Certified Online Training Professional – Part Two

Good news. I’ve successfully completed my Certified Online Training Professional Certificate. I want to share my experience with all of you if you are considering getting this valuable certification.

The first thing that surprised me was that there were three facilitators. I’ve never thought about this before, but there is a distinct advantage to have several facilitators in an online course. Each brings their style to the table, and it was enjoyable to hear that variety throughout the two-day session. Each instructor gave us what they called their elevator pitch, which added credibility to the course and their delivery. That was one of the things they taught us to do. It doesn’t take long, maybe thirty seconds to explain who you are and why you are running this online course. The facilitators were Kevin Siegel, Jennie Ruby and AJ Walther. Upon hearing each introduce themselves, I knew I was learning from real experts. An expression that Kevin used early on the first day

The first thing that amazed me was there were three facilitators, including Kevin Siegel himself. I knew Kevin was a dedicated training professional, but it surprised me that the founder of ICCOTP would take time out of his busy life to teach this class. The next facilitator was Jennie Ruby. I enjoyed Jennie’s facilitation style, and I learned much from her. A brief highlight was AJ Walther. AJ was responsible for the training related to PowerPoint and visual design. AJ surprised me in that I was not expecting to learn anything new in the area of visual design, but AJ had some excellent knowledge to impart.

I’ve dozed off in train the trainer sessions that promised to teach us techniques to keep learners engaged – not so with this trio. They used the very same principles they were teaching us in their delivery. Kevin, Jennie and AJ kept us fully engaged. An expression that Kevin used early on the first day was that they ate their cooking. They were teaching us the very same principle they used throughout the class.

Online training is often inadequate or inferior because the facilitator lacks the knowledge and experience to deliver it well. One of the critical takeaways of this training for me was dispelling the myth that online training is always inferior to classroom training. Kevin took a dozen or more classroom activities that we think of as exclusive to the classroom and showed us the online versions that are just as effective. I now not only feel better prepared to deliver improved online training but can defend the reputation of online training as well.

Next, AJ took over and taught us how to transform our materials to be more appropriate for online. AJ had a great alternative to bulleted text that I will use in my online facilitation. I think I can adapt these concepts to my eLearning design as well. We were taught a great deal about implementing the organizations branding into the design of learning materials. AJ had some great examples of the use of iconography. I was so inspired by what AJ showed us that I changed the entire online facilitation that I had planned for day two. More on that later. I think the biggest takeaway was that PowerPoint isn’t just this software from the 90s anymore. Microsoft has been continually updating PowerPoint. AJ was able to share some great new features to help us make our training presentations look fantastic.

We started day two, and Kevin and Jennie taught us the importance of the right technology. I thought I would be bored with this segment because I feel pretty good about my current knowledge of technology. Again, I was surprised that I learned a bunch of things that I will be considering adjusting to my hardware and software lineup. It isn’t just about spending more money. When you think about the potential earnings from online training, a few hundred extra dollars here and there to have some backups to your technology is too outrageous.

Jennie took over again, and we learned about the differences between talking and speaking. We learned that training should be conversational. Jennie provided us with some excellent skills to take highly technical speak and turn it into more everyday language that is easier for your audience to understand.

Whether you are just getting started with online training, or if you’re like me and have been doing it for years, this program is excellent. I’m a big believer in having the credentials to prove to the decision-makers that you have the skills to do the job. As a freelance trainer, I’m certain this will lead to more repeat customers and a greater sense of satisfaction from my clients. If you work for an organization, this program will lead to improved training evaluations from your students and a happier manager.

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Why should you use Online Assignments tool via Learning Management System?

Assignments usually deals with the assigning tasks to people as part of their project. It has proven to be an excellent tool in tracking and measuring of learner metrics via the Learning Management System (LMS). The assessments in an online course on eLearning platform involves written assignments and practical tests. Let’s look at some of…

In conversation with: Maren Deepwell (@MarenDeepwell) #altc

A new regular feature to the ALT blog has ALT CEO Maren Deepwell in conversation with a number of ALT contributors. This week is my turn :)

Covering aspects of my work, projects and daily rituals, as well as questions like ‘which learning technology makes the biggest difference to your work (and why)’ and aspects of my influences and influencers, the conversation is a great read, so please head on over to the ALT Blog to read … ‘Maren Deepwell (@marendeepwell) in conversation with… David Hopkins (@hopkinsdavid)

While you’re there, please also take some time to read the other contributions from ALT trustees and members.

Leverage eLearning Courses with 3D Models in Articulate Storyline 360

This week we had an interesting eLearning challenge #232 on Articulate Storyline to use 3D models in eLearning courses. At the end of this blog you can preview and download the sample on how to use 3D models in  Articulate Storyline 360. Case Study: We developed an online course for one of our clients from…

What Is Mobile Learning and Why It’s a Must-Have for Your Elearning Business?

Before diving into what mobile learning (m-learning) is, let’s talk about the latest statistics.

Mobile internet traffic has hugely increased over the past few years. Moreover, representatives of Generation Z (born in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) grew up with mobile devices and tablets in hands. And now they can’t imagine their learning experience without using mobile devices to do research or take notes.

In addition, busy bees with tight schedule can’t find time to learn, and they prefer to consume information when they have free time, for example during the commute.

All of that has lead to the emergence of mobile learning.

What is M-learning?

Mobile learning, as known as m-learning, is a learning process that is delivered and consumed through mobile phones and tablets.

This type of learning is a logical result of the technical revolution. In early 2000 computers have begun to be used in classrooms for academic education and at home for personal education.

Over time, mobile devices have become more popular, due to their portability. As a result, nowadays smartphones and tablets are used for presentations, taking quizzes, watching lectures, taking notes, playing educational games. etc.

Mobile learning can be provided through an adaptive website or mobile application. The last open more opportunities in terms of performance and engagement.

Why M-learning Is A Must Have?

We access our smartphones continuously throughout the day so learning on the smartphones is a logical extension.

Here are some compelling stats that reaffirm that mLearning is no more an option but a “must have”:

  1. According to Lynda, those who learn on a mobile device complete course material 45% faster than those using a computer.
  2. Gartner foresees that 45% of businesses will work according to BYOD (bring your own device) policy by 2020.
  3. LearnDash research shows that 70% of students felt more motivated when learning on a mobile device.
  4. Mobile learners usually study for 40 minutes longer than desktop users, says MNAlearning.
  5. Statista shows that by 2020 mobile market value is expected to be 83.7 billion U.S. dollars worth.

Mobile Learning Pros

One of the key pros of m-learning is that it can be accessed anywhere from any device. This means that students can learn during their commute, on manufacture warehouses and offices.

Other m-learning advantages:

  • Suitable for micro-learning
  • Adapted to millennial learners
  • Easy access to information when needed
  • Learners can collaborate on the go through chats
  • Instant feedback and Q&A

But there are no advantages on this planet without disadvantages.

Mobile Learning Disadvantages

M-learning can improve the learning experience as well as bring some issues to it.

Mobile learning has more technical problems than educational:

  • Device compatibility, battery life and performance.
  • Internet connectivity
  • More distractions like messages and notifications

Considering these, mobile learners should have appropriate devices to be able to benefit mobile learning.

Best LMS that support mobile learning

If you want to bring mobile experience to your learners, you need a learning management system (LMS) that supports such a feature. We have gathered some top players on the market that allow you to provide m-learning to your students:

Final words

Mobile learning can be implemented in ways of an adaptive website or mobile application. Such learning approach increases the course completion rate and makes it more convenient for learners to pass through course or training as they can do it anywhere and anytime.

If you want to provide your students with mobile learning, make sure you have a strong development team that can help you with technical realization.

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Getting ready for an interview? Here is a free online course for you!

Challenging: Succeeding in a job interview for young graduates can be challenging, but preparing ahead of an interview with the right guidance can make all the difference. Suggestions: You may be getting some suggestions from your friends and family for an interview. Suggestion like, to be honest, be humble, be on time, and don’t be…

What does education mean to you? #EducationDay

Inspired by the tweets I’ve been reading today, and from Sheila MacNeill’s post of the same title, here is something that education and learning means to me. As with everything these days, we have the hashtag #EducationDay to use.

It must be said, or rather I must say it, that without the Internet then I would be as learned as I am. Before I became connected and before I used the Internet for collaboration I read books for pleasure, I never read a newspaper (sometimes watched news on TV), and I rarely read ‘business’ or non-fiction books (beyond an occasional biography). Becoming a Learning Technologist in 2007 opened my eyes to the power of the Internet for learning. Yes, I’d used and worked with the Internet in so much as being a web designer and working with geographically isolated communities of practice using the Internet to pull together for professional and special interest goals. But I’d not considered the Internet for online learning. Yes, perhaps I was behind the curve in this, but I’ve caught up … !

I have benefited from using the Internet to learn from others, to work with others, to collaborate and share with others. The Internet has enabled me to do things previously unknown to me and take my personal and professional development in areas and directions I know I would not have gone without it. Connections made with both individuals and institutions have taught me more than I can realistically comprehend or voice. Opportunities to find, share, connect, collaborate, curate, communicate, etc. through browsing and following online has brought me to you, and you to me.

For me, in short, my #EducationDay is a reflection on 25+ years of Internet use, where it has taken me and why. The link to the #EducationDay above (and here again) says “education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility.” Yes. This. Oh yes, this. If only everyone had this chance. Which is one reason why I am trying to do a little to feed back to the learning community with me tweets, my blog posts or LinkedIn updates, and my interest and involvement a a trustee in Learn Appeal, the learning charity.

Image source: CadaverTeeth (CC BY-NC-ND-2.0)

Conversations

At the moment I’m celebrating some, online, 10th anniversaries – in October 2008 I started blogging, I joined LinkedIn in November 2008 and I joined Twitter in January 2009.

These are quite special, I wasn’t aware of this achievement until I started thinking about something else: conversations. 

When I started blogging and tweeting, and connecting on LinkedIn, I was all about the network and conversations. I was building an interest and understanding of my role (learning technologist), my work place, and the kind of ‘things’ I needed to understand. Now, ten years down the road, 901 blog posts and 50,000 tweets later, I realise that my use of these systems and the networks I’ve built there, are changing. 

Back in March 2017 (“Dear Twitter. It’s not me, it’s you”) I wrote about my disappointment at changes to Twitter; not necessarily about the platform but how it is being used by the user base and my network. What started out, for me and many more like me, it was all about the conversation; the links and collaborative nature of being connected to likeminded individuals on a global scale, the ability to search and question and learn from others in different organisational and societal cultures, to connect and engage with senior or specialists ‘experts’ in the field of EdTech. The conversations and engagement I used to get in the early days of Twitter and LinkedIn have, I’ll admit, help me grow personally and professionally into the senior role I have. I would not have produced, managed, edited and published four books, nor would I have gained the peer-reviewed CMALT qualification, the invitation to be a trustee for the Learn Appeal charity, or the various accolades I’ve collected over the years.

What I get in my timeline feeds now is very different. There are fewer conversations in and around the work or collaboration. What conversations there are seem to be more broadcast approach rather than sharing. Being connected through Twitter or Facebook or other networks has obviously had an affect on us, we are all more informed (?) about world politics, the environment, culture, etc. and this is what most of my timeline is about now. That’s fine, I often add to the noise too, but my primary purpose for Twitter, etc. is work. I want to learn and help others learn about online/distance learning opportunities, be they MOOCs, SPOCs, online degrees, short courses, micro-learning, etc.

I also acknowledge that I have been part of the above problem too, which is why I’m annoyed. Annoyed at myself for setting sucked in and annoyed that I’m getting annoyed at the changes. Change is OK, I don’t have to like it or like what it’s changing to, but I should be able to step back and reassess what it is I want from my networks. That is what i am now doing … reassessing my use of online social tools, Twitter, LinkedIn, this blog, etc. I’ve already dropped a few (and not really noticed), will I drop those too … ?


Conversations are powerful learning opportunities. So why am I annoyed that social networks have changed the conversation?
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There, semi-rant over. Thanks for reading.

Thanks for Sheila MacNeill for inspiring me to blog again. I’ll try and do it more often now; it’s good for the reflective soul searching and a good way to focus and unpick my very full and random thought process. I’ve missed it.

Image source: FHKE (CC BY-SA-2.0)

How Can You Measure The Learning Effectiveness Of Online Courses And Create A Positive ROI?

While it is obvious that Learnability or learning effectiveness of online courses has an impact on ROI, its measurement is rather a tall order. This article outlines how you can use our framework to predict, measure, and validate the learnability or learning effectiveness of your online courses.

What Is Learnability Or Learning Effectiveness Of Online Courses?

Learnability or learning effectiveness of online courses can be defined as the ease and speed with which the learners can acquire the required information/knowledge/skill. There is an associated aspect that you need to be mindful of, that is, the scope of learnability. Once this measured, we can assess the progress from knowledge acquisition to application reflected as performance gain.

The scope of learnability evaluation can be looked at in two ways:

  1. Initial Learnability: Initial Learnability applies to the performance over a single, short term usage period.
  2. Extended Learnability: Extended Learnability applies to the performance change over time.

What Is The Significance Of Learnability Or Learning Effectiveness Of Online Courses?

The significance of learnability is evident. Only well crafted courses with the right learnability can help learners perform better and help organizations meet their goals.

Studies have revealed that learners lose up to 40% of their time due to “frustrating experiences”with courses. The common causes being missing, hard to find, unusable, and irrelevant features of the course.

Similarly, a study carried out by Federico Borges found that learners get frustrated due to a variety of reasons including the learning strategy used, lack of prompt feedback, the company culture, the learning material that was designed, and so on.

Does Learnability Impact The Computation Of ROI On Training? Is This Impact Direct Or Indirect?

Kirkpatrick model of evaluation - EI Design

Most of us are familiar with Kirkpatrick’s model of evaluation as shown here:

  • Level 1 – Learner Reaction – Was the course relevant, useful, and worth my time?
  • Level 2 – Learning – Did the course lead to increase in skill/knowledge? Did the course meet the required cognition level?
  • Level 3 – Application of learning – Was there a performance improvement or change in behavior based on the learning?
  • Level 4 – Business impact – Was there a tangible and demonstrable value after the training?

This model can be extended to measurement of ROI on training by mapping monetary value to the final gain (business impact).

Impact of Learnability on ROI on training: Learnability or learning effectiveness impacts each level of Kirkpatrick’s model, eventually helping you maximize ROI on training.

Specifically:

  • Learnability impacts level 1 and 2 directly and enables application of learning in level 3. Once these three are in place, the business impact is likely to be met. Subsequently, the ROI on training can be calculated (mapping the business impact to a monetary gain).

How does this really work to impact the ROI?

  1. A better and meaningful user experience increases the stickiness of learning.
  2. It also increases the learners’ motivation to take the course leading to higher completion rates.
  3. Once these are in line, you can expect to see an increased application of the learning and this in turn will lead to the desired impact on the learners and business.
  4. By evaluating your online courses for learnability, you can predict its impact as well as identify measures to increase it. This will go a long way in achieving a positive ROI on your training spend.

NOTE: Validation of the learning experience is important when it comes to determining ROI on training. As suggested by Keri Bennington of UNC Kenan-Flager Business School in a report, “ROI measures should be related to performance after the Learning and Development experience and, according to some, tied to a dollar figure. For example, time saved or increased output (or both) as a result of improved performance following participation in a development program can then be compared to a dollar figure.”

Can Learnability Be Measured?

Yes, learnability or learning effectiveness of online courses can be measured but there are several challenges associated with this exercise:

  1. There is a maze of parameters that influence it.
  2. Adding to the volume of parameters that can influence learnability is the second challenge that not all parameters are measurable.
  3. The significance of each parameter changes with each training type.
  4. Finally, the feedback can be objective (easy to implement) as well as subjective (often difficult to fix).

How Do We At EI Design Measure Learnability?

In spite of the fact that measurement of learnability is a tall order, at EI Design, we offer a unique framework that you can use to predict, measure, and validate the Learnability of online courses (for new or legacy courses).

Our Approach: We began our exercise by looking at various building blocks of a course and how learners view them or interact with them. Using these cues, we created 6 metrics which map to each of these to help us evaluate the learnability or learning effectiveness as shown here:

  • Metrics 1: Interface Design.
  • Metrics 2: Course Information and Instructions (navigation).
  • Metrics 3: Content Structuring (to meet the required level of cognition).
  • Metrics 4: Task Performance (to interact and learn).
  • Metrics 5: Usability (overall experience).
  • Metrics 6: Feedback on Design Elements.

Measurement: Our framework also allows you to dynamically assign the criticality based on the nature of the course, content, or learners. Then the aggregated Learnability Index is generated.

Take a look at an example of the Learnability Index of an existing course and how we upped it by enhancing it through our Learnability guidelines.

Learnability Measurement Parameters - Before

Learnability Measurement Parameters - After

Validation: This can be validated by the learners and the feedback can be used to enhance the learning design further, if required.

Take a look at some reports that show how the course fared with learners (validation of the predictive learnability).

Learnability Analytics UI - EI Design

How Can You Use Our Framework To Maximize ROI On Training?

You can use our framework to predict the learnability of the courses you are developing. You can also use it to evaluate the Learnability of your legacy courses and then uplift it. Through our learnability framework, you will be able to:

  1. Get access to a predictive methodology to build learnability in your new courses.
  2. Use it to evaluate the learnability of your existing courses: You can diagnose issues that reduce the learning effectiveness and hamper performance and step up the Learnability Index to the required levels.
  3. Validate your assumptions with learners: You can check if your courses pass the litmus test by validating the impact of the courses from the folks who matter – the learners!
  4. Gain crucial insights for future learning interventions that can enhance the effectiveness of the training curriculum and performance for the learners.
  5. Improve learning retention and meet the prescribed cognition level.

With these, you will be able to have greater clarity on demonstrable gains for learners as well as the business and maximize your ROI on training.

How Can Our Learnability Framework Help Learning And Development Teams?

Learning and Development teams can use our learnability framework to:

  1. Predict, measure, and continuously enhance the learning effectiveness of trainings.
  2. Have a robust framework in place to constantly improve learning and performance.
  3. Have a data driven approach to address user experience related issues in learning (actionable learner feedback).
  4. Demonstrate a positive impact on ROI on training.

You can take a look at this video of our Webinar on How To Predict, Measure, And Validate The Learnability Of Online Courses for more in-depth insights:

I hope this article provides cues on how you can use our framework to measure and enhance the learnability or learning effectiveness of your online courses, how you can validate the predictive Learnability with your learners, and see if you are on target or what further measures will help you hit the bull’s-eye. If you have any queries on this, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/can-measure-learning-effectiveness-online-courses-create-positive-roi/

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