Free Webinar: Successfully Implement Your Learning Management System (LMS)

I’m doing a free virtual session on November 29 for anyone implementing a new learning management system! Content is based on my book LMS Success. Come join our awesome, always energetic audience.

Register here:

Here is the session description:

Congratulations! You’ve selected the perfect Learning Management System. Now what? Join Katrina Marie Baker in this 60-minute webinar for a lively discussion and some amusing war stories from past implementations.

Our agenda will cover how to:

  • Complete your implementation so smoothly that executive leadership is in awe of your project management skills.
  • Avoid common pitfalls that cause your implementation to stretch out longer than originally expected.
  • Work effectively with your LMS vendor to determine a timeline, set expectations, and get everything done on time.
  • Assemble an administrator team that is excited, knowledgeable, and well organized.

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7 Tips To Create Learning Portals For Employee Training

L&D teams are on the constant lookout for effective approaches that help learners acquire learning, apply the acquired learning successfully on the job, and perform better. These teams prefer methods that are engaging and provide sticky learning experiences.

Learning Portals for employee training are one of the approaches that can be used to meet this requirement. These are online learning repositories or gateways that make use of set learning paths to offer learners with the required learning material, accompanied by job aids. They also include bite-sized online courses and material to support Instructor-Led Training (ILT). Learners can access the learning journey on the go and on multiple devices.

Not only are Learning Portals a knowledge repository, they are also learner-centric and use a combination of immersive and sticky learning approaches like Microlearning, Gamification, and Video Based Learning. Learning Portals are designed to meet a specific learning focus and work on the principle of the “pull” of learning resources rather than the “push” associated with an LMS. In addition, they offer better employee engagement and higher completion rates.

Here are a few tips that organizations can use to create Learning Portals for employee training.

7 Tips To Create Learning Portals For Employee Training

Learning Portals can prove effective if organizations successfully implement them. They can be used for varied training needs such as Formal Training (online or blended), Performance Support (on-the-job learning aids), Social learning, or to support a key initiative (for example, a specific change management initiative). These Portals if executed effectively, by featuring narratives or themes, can encourage exploration and contribution by learners, leading to better employee engagement and motivation.

If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact me at


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What It Takes To Become A Top eLearning Content Development Company

Significant achievements always trigger introspection for me. In this article, I outline 7 aspects that helped us get nominated for eLearning Industry’s Top 10 eLearning companies for 2018 (for the 4th consecutive time) and strike Gold.

7 Aspects That Helped EI Design Reach The Top Position Among eLearning Content Development Companies For 2018

In this article, I touch upon 7 aspects that have helped us reach the top position among eLearning Content Development Companies in 2018 – Gold winner award.

1. Focus On Our Customers, Providing Value As A Strategic Partner

Many of our large customer relationships began with a one-off project. Today, we work with several global corporate academies as a strategic partner adding value to both formal training and Performance Support solutions. Over the last 16 years, we have sustained an enviable customer retention level by consistently offering value beyond the brief.

2. Learner Centricity

The learner is at the core of our approach, and we craft highly learner-centric design approaches. Our Learning and Performance Support solutions:

  • Drive knowledge acquisition, retention, and application.
  • Make learning relevant and memorable.
  • Enable performance improvement or the desired behavioral change.
  • Provide a demonstrable impact on business and a positive ROI.

3. Our Solution Architecting Edge

At EI Design, Solution Architecting defines the framework required to implement innovative Learning and Performance Support solutions to meet the business goals of our customers.

The Solution Architecting framework defines and aligns our solutions to our customers’ focus areas. We:

  • Understand learner expectations and mental models.
  • Create a learner-centric design approach.
  • Leverage on innovation and exploration of new ideas.
  • Use creative Instructional Design to provide engaging and better User Experience.
  • Provide creativity backed by strong technology.

There are two significant feeders that continuously enrich our Solution Architecting approach:

I. Ongoing research by our Innovation and Exploration team that scans the global knowledge scape specifically for:

  • New authoring tools.
  • New technologies.
  • Trends (on what learners want and how businesses wish to see the desired impact).

II. Inputs from our Competency Lab on user-centered design that ensure our learning designs:

  • Motivate learners.
  • Are relevant and relatable.
  • Offer sticky learning.
  • Facilitate effective application on the job.
  • Provide higher learning effectiveness.
  • Are memorable.
  • Help learners gain additional skills and enhanced performance.
  • Impact ROI positively.

4. Working With The Bigger Picture – Learning and Performance Ecosystem

Our Learning and Performance Ecosystem approach works at multiple levels to:

  • Create motivation and interest for learners.
  • Create a solid value for learners (skill enhancement or acquiring a new skill, or fixing an identified gap).
  • Use established, emerging, and cutting-edge learning strategies to strike the right balance and create highly sticky learning experiences.
  • Demonstrate the behavioral change or performance enhancement that the business wants to see.
  • Promote “learning as a continuum” and offer varied formats that can suit different learner profiles.
  • Establish a positive ROI for our customers.

5. CRAFT – Our Unique Development Model

Built on the core of the popular ADDIE model, we have a unique development model that we call CRAFT (Consult>Refine>Aggregate>Form>Test).

Our approach uses:

  1. Agile practices.
  2. Design thinking workshops.
  3. eBridge – our proprietary Project Management platform designed to meet corporate quality standards (we are a CMMI Level 3 certified organization) for communication and review.

The optimal solution emerges through an iterative process, as shown here: 

Step 1

  • Requirement gathering and analysis.
  • Understanding user/learner/stakeholder expectations and goals.

Step 2

  • Brainstorming on strategies and approaches.
  • Establishing learnability guidelines.
  • Mood-boarding, visual storyboarding, and prototyping.
  • Reviews and iterations of design solutions.

Step 3

  • Implementation of standard organizational practices to develop the solutions and documentation.
  • Creation of design specification documents.
  • Reviews based on user acceptance guidelines.

6. Effectiveness Of Our Offshore Development Model

We have continuously refined our development model to meet the dynamics of a globally spread out customer base. As a result, we offer one of the most effective Total Cost of Outsourcing (TCO). It features the following aspects to offer unmatched collaboration, communication, and seamless experience to our customers through:

  1. An online framework for collaboration across time zones.
  2. An online tool for Project Management.
  3. Tools for online review.

7. Power Of Our Team

Last but not least, our team members are fully aligned with our mandate of customer delight. As a culture, we have fostered room for individuals to grow. We have several team members who have spent over a decade with us and, in their journey, have grown individually and helped our customer and partnership relationships grow!

As we look ahead, we see room to enhance our value proposition further and continue to be a key player in the global learning scape.

If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact me at


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Top 5 Questions Answered for Content Curation in Learning and Development

With the help of facilities such as the Internet, searching for information has become easier. We get results in a matter of seconds. But, sourcing the right kind of information can be taxing and time-consuming. Organizations are on the lookout to identify the right information they need to use for employee training. To offset this challenge, content curation is one of the approaches that can be used. Implementing this approach can help learners access whatever information they need at any time they want.

There may be a lot of queries associated with the adoption of content curation for learning and development. Here are a series of top 5 questions along with answers that will help bring in some perspective as you begin to adopt content curation to support employee training.


By looking at these 5 questions and answers on the topic of adopting content curation for learning and development, organizations can gain a better understanding of what content curation is, the processes associated with content curation, tips that can help facilitate content curation exercises to support organizational training, how organizations can enhance their existing learning strategy, and the best practices that can help in multiplying the impact of content curation exercises. With this information, organizations can adopt content curation into their learning strategy to significantly improve learning at the workplace.

If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact me at


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Using Kolb’s Learning Styles To Create Engaging Custom eLearning Courses

Kolb’s learning styles help in understanding what works well when we are designing courses. An intricate model, Kolb’s learning cycle is often used to explain the learning process. I will share my thoughts on how Kolb’s model can be used to create better eLearning courses.

How To Use Kolb’s Learning Styles To Create Engaging Custom eLearning: Overview Of The Model

Kolb’s model suggests that all learning happens due to real-world experiences which then help people form mental models of that experience. Some people actively experiment with the new learning and create further experiences on the subject.

Let’s look at the Kolb’s learning cycle:


From the diagram, we can state that there are 4 aspects to the model, which are explained below:

  1. Concrete Experience
    It is the first part of the model. The learner has a new experience, say for example using a machine or a tool or going to a new place for the first time. When the person uses the tools or visits a new place he has a concrete experience that sets the foundation for the subsequent processes.
  2. Reflective Observation
    After the experience, the person reflects on the experience and tries to understand the differences between his/her prior understanding of the subject. For example, if the person has heard great things about a destination, but has contrarian experiences, then he or she makes those observations and calls or labels those experiences as bitter.
  3. Abstract Conceptualization
    After reflecting or observing on the matter deeply, the learner comes up with new ideas. So, in our example, the person may chose never to visit that destination, or chooses another destination, or starts his own travel agency!
  4. Active Experimentation
    After forming new ideas, the person actively works on the idea. So in our example, the learner may travel to new places, or start his own travel agency, or even develop an app that helps other travelers make informed choices.

Learning Styles

However, not all learners do all the 4 activities. There are some who perform active experimentation, there are those who only watch and reflect on the experiences, and then there are those who form new ideas.

This leads to 4 styles of learning, which is summarized below in the diagram:

1. Accommodating (Doing And Feeling – CE/AE)

The first style is about people accommodating what others have to say. So, they go with general perceptions or with the consensus. If something appeals to them, they will do it as they like to have concrete experience and active experimentation based on gut feelings. They are basically people who like to feel things.

2. Diverging (Feeling And Watching – CE/RO)

As these people like to have a feel of things and make mental notes through observations and reflection. They are most likely to have ideas. They like to brainstorm ideas as they like to look at things from various angles. They love to gather information and use their intuition and imagination to provide solutions to problems. They are sensitive and are open to feedback from others.

3. Converging (Doing And Thinking – AC/AE)

People with converging learning style are active experimenters and like to provide practical solutions to any given problem. As they are low on the feeling and watching part, they are less likely to spend time with others. They like to spend time alone and work on various parts of a problem. As they are strong in doing and thinking, they need constant stimulus to work on. Accountants and people working on hands-on stuff have generally converging learning style.

4. Assimilating (Watching And Thinking – AC/RO)

They are the analytical people. The preferred learning style is to watch and think through things. They are adept at creating mental models and are good at science jobs. They are looking to understand the logical aspects of a problem. Like converging learning style, they too like to work alone and not be with people. They like to organize things in a clear logical manner.

Applying The Learning Styles – A Case Study

In this custom eLearning course, we were targeting the product and sales team of a pharmaceutical company. The product and sales teams preferred learning style is converging, that is they are active experimenters and are doers. In other words, they are go-getters and are action-oriented people. Thus, to teach how much time it takes for a drug to be discovered and approved for market release, we weaved around a story with a lot of facts and data points to help them understand it better. We provided a decision tree activity which showed them how selecting a potentially incorrect molecular combination can delay the drug discovery process by years.


To conclude, Kolb’s theory is a great model for understanding learning styles and applying it to create the right custom eLearning courses. I hope you found it useful.

Related articles:

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Free Webinar: Trends In Training And Learning Management

On November 21, I’m doing a virtual session covering the biggest trends in training and learning management! Just in time for the new year. The audience is always super involved, which keeps things entertaining.

Register here:

Here is the session description:

Join Adobe’s Senior Learning Evangelist Katrina Marie Baker for this lively conversation about the latest trends in training & development. Based on recent studies and research, the session will explore what people are doing in organizations around the world, and how organizations can achieve great results with modern learning programs.

Katrina Marie Baker will discuss the:

  • Impetus behind creating and developing virtual universities
  • Growing demand to encourage learner immersion and ongoing engagement
  • Rise of mobile learning
  • Role of skill-based learning in business training
  • Use of gamification for learner engagement and motivation
  • Ongoing expectations of learners for video
  • Proving the value of your learning program through more relevant reporting

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conversations are powerful learning opportunities. So why am I annoyed that social networks have changed the conversation?
Click To Tweet

There, semi-rant over. Thanks for reading.

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

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

Adobe Captivate 2019 Virtual Reality Project – A Developer’s Review

Adobe Captivate is one of the leading authoring tools to develop rapid e-learning courses with its unique features. In its recent update, Adobe Captivate 2019, it has created an exceptional achievement in its arena. In this blog, we are going to review Virtual Reality feature in Adobe Captivate 2019. Virtual Reality in Adobe Captivate 2019…

Virtual Reality In eLearning – Using VR As A Microlearning Nugget For Induction And Onboarding

In this article, I share a case study on Virtual Reality in eLearning. It uses a microlearning nugget featuring Virtual Reality (VR) for induction and onboarding (using Adobe Captivate 2019). It shows you how the VR based approach can create an immersive learning experience.

How Can Virtual Reality Or A VR Based Approach Add Value To Online Training?

Earlier in the year, in my eBook on eLearning Trends and Predictions for 2018, I had highlighted the potential of AR/VR to create immersive learning experiences. Here is the extract from my eBook:

AR/VR For Immersive Learning

  • Without any doubt, AR/VR provides one of the most immersive learning experiences. Although this has seen considerable traction in 2017 and shows promise in 2018, it does come with a hefty price tag (and longer lead time to develop).
  • With the early adoption in training intended for hazardous workspaces (Health and Safety training) or complex simulations, we are already seeing the beginning of the usage of mobile apps that embed AR features.
  • Now, it is anticipated that this will eventually substitute scenarios, including branching scenarios as well as video based learning for behavioral change. This will open doors to its application in soft skills and potentially open doors to the wider application for corporate training.

As I was composing the eBook, I distinctly recall thinking about the fact that for the usage of Virtual Reality (VR) to see wider adoption in eLearning, we need authoring tool providers to offer this flexibility.

Adobe Captivate 2019’s VR capability: During this year, my team worked on Adobe Captivate 2019 (beta release), and we experimented particularly with its VR capability to create formal and informal learning solutions. The case study featured in this article uses Adobe Captivate 2019.

  • VR Capability: The tool allows you to integrate basic Virtual Reality (VR) in eLearning solutions fairly easily through 360-degree images.
  • Interactions: You can add varied interactions through hotspots (to reveal more info in varied formats) and questions.
  • Impact: You will see microlearning nuggets featuring Virtual Reality (VR) create a higher engagement quotient, better recall, and a more interesting and immersive learning journey.

How Can Virtual Reality Or A VR Based Approach Add Value To The Induction And Onboarding Program?

Now, I share a case study that shows you how we integrated a Virtual Reality (VR) microlearning nugget into our induction and onboarding portal.

To show you the impact of Virtual Reality (VR) usage on the learning experience, as well as information recall and retention, I have used a “Before” and “After” approach.

An overview of our induction and onboarding program: Nearly 80% of our total workforce are Millennials. We had designed a learning portal based approach to offer our induction and onboarding program a few years ago. The program was up for a refresh this year, and we evaluated options to make the learning journey for the new inductees more engaging and immersive.

The current approach features new formats including:

  1. Virtual Reality or VR.
  2. More engaging formats for explainer and animated videos: I have selected 3 more assets that underwent changes in the design approach. The new approach resonates better with our millennial workforce.


The initial approach featured:

  1. Learning portal
  2. Blended training
  3. Mobile learning
  4. Learning journey
  5. Microlearning nuggets (featuring simple, people based videos, PDFs, and Interactive PDFs)
  6. Gamified assessments
  7. Leaderboards and stats to provide performance details
  8. Common assessment for both online and facilitated sessions


The revised approach builds on the same core but features the following new formats as we designed the microlearning nuggets:

  1. Introduction to the organization through Virtual Reality or VR.
  2. More engaging microlearning formats for explainer and animated videos.

Asset 1: Introduction To The Organization

Before: Video Featuring Team Members

We had used a simple video format wherein team members talked about what they do, how they work, and what value each team brings to the table.

After: Virtual Reality Based Microlearning Nugget

We used the Virtual Reality (VR) capability to showcase this crucial section. When new team members join the organization, they are typically given an office tour followed by an introduction to each domain. It is virtually impossible to remember so many details in one go.

The Impact Of Virtual Reality (VR) Based Approach For Microlearning

The usage of the Virtual Reality technique enabled us to create a more interesting and immersive learning journey. This experience creates a higher recall and provides a clear takeaway on what we do and how each domain is aligned to our success. It also resonates well with our millennial workforce.

The learning journey featuring Virtual Reality technique is as follows:

Learners get a virtual tour of the office. They go through an interesting journey and can explore and revisit places as many times as they want.

On clicking the hotspots overlaid on relevant sections, they get the following information:

  • About our organization (our global presence, our awards, and accolades).
  • Introduction to each domain, what do they do, and what value each domain brings to the table.

Virtual Reality Based Microlearning Nugget

Virtual Reality Based Microlearning Nugget

Let me also highlight 3 more approaches we adopted that further uplifted the engagement quotient of our induction and onboarding program.

Asset 2: Organizational Structure

Before: Text Based Approach

We had used a simple infographic presentation that showcased the organizational structure.

Organizational Structure - Text Based Approach

After: Animated Video

In this iteration, we changed the design approach to feature a millennial-centric design. We played with high-end graphics, animations featuring team members to create a much higher connect with new joinees.

The organization structure of the company was depicted using an engaging story based video. We used motion graphics and animation to create an impactful and easy-to-retain guide to the complete team structure.

Organizational Structure - Animated Video

Organizational Structure - Animated Video

Asset 3: How To Create Your Success Story

Before: Explainer Video

We had used a simple video based format to showcase the culture and success path to new joinees who begin work in the company.

After: Explainer Video Featuring A Guide

It is very important for new joinee to know what it takes to be successful in a company. So, it is important for them to view a story from an expert through a real situation, as depicted in this nugget. In the new avatar, we used an explainer video of a guide and associated key messages to drive in the culture and path to success in the organization.

How To Create Your Success Story - Explainer Video Featuring A Guide

How To Create Your Success Story - Explainer Video Featuring A Guide

Asset 4: Gamified Assessments

Gamified assessments are a great way to make any learning solution fun and engaging. We use these at the end of each learning stage as an interesting way to check-point the learning. A sense of challenge and competition among the learners to constantly participate with the induction platform kept the learners further engaged.

In the new avatar, we refreshed the formats of the gamified assessments to make learning more interesting.

Gamified Assessments

I hope this article provides you with cues on how you can use Virtual Reality or VR in eLearning. I do hope the featured case study shows you how you can enhance the impact of your induction and onboarding program by integrating Virtual Reality in eLearning.

On Oct 4th, 2018, I had conducted a webinar on 7 Learning Strategies To Transform Your Corporate Induction And Onboarding Training For Success.

This features a demo of Virtual Reality for eLearning (in the context of induction and onboarding). The screenshots featured in this article are from the same demo. If you are interested in finding out more about the webinar, please click here.

If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact me at


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