Using Kolb’s Learning Styles To Create Engaging Custom eLearning Courses

Kolb’s learning styles help in understanding what works well when we are designing courses. An intricate model, Kolb’s learning cycle is often used to explain the learning process. I will share my thoughts on how Kolb’s model can be used to create better eLearning courses.

How To Use Kolb’s Learning Styles To Create Engaging Custom eLearning: Overview Of The Model

Kolb’s model suggests that all learning happens due to real-world experiences which then help people form mental models of that experience. Some people actively experiment with the new learning and create further experiences on the subject.

Let’s look at the Kolb’s learning cycle:


From the diagram, we can state that there are 4 aspects to the model, which are explained below:

  1. Concrete Experience
    It is the first part of the model. The learner has a new experience, say for example using a machine or a tool or going to a new place for the first time. When the person uses the tools or visits a new place he has a concrete experience that sets the foundation for the subsequent processes.
  2. Reflective Observation
    After the experience, the person reflects on the experience and tries to understand the differences between his/her prior understanding of the subject. For example, if the person has heard great things about a destination, but has contrarian experiences, then he or she makes those observations and calls or labels those experiences as bitter.
  3. Abstract Conceptualization
    After reflecting or observing on the matter deeply, the learner comes up with new ideas. So, in our example, the person may chose never to visit that destination, or chooses another destination, or starts his own travel agency!
  4. Active Experimentation
    After forming new ideas, the person actively works on the idea. So in our example, the learner may travel to new places, or start his own travel agency, or even develop an app that helps other travelers make informed choices.

Learning Styles

However, not all learners do all the 4 activities. There are some who perform active experimentation, there are those who only watch and reflect on the experiences, and then there are those who form new ideas.

This leads to 4 styles of learning, which is summarized below in the diagram:

1. Accommodating (Doing And Feeling – CE/AE)

The first style is about people accommodating what others have to say. So, they go with general perceptions or with the consensus. If something appeals to them, they will do it as they like to have concrete experience and active experimentation based on gut feelings. They are basically people who like to feel things.

2. Diverging (Feeling And Watching – CE/RO)

As these people like to have a feel of things and make mental notes through observations and reflection. They are most likely to have ideas. They like to brainstorm ideas as they like to look at things from various angles. They love to gather information and use their intuition and imagination to provide solutions to problems. They are sensitive and are open to feedback from others.

3. Converging (Doing And Thinking – AC/AE)

People with converging learning style are active experimenters and like to provide practical solutions to any given problem. As they are low on the feeling and watching part, they are less likely to spend time with others. They like to spend time alone and work on various parts of a problem. As they are strong in doing and thinking, they need constant stimulus to work on. Accountants and people working on hands-on stuff have generally converging learning style.

4. Assimilating (Watching And Thinking – AC/RO)

They are the analytical people. The preferred learning style is to watch and think through things. They are adept at creating mental models and are good at science jobs. They are looking to understand the logical aspects of a problem. Like converging learning style, they too like to work alone and not be with people. They like to organize things in a clear logical manner.

Applying The Learning Styles – A Case Study

In this custom eLearning course, we were targeting the product and sales team of a pharmaceutical company. The product and sales teams preferred learning style is converging, that is they are active experimenters and are doers. In other words, they are go-getters and are action-oriented people. Thus, to teach how much time it takes for a drug to be discovered and approved for market release, we weaved around a story with a lot of facts and data points to help them understand it better. We provided a decision tree activity which showed them how selecting a potentially incorrect molecular combination can delay the drug discovery process by years.


To conclude, Kolb’s theory is a great model for understanding learning styles and applying it to create the right custom eLearning courses. I hope you found it useful.

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Tips And Examples To Create Highly Engaging Online Compliance Training

Online compliance training tends to be boring but this need not be the case. In this article, I share tips and examples on how you can increase the learner engagement quotient of your online compliance training.

How To Create Highly Engaging Online Compliance Training

As we know, compliance training is carried out by organizations to ensure conformance to rules and guidelines enforced by governments and/or regulators.

Since the late nineties, these trainings are being offered in the online format. While the eLearning technology and learning strategies have changed significantly over these years to use more engaging and immersive learning approaches, the way online compliance courses continue to be designed leaves much to be desired.

Even today, they are often boring. Sure enough, they do get completed and attested by learners; but they do not necessarily meet the corporate mandate of being able to instill the spirit of “why comply” and trigger the required behavioral change.

At EI Design, our compliance practice (to offer engaging and high-impact online compliance training) is now 15 years old. In fact, one in every six courses that we create is for a compliance mandate.

The key value that our compliance practice offers is a series of measures to step up learner engagement through strategies that would eventually trigger the required behavioral change.

In this article, I share tips on how learner engagement for online compliance training can be stepped up. I also share two examples that showcase how you can achieve a high engagement quotient with your learners and achieve your mandate.

Despite The Accepted Significance Of Compliance Training, Why Do We See That Employees Are Not Engaged With Them?

There are several factors due to which employees tend to be disengaged with compliance training (to the degree that they often dread them). These include:

  1. Compliance courses tend to be boring.
    The content of most compliance programs is rather dry and has a rich share of dos and don’ts and the consequences of non-compliance to name a few. In other words, they tend to be preachy and prescriptive – couple of things adult learners do not like.
  2. Lack of motivation.
    Unlike other courses that help learners gain a new skill or reduce a proficiency gap, compliance courses are “mandated” by the organizations, and therefore, learners tend to lack intrinsic motivation to take them.
  3. Lack of engagement.
    Most online compliance training programs today follow a rather predictive approach of laying down the facts, policies, and impact of non-conformance and wrap up the training with a quiz. Often, the information is not provided in a format that can truly help learners relate to it, internalize it, and push them to do the right thing when faced with situations that need the desired action.

What Are Some Ways To Encourage The Employees To Comply?

I believe that we need to have a combination of approaches to ensure that we can eventually see the required behavioral change in the employees.

Here’s my list of four tips that can aid you in the process of this transformation:

Tip 1: Change The Tone And Approach

As adult learners, we respond better to an approach that lays down why we should be mindful of certain aspects, as there are associated consequences (for us as well as the organization) if we do not comply.

So, flip the learning approach and start your online compliance training by explaining:

  • Why do the specific guidelines exist
  • Why is it necessary to conform and what are the implications if we don’t
  • What are the consequences for the employees and the organization

At the learning strategy level:

  • Engage the learner first
  • Share the facts in a format that they can relate to and understand their gravity (and more significantly, their consequences)

Once this is done, then move to:

  • Dos and Don’ts: Avoid jargons and keep it simple and relatable.
  • Reinforcement: Put the learners in situations (dilemmas) to assess if they have truly internalized the learning.
  • Assessment: Push the validation of learning through questions that map to both levels of cognition (Understanding and Application). You can also opt for a series of questions that can build from the response of the previous question. This threaded approach of assessments not only keeps the learners engaged but also pushes the cognition levels to the desired level.

Tip 2: Give The Control Back To The Learners

All adult learners like to be in control. It doesn’t hurt to provide the required flexibility to the learners through a combination of approaches, including offering courses on multiple devices (including smartphones and tablets) through mobile learning or mLearning.

This enables them to access the training on the device of their choice, when they want to (rather than when they are required to).

Tip 3: Use Innovative Formats

Today, you have a wide range of learning strategies to pick from. These approaches create a much higher engagement quotient and will help you see better completion rates within the stipulated time.

Some of the approaches we use include:

  1. Gamification.
  2. Partial gamification.
  3. Microlearning.
  4. Personalization.
  5. Scenario-based learning.
  6. Story-based learning.

Tip 4: Continue The Engagement After Completion Of The Formal Training

We need to eventually see the learners undergo the desired behavioral change to sustain the required compliance.

This can be achieved by adding components of Performance Support Tools (just-in-time learning aids or job aids) to your online compliance training to reinforce the learning.

These learning aids support the primary training and can be made available to the learners within their workflow. They work very effectively in reinforcing the message of the primary training. Additionally, they can be used to push the learners to take the required action.

What Can Be Done To Make Compliance Training Engaging For The Learners?

Before getting on to examples that showcase the techniques to step up the engagement quotient of online compliance trainings, it is important to watch out for what should not be done:

  1. Avoid making compliance training a bitter pill that everyone must swallow.
  2. Avoid preachy and prescriptive content as adult learners don’t like it.
  3. Avoid presenting information in a boring or predictable eLearning format.

Now let us look at two examples that feature the key aspects of what I have outlined so far:

  • How can you achieve a high engagement quotient with the learners.
  • How can you increase the stickiness of learning through immersive strategies.

Example 1: Compliance Course On Data Security

“A Date with Data Dave” is an informal microlearning nugget on the Compliance subject of Data Security. It is part of a larger suite of courses on compliance that we have developed. The information provided is a prequel to a comprehensive module on Data Security and provides preliminary information about the subject.

The nugget is in a responsive web-based training format called Interactive parallax based scrolling that is very popular on websites and is now being used as a microlearning technique. This design approach creates a compelling viewing thereby keeping the learners hooked. It also appeals to the millennial workforce.

Online Compliance Training - eLearning Microlearning Nugget Parallax 1

The introduction screen has a small video to set the context of the course. We used an “Ethical Hacker” Dave as the anchor for the course.

Online Compliance Training - eLearning Microlearning Nugget Parallax 2

Online Compliance Training - eLearning Microlearning Nugget Parallax 3

Learning aids (as popups) are provided as the learner scrolls down.

Online Compliance Training - eLearning Microlearning Nugget Parallax 4

Few learning aids are provided in the form of short videos that create sticky learning.

Online Compliance Training - eLearning Microlearning Nugget Parallax 5

Of course, the knowledge wrap up the course.

Online Compliance Training - eLearning Microlearning Nugget Parallax 6

The last scene summarizes the key learning points of the course. It also acts as an information highlight to indicate where the learners need to pay attention.

Example 2: Compliance Course On Insider Trading

This example highlights the usage of an immersive learning strategy where we put the learner within the learning path.

Learning strategy of “Investigation” to explore and learn: Rather than getting an access to what they must learn (as is the case in a traditional eLearning course), the learners must “investigate” the various facets to meet the learning outcomes. This immersive approach forms the core of the enhanced learning experience.

To highlight the impact of this approach, I also share a traditional eLearning course so that you can easily compare the learner engagement quotient between the two approaches (traditional vs a highly immersive one).

Traditional eLearning Approach

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.

Online Compliance Training - Insider Trading Level 1 - 1

Online Compliance Training - Insider Trading Level 1 - 2

Online Compliance Training - Insider Trading Level 1 - 3

Immersive Learning Approach

This course uses a crime scene investigation approach where the learner investigates a case related to Insider Trading and needs to identify the perpetrators.

The investigation (or the learning path) features decision-making scenarios that map to real life situations and would drive learners to act appropriately when they face similar dynamics.

This approach creates a much higher engagement, is immersive and pushes the cognition level to analysis and application. Eventually, it helps training meet the compliance mandate far more effectively than the previous (more traditional approach).

Online Compliance Training - Insider Trading Level 3 - 1

Online Compliance Training - Insider Trading Level 3 - 2

Online Compliance Training - Insider Trading Level 3 - 3

I hope this article provides you with food for thought as you seek to re-evaluate or revisit your online compliance training strategy.


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Digitize Instructor-Led Training Sessions To Increase Employee Engagement And Performance

The need for enhanced learner engagement in instructor-led training (ILT) today is stronger than ever and organizations are increasingly looking at active learner participation in instructor-led training deliveries. In this article, I highlight how you can achieve this when you digitize instructor-led training sessions through our eSpace tool.

Why You Need To Digitize Instructor-Led Training: What Are The Factors That Are Pushing Organizations To Relook At ILT Delivery?

Digitize Instructor-Led Training

With reduced training and travel budgets, Learning and Development (L&D) teams across the world are being pushed to re-evaluate their existing instructor-led training (ILT) delivery. Alongside the reduction of budgets, there is an added pressure to ensure that there is a demonstrable ROI on the training spend.

On the other side, learners expect training deliveries that:

  1. Appeal to varied profiles (particularly Millennials).
  2. Adapt to their preferences and learning styles.
  3. Are flexible and can be taken “on the go” on the device of their choice (includes smartphones and tablets).

Clearly, both these aspects converge to an increase on:

Online training: Particularly mLearning or mobile learning.

Blended learning.

Digitization of the instructor-led training delivery to maximize the effectiveness of instructor-led and virtual instructor-led training programs.

In this article, I will focus on why it makes sense to digitize your instructor-led training delivery and enhance its value and have more engaged learners. I will also outline how this will lead to a higher ROI on your training spend.

What Are The Benefits If You Digitize Instructor-Led Training?

You would get several benefits that help you maximize the effectiveness of instructor-led and virtual instructor-led training programs. Notable being:

  1. Get the best of both worlds.
    • Have the power of traditional instructor-led training delivery.
    • Multiply the impact by leveraging on the flexibility of online delivery.
  2. Create highly engaging and interactive learning sessions with your learners.
  3. Retain the connect (between learners and between trainers and learners) even after the workshop.
  4. Bring in “learning as a continuum”.
    Extend the learning engagement even after the workshop.

Case Study

I share a case study that features our platform eSpace and how it enables you to go beyond the traditional instructor-led training/blended delivery to a new age digital experience.

eSpace retains the edge of the instructor-led training delivery and offers the benefits and flexibility of online delivery.

Introducing eSpace – A Unique Online Framework For Offering Instructor-Led Training And Blended Learning

This unique framework (cloud-based and works on all devices including tablets and smartphones) allows you to offer instructor-led training or blended training through an online platform.

You can create learning paths featuring microlearning nuggets (for blended delivery) and integrate social learning features to provide higher impact learning.

You can use eSpace to:

    • Provide access to a single source for material for instructor-led training sessions.
      Pre-Workshop online material can be shared with learners before the training session. They have an on-going access to it both during and post workshop.
    • Provide control to instructors.
      They can define the learning path and integrate all job aids required for training acquisition and eventually its application on the job (thereby establishing a performance gain that businesses want to see).
    • Communicate and collaborate.
      There are several features to facilitate communication with groups and individuals.
    • Engage and contribute.
      The tool offers different features to take feedback from participants during the training.

How Can You Use eSpace To Step Up Your Existing ILT/VILT Delivery?

It addresses the challenges that are inherent to ILT/VILT delivery. In addition, the tool:

    • Provides higher learner involvement and ensures active learner participation.
    • Reduces the learners’ inhibition to comment/communicate.
    • Tracks the access to preparatory materials by the participants.
    • Provides an easy approach to maintain documentation, preserve it, and keep it accessible online.
    • Provides easy revision of the information.
    • Enables instructors to do an effective assessment of the learning (more rigorous check-pointing pre/post or during the workshop).
    • Provides easy to implement online post-training support.
    • Enables an easy way to integrate Performance Support at work.

How Does eSpace Help Both Instructors And Participants With An Enhanced Learning Experience As Opposed To Traditional Instructor-Led Training Delivery?

Our eSpace platform is more than just an online platform to deliver instructor-led training and blended learning. It comes with a host of features that are bound to take your blended learning experience to the next level.

1. Easy To Set Up Plus Use It Beyond The Workshop.

    • The platform facilitates easy and flexible delivery of learning content.
      You can use it to share material pre-workshop, during the session, and to offer performance support options post-workshop.
    • User-friendly.
      The tool is user-friendly and it’s easy to set up sessions and courses. Instructors need not have the in-depth technical know-how to operate the tool as it is easy to use and extremely intuitive.

2. Truly Collaborative.

With eSpace, users can experience collaborative learning in the true sense of the term as it has:

    • Forums/Discussion Boards.
      The tool has forums to facilitate communication between learners and instructors alike. Categories of forums can be created with each forum having its own discussion thread. These forums can be moderated as well to ensure that appropriate/relevant content is brought up for discussion.
    • Instant messaging.
      The chat tool comes with features like emoticons and smileys that give the learning a personalized touch.
    • Video-conferencing.
      This feature breaks the distance barriers between learners and instructors and helps make learning and interaction as real and effective as possible.
    • Groups.
      Learner groups can be created and they can be defined at the instructor/administrator level. Learners can be given permission to create their own groups as well.
    • An integrated social network.
      The tool comes with an integrated social network wherein all registered users can create their own profile, search for people, send invitations, make friends, send messages, and create groups on different topics.
    • Social bookmarking.
      Learners can exchange links and bookmarks and also link their social network profile to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other external social network platforms.
    • Announcements.
      Instructors can send announcements to learners through emails, text, images, videos, links, and so on. They also have the flexibility to send announcements or messages globally or to individual learners. These announcements will be visible to learners as soon as they log in to the platform.

3. Learner-Centric.

The tool is a learner’s delight as it comes with features such as:

    • Personal notes.
      The personal notes tool is available to learners to take notes on the courses they are taking.
    • Personal calendar.
      The tool facilitates setting up of events, meetings, assessments, and so on in the course agenda. Learners can receive updates when there are changes to their personal calendar and synchronize the calendar with the course agenda.
    • Self enrollment.
      Learners can log in and enroll themselves in the course of their choice.
    • Role swap.
      Learners can be given teacher/instructor rights. They can be made tutors and allowed to create course content.
    • Search course content.
      Learners can use the search option to look for a specific course content.
    • Learning in nuggets.
      The tool allows learners to experience bite-sized learning in the form of microlearning nuggets. Their nuggets can also be used as effective Performance Support Tools to convert acquisition of knowledge to the application of knowledge.

4. Classroom Plus.

The tool helps provide learning experiences that are both similar and distinct as far as classroom learning is concerned. This is on account of features like:

    • Sign-up sheets.
      Instructors can use these to track the presence of learners for the courses they take.
    • Assignment submission.
      Learners can upload their assignments in the Assignment section.
    • Quizzes.
      The tool comes with an in-built feature that facilitates the creation of various types of quizzes (SAMC, MAMC, Fill in the Blanks, and so on). The details of how the learners have performed in the quiz can be tracked through the dashboard statistics, giving a clear picture of the percentage of learners who have passed or failed the tests.
    • Surveys.
      These can be sent to registered users as well as others through their email addresses. The statistics related to the data provided by the respondents is graphically represented.
    • Gradebook.
      Scores and grades that the learners have obtained are made available on the assignment tool.
    • Learner tracking.
      Insights on learner progress, activity, the time they logged in, results, scores, and so on are available on the dashboard.

5. An All-Embracing Technology.

The platform is cloud-based and multi-device compatible. Besides, it comes with features such as:

    • Varied learning tools.
      These appeal to different learning types and come in different forms.
    • Document upload, management, and sharing.
      The tool not only facilitates easy upload and download of files but sharing of documents through the platform saving the email attachment hassles.
    • Mobile learning.
      The tool lets you take the learning experience mobile and enable the learners to learn from anywhere they want on the device of their choice.
    • SCORM compliant.
      The tool is SCORM and AICC compatible.
    • Import of any type of content.
      The tool allows importing of content in varied formats and integration of external web content, such as YouTube videos and so on.
    • RSS feeds.
      These can be generated from within the platform by instructors.
    • Easy user management.
      Multiple users can be added. They can be added manually, individually, or group-wise by the administrator.
    • Language options.
      Learners can choose to operate the tool in the language of their choice. They can choose the language interface of their choice. The platform is currently available in 45 languages.
    • Course templates.
      Instructors can make use of course templates in the learning path tool.


You can also take a look at this video to know about the features of our eSpace platform and how it can be used to enhance the effectiveness of instructor-led training and blended learning deliveries.

I hope this article provides you with insights to help you step up your instructor-led training and blended learning strategy. If you need any further assistance, do contact me at

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10 Killer Examples Of Mobile Learning To Boost Employee Engagement And Performance

Examples of mobile learning to boost employee engagement

How To Use Mobile Learning To Boost Employee Engagement And Performance

Mobile learning is acknowledged as a key training delivery format by organizations across the world. It is used extensively as a modern training approach that is learner centric and facilitates an ongoing consumption of smaller bytes of learning instead of one large chunk.

Let us see how mobile learning can be used to drive higher employee engagement and performance.

  • Learn, Recall, and Retain.
    As the learning bytes are delivered in interesting and engaging formats and made available to learners within their workflow, they work more effectively in helping them learn, recall, and retain.
  • Apply the learning on the job.
    Over a period of time, this leads to the required application at work (and the anticipated behavioral change). All these factors are driving the usage of mobile learning to engage learners and boost their performance.

What Is Mobile Learning And Why Is It Gaining Momentum?

Mobile learning is the next-gen eLearning that can be offered across multiple devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and so on). It is an “anytime, anywhere” learning that they can assimilate at their own pace and on devices of their choice.

Mobile learning can be used to offer formal training as well as Performance Support or PSTs (just-in-time learning aids that are part of the learners’ workflow and are readily available to them precisely at the moment of their need). It can also be used to supplement traditional Instructor Led Training (ILT).

This is not all. The adoption of mobile learning across organizations is increasing on the account of:

  • Changing learner profiles.
    Worldwide, the Millennials are a significant part of the workforce. They need access to training that works on the device of their choice (read smartphone).
  • How learners want to learn.
    Learners today do not have the time to log in to a Learning Management System and browse through to identify what they need. With a lot of pressure on time, they want precise bytes of learning that they can use to solve a problem or practice. It goes without saying; this needs to be available in their workflow (read smartphone again).
  • Changing learning device preferences.
    Learners want this control to be with them. Depending on the nature of training, whether formal or informal, lengthy or micro nuggets, they want to exercise the right to choose the device they should learn on.
  • Maturing of tools and technology.
    Today, mobile learning solutions can opt from a wide ranging array of authoring tools and LMS platforms and offer both adaptive (desktops, laptops, and tablets) and responsive designs (desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones).

Why Does It Make Sense To Adopt Mobile Learning To Increase Employee Engagement And Eventually Impact Their Performance?

The success of a training program hinges on several factors as shown here. These aspects influence learners’ engagement and the eventual performance gain.

  1. Learners’ reaction.
    It begins with the crucial first connect with learners (their reaction to the online course). This has a direct bearing on how the learners respond and on the desired completion rates. Mobile learning scores a high 5 here.
  2. Effectiveness of learning or stickiness of learning.
    Usage of immersive learning strategies increases the stickiness of learning. Similarly, usage of strategies that truly engage the learner, facilitate recall, and push them to think and apply is vital to succeed in this endeavor. Mobile learning offers a great value here as it supports rich media formats and trending learning strategies like microlearning, gamification, story-based learning, complex decision making using scenario-based learning, and so on.
  3. Application of learning (leading to the desired behavioral change and a positive impact on business).
    As I mentioned earlier, learners will not go through an LMS to seek an answer to address a problem on the job. Instead, they need this byte to be available to them when they need it. Similarly, when they need to practice a new concept or a new skill, they want the flexibility to learn on the device they access the most. Usage of mobile learning in a microlearning format that can be used for both formal training or as Performance Support is very useful in meeting this mandate.

From these insights, you will note that you can positively impact each of these facets by adopting mobile learning. With this approach, you will see a more engaged learner.

Is Mobile Learning Or mLearning For Millennials Alone?

It is a misconception that mobile learning appeals only to the millennial workforce.

Irrespective of age, all of us spend so much of time on our smartphones and tablets that it makes tremendous sense to extend the learning on these devices.

The flexibility to use the device to learn on, the ease of learning on the go, and the usage of rich media and high impact strategies attract learners of all profiles to mobile learning adoption.

As a result, you will see higher completion rates across various learner profiles and not limited to Millennials.


  • When mobile learning is used for Performance Support (just-in-time learning aids that are available to the learners within their workflow and precisely at the moment of their need), you can see increased application of learning on the job. As I have already highlighted, this is a crucial aspect in getting the desired impact that the business seeks.
  • Eventually, the combination of completion of training on time, higher retention and successful application has a positive impact on the ROI.

What Learning Strategies Adapt Well To Mobile Learning Or mLearning?

While most traditional eLearning strategies can be well adapted for mobile learning or mLearning, you can see added gains as you use the following approaches:

  1. Microlearning.
  2. Gamification.
  3. Story or scenario-based learning (the impact is even higher when we use videos and interactive videos).
  4. Mobile apps for learning.
  5. Millennial-centric designs.
  6. Social learning.

New trends that can further increase the learner engagement include: 

  1. Learning path-based approach to encourage “learning as a continuum”.
  2. Personalization to make the learning experience more meaningful to the learner.
  3. Content Curation to support formal training as well as to ensure that learners contribute to enrich the knowledge base.

Given the wide ranging corporate training needs, can mobile learning or mLearning be used to offer all of them?


A report drafted by SailPoint in 2013 suggests that by the year 2018, approximately 70% of the mobile workforce worldwide will manage their business-related tasks on their preferred mobile devices.

If we look at the typical range of corporate training needs, the list is likely to look like this and each of these can be offered through mobile learning or mLearning:

  1. Induction and onboarding (now this often includes pre-onboarding).
  2. Compliance training.
  3. Product training.
  4. Sales training.
  5. Leadership training.
  6. Application tools’ training.
  7. Soft skills training.
  8. Specific professional skills training.
  9. HR/HCM initiatives.
  10. Significant corporate initiatives: Ranging from Quality and Innovation to supporting Change Management initiatives.

10 Killer Examples

At EI Design, our mobile learning practice began in 2011. Over the last six years, we have created over 1000 hours of mobile learning solutions for both formal training as well as Performance Support, including all the trainings highlighted above.

While the initial adoption of mobile learning was limited to access till tablets (adaptive designs), over the last two years, most of our solutions support smartphones (responsive designs).

I have shortlisted the following 10 examples to show the impact of mobile learning that would map to your varied corporate training needs. These examples reflect the usage of mobile learning for formal training as well as Performance Support.

I showcase strategies including:

  1. Microlearning.
  2. Gamification.
  3. Scenario-based learning.
  4. Learning paths.
  5. Social learning.
  6. Personalization.

I showcase high impact delivery formats including:

  1. Apps for learning.
  2. Videos.
  3. Interactive videos.
  4. Our award winning Interactive Parallax design nugget.

Click here to view and download the interactive PDF containing the 10 examples.

I hope this article provides the required pointers that enable you to adopt mobile learning (if you are new to this) or scale its usage. The supporting 10 examples show you how you can achieve your mandate. If you have any other queries, do contact me.


How To Create Engaging Compliance Courses Using Gamification And Microlearning

compliance courseWhen you think of compliance courses, possibly the first word that comes to mind is boring. Well, they tend to be boring but can be uplifted to offer better learner engagement. In this article, you will see how you can create engaging corporate compliance courses using gamification and microlearning approaches.

Using Gamification And Microlearning To Create Engaging Corporate Compliance Courses

Background: At EI Design, our corporate compliance practice is 14 years old. One in six courses that we build is on compliance. Over the years, we have used several innovative instructional strategies to create immersive and engaging compliance Training. Our mandate is “Corporate Compliance Simplified” and usage of these strategies has helped our customers see the required behavioral change that they sought.

What Innovative Instructional Strategies Can Be Used To Create Engaging Compliance Courses?

The choices when trying to create interactive compliance courses are limited only by your imagination. Some of the approaches we have used include:

    1. Gamification.
    2. Scenario-based.
    3. Story-based.
    4. Guided exploration.
    5. Microlearning.

Can Gamification And Microlearning Be Used To Uplift boring Content Associated With Compliance Courses?

Absolutely. Who doesn’t like having fun? Ask your learners to choose between a standard compliance course and one with an element of gamification with it, nine out of ten times they’ll go with the latter.

Microlearning, with its innate nature of brevity and flexibility to drive home a specific message effectively, can also be a great option to enliven your corporate compliance learning subjects.

In this article, I will share 3 of the approaches (featuring gamification strategies and microlearning solutions) with examples that will illustrate how you can enhance your strategy to create more effective and interactive compliance training. The 3 approaches featured here are:

    1. Gamification.
    2. Partial Gamification.
    3. Microlearning.

Here are the 3 examples that showcase how we integrated gamification and microlearning elements in compliance courses. These examples will help you determine how you can use them to make your compliance training interesting:

Example 1 Featuring Gamification: Used In A Course On Risk Management

Background: When dealing with corporate compliance subjects, it’s important not to get carried away with the gamification approach and overdo stuff. With this in mind, we devised our approach. Additionally, we decided that the gamification strategy:

    1. Needed to have elements of both challenge and reward.
    2. Must be such that the game scenario/story maps to the context of the course content.
    3. Needed to provide learners with a feeling of resonance – situations that are similar to what they do in their everyday job.
    4. Needed to increase the learners’ knowledge as they cleared one stage after the other.

Highlights of the concept: We came up with a gamification of learning approach that was task oriented and simulation based.

    1. In line with the contextual requirement, we mapped the game scenario with the risk management theme. We posed challenges to learners at every stage of the game. As they cleared each of these challenges, they experienced incremental learning after every stage.
    2. We provided the learners with a work setting (visual) that resembled their day to day environment.
    3. The challenges were presented in the form of bonuses and bombs and the rewards came in the form of caps and badges.
    4. That apart, we enhanced their learning experience with activities that evoked feelings of surprise and delight.
    5. We provided the option of seeking help to the learners as they went about their tasks. This resonated well with the learners as they would do the same in real life in times of need. Gamification of learning helped achieve better application of knowledge and enhanced performance.



Example 2 Featuring Partial Gamification: Used In A Course On Risk Management

Background: Here, the focus was on gamifying only portions of the course and not the complete course. We decided to gamify the inline checks and the assessment section. While the rest of the course followed a more traditional approach, we used the Partial Gamification approach at points where the learners needed to answer questions to proceed to the next topic.

Our concept: Like in the previous example, we based our gamification approach on the risk management theme and asked the learners to obtain an “access key” to be able to advance from one topic to another. The learners had to answer the questions correctly at the end of every topic to obtain the access key.

The theme also reflected in the overall visual appeal of the course.

Compliance course Access key

Example 3 Featuring Microlearning: Used To Reinforce Message On Conflict Management

Background: To make the compliance subject on conflicts of interest interesting, we created a microlearning nugget using the whiteboard animation technique. We used this nugget as a Performance Support Tool/Learning Aid and made it available to learners on tablets/smartphones/desktops/laptops. This made it easy for them to refer to the nugget at the time of their need on mobile devices.

Focus of the microlearning nugget: The microlearning nugget was built to complement a compliance course on conflict management. We kept the message and animations/illustrations simple providing the learners with a great mix of action on the screen and time to comprehend the message. To reinforce the message, we backed the visuals with audio.

The nugget conveyed in simple terms that conflicts do exist, how one can recognize them, and how they can be resolved.

Microlearning Compliance course EI Design

You can also view these examples in detail in the video below.


By Using Strategies Like Gamification And Microlearning, What Tangible Gains Will You See?

While the compliance mandate does come with a few strings attached, there is no denying that you need to have elements of engagement that can create sticky learning experiences so that this learning gets translated into application on the job.

By using innovative learning strategies like gamification and microlearning for creating engaging compliance courses, you will see clear gains for both learners and business. Specifically:

Gains From Learner Perspective:

    1. High learner engagement.
    2. Immersive experience: The courses are taken with genuine interest (no bitter pill but learners will enjoy the experience).

Gains From Business Perspective:

    1. Instils the spirit of “why comply”.
    2. Leads to the required behavioral change.

I hope this article showcases the gains of using innovative learning strategies like gamification and microlearning to create engaging compliance courses. If you have any questions, do contact me.

Source: How To Create Engaging Compliance Courses Using Gamification And Microlearning

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