is incorporated into the learning experience.

In the past, there was less focus on the teaching of critical thinking skills, as well as the abilities to express concepts persuasively, and solve problems requiring complex thought.  Learning experiences were focused on developing basic literacy in fields such as reading and mathematics.  Today, humanity’s knowledge is increasing at a faster rate due to globalization and rapid development of technology.  It is still important that learners develop fundamental understanding of certain subjects, but that is not enough.  Learners must be taught to self-sustain, meaning they must learn on their own by asking meaningful questions.  Using new teaching methods will help instructors connect with those who were once considered “difficult” students.  New teaching methods will also provide a deeper knowledge of complex subjects to the majority of learners.

There has been extensive research regarding how to teach traditional subjects, such as writing skills, with a non-traditional approach.  These research efforts date back to the nineteenth century and have influenced a new school of behaviorism, which in turn led to changes in how psychological research is performed.

Learning is now thought of as a process to form connections between stimuli and responses.  For instance, hunger may drive an animal or person to learn the tasks or skills necessary to relieve hunger.  Even if complex trial and error is required to learn a skill, we will perform whatever process is necessary, as long as the reward we seek is desirable enough to warrant the effort.

Cognitive science approaches the study of learning in a multi-disciplinary fashion, incorporating research from many fields and using many tools and methodologies to further research.  Qualitative research methods complement and expand earlier experimental research efforts.  An important objective within this research is to better understand what it means to understand a topic.  Traditionally, the learner’s ability to memorize is assessed in order to determine competency.  While knowledge is necessary in order to solve problems, facts must be connected to each other in order for the learner to draw conclusions.  An organized framework of concepts and ideas will give the learner the context necessary to solve problems and establish long-term retention.

Our prior knowledge, skills, beliefs, and concepts influence how we organize and interpret new information.  We exist in an environment that consists of competing stimuli, and we must choose which stimuli to focus on based on what has been important or meaningful to us in the past.  Therefore, it’s important that our foundational knowledge be accurate.  Incomplete and inaccurate thinking needs to be challenged and corrected early so that the learner doesn’t build upon which is essentially a weak foundation of knowledge.  For example, it’s common to believe our personal experience of physical or biological phenomena represents a complete and correct knowledge of that phenomena, when in fact we need more information in order to understand what we’ve experienced.

It’s important that learners have some control over their learning process so they have the opportunity to gauge their own understanding of the topics being taught.  The ability to self-assess and reflect on areas of improvement leads to metacognition, which is the ability of a person to predict their own performance on various tasks and monitor current levels of mastery and understanding.  Learning can be reinforced through internal dialog, meaning a learner may choose to compare new information with old information, explain information to themselves, and look for areas where they fail to comprehend what has been taught.  Teaching a learner how to monitor their own learning is therefore a worthwhile investment in the building of deep knowledge.  An active learner is more able to transfer skills to new problems and challenges.

The difference between a novice and an expert within a subject matter is the depth of knowledge commanded by the expert.  Depth of knowledge allows a person to recognize patterns, relationships, and discrepancies that a less experienced or knowledgeable person might miss.  An expert has a better conceptual framework, and is able to better analyze what information they need to draw forward in their memory to solve a problem.  Understanding what information is relevant to a problem is key, because it allows a person to focus only on the information they need at that moment.  This makes the problem less complex.

In order to build understanding within a subject, a teacher may provide in-depth understanding of a few specific topics, rather than giving a superficial overview of many topics.  This allows learners to better digest defining concepts.  Assessments must reinforce this model by providing instructors with an understanding of the learner’s thought processes and testing in-depth, rather than superficial, knowledge.

Learners should be encouraged to reflect on what has been learned before going on to additional topics in order to support metacognition.  Teachers should be encouraged to consider the many tools and methodologies available to present new information, and select what is best for the learner and topic.  Building a community of learners who work together and accept failure will allow individuals to take risks and challenge themselves in the classroom.  There is no one “right” way to design a classroom environment – but there are ways that are more effective than others depending on the learner’s culture and expectations, and how competence is defined.

 

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Free Webinar: Implementing a Gamification Strategy for Your Organization with Adobe Captivate Prime

Last week, I had an awesome time discussing how to implement a gamification strategy. If you missed that virtual class, I’m offering one more on November 15. You can check out the presentation or read the session description below.

Register here: https://www.trainingmagnetwork.com/events/1545?gref=calendar

One of the biggest challenges faced by organizations is generating consistent buy-in from trainees in the face of constant distractions and competing priorities. There are a variety of methods that can be used both to communicate the importance of training materials to the team, and to increase their likelihood to complete and retain the ideas and information from the training.

Join Katrina Marie Baker, Senior Learning Evangelist of Adobe Inc., for this one-hour demonstration focused on how to implement gamification within Adobe Captivate Prime.

You will learn:

  • How and why gamification can enhance completion rates for standard and compliance training
  • The fundamental principles of gamification for learning programs
  • How learning cohorts play a role in deployment of gamification
  • How to create and implement badges
  • How to establish points and parameters for achievements
  • How to add time-based motivation points to excite your audience
  • How to implement the new learning program aligned leaderboards

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Rerun of a Popular Virtual Session: 15 Ways to Market Your Training Program & Learning Tech

On November 6, I’m teaching one more virtual session of the popular class, “15 Ways to Market Your Training Program & Learning Technology.” It’s free! Come join our sassy audience, hear new ideas, and share your own.

Register here: https://elearningindustry.com/webinars/market-your-training-program-and-learning-tech-15-ways

Here is the session description:

Trying to get your learners’ attention? You may have the world’s best training program, but that doesn’t mean much if your learners don’t show up for class! Join Katrina Marie Baker for fun, simple ideas that ensure learners are as excited as we are about learning and development.

This 60 minute webinar provides fifteen tips that will help you:

• Reach learners who are geographically dispersed, incredibly busy, or in need of individualized coaching

• Introduce new learning technology, such as a learning management system, in a way that is engaging and beneficial to your overall training program

• Creatively promote learning and development within your organization

• Use cases, best practices, and humor included free of charge.

We look forward to seeing you!

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Rerun of a Popular Webinar: Social Learning & LMS Gamification

In July, we offered a webinar called Beyond The Buzz Phrase: Social Learning & LMS Gamification In Real Life. The webinar was attended by over 170 people from all over the world who contributed a ton of great ideas. And the discussion continued on social media even after the session!

Given the interest in this topic, we are going to rerun the webinar. Training Magazine will host our session on August 23 at 9AM Pacific. You can register here. The description and slides are below. Hope to see you – a second time!

Katrina

They are the two of the most popular buzz phrases in the Learning and Development industry—social learning and gamification. You’ve likely heard about the benefits of both in terms of learner engagement and retention. This webinar goes beyond theory and focuses on what gamification and social learning LMS features can do for your training program.

Join Katrina Marie Baker and explore how to:

  • Effectively blend social learning into existing courses using an LMS
  • Align gamification initiatives with business objectives so they contribute to your organization’s goals
  • Use learning technology to drive engagement using badges, leaderboards, and rewards

This webinar includes examples of gamification and social learning features found within Adobe Captivate Prime.

Look forward to seeing you!

The post Rerun of a Popular Webinar: Social Learning & LMS Gamification appeared first on eLearning.

It’s not a race

Two tweets have stood out for me this week that I want to connect. One from Seth Godin (my tweet, his blog post – please read it). Seth is “a teacher, and I do projects”. The other tweets was from Alejandro Armellini, Dean of Learning & Teaching at the University of Northampton.

Here are the tweets. 

Why, I hear you ask, these two? Well, for me, they both link back to the same thing … the appropriate and considered approach to using and implementing new technologies or new systems for learning. That learning can be a classroom, a library, online, coffee shop, etc. It doesn’t matter.

Seth wrote about giving up when you get behind, about never reading as many books as someone else, about website traffic so just give up:

“Should you give up?
There are people who have read far more books than you have, and you will certainly never catch up.
Your website began with lousy traffic stats, in fact, they all do. Should you even bother?
The course you’re in–you’re a few lessons behind the leaders. Time to call it quits?”

Linking this to Ale’s tweet, about technology enhancing learning. About the default setting of always looking to the new, the shiny, the different, the ‘cutting-edge’ or ‘leading research’ in designing and delivering meaningful or quality learning. For me these two are linked … we should not always look ahead at new ideas, ideals, or technologies, just as we should not always look back at try and stay 2-steps behind everyone else. We, the learning technologists, the instructional designers, the learning and development managers, the content delivery teams, should look both forward and back – learn from our journey to date (successes and failures), learn about where we are, learn about where we could be going.

More importantly, we should also be learning about how to get there. How do we take an existing course, module or unit and make it better. Who defines what ‘better’ is? Who decides whether it’s to strip out an activity because it didn’t’ work (was it the activity or the students? Let it run again and see if a different cohort has a different experience) or to update an activity because it relies on ‘old(er)’ technology. How do we decide what to take out or leave in? Do we rely on our knowledge of what is pedagogically ‘sound’ and ignore what the students didn’t ‘like’? Is liking an activity or it being popular enough of a motive to keep it in the course if it’s not getting the results? 

Ultimately, we (faculty, learning technologists, instructional designers, etc.) have to make many of these decisions based on our experience of what works (or not), and of what is good pedagogical practice (or not). New technology solutions, be they hardware or software, should still be rigorously tested and trailed to make sure it fits the learning, the policies for 3rd party tools, data compliance (who mentioned GDPR?), etc. 

It’s not a race. We’re not trying to do something before someone else does, or we shouldn’t be, and we’re not trying to beat someone to the finish line … in fact we’e all got different ideas of what the finish line is anyway. The key is and always has been to find a good use of technology that fits the intended purpose or intended learning, that is appropriate for the audience and their technical competence, that is appropriate for the time for study and subject to be studied. 

Let’s not rush to force technology, of any strand, into the learning. It’s better to understand both purpose and implementation, work on the foundation to build a solid stable solution upon, get them both right and the technology will take a backseat for the actual learning.

Image source: Chrissy Hunt (CC BY-NC-ND-2.0)

When you have a student drop off your course, it can be because of this…

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?

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15 Types Of Microlearning For Formal And Informal Learning In The Workplace

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:

  • Multi-device support
  • 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:

  1. Formal training
    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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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?

Read

1. Infographics

They are a great fit to summarize the key takeaways. The visual approach to summarize the key aspects leads to higher recall and retention.

Infographic

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.

Interactive Infographics

3. PDFs

This is probably the most common format for microlearning and can be used to provide quick and just-in-time access to specific information.

microlearning - PDF

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.

Interactive eBook

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.

flipbook

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).

microlearning-animated video

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.

microlearning - whiteboard animation

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.

microlearning - Kinetic animation

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.

microlearning - explainer video

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.

Interactive Video Sample

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.

webinar

7. Webcast/Podcasts

These are again very useful formats that can be accessed on demand by the learner at the moment of their need.

microlearning - webcast

Learn

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.

Parallax eLearning example 2

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).

EI Design Mobile Apps For Microlearning Based Training

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.

scenario-based-learning

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 apandey@eidesign.net.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/15-types-microlearning-formal-informal-learning-workplace/

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Learning or achievement?

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?
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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. 

Image source: The Old Adalie Plain (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)