It doesn’t matter if it’s good

I completed this LinkedIn Learning course from Seth Godin – ‘Creativity at work’ earlier this week.

In the ‘There’s no such thing as writer’s block’ video, Seth describes an exchange he had with Isaac Asimov, the science fiction author, who is responsible for writing over 400 books.

I repeat this section from the transcript:

“How do you come up with 400 published books? And he walked me over to this little manual typewriter in his office. And he said, here’s what I do. Every morning I sit here at 6:30 and I type until noon five and a half hours of typing and it doesn’t matter if it’s good. It doesn’t matter if it’s good. I simply type, and the magic of this is that if you’re sitting there typing and typing and typing, sooner or later your subconscious stops fighting with you. Sooner or later it says, well, if he’s going to make me type anyway, I might as well type something good. So no, there’s no such thing as writer’s block. What there is, is a fear of bad writing.

For me, who’s struggled with writing for this blog for a good many years, I’ve always thought that, well, people talk about writers’ block so I must have it. I had half-formed ideas I couldn’t articulate my thoughts fully to publish, days went by with no inspiration or enthusiasm to write anything, etc.

Perhaps what was actually happening is that I feared writing that just wasn’t any good. Perhaps I should just write, and see what happens?

I will, however, still strive to be authentic and relevant to the purpose or themes of this blog – education, learning, informative, leadership, technology.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

One Year On

March 20th, 2021, marks a full year since I packed up and left the office of Coventry University and set myself up in my spare room. I have a desk, screens, laptop, swivel chair, music, access to the kettle, windows that open, a reliable internet connection – everything I need to work.

I thought I’d share some stats of what I’ve been doing in this very unusual year ‘at’ work:

  • Three UK lockdowns – 4.28m positive Covid cases, and sadly over 126,000 deaths (to March 19, 2021)
  • Five failed attempts to meet up with family, one successful
  • Two remote/phone consultations with the hospital
  • School bubbles closed six times across two schools, whilst schools are meant to be open
  • One cancelled/postponed holiday
  • One home ‘office’ decorated and effectively lived in
  • 28 remote interviews (and a favourite question of mine – hint: I’m not using it at the moment, no spoilers for upcoming interviews there).
  • Onboarding of 10 new colleagues, remotely
  • Attended three leaving ‘events’
  • Two take away meals (yes, only two, in a whole year)
  • 0 (zero) take-away tea or cakes
  • Written 47 blog posts (including my 1,000th)
  • Spent more money on Lego and new vinyl LPs than I care to admit to
  • Watched far too much Netflix
  • Read lots of books, many for the 2nd or more time
  • Attended over 20 webinar or otherwise F2F events that have been delivered online. Not always able to focus or stay for the whole thing, but I tried
  • Reviewed and provided feedback on 5 CMALT portfolios

But what of ‘lockdown’? What of the pandemic?

Like many of you reading this, I’ve had enough of it. Whilst it’s a full year since we entered this ‘working at home’ thing, it’s well over a year since Covid-19 became a focus of my/our attention – since late January 2020 we were watching the developments and starting to plan what it would mean if some or all of us in the team or business were unable to attend the office.

I’m very proud of everything we did, from the planning to implementing the changes – we planned for being fully remote for six months, it was clearly a good solution as it’s still working a full 12 months later and I’m certain it’ll stand up to scrutiny for another 6-12 months too without changes.

What next? A return to the daily commute and open-plan office? I don’t know. While there are plans are for restrictions to ease across the country and eventually to return us to something vaguely resembling the ‘normal’ we knew before, I’m going to remain sceptical until I see it. Schools have re-opened yet teachers and school staff are no nearer being vaccinated. Hospital workers continue to be amazing but are getting an insultingly low pay rise, etc, etc. Some things don’t change, it seems.

Increasingly I shied away from the news as much as possible – Trump, Brexit, Harry & Megan, vaccines, climate, Boris, etc … I found myself doomscrolling more and more, desperate to find something other than the above to read and keep me occupied. Whilst some find it therapeutic to read and discuss the news, I found it increasingly frustrating, indeed insulting, at how we, the population, have been treated … there, you got me talking about it!!

What about the next year? Hell, what about the next month? As it stands, restrictions in the UK are set to be lifted in a phased return to ‘normal’. Whether we can trust the plans which seem to go against the science and (currently) rising cases is for another day (I don’t have the energy to argue that one out!), but there is a strong possibility of returning to the commute and office again in some form or another.

All in all, I think I’ve done as well as can be expected over the last year, as have we all. There are many stories of strain, pressure, loss, etc to be told, and I’m sad to think there will be many more yet to come too. Where we go from here is up to each of us, even if we don’t yet feel it.

Stay strong. Stay safe.

Photo by CHIRAG K on Unsplash

MAKE TRAINING FUN!

Employee motivation and engagement is a critical component of employee relations in any organization today. When you add training requirements to everyday work tasks, it can be perceived as extra work that needs more time and energy than a person already spends at the workplace. It becomes imperative that employees feel propelled by something more than just managerial directives to take on and complete training. Additionally, L&D invests a lot in developing, procuring, and tailoring content for organizational training initiatives.

Click below to see how Adobe Captivate Prime can help you make training fun at work, and keep learners / employees engaged and motivated.

Make Training Fun – A 2021 customer guide

Please do get in touch with your Customer Success Manager for more information. For support issues, please contact captivateprimesupport@adobe.com. For feedback regarding this document please email jaisim@adobe.com.

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1,000

The irony that I’m using this post to highlight that I’ve posted 1,000 posts is not lost on me. But then again, when I started the blog in October 2008 I wasn’t planning this far ahead.

I can’t say anything as contrived as ‘here’s to the next 1,000 posts as I’m barely thinking as far as the weekend ahead at the moment, but I will certainly raise a glass to all you readers who have followed me on this journey for so long.

Thank you.

Photo by Hugo Ramos on Unsplash

How To Enhance Virtual Learning With The Help Of Social Learning

virtual learning environment is a medium of learning where learners go through courses, study materials and learning aids through an online medium. It can be browser-based or a virtual training session through Zoom. Virtual learning offers activities, interactions, and resources within a course structure and provides different levels of assessment. Given this context, learners can access learning materials through peer-to-peer collaboration networks such as forums. As social learning is a continuous process of learning from other people within and outside the organization, it can be integrated into virtual learning through various means.

At the present virtual learning also happens through social technologies like blogs, wikis, discussion forums, messaging tools, conferencing tools, subject-matter directories, and videos. Organizations are increasingly using social learning in their training methodologies for improved learning retention, increased learner engagement, and reduced training costs.

The 70:20:10 Learning Framework

In traditional classroom training, most learners recall only 10% of what they have learned after 72 hours. Such lack of knowledge retention can harm the business of your organization. For example, a salesperson may face trouble recalling the knowledge learned at the appropriate time the next week, which could cost them a sale.

As per this methodology, about 70% of learning happens through on-the-job training and practical experiences, 20% through interaction with peers and colleagues, and just 10% in a traditional, instructor-led classroom training environment.

Why Social Learning?

Social learning helps employees with enhanced retention of knowledge, which is the primary goal of any training program. Social learning encourages learning in a working environment and allows learners to apply their knowledge to work. They can learn from peers, senior employees, or experts within the organizations. People learn from real-life scenarios/examples and by direct experiences. Research studies also indicate that social learning methods deliver a better ROI (almost 75:1 ratio) when compared to traditional classroom training.

Here are a few strategies on how to enhance virtual learning with the help of social learning.

Enhance Learner Engagement

A virtual learning environment allows you to manage the learning activities by using various means such as an LMS for learner administrations, learning platforms, and virtual instructor sessions. In social learning, employees can either start or take part in a discussion, training or coach others as and when a situation arises. This type of freedom to engage in their learning will directly impact increased engagement in their work.

As part of social learning, provide a network of mentors and peers, where information is created and distributed easily to employees. Thus, employees can obtain more practical knowledge and make better decisions through increased engagement with others.

Collaborate Proactively With Learners

Communication and collaboration among the participants with emails, chat, wikis, blogs, etc., are other key components of a virtual learning environment. Social learning is collaborative in its approach, happens in real-time, and has a direct relation to an employee’s work. Learning can happen anytime, anywhere, and by using any device. Organizations that support social learning need to have learning environments that foster conversation, discussion, and collaboration between learners across the organization.

Social learning involves knowledge sharing in a joint effort between peers, and between peers and facilitators. It promotes high-level thinking, good relationships, oral and written communication, self-management, responsibility, and leadership skills.

Encourage Peer Learning

Peer learning is a great way in which learners learn from each other. Participants connected can observe and learn from others, helping each other in the virtual session. Learners can directly learn from seniors and experts who have been in similar situations. In peer learning, learners receive more time for individualized learning, and interactions between employees promote active learning.

Learners get a chance to reinforce their learning by instructing others. Also, learners feel more comfortable and open when interacting with their peers. For companies, peer learning is a financially efficient alternative to hiring trainers or instructors. Research studies indicate that peer learning activities yield more benefits to the organization, such as enhanced team-building spirit, more supportive relationships, greater psychological well-being, and improved communication skills. Thus, organizations should encourage peer learning to achieve greater productivity.

Add Simulations And Gamification Elements

Simulations and gamification help facilitators turn their virtual learning into a more interactive experience. Simulations can turn virtual learning sessions into more interesting and fun learning sessions. Mock trials and digital simulations are great ways to enhance a virtual learning session and engage the participants more.

Gamification involves turning an activity into a competitive game for the learners. You can take learning concepts, assignments, and activities and convert them into interesting games. The facilitator can announce badges and rewards for winners and create that unique spark that attracts the learners’ interest. Gamification and simulations allow learners to observe real-life scenarios and examples.

Conclusion

The social learning strategies discussed in this article will help you improve learner participation and conduct successful virtual learning sessions in your organization. Social learning allows for better interaction between various learners. It is a great way to enhance your virtual learning experiences and take learning to the next level.

At Tesseract Learning, our learning and visual architects are constantly innovating and reinventing their approaches to design, develop, and deliver effective L&D programs.

I hope you find this article insightful and that it helps you enhance your virtual learning sessions. To learn more about how you can transform your virtual training, talk to us or write to me at <suresh@tesseractlearning.com>.

The post How To Enhance Virtual Learning With The Help Of Social Learning appeared first on eLearning.

Engaging Learning

This article was originally published on the Learning Plan blog and is posted here with permission from the author.

What can we learn from the learning experts? Who are the learning experts? We think we found one . . .

We recently found ourselves watching a university lecture from Stanford University about Human Behavioral Biology (see the lecture below) delivered by the esteemed professor Robert Sapolsky.

He introduces the lecture with a scenario, literally in the first 10 seconds of the lecture. No talk of learning outcomes, no talk of what the lecture was about. All of this information would have been available to the students before they walked in the class. They knew why they were there and how long they were going to be there for. No taking up learning time with information that would, and should have been readily available to the students before they walked in.

He then seeks to get some ideas about the beliefs of the students, their existing experiences and how those experiences could influence how the students will continue to consume the information in the lecture.

After this, he then presents another scenario to the students, presented as a question, “what do these four things have in common?”. So the first six minutes of a sixty minute lecture is about interaction with the students, not delivering information. He is getting the students engaged immediately, getting them to think, to question and analyze.

All too often we design our learning as simply the dissemination of information, the broadcast of a message without feedback or contribution from the audience. We may sprinkle “interactivity” throughout the learning experience to keep the learner “engaged”. By “interactivity” we usually mean “click-to-reveal” such as “click each heading to reveal”. This isn’t interactivity. This is getting the learner to work for the information. There is no purpose or learning outcome apart from the revealing of information that could have quite easily been presented without the need for the learner to “work” for the information.

Tim Slade articulates this in his video about Instructional Design at the 60 second mark he talks about “clicking doesn’t always create meaningful interactivity”.
“There is a difference between interactivity that is passive vs interactivity that forces the learner to use critical thinking to make a decision.”

So in summary, meaningful and purposeful learning design should consider the following;

  • Give students information about learning outcomes, learning content and duration of learning before they dive into the learning. This can all be done in the learning platform and via communication sent to the audience beforehand.
  • Engage the learner immediately to use critical thinking to make a decision
  • Don’t, REPEAT, Don’t include passive interactivity to create so called engagement. These types of interactions have had their day and don’t provide any value to the learning. If anything, these interactions are frustrating as the learner has to click just to reveal information that could have easily been displayed without the learner needing to work for it
  • Continue to challenge the learner throughout the learning experience
  • If the learning experience simply becomes a dissemination exercise maybe it’s not meant to be a learning experience

Learning has evolved, our audience have evolved. Our learning design needs to evolve.

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5 Main Types of mLearning To Use in Your Training and Development Programs

With “lockdown logistics,” training and development program managers look for new ways to fulfill their training delivery mandates. This article showcases 5 types of mLearning strategies to train remote learners in the new learning environment.

Why is mLearning a Must-Use Strategy in the New Learning Environment?

COVID-19 has created a pressing need for learners to continue learning from home (or other venues away from the “office”). It has also highlighted the need for L&D teams to increase their focus to train remote workers. A strong mLearning strategy offers enticing value propositions for both learners and the organization.

mLearning – Value for Learners

  • Learners can train on the go, or as they work from home.
  • They get on-demand, anytime, anywhere access.
  • Various types of mLearning assets give remote learners varying degrees of freedom on when and how to consume content.
  • Learners can pull content as required, leaving them with a sense of “control,” rather than having it pushed to them, which may sometimes feel like “forced” training.
  • mLearning empowers learners with the ability to sync training around their lifestyle, as opposed to the other way around.

mLearning – Value for the Organization

  • mLearning addresses remote learners as well as a geographically dispersed audience.
  • Delivers higher engagement with learners.
  • mLearning is proven to result in higher training completion rates.
  • Is easier to manage and administer, and provides seamless ability to update, upgrade, and re-deploy elements of a corporate training program.
  • It is a significantly lower-cost training solution as compared to classroom/ILT.

How Can You Leverage mLearning for Your Training and Development Program Needs?

mLearning fits well with the 70-20-10 L&D model – adopted by global organizations to enhance the effectiveness of their training and development program. The model, developed and pioneered by Morgan McCall, Robert Eichinger, and Michael Lombardo at the Center for Creative Leadership, holds that a significant part of work-related learning (70%) is experience-based, while 20% occurs from workplace interactions. Formal training accounts for just 10% of employee learning.

As you embark on your distance learning journey with your employees, mLearning will help you meet the entire spectrum of their training and development program needs, including:

  • Formal training (10%) – Through structured VILT, blended learning programs and self-directed online training.
  • Instant/Just-in-time learning aids (20%) – By delivering social learning, peer-to-peer learning, point-of-need training, and job aids to learners when/where they need it most.
  • Informal learning (70%) – By offering experiential learning opportunities to support blended/formal learning programs.

Due to its multi-device capability and the ability to mix and match different types of mLearning content, such as targeted short-content format, mLearning delivers better learning outcomes.

When integrated with appropriate learning strategies, mLearning offers rewarding learning journeys to remote learners.

What mLearning Strategies Can You Use to Train Your Remote Workforce?

Leverage mLearning to create a comprehensive learning and performance ecosystem for the entire organization. Here are 5 mLearning strategies to use when training remote workers:

  1. Microlearning to create personalized learning paths and learning journeys. These may also serve as useful job aids and to make point-of-need training highly effective.
  2. Video based learning to enhance learning, its application, engagement, and drive behavioral change.
  3. Gamification for serious learning is a great strategy to use to deliver an immersive, engaging learning experience.
  4. Social or collaborative learning to promote, share, and recommend learning nuggets. This strategy is great to foster collaborative learning as part of an integrated training and development program. Leverage it as an effective channel to promote informal learning.
  5. Self-directed learning to foster a culture of continuous learning.

What Types of mLearning Content Formats Should You Consider?

Instead of focusing on only formal training, leverage on a Learning and Performance Ecosystem based approach as shown here for your training and development programs.

To create a long term, sustainable remote learning, here are 5 types of mLearning content formats worth considering. Use them to develop your corporate learning and performance ecosystem as shown here.

Learning and Performance Ecosystem EI Design

Pre-training

  • To initiate learner engagement through What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) and build awareness, use infographics and interactive infographics as quick reference guides.

Formal Training

  • Leverage Microlearning based learning journeys. – personalize them, if possible.
  • Use immersive strategies like Gamiification, AR/VR for select Microlearning nuggets.
  • Use Scenario based learning and Interactive stories to bring in real-life experiences and engage the learners better.
  • Implement Video based learning formats. For enhancing learner engagement, make use of interactive and branching videos.

Just-in-time Learning/Job Aids

  • In order to deliver point-of-need training and quick-review learning, use PDFs, interactive PDFs, eBooks, and flipbooks.
  • For point-of-need learning and post-training reinforcement, utilizing Podcasts, in conjunction with other types of mLearning content, are highly effective as review and refresh training aids.

Social and Self-Directed Learning

Post-training Connects

  • Retain the connect with the learners, even after they have completed the training successfully. Push Micro challenges (mini quizzes) to check their retention or practice or for proficiency gain.

The prevailing COVID-19 situation has forced so many learners to “learn differently.” Corporate L&D teams can respond to those needs by creating new learning and performance ecosystems around creative mLearning solutions.

Hope this article gives you cues that will not only help in meeting your immediate remote training and development program mandate but also help you craft a long-term, sustainable mLearning strategy.

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Hosted SCORM module showing wrong title?

When your SCORM package is hosted in your LMS, the Title shown to users is extracted from the SCORM manifest. This info needs to be configured before export from Captivate. In Publish Settings>More>SCORM>Configure>Title.

This video tutorial explains the issue, and shows you how, step-by-step.

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