Use AI to drive learning objectives

One of the key business drivers for any learning platform is the voluntary uptake of training content by learners.

The key challenge here is to not just make a repository of thousands of pieces of content available, but to also help the learner pick and choose, and to recommend the most relevant learning to them. Additionally, it helps to also be a platform that allows learners to contribute by uploading content and have discussions with peers, mimicking how human beings learn in the physical world.

Adobe Captivate Prime uses an AI-based recommendation engine to achieve this kind of intelligent sifting and driving of learning outcomes and also employs Topic Modelling AI algorithms to evaluate user generated content.

With the right kind of AI enablement, and the move from the stress on manual effort, Captivate Prime empowers you to keep learners interested and engaged with the platform.

Click on the PDF icon below to download our document that tells you more about how we get it done!

As usual we welcome all feedback and queries

Please email: jaisim@adobe.com

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eLearning Trends To Watch Out For In 2021

With COVID-19 taking a grip over the world, organizations across the globe are forced to rethink how they conduct business, train, and equip their employees to meet the challenges posed by the disruption and business dynamics. How are organizations gearing up for the coming year in upskilling and reskilling their employees? We will look at some key trends that will reshape the learning landscape in the coming year and beyond.

The pandemic has created unprecedented challenges that have forced organizations to look for alternative forms of work such as work from home or remote working and bring virtual training to the fore. Earlier, virtual training was used only for the remote workforce or people spread across geographies.

Working from home is the new normal now. Several surveys have shown that working from home has helped people improve their productivity several notches. While the pandemic has forced this disruption, it is essential to understand that this will become a growing trend in the coming years. Organizations see the benefits of working remotely, and in some cases, businesses see work from home as the permanent solution and not a survival strategy.

For a more detailed look at the trends with tips on how to use them effectively in 2021, you can download our eBook on our website(do check the link in my profile).

Let us first look at technology trends to watch out for in 2021.

Technology Trends

1. Artificial Intelligence

Several surveys indicate that Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to grow and will continue to be the number one trend in the technology space for years to come. No wonder, many big names are latching on to it as it will help people get access to content and assistance.

We firmly believe AI is an important trend. It is increasingly being used for automating several mundane or routine tasks that were done by humans just a few years ago, enabling humans to focus on tasks that require higher-order thinking skills. One of the biggest trends has been process-based automation.

In the digital learning space, Artificial Intelligence has a big role to play in 2021 and beyond. It will help personalize learning experiences, interpret the data or the reports generated for the courses taken, and make better recommendations.

2. Learning Analytics

Learning analytics is where Big Data meets traditional quantitative methods in education. Governments, universities, testing organizations, and Massive Open Online Course providers are collecting data about learners and how they learn. However, it has been mostly untapped until the advent of tools, methods, and algorithms that have helped in capturing the real intent of learners.

Learning analytics helps in measuring the key indicators of learner performance and helps learners understand their strengths and areas of improvement, which they can work on. Learning analytics is going to play a major role in 2021 as more learning happens through the digital medium.

3. Personalized Learning

Personalized learning in simple terms means providing learning content and activities based on learner choice as well as performance. To help learners take the learning modules of their choice, learning paths are used along with pre-assessments or recommended learning paths based on previous choices.

We believe personalized learning will continue to be a top trend in 2021 as well. We see it being used in conjunction with Artificial Intelligence, assessment engines, and other tools, becoming a must-have in the armory of L&D teams. It will continue to make waves in the coming years as an essential form of learning.

4. Adaptive Learning

In adaptive learning, personalization of learning happens using algorithms, confidence-based assessments, and competency mapping to the training.

With adaptive learning, employees can have flexible learning schedules. Learners can choose their learning path. Learners can learn from the content at their own pace. Thus, employees perceive this training as an opportunity and not as a task to be completed.

Adaptive learning will ensure that learners get the right knowledge provided in the right dosage and intervals. Adaptive learning will be a prime trend in the year 2021 and beyond.

5. Learning Experience Platforms

Learning experience platforms or LXPs are increasingly used by organizations to provide personalized interactive learning experiences to help employees scale up to the next level. The objective of LXP implementation is to provide learners with a platform where exchanging subject expertise is easy and open. LXPs are increasingly seen as a good alternative to the traditional LMSs that are administrator-driven rather than learner-driven.

LXPs are bound to grow further and add many more learner-friendly features in the years to come.

6. Microlearning Platforms

Microlearning platforms have grown in the last year and will continue to grow as a strong tool for learners to access impactful bite-sized learning. There are several microlearning platforms now that aim to help learners learn subjects quickly and effectively. While some use assessment as their core strategy, others use courses and gamification to make the learning stick. The emphasis has been on performance, and that is helping organizations reap rich rewards.

Tesseract Learning also launched a powerful Microlearning platform, KREDO. KREDO helps organizations create and publish microlearning courses in minutes, roll-out seamlessly, and track the performance of learners with built-in intuitive analytics. KREDO helps organizations utilize the continuous learning paradigm for all types of learning interventions, including pre and post formal virtual classroom or digital learning sessions.

Let’s next look at the learning content trends that will dominate 2021 and beyond.

Learning Content Trends

1. Virtual Classroom Training

Virtual training has been the defining trend of the year and will continue to be a strong trend in the foreseeable future. However, for many organizations going virtual was not an automatic step.

Many were apprehensive at first about its viability and were skeptical of its success. The pandemic induced disruption of working from home and remote working forced organizations to adopt virtual classroom training. However, what they found was that it was working quite well, contrary to their expectations.

There were few caveats though. Training via a virtual medium requires a different approach and skills. The sessions cannot be overly long. Technology needs to work effectively for people in remote locations. Many people are averse to using webcams as they work from home, creating another challenge to address. Virtual training is more flexible as compared to traditional classroom sessions with live interactions, ready-to-use features, polls, and more that give you real-time data. With virtual training, you can administer tests in real time, collect feedback immediately, and conduct sessions for teams spread across geographies.

Virtual classroom training is here to stay and will be one of the top trends for the year 2021 and beyond.

2. Microlearning

Microlearning has been a top trend in the last few years. It will continue to be a part of the learning strategy for every organization, big or small.

“Microlearning mainly focuses on a specific objective, cuts out all the fluff, and supports the primary training or learning journey. Thus, it helps in better understanding and therefore, better retention of the concepts learned.” Microlearning can be used as one of the primary modes of training delivery for some learning programs or just before an eLearning or VILT session, or a few days after the formal training as a reinforcement of key learnings to help the learners remember the concepts well.

“Another advantage of microlearning is that it can be created and administered in a variety of formats. The formats include videos, gamification, quizzes, podcasts, activities, and much more.” Microlearning will continue to be one of the top learning trends during 2021 and the years to come.

3. Gamification And Game-Based Learning

Gamification is an important strategy that will continue to hold the attention of L&D and experts to provide the right learning.

“Gamification features like unlockable achievements give employees instant feedback whenever they do something positive [2].” You can also assign badges to specific pieces of content, like assessments.  “Gamification gives a sense of advancement to the employees. Employees get to learn something new by feeling in charge of the whole training, resulting in executing the tasks effortlessly, and thereby performing the best at what they know [2].” Gamification will continue to help organizations create engaging, fun, immersive, and memorable learning experiences.

4. Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality has been a popular mode of implementing a variety of training. Whether it is assessing an insurance claim or working in a hazardous environment or learning a high-risk or high-cost skill such as flying an aircraft, Virtual Reality is the training mode to lean on.

Instead of conducting drills, companies can help employees gain exposure to concepts such as emergency response in a hazardous situation, like a fire or flood or a tornado alarm, through a VR based module. Virtual Reality need not be implemented using 3D only. It can be implemented and still be effective with 360-degree photographs or videos. Using an appropriate mix of photographs and/or videos and overlaying them with interactions, VR can be a fun, useful learning experience.

With highly sophisticated tools, the development of VR material is easier and cheaper. Today you can experience VR across platforms. Based on the increased adoption and good business cases, the use of VR will continue to grow in 2021,  and it will grow stronger in the coming years.

5. Catalog Courses

You might be wondering why catalog courses? How can it be a trend? Well, this year the catalog course industry has seen a massive revamp. With more organizations going digital, the demand for catalog courses has gone up. Many new players are vying for the catalog business pie. The primary advantage of catalog courses is that they are on varied subjects and ready to use or deploy without much effort.

This offering will continue to grow, and it gives an option to the learners to learn new skills faster as they are available readily.

6. Continuous Learning Journeys

The continuous learning journey is a relatively new concept wherein there is a tacit understanding that people need to learn continuously to retain the learning imparted during formal training sessions.

It is important to note that people tend to forget or lose the information that they have learned after a few days. Sometimes it may be a few days or a few weeks. This is known as the Forgetting Curve. The curve shows how quickly we forget information over time when there is no attempt to retain it.

For example, microlearning can be used as reinforcement in the continuous learning journey of a learner. A continuous learning journey can be implemented from the time a learner joins an organization to when a new product is launched, when employees need to be updated about changes happening across the organization or any new piece of training. Microlearning platforms, like KREDO, make implementing continuous learning journeys for employees very easy.

Continuous learning journeys are the need of the hour. We have seen an increase in its adoption, and it will continue to grow in the coming years.

7. Video-Based Learning

Video-based learning strategy continues to be one of the preferred methods to communicate crucial messages to employees. They work well in a variety of situations such as raising awareness of organization practices, or when making learners understand crucial aspects of their work.

Video-based learning nuggets can be both self-running and interactive. Increasingly, we are seeing the growth of interactive video-based learning to make a better impact on the learner.

Be it a product launch, or a newly designed process, change management, key messages from the management team, performance support in the moment of need, video-based learning can serve a variety of learning needs.

Video-based learning adoption will continue to rise, considering its continued popularity among learners.

8. Social And Collaborative Learning

Social learning has increasingly gained the attention of organizations as an important form of learning. Social learning as well as collaborative learning have more takers in organizations looking to leverage the strengths of these forms of learning.

Collaborative learning, as the name suggests, is about the collaboration between individuals in the workplace through various modes, such as forums, informal chat sessions, sharing sessions, and learning circles. The social and collaborative learning methods are cost-effective as compared to other forms of learning. Further, social training is effective and efficient thanks to a plethora of platforms and tools that are now enabling this form of learning. The learning is open or transparent and encourages learners to overcome their fears of seeking new knowledge.

Social and collaborative learning is here to stay and will grow by leaps and bounds.

9. Smarter Content Curation

Many organizations are aware that the internet as well as their knowledge bases have a massive repository of content and information. They also know that users would prefer content that is the most relevant to the subject that they want to learn. For this, organizations are adopting content curation. However, content curation must be done in an effective or rather, smart way. Smarter content curation helps find the right learning content for the learners.

Content curation will become more sophisticated and turn into one of the best ways to create high learner engagement.

Conclusion

These are the trends we foresee as preferred modes of learning in the coming year.

Whether they are learning technology trends or the learning content trends, the trends will continue to impact the way learners learn and organizations benefit from these modalities and interventions. While learners will be able to apply their learning to the job better and retain the learning, organizations will save several manhours in training if these tools and methodologies are implemented effectively. These must be utilized by the organizations to make progress in their quest for becoming more agile and adaptive learning organizations.

We would love to hear your thoughts on what other trends will contribute to enhancing the learning space during 2021. This will help us in making a more meaningful contribution to the learning space.

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Creating Engaging eLearning Gamification Experiences for Higher Impact

Among the custom digital learning solutions, I find gamification to be one of the most effective in creating the right impact on the learners. Gamification in eLearning helps in better retention of knowledge and concepts. In this blog, I will discuss some approaches to make gamification in eLearning work well.

In one of my previous articles, “Unique Gamification Solutions for Better Learning Outcomes”, I mentioned the following:

Gamification in training is an indispensable part of a variety of solutions that help in upskilling learners and taking them to the next level of learning.

Gamification in eLearning works well when it comes to imparting knowledge on key concepts that are otherwise difficult to teach. This holds true especially when the learners need to use the 3rd or 4th level of Bloom’s taxonomy, namely applying and analyzing concepts.

By its very nature, gamification in eLearning helps learners to immerse themselves in the learning process by using elements such as avatar selection, backstories, scenarios, scoring via points and badges etc.

Approaches to implement Gamification in eLearning for higher impact

Gamification can be implemented in eLearning in several ways. Let’s look at a few approaches.

1. Master scenario followed by mission objectives and levels.

In this method of eLearning gamification, we start with a scenario that sets the context for the game. It could be a scenario that explains the problem that the company might be facing, followed by a call to action through mission objectives and then levels to complete the mission.

2. Avatar selection followed by the mission objectives

In this method, we personalize the learning experience by allowing the learner to choose an avatar of their choice. The avatar then navigates through the game by going through the game objectives and the levels to be completed to ensure successful completion of the game. This works well when you want to make the content immersive and personalized.

3. Gamifying the activities within the course

In this approach, the activities within the course are gamified. The look and feel of the course can also look like a mission or a game. The advantage of this approach is that with less effort, the course can be gamified and implemented.

Benefits of using gamification in eLearning

1. Better engagement and focus

Learners engage better with the content and are more focused. Learners do not ask what is in it for me as they often do with compliance courses or the regular training courses that are provided by the company. The gamification experience engages both sides of their brain. Learning is a complete experience for them. They use logic to solve the problem or challenge posed in the game as well as learn better through engaging visuals and storytelling.

2. Improves analytical and problem-solving skills

With eLearning gamification, learners can better apply their mind on the task in hand. As they go through the game, they use their analytical and problem-solving skills to the full effect.

3. Better returns for the organization on their training investments

When implementing gamification in eLearning, you have a higher chance of getting better returns on the training implementation. Better completion rates, more stickiness of learning, better application of learning to the job and so on.

eLearning Gamification is a better proposition as you can make the learners more participative, involved, and attuned to the concepts presented. By providing level-ups and awards, you keep the learners interested in continuing their learning. You can implement gamification across all custom eLearning by carefully planning and deciding which game elements will benefit you and your learners the most and including them in your custom Learning.

Case study: Risk Management Game

We built a game for a customer who was looking for a more engaging solution for his audience. The concept of risk management was taught through a classroom session to the senior managers, but they wanted to try out something new. We suggested eLearning gamification as a solution.

The gamification solution had all the elements such as a scenario to set the context for the subject of data privacy, risk management in the organization, levels, scoring badges and scenario-based activities.The result of this intervention was that completion rates of the course went up by 95% from the earlier 50% for the standard course. The course was well received and appreciated throughout the

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Converting Classroom or ILT sessions to Impactful eLearning nuggets

With the current situation and social distancing norms, more organizations are preferring online mode of learning or are looking to convert their existing ILT  to eLearning programs. In this blog, I will share few best practices on converting ILT sessions to impactful eLearning to impart knowledge and concepts quickly.

Introduction

With COVID-19 taking a grip over the world, organizations across the globe are forced to rethink as how they conduct business, how they train and equip their employees in a VUCA  (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world.

The current times are unprecedented and require smart and quick decision making on part of the senior leadership.

One of the key decisions is how to continuously train the employees.

While employees work from home, its important that the training is not interrupted. For this, a good approach would be to convert the existing classroom sessions or ILT to eLearning or Virtual training sessions.

Next, I will share some best practices.

1. Consider What To Teach And Identify The Learning Objectives

Classroom sessions are conducted over hours or days. It is practically not possible to cover each aspect of classroom session or ILT into an eLearning format.

Therefore, when deciding over converting the materials, identify the most important topics as well as the content that needs to be covered.

Identify the learning objectives for the subject matter to be taught. This would help in clarifying the must know vs nice to know content.

Then preparing the lesson plans and the course content would be the next logical step in the process.

2. Converting Role Plays, Group Activities Into Interactive Exercises

Understand that eLearning format does not have the provision to have detailed role play or group activity sessions. For these, the strategic approach would be to understand the objectives of the role play or group activity. If the role plays are to understand how a sales person should be trained to negotiate better with a customer, then in an eLearning context, this content can be presented as an interactive video or a series of process steps or a story that is presented visually.

If the objective is to help the sales person apply the skills and not just be aware of it, then a branching scenario or an interactive video with questions will be the best option. This would be a good option to consider when converting ILT to eLearning.

3. Consider A Variety Of Formats To Convert The Existing Sessions

Understand that eLearning format does not have the provision to have

Another good option of converting ILT to eLearning would be to convert the existing content into a variety of formats. These range from videos, to games to quizzes and other relevant formats that would be apt for an online learning experience,

Videos give the flexibility of not losing the essence of the original message. If the core messaging is on introduction to company leadership, the various aspects of the organizational culture then these can be recorded by the leaders and embedded in the online program.

4. Consider Learning Paths For Converting ILTs To ELearning

Learning paths are structured forms of learning modules or topics that are presented in a sequence to help learners understand the content in a logical manner.

A learning path can be created in the LMS by tying in several courses in a sequence. Learners can be enrolled in the learning path to help them know how many courses or topics they need to finish to gain mastery over a subject.

A learning path or journey helps learners track their progress in a systematic way. They gain control over their own learning journey. Assessments can be either formative or summative or a combination of both to help the learners know where they stand in terms of understanding the subject. This is an important consideration for converting ILT to eLearning format.

5. Go Micro

Microlearning is an impactful method of eLearning, where you have short bite sized learning nuggets for your employees. Microlearning can be used when you are trying to impart knowledge on “how”” of a process. It can also be tied into the learning path or journey. Microlearning can be provided as a precursor to your onboarding or induction or technical training programs or as a reinforcement after the training is completed. Microlearning can be implemented as a quiz or a short game or a video. When considering converting large ILTs to elearning, short byte sized microlearning would be a good option.

6. Blended Learning

You can also take advantage of the blended learning model when converting ILTs to eLearning. By combining Virtual training sessions and eLearning in a learning path, you allow the learner to take advantage of learning through Webinars as well as eLearning sessions. This is an important approach to consider as learners prefer to have a facilitator to explain them critical concepts.

Conclusion

To conclude, converting the existing ILTs to eLearning is the way to go in current times. Digital learning is only going to boom in the coming times, so its important to take advantage of the same.

 

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4 Best Practices for Successful Custom eLearning Development

Best Practices for Successful Custom eLearning Development

Do you want to implement custom eLearning solutions in your organization? This blog will provide you the best practices for custom e-learning development that fits your organization’s culture and context!

Elearning is really impactful when it sticks! It lets the learners apply the knowledge in the real-world environment. But, when does it actually stick? It sticks when it is learner-centered and customized to meet the client’s specific business requirements. Be it performance improvement or changing attitude/behaviors, a successful Custom eLearning content development has all the trappings to make the learning memorable, meaningful and motivational. Elearning developers need to pay enough attention to create relevant eLearning design keeping learner in mind. Each e-learning project is unique, however, there are some common components that make them successful. Here are the top 4 best practices to create consistent and successful custom eLearning courses.

1. Conducting proper training needs analysis

Before developing ‘learner-centered’ eLearning, we need to understand who the learners are and what they need.

Due to budget and time constraints, it’s always easy to jump straight away into eLearning development and skip the process of “training needs analysis”. However, crafting a successful elearning project begins with proper training needs analysis. Because it helps you focus on the learners’ needs while addressing the factors of engagement and motivation. This in turn helps you accomplish the client’s business goals and avoids mismatched expectations. Also remember that, as an eLearning designer, before you offer any custom e-learning services, try to understand whether the training is really required.

Holding an eLearning project kickoff meeting with project stakeholders and subject matter experts (SMEs) is a better way to start off with. Asking the right questions will help you:

  • Identify and define the specific business goals,
  • Figure out the nature and scope of your eLearning project
  • Understand the learner profile/demographics, learner styles and preferences
  • Determine the actual knowledge or performance gaps (current level of performance levels/skills they
  • already have v/s desired performance, levels/skills)
  • Align the learning objectives to business goals
  • Define eLearning project deliverables and specifications
  • Fully tailor the eLearning content to desired learning outcomes
  • Finally, achieve the desired learning outcomes

Therefore, a proper training needs analysis provides more clarity and avoids teaching wrong competencies.

Remember, there is no place for assumptions when it comes to developing an effective custom elearning.

For complete blog post visit: 

https://www.swiftelearningservices.com/4-best-practices-for-successful-custom-elearning-development/

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Why are we still talking xAPI?

The global E-Learning market industry is expected to grow from $176.12 billion in 2017 to $398.15 billion by 2026. That beats the GDP growth rates of many countries!

From videos to fully laid out courses, coaching, blogs, blended learningmobile learning etc. alone made $46 billion USD last year, and that number is expected to increase 3% this year.

But with an exploding number of learning sources with an overwhelming Social media ,the need to harness the learning content from different sources became imperative.

What is xAPI?

According to  xAPi.com

“The Experience API (or xAPI) is a new specification for learning technology that makes it possible to collect data about the wide range of experiences a person has (online and offline). This API captures data in a consistent format about a person or group’s activities from many technologies. Very different systems are able to securely communicate by capturing and sharing this stream of activities.”

It is a game changer for those involved in the elearning industry. With this information, you are able to identify, measure impact and fix potential “errors” in order to deliver the highest effective content to your students or stakeholders.

With this easy access, you are able to track learner’s performance, analyze and personalize future learning content to be more focused and easier to imbibe.

Understanding how your custom learning content impacted your students’ performance and being able to take the data of interactions and experiences and reverse-engineer to improve it, is crucial.

So, as it is still critical, let’s do a quick primer on xAPI

Why choose xAPI?

With xAPI in online training, you can track any learning interventions happening in your online training environment. For instance, multiple test scores, pages viewed, time spent, games and simulations, detailed test results, to name a few.

xAPI captures data from conventional – such as online surveys and detailed data reports-  and non-conventional sources, on how employees have been interacting with the learning content. Having detailed data allows you to plan for future eLearning projects by analyzing what your employees know against what they need to know. This links your digital learning solutions to your desired business goals through greater employee engagement.

Analytics

Data is published in an LRS (Learning Record Store), It can either be built seamlessly in a Learning Management System (LMS) or be a standalone asset.

An LMS with a pre-built LRS offers support to xAPI online training content and also performs the functions of an LMS to manage learning delivery.

A Standalone LRS allows you to track all user experience API learning activities and record, but cannot perform the tasks of an LMS – for example, scheduling training sessions, providing certificates, managing notifications, etc.

Support

xAPI can also be used to provide support to your broader categories of modern-day online learning approaches such as social, collaborative and informal learning, mobile apps, etc.

Learning Data Anywhere Anytime

xAPI offers access to learning content whenever needed. It can be used to track and retrieve data of every aspect of learning activity accessed through tablets, smartphones, or apps. And online and offline.

Easy Integration

Integrating systems are often pricey and take a lot of work and xAPI allows learning technologies to connect to one another.

Effortless Versioning

When your eLearning content is updated and published, that new version gets immediately available on the linked LMS activity. With this, your learners do not have to re-upload or re-select content on the LMS.

xAPI, AICC, and SCORM

This is optional, and completely within the control of a user – they can choose not to auto-update the LMS activity.

Like AICC and SCORM, xAPI is an eLearning technology standard that allows tracking of learning activities for effective interventions. xAPI is gaining ground over its long-established predecessor, SCORM, which fails to address modern-day learning requirements such as tracking anywhere, anytime learning, and expansion of just-desktop-use.

xAPI enables tracking and capturing of learning in almost any context as well, not just in your Learning Management Systems (LMS).

Additionally, xAPI can be configured to make direct links between your employees’ learning experience and on-the-job performance.

With SCORM, the simple data extracted would only display insights such as “Learner Y has completed the course X,” single score, and pass/fail.

Whereas xAPI gives you the ability to track beyond what SCORM offers by capturing nuanced details across Interactive learning, offline learning, blended learning, social learning, mobile apps, team-based learning activities.

xAPI is more relevant now than ever. Greater employee engagement is what is going to drive productivity. With traditional modes of learning hitting a plateau and user ennui, the organization needs to understand and deliver content based on learner behavior, habits and in a form and manner most resonant with the learner. And in non-traditional places – learning happens.

How do you track and quantify it?

xAPI provides accurate information it will help you, in the long run, to optimize your content, in order to achieve a higher amount of success with it. But xAPI adoption rates are still fuzzy. There are still queries on how to connect with it. How do you interpret the volume of data and extrapolate it to create and understand? As with any new technology, there have been early adopters, the middle majority, who I call the- wait- and- watchers and the laggards who have not given it a thought.

But just as a sculptor can architect a piece of stone, the data available needs to be interpreted to make it useful….and that is where Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning comes in…..and that is a whole new topic !!

Source:  https://www.ideaoninc.com/why-are-we-still-talking-xapi/

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What is blocking VR adoption? – Reality Strikes

From BP to KFC, huge companies all across the world are turning to virtual reality (VR) to train their employees. There’s no doubt that VR technology can take boring, traditional training and turn it into an immersive, hands-on experience. So why haven’t more eLearning companies jumped on the bandwagon?

It’s clear that VR is more than just a passing fad. Now that products like Google Cardboard make a VR headset that’s affordable and compatible with your Smartphone, VR is more accessible than ever. But most of the best eLearning companies still favor interactive learning modules and tutorials over VR integration when it comes to custom eLearning design.

Is VR too distracting to integrate into online learning or is there another obstacle preventing it from being used more commonly? Let’s break down the pros and cons of using VR in eLearning and blended teaching.

Benefits of Using VR in eLearning 

1. Create an Immersive Learning Environment

This is the biggest draw of VR for educational purposes, it allows the learner to interact with new information in an immersive environment.

Google expeditions and virtual field trips can be great substitutes to exploring a new region or landmark when the person isn’t able to go there in person. Other companies offer VR environments designed to help improve soft skills like public speaking and interviewing.

Some of the most cutting edge eLearning companies have even created VR training for healthcare companies and the military. In this kind of high stakes environment, trainees are able to put their learning to the test in a realistic environment before they have to perform in their field, where making a mistake can have much bigger consequences.

2. Sparks Interest

Let’s face it, there’s something about those VR headsets that inspires excitement. When an audience is interested in a topic or training, they’re going to be more engaged and chances are the learning will be much more effective. Since creating effective learning is the goal of every instructional design company, this is hugely beneficial.

3. Active Learning Promotes Deeper Learning

A visually interesting, interactive learning environment where trainees can apply their knowledge is as close to on-the-job training as you can get. For many online learners, internships or cohorts aren’t an option, and VR fills that gap.

There’s a reason health professionals, teachers, military personnel and so many more professionals are required to get hands-on training before becoming fully trained: learning by doing is the best way to master a skill. Since the ultimate goal of eLearning companies and softwares is to design high quality, effective training, VR seems like a great way to get results.

Drawbacks of using VR in eLearning

1. Cost

This is probably the biggest obstacle when it comes to using VR to enhance training solutions- it’s just too expensive. Even though Smartphones have made VR more accessible to the masses, the capabilities required by many training courses would reach beyond what a learner can do at home with their phone.

2. Implementation

The reason most companies choose eLearning solutions for their training needs is because they want to streamline effective practices for employees who are often in different locations. VR has limitations when it comes to online learning vs. face to face training since very few people can be trained at once.

Additionally, replicating the training across multiple locations would only be possible if all of those locations have the same VR capabilities with trained instructors (which brings us back to high cost).

3. Distractibility

New technology can sometimes be distracting. A trainee must first learn how to use the VR headset before he or she can complete their actual training which takes time.

Not to mention, our instinct when it comes to new tech is to play around with it. If you have a strict timeline that doesn’t allow for much exploration of the new tool, VR might not be right for you.

The Verdict

Is VR just a distracting new trend ..how much value does it add…what is the ROI..Do the ends justify the means? In the end, it depends. Every training scenario is different and needs to cater to a different audience. We think some audiences would not only benefit but thrive with the addition of VR. We are for example developing VR for the Power Industry , where actions like Pole climbing, derricking is better experienced through immersive technology, rather than a dangerous outdoor lesson. And such training requires additional insurance requirements for the risk.

On the other hand, not every training needs VR. The decision to include VR in your company’s training program would have to come with the support of upper management. There needs to a vision on how VR will integrate into your overall Training needs and scope.

If your vision for training using VR technology does not budget for the approvals on time ,effort and money to making it happen, it’s probably smarter to stick with a training method that is less complex.

Source: https://www.ideaoninc.com/what-is-blocking-vr-adoption-reality-strikes/

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Custom eLearning: Q&A Model Combined With Scenarios

Introduction

In this blog, I will discuss the merits of the technique of using rhetorical questions under the purview of the Q&A model in combination with scenarios for an effective and engaging Custom eLearning experience.

Overview

Consider these questions:

Don’t you think David could have reached his sales target easily if he had handled the objections of customers efficiently?

Do you think Sonia did the right thing by not following the rule?

Isn’t it high time that we take initiatives to protect our environment?

These are some rhetorical questions that can be used in Custom eLearning courses to make them engaging and effective. The Q&A or Question and Answer model of eLearning uses such question to present the content.

Whenever a question is presented to learners, it immediately grabs their attention. They start to find the answers to the question. However, rhetorical questions need not be answered always. Rather, they help the learners to be alert and constantly use their brain cells to understand the concept.

In the Q&A model of eLearning, the strategy is to ask rhetorical questions (questions that are leading in nature) with responses either yes or no. We can also ask questions by providing input boxes, or questions with agree/disagree options.

Here are few case studies that explain the Q&A model in combination of some scenarios in Custom eLearning courses.

Case Study 1: Code of Conduct

Generally, code of conduct or ethics and compliance courses are boring to the learners. To make them interesting, we can use the Q&A model and scenarios that pertain to their job. In this course, we used the Q&A model in several ways, such as combining scenarios with questions or providing a checklist of options from which learners can choose what they think as appropriate action in the given situation. We provide diagnostic feedback and help learner progress within the Custom eLearning course.

Here is an example from the course on code of conduct related to accepting gifts.

custom eLearning - Code of Conduct

Another way in which Q&A model is used in the Custom eLearning course was asking rhetorical questions at the beginning of course.

For example, the following rhetorical questions were used in a course on Ethics and code of conduct

  • Don’t you agree ethics and integrity is crucial for success of an organization?
  • Do you think code of conduct make our work in the organization difficult?
  • Should every employee follow the code of conduct?
  • Is there any violation in code of conduct if I use materials from my previous company in my present company?
  • What should you do when you see a violation in code of conduct?

These questions help set the context and allow the learners mind to tick and engage with the content that follows in the course much better.

Case Study 2: Hospitality Business

In modern hospitality business, it is all about competence of people. The modern customers demand a high level of service. We developed a Custom eLearning course one of our customers from the hospitality industry using the Q&A model and scenarios.

custom eLearning - Hospitality Question and answers approach

custom eLearning - Hospitality Question and answers approach

custom eLearning - Hospitality Question and answers approach

For every aspect of hospitality industry, we provided similar scenarios and rhetorical questions. As far as possible, real-life scenarios were used which the staff may actually face during their worklife.

Conclusion

To conclude, Q&A model when combined with scenarios make the course memorable and highly effective. By asking questions, we try to make the learners find answers by going through the Custom eLearning course. It acts as motivation for the learner which is essential in eLearning to create engaging learning experiences.

Source: https://tesseractlearning.com/blog/custom-elearning-q-and-a-model-combined-with-scenarios.html

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Unique Interactivities for Engaging Custom eLearning Courses

Custom eLearning courses need to be engaging and interesting for learners to consume and learn them. There are various ways to increase the engagement factor. One among them is using interactivities. The purpose of using interactivities is to make the learner learn by doing. This is usually done by challenging their mental faculties. The interactivities should make the learner actively participate in the process of learning. In this blog, we will look at some interactivities which will make your custom eLearning courses highly engaging.

Overview

Some interactivities that are generally used to present custom eLearning content or assess the learning include clicking tabs, clicking images, hotspots, rollovers, timeline, graphs and charts, interactive videos, flipbooks, flip cards, dragging and dropping moving objects (images/text) into bins or a drop area and so on.

In one of our previous blogs “Creating Great Custom eLearning Courses Using Varied Interactivities“, we reviewed interesting interactivities such as myths and facts, rhetorical questions, min-cases and others.

In this blog, I will share some unique custom eLearning interactivities that can be used to engage the learners better. Let’s look at them.

Puzzles

Puzzles can be used to present the content or assess the understanding of learners. Some puzzles that can be used for interactivities are word games, crosswords and jigsaw puzzles. While word games and crosswords can be used to assess the learning, jigsaw puzzles can be used for teaching purpose.

You can give some hint or clues to the learner and ask them to round up the word in the word game which consists of combination of letters. In crosswords, you can ask the learner to type the letter containing key for a given clue.

In case of jigsaw puzzles, you can use the image of related concept, and make it into puzzle pieces. These pieces are then jumbled up. Next, the learner is asked to drag and drop correct pieces into a drop area. On dropping each piece, the content can be presented. For example, to present the content related to the traits of an aggressive personality, you can use an image of an aggressive looking person. Divide the image into the number of pieces as per the traits. The interactivity allows the learner to drag and drop each piece in its correct place and show content.

You can even mention traits on each piece of the puzzle. Another example of using puzzles is to jumble up parts of equipment or a machine such as a motor bike or a car and ask the learner to assemble them correctly. Such an interactivity can be used for both teaching content and assessing the learning. This is a good example of using unique interactivity in custom eLearning courses.

Unique Interactivities Example - Puzzles

Unique Interactivities Example - Puzzles

Unique Interactivities Example - Puzzles

Branched Scenarios

Another example of using a unique interactivity in custom eLearning courses is branched scenario. We all know about the quizzes and scenarios-based questions. These are linear in nature. But branched scenarios are quite different from them. These scenarios are built up basis the responses given by learner for each scenario. Response to one scenario leads to another unless the learner reaches the desired outcome. So, while developing branched scenarios you must first consider all possible outcomes. In other words, you need to start from end.

In custom eLearning courses, Branched scenarios can be used for presenting content related to sales of a product or service, customer complaints/satisfaction and so on. Such interactivities are great for learning as learner has to perform an action and see the consequences of his choices too. However, developing branching scenarios in custom eLearning courses require more time, is complex and a costly affair.

Unique Interactivities Example - Branched scenarios

Unique Interactivities Example - Branched scenarios

Jumbled or Missed Steps

These interactivities are good ways to assess the understanding of learners of a process or procedure. If there are linear steps in a process, they can be jumbled up and learner is asked to place them in correct sequence. You can also remove some steps from a flowchart and ask the learner to fill in the missed parts.

Unique Interactivities Example - Jumbled or Missed Steps

Conclusion

To conclude, whatever custom eLearning interactivity you use to present the content, it should engage the learners. They should remember the learning and apply it real-life situations. The clue is to keep the custom elearning courses interesting by having good interactivities that keep the learners engaged and interested in their learning journey.

Source: https://tesseractlearning.com/blog/unique-interactivities-for-engaging-custom-elearning-courses.html

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