Recommended Research: Constructivism & Learning Technology

Last week, we had an awesome virtual class on how to implement an effective gamification strategy within a corporate learning environment!  Here is the recording and slideshare.

In class, we briefly touched on some learning theories and research related to constructivism and the effective use of technology, games and gamification within the overall learning environment.  I’ve been reading a lot of articles recently that relate to constructivism, and some of our attendees were interested in receiving a list of those resources.  Below are a few reading suggestions.

I’ll create more recommended reading lists, so follow me if this sort of thing is useful to you.  The next blog posts will probably be devoted to virtual and augmented reality resources.  (If you haven’t checked out the crazy cool VR features in Adobe Captivate 2019, please take a look!)  I will also post my own summaries of select articles over the next few weeks.

Please add your own suggested reading articles in the comments section!

Here are three introductory level readings that are great as starters:

A great explanation of what constructivism is, what helps us learn, and what learning truly is.

An in-depth look at the learning process from beginning to end, including how to use educational technology (and how not to use it), and the importance of social learning and collaboration.

An overview of the types of educational technology available for use in the learning environment, as well as a historical perspective of how that technology has evolved.

I just finished working my way through the below articles, many of which are referenced by the above chapters, and cross-referenced amongst each other:

  1. Shaffer, D. W., Squire, K., Halverson, R., & Gee, J. P. (2005). Video games and the future of learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 87, 104–111. Google Scholar
  2. Shuler, C. (2009). Pockets of potential: Using mobile technologies to promote children’s learning. New York, NY: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Google Scholar
  3. Thomas, M., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace. Google Scholar
  4. Van Eck, R. (2006). Digital game-based learning: It’s not just the digital natives who are restless. EDUCAUSE Review, 41(2), 16–30. Google Scholar
  5. Vavoula, G., Sharples, M., Lonsdale, P., Rudman, P., & Meek, J. (2007). Learning bridges: Mobile technologies in education. Educational Technology, 47(3), 33–37. Google Scholar

More articles and article summaries coming soon.  Please follow my posts if you’d like to see more!

The post Recommended Research: Constructivism & Learning Technology appeared first on eLearning.

6 Ways To Design Engaging eLearning Courses

Imagine being at the receiving end of a dull, uninteresting eLearning course about a topic you couldn’t care less about. You take the entire course and by the end of it, what have you gained? Absolutely nothing because you could hardly stay awake through it, for starters. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

How to Create Custom Drop-down Interactivity in Articualte Storyline 360?

When we are handy with any of the eLearning authoring tools, the next step we think is customization – to make the most use of it. In one of our eLearning projects, there seems to be Custom drop down interactivity need to be inserted. But there is no direct option available in Articulate Storyline 360.…

9 Internal Online Training Distractors That Your Corporate Learners Must Contend With

Social media, noisy environments, and personal commitments are just a few of the distractions your corporate learners must deal with. But there are also inner struggles to consider. In this article, I’ll highlight 9 internal online training distractors that stand in the way of online training success. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Incorporating Interactive Videos And Scenarios For Immersive Compliance Training

Compliance is serious business, especially in tightly regulated industries like finance or healthcare—and maintaining compliance is a serious challenge. Through training and experience, employees can master their personal environment. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Engaging the Long Distance Learner: Part 1

I recently did a webinar called, “15 Ways to Market Your Training Program & Learning Tech.”  (Here is the recording and slide deck.) The session covers a lot in 60 minutes so I thought it would be good to do a complementary blog series.  The first few posts will focus on engaging the long distance learner.

Most organizations these days have at least some employees working remotely.  There are many benefits to working outside of the office, but it definitely adds a layer of complexity for those of us who teach.  Long distance employees have less of an opportunity to engage with colleagues and learn informally.  There are less chances for casual conversation that builds social bonds.  This can cause remote employees to feel they have no connection to their organization, and we know where that goes.  Less motivation, more attrition, and from an L&D standpoint, less engagement.  Why develop your job skills if you don’t know how long you’ll stay with your employer?

Learning and development can solve two issues experienced by the long distance learner.  We can deliver training and hopefully provide alternative ways to learn what informal learning normally provides.  We also support the overall culture of an organization and can give learners the opportunity to know their colleagues.

The trickiest part of teaching long distance learners is finding a way to communicate that is just as natural and meaningful as face to face interaction.  For a population that frequently feels cut off from their colleagues, videoconferencing is an important tool.  Whenever possible, teach virtual classes with your camera turned on.

Consider though that if you are teaching to a global audience, some audience members will encounter difficulty with bandwidth limitations if you leave your webcam on.  Try enabling it for your introduction or for short periods throughout the class.  If there is a registration page for the session, maybe place a photo of yourself there.  It makes it easier for us to hold onto information if we feel a sense of connection to the speaker.  (Personally… if I don’t know what the speaker looks like, I start imagining what they look like… so be prepared for me to imagine you wearing an outfit straight out of The Hunger Games.)

Character from the movie The Hunger Games

Pretty sure this is how you look…

What’s even better than one person on camera?  Everyone on camera.  I’ve frequently held team meetings with nine or more remote employees, and everyone had their webcam turned on, Hollywood Squares style.  When everyone is on video, it’s much easier to tell who is talking, or who wants to talk, or who really doesn’t like something but isn’t about to say anything.

Picture from the television show The Hollywood Squares

Team meetings just got way more fun.

It’s also a lot easier to get everyone to speak one at a time.  People can raise their hands.  When there’s too much chaos, I do interpretive dance until everyone is quiet with admiration of my dancing abilities.  (Or at least I think that’s what it is.)  Works just as well in small classes as it does in meetings.  People are much more likely to stay engaged when you can see them.  And there’s something kind of nice about slurping some noodles in LA while your colleague in New York munches on a sandwich.

Also fun… team meetings or classes where everyone wears an interesting accessory.  Show and tell.  One of my calculus professors made all of us wear party hats to exams – which he called Celebrations of Learning.  I hated calculus but the exams were definitely less painful thanks to his creativity.  You could interoffice everyone a party hat and some candy to celebrate a special occasion.

Back when I was on a Staff Diversity Committee, I tried to get my team to wear items to our virtual meeting that expressed their heritage.  Granted, it didn’t totally work… it was just me with my American Indian feathers and one team member in a Polish babushka.  But it was still an entertaining way to open our meeting.

A grandmother wearing a babushka

When you don’t want to do your hair, just wear your babushka.

Speaking of interesting ways to open a meeting, trying opening by having a different person each week teach the group something work related.  Just a five minute snippet of information before you start the agenda.  Again, this works in meetings or in cohort-style classes that meet on a recurring basis.  It helps the group get to know one another, and gives learners the chance to actively engage.

More musings coming soon.

– Katrina

The post Engaging the Long Distance Learner: Part 1 appeared first on eLearning.

Engaging the Long Distance Learner: Part 1

I recently did a webinar called, “15 Ways to Market Your Training Program & Learning Tech.”  (Here is the recording and slide deck.) The session covers a lot in 60 minutes so I thought it would be good to do a complementary blog series.  The first few posts will focus on engaging the long distance learner.

Most organizations these days have at least some employees working remotely.  There are many benefits to working outside of the office, but it definitely adds a layer of complexity for those of us who teach.  Long distance employees have less of an opportunity to engage with colleagues and learn informally.  There are less chances for casual conversation that builds social bonds.  This can cause remote employees to feel they have no connection to their organization, and we know where that goes.  Less motivation, more attrition, and from an L&D standpoint, less engagement.  Why develop your job skills if you don’t know how long you’ll stay with your employer?

Learning and development can solve two issues experienced by the long distance learner.  We can deliver training and hopefully provide alternative ways to learn what informal learning normally provides.  We also support the overall culture of an organization and can give learners the opportunity to know their colleagues.

The trickiest part of teaching long distance learners is finding a way to communicate that is just as natural and meaningful as face to face interaction.  For a population that frequently feels cut off from their colleagues, videoconferencing is an important tool.  Whenever possible, teach virtual classes with your camera turned on.

Consider though that if you are teaching to a global audience, some audience members will encounter difficulty with bandwidth limitations if you leave your webcam on.  Try enabling it for your introduction or for short periods throughout the class.  If there is a registration page for the session, maybe place a photo of yourself there.  It makes it easier for us to hold onto information if we feel a sense of connection to the speaker.  (Personally… if I don’t know what the speaker looks like, I start imagining what they look like… so be prepared for me to imagine you wearing an outfit straight out of The Hunger Games.)

Character from the movie The Hunger Games

Pretty sure this is how you look…

What’s even better than one person on camera?  Everyone on camera.  I’ve frequently held team meetings with nine or more remote employees, and everyone had their webcam turned on, Hollywood Squares style.  When everyone is on video, it’s much easier to tell who is talking, or who wants to talk, or who really doesn’t like something but isn’t about to say anything.

Picture from the television show The Hollywood Squares

Team meetings just got way more fun.

It’s also a lot easier to get everyone to speak one at a time.  People can raise their hands.  When there’s too much chaos, I do interpretive dance until everyone is quiet with admiration of my dancing abilities.  (Or at least I think that’s what it is.)  Works just as well in small classes as it does in meetings.  People are much more likely to stay engaged when you can see them.  And there’s something kind of nice about slurping some noodles in LA while your colleague in New York munches on a sandwich.

Also fun… team meetings or classes where everyone wears an interesting accessory.  Show and tell.  One of my calculus professors made all of us wear party hats to exams – which he called Celebrations of Learning.  I hated calculus but the exams were definitely less painful thanks to his creativity.  You could interoffice everyone a party hat and some candy to celebrate a special occasion.

Back when I was on a Staff Diversity Committee, I tried to get my team to wear items to our virtual meeting that expressed their heritage.  Granted, it didn’t totally work… it was just me with my American Indian feathers and one team member in a Polish babushka.  But it was still an entertaining way to open our meeting.

A grandmother wearing a babushka

When you don’t want to do your hair, just wear your babushka.

Speaking of interesting ways to open a meeting, trying opening by having a different person each week teach the group something work related.  Just a five minute snippet of information before you start the agenda.  Again, this works in meetings or in cohort-style classes that meet on a recurring basis.  It helps the group get to know one another, and gives learners the chance to actively engage.

More musings coming soon.

– Katrina

The post Engaging the Long Distance Learner: Part 1 appeared first on eLearning.

3 Tips For More Powerful eLearning Storytelling

The mark of a good story is a lasting effect on the reader, the feeling that they have connected with the story, and the compulsion to share it with others. Here are 3 ways to achieve this experience with your learning. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

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.

Summary

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 apandey@eidesign.net.

The post Digitize Instructor-Led Training Sessions To Increase Employee Engagement And Performance appeared first on eLearning.