What Do We Mean By eLearning Automation?
Commonly, automation stands for minimizing or eliminating human interaction in a process.
With the development of technologies, automation had an impact on every industry. We take many automated processes as a usual thing. For example, you sign-up for any software online and immediately receive welcome Email with your name included, after making a purchase the receipt is instantly sent to us. It’s a basic example of an automation process that includes email marketing and payments, but there is more in online learning.
The most common implementations of automation are quizzes generation, answers check, providing a student with immediate feedback and instantly showing results without human interaction.
The future of elearning automation is behind artificial intelligence (AI), where the learning process will be personalized to each user and the system will adapt to students performance. We have talked about it among elearning trends for 2019.
How to improve your elearning platform through automation
Automation helps more effectively format and distribute content to users. For example, before starting a course, a student can take a quiz for the system to understand what areas the student is familiar with. The platform can then tweak the course modules according to the learner’s level of knowledge. Such an approach increases engagement and helps learner stay interested and move through the course quickly. Moreover, LMS can generate quizzes and exams from your assessments and create a unique learning path for each student.
If talking about corporate training, automation can save time for managers and HR departments in the way that employees are automatically enrolled into the right training modules for them.
Automated notifications and feedback
You can automate announcements of new courses and modules as they are published to save yourself time on manual sending and students benefit in staying up to date. Educators can automatically be notified with who and when have passed or failed test and immediately sent their results.
In addition, learner satisfaction surveys can be held automatically and generate reports for you.
Create a personalized learning experience
Automation of some elearning processes don’t just save time and money, it can completely transform the learner experience and make it more personalized. We have seen personalization in work on YouTube and ecommerce industry, it’s time to start implementing it in elearning.
For example, the learner fails a quiz. After that the system is triggered to send an email with some additional materials covering the topics, a student has failed on. Moreover, a user of your elearning platform can be enrolled to an additional course according to his final exam results. Students will have their own learning paths and can learn on their own pace.
Customer service and support
Modern technologies allow automating even such human tasks as support and Q&A. You can save yourself a lot of time and reduce the number of employees by creating rich FAQ page or even whole help center with search function as we have done for one of your clients.
In addition, chatbots can better customer satisfaction with an instant answer to questions.
Automated Report Delivery
It is possible to create automated report delivery and moreover, in different formats. For example, you would like to have a monthly report of your course performance in PDF format and Excel table with financial reports. In addition, they can be automatically sent to your inbox each month.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Your platform’s integration with CRM can bring your business to the next level and we are not talking about just managing your customers. By monitoring learner performance and discovering patterns, CRM can bring valuable process automation.
For instance, some of your students abandoned learning on some module, CRM can detect that and send an email to users for encouraging them to continue the course.
Customer relationship management allows to control the stages, students are on and interact with them with relevant information. This also provides students with personalized experience.
Elearning automation can save you time, money and create a personalized experience for your users. As a result, the performance of your course or training should increase and the learners get better results as the system optimizes for their own pace and level of knowledge.
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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”:
- According to Lynda, those who learn on a mobile device complete course material 45% faster than those using a computer.
- Gartner foresees that 45% of businesses will work according to BYOD (bring your own device) policy by 2020.
- LearnDash research shows that 70% of students felt more motivated when learning on a mobile device.
- Mobile learners usually study for 40 minutes longer than desktop users, says MNAlearning.
- 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:
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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I recently saw an article on LinkedIn by a fellow instructional designer Ralonda Simmons. She posed the question to the community about whether we should work for free when we start in the learning and design industry. I guess I’m not surprised that organisations are doing this, but I’ve also had time to reflect on this discussion, and I thought I would share my thoughts here as well.
When I was starting as a freelance elearning designer, developer, I would get requests from what I thought were potential clients asking for me to work for less or even in some cases work for free. They argued that the experience I would gain from the project they wanted me to work on would be valuable when seeking other work in the future. Another tactic I’ve run into is the false promise of additional future work for the organisation. For example, if I reduce my usual rates, it could lead to more profitable work after the project concludes.
Upon further reflection though, I realised it isn’t so cut and dry. The best example in my world is my YouTube channel. I think that some people assume that because there are so many YouTube millionaires that I must be doing well from the ad revenue from my Adobe Captivate YouTube tutorials. I decided to work out what ad revenue I receive from my videos. I’m sorry to report that it’s about $12 per video for the entire lifetime of my YouTube channel. I typically spend anywhere from an hour to about three hours creating these videos.
I also speak at the Adobe conferences each year. Adobe is very generous in that they pay my expenses to speak at the conference. However, my business isn’t earning while I’m away for these events.
While it doesn’t cost me to speak at a conference or cost me very much to make a YouTube video, the return on the investment is from the influx of potential clients I get from these activities. For example, one of the most significant projects I worked on last year came from a stakeholder watching one of my videos on YouTube. They told me later on that seeing my videos was what convinced them to reach out to me and eventually hire me for a job that represented about 50% of my earnings last year.
So my advice when someone asks me if they should consider working for less than their standard rate, think what the return on investment might be. I enjoy coming to conferences and making my YouTube videos. I probably wouldn’t do these activities if I didn’t enjoy the creative process. I could say with confidence that I wouldn’t be earning as much in other areas of my business if I didn’t do these activities. That said, don’t get sucked into the belief that the experience you gain working for free will be worth it, but consider how you can turn something you love to do into a way to earn some extra income.
Gamified Microlearning Activities: How To Boost The Impact Of Your Corporate Training.
In the last few years, you would have seen two significant trends in online corporate training:
- A Wider Acceptance Of Gamification For Serious Learning
Today, the use of gamification cuts across most of the corporate training needs ranging from induction and onboarding, soft skills training, professional skills training, application simulations training to compliance training.
- An Extensive Adoption Of Microlearning
From its early avatar as performance support or just-in-time learning aids, today microlearning based training is being used across the majority of corporate training needs. It is being used to offer formal training, and it continues to be the preferred choice for job aids/learning aids. It has also made inroads into supporting ILT/VILT.
With the maturing of these techniques, a logical extension is to leverage on the combination of both approaches.
In this article, I outline one of the ways through which you can use the combination. I outline how you can use gamified microlearning activities to boost the impact of your corporate training.
Before moving on to the specifics of the combination (gamified microlearning activities), let me outline the strengths of microlearning and gamification techniques for online training.
What Is Microlearning?
Microlearning is short, focused, bite-sized training that is typically 2-7 minutes long. It is not eLearning lite. Instead, it is designed to be a nugget that meets a specific learning outcome.
The microlearning nuggets can be designed to be consumed as a stand-alone nugget (as a job aid/learning aid designed to help learners at the moment of their need), or as part of a learning path featuring several such nuggets (typically for formal training). The microlearning nuggets can also be used to support ILT/VILT programs.
Microlearning is typically offered in the mobile learning format (although, it will support other devices too), enabling learners to consume the learning on the device of their choice and on the go.
It features high-impact, engaging formats notably, animated videos, interactive videos, infographics, interactive infographics, and so on.
What Is The Relevance Of Microlearning Today?
The primary trigger for the adoption of microlearning was the need to meet the challenge of diminishing attention spans. But, this is not the only factor in its favor.
As we see a change in the pattern of how learners want to learn, microlearning based training provides a great way to match the learners’ preferences to learn.
- It resonates with learners on account of the fact that it can be consumed on the go, and it will help them achieve a specific learning goal.
- In a world where we need to multi-task all the time, microlearning based training can be consumed in the midst of other commitments.
What Is Gamification And The Value It Brings In For Learners And Businesses?
Gamification is the use of principles and key elements of gaming to deliver the required learning objectives.
Unlike traditional eLearning, the operative words in this approach are “fun as you learn.” Driven by a narrative, the learning path is interspersed with learning assets, challenges, levels, instant feedback, scores, badges, and leaderboards.
A highly engaging approach, gamification for serious learning helps L&D teams achieve learning outcomes through a more engaging journey. An effective gamification strategy provides higher completion rates as well a better recall and retention. It can be used with equal success to apply the learning at work as well as help learners upskill.
What Are The Benefits Of Gamified Microlearning Activities?
Gamified microlearning activities are one of the approaches that can help you leverage on the combined value of gamification and microlearning.
They offer the following benefits:
- Gamified microlearning activities are aligned to the 70/20/10 model of learning. You can use microlearning gamified activities for formal training, for performance support (just-in-time learning aids), and to facilitate proficiency gain. The nuggets can be designed to offer highly experientialtraining. You can also leverage on social or collaborative learning.
- Gamified microlearning activities offer short, focused tasks leading to learning, problem-solving, application of learning, practice, proficiency gain, and so on.
- Gamified microlearning activities offer high engagement as they provide a highly relevant and immersive learning experience. As a result, you will see:
a. Better completion rates
b. High retention and recall
How Can You Use Gamified Microlearning Activities To Boost The Impact Of Your Corporate Training?
I recommend a simple 3-step process that you can use to leverage on the combined power of microlearning and gamification.
Step 1: Identify The Microlearning Nuggets That Can Be Designed To Deliver Diverse Learning Outcomes
You can use them to offer the following (individually or in a path where you can combine one or more):
- Collaborative learning
Step 2: Depending On The Nature Of The Learning Outcome, Design The Nuggets In Different Formats
For instance, you can have different categories based on what you want to achieve. These could include nuggets that learners could use to:
- Watch and learn
- Test their knowledge
- Explore (curated to enhance learning or look at related information)
Step 3: Combine Gamification And Microlearning Techniques
The combination of gamification and microlearning techniques can be done in multiple ways.
I am outlining 4 examples that show how you can use gamified microlearning activities.
1. Offer A Personalized And Gamified Learning Path
Microlearning nuggets can be woven into a highly relevant and personalized learning path. You can either gamify the learning path or have individual nuggets that feature gamification.
This example of gamified microlearning activities features:
- A personalized learning path.
- All microlearning topics have points associated with each of them.
- A dashboard is accessible to the learners to view their progress through the topics and their performance in achieving points, badges, and expertise levels.
2. Gamified Incentives To Enhance Performance
The gamified learning journey can offer a personalized performance indicator that can aid learners to focus on further improvement. You can nudge the learners to achieve this through gamification elements (points, badges, and recognition).
This example of gamified microlearning activities features:
- An emotion meter and stars achieved at various stages of the gamified activity.
- Through the performance indicator, the required cues are provided to learners on the improvement areas so that they can gain more points and achieve badges.
3. Real-Time Feedback And Gamified Assets As Recommendations (Based On Learner Behavior) Can Help Learners Improve Their Performance
In this endeavor:
- The remediation or reinforcement nuggets can be offered in a microlearning format that can be gamified.
- The challenges can be offered as microlearning nuggets that have gamified scenarios and assessments.
- The practice sessions to improve the skills can be gamified microlearning nuggets (can be offered in a stand-alone mode or connected through a gamified learning path).
This example of gamified microlearning activities features:
- A microlearning based learning path consisting of various types of nuggets, including gamified practice activities and scenarios.
- It also offers recommended learning nuggets based on learner performance/behavior.
4. Curated Assets With Gamified Incentives
Besides offering the microlearning nuggets for formal training as well as job aids or learning aids, you can also offer curated assets. To encourage learners to go through them, you can use gamification elements such as points and badges.
This example of gamified microlearning activities features:
- Curated assets that provide more information and deeper knowledge on the topics covered in the main learning path.
- These too have points allocated to them for completion and adds to the overall points tally for the learner.
As you would have noted, the combination of microlearning and gamification in the format of gamified microlearning activities can be used in many ways to boost the impact of your corporate training.
In this article, I have touched upon a few facets of how you can leverage on this combination. In this endeavor, you are limited only by your imagination.
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