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 Design Thinking To Create Better Custom eLearning Solutions

Design thinking is a recent phenomenon in the world of eLearning and it is a method that combines empathy, ideation, and problem-solving of complex and undefined problems. In this article, I will discuss how design thinking can be applied to create better eLearning courses.

How To Use Design Thinking To Create Better Custom eLearning Solutions

In my previous blogs on Whole Brain Learning and Kolb’s learning styles, I talked about how we can improve the learning process by using certain strategies that are targeted to individual learning styles. From Kolb’s theories, we know two important styles that are converging and diverging. These two styles are used in Design Thinking which will be explained little later.

First, let’s understand what exactly Design thinking is.

Design Thinking-Definition

Design thinking is a method for the practical, creative resolution of problems using the strategies designers use during the process of designing.

-Visser, W. 2006, The cognitive artifacts of designing, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Design thinking has been developed from ideas and tools that are used in other domains such as computer science, psychology, and so on. Also, design thinking in learning context has been influenced by the influential work “Learning Organization” by Peter Senge.

Analytical Thinking vs. Design Thinking

Design thinking has evolved because of one problem with the traditional method of problem-solving. In the traditional analytical model, the focus is on the problem rather than the solution. There was an experiment that was conducted, where scientists and architects were given a problem with color blocks. Scientists tried to resolve the problem by coming up with various combinations. However, the architect group resolved the problem by creating a solution using the available resources. So, unlike scientists, the architects focused on the solution and did not focus on overanalyzing the given problem. Instead, they tried to synthesize the existing information and came up with a practical solution to the problem.

Same can be applied to the learning context. If we talk in terms of Bloom’s levels, analytical thinking is the fourth level of thinking which is all about using available information for a well-defined problem and solving it. An example of analytical thinking is say understanding urban groundwater problem. The geoscientists look at available information and suggest remedies to address the problem.

However, many real-life problems such as say addressing the issue of children constantly watching TV or immersing in video games requires a different kind of solution. Here the problem is more deep-rooted and is simply put a human level problem.

Here is where design thinking comes to the fore. Design thinking is about solving a problem that is not well defined and may have multiple solutions to begin with. The situation is ambiguous and fluctuating, and hence there needs to be a lot of synthesis work to understand and define the problem using a variety of clues, discussions, and brainstorming to come up with an appropriate solution that may work well.

Design Thinking Model For eLearning

Design thinking model has five parts or steps which are—Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test.

Design Thinking Model For eLearning

When it comes to building custom eLearning courses or gamification solutions, design thinking can be quite useful, as it is iterative in structure.


Empathize is the step where Instructional Designers understand the pain points and gaps that need to be addressed. The earlier thinking was to analyze the content or audience demographics and so on, as the first step of requirement gathering and analysis. However, using the design thinking model, Instructional Designers can focus more on understanding the psychological and emotional needs of people. In other words, Instructional Designers need to understand how learners do things, why and how they think about their current situation, and what it is that they want to do to make their job meaningful.

Once Instructional Designers understand the psychological underpinnings, then they can proceed to the definition phase.


Here, Instructional Designers define what exactly the problem is that organizations and learners are facing, and how they can work on that problem.


In the ideation phase, Instructional Designers can talk to a variety of people including the SMEs, visual designers, and other stakeholders in order to come up with a variety of ideas that may lead to a solution that will work.

Sometimes, the client does not know what exactly will work. They may come up with a request to develop a level-2 course. But after understanding the psychological needs of the learners and discussing all ideas threadbare, Instructional Designers can build on those ideas and come up with an entirely different solution, such as a game.

After developing the game and seeing how it has a great impact on learners, everybody will realize that even though the time may have been spent on ideating, it was worth it. Some people may wonder why they had not come up with the concept of a game at the beginning themselves, as that would have saved a lot of time. But that’s how design thinking works.

After the ideation phase, the next 2 steps are prototyping and testing the idea. More often than not, the prototype will act as a catalyst for the subsequent phase of the project, as many issues are resolved at this phase.

Design thinking is not much different from the traditional ADDIE model; however, its strength is that there is more emphasis on the empathy and ideation part, which somehow are not much stressed in the traditional models.

A Case Study

The customer wanted to develop a level-2 course. However, after understanding and empathizing with the learners’ needs, we suggested developing a game instead. The process took some time, since there were quite a few iterations. However, the effort paid off in the end because the game had a better impact on the overall learning.

Game based eLearning sample


To conclude, in a brief write-up, I showed the core elements of design thinking that can be used to develop custom eLearning courses.

Suggested further reading:

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How to bring or use an external javascript library into captivate 2019

  1. I am trying to use the javascript library 3djs.

I created a map using html and the javascript 3djs library, but  when I bring it into captivate as a web object

it does not work. I try many different way to see if the map show up but nothing seems to work.

I know that Jquery and Bootstrap are integrated into captivate.

How to integrate the 3djs into captivate?

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Updated eLearning Trends In 2018—Featuring 4 Parameters To Help You Select The Right One!

In June 2018, I re-looked at the eLearning Trends for 2018 that I had created in January 2018. In this article, I share my insights on the trends, viewing them through a different lens that you too can use as you plan for the balance part of the year.

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Why Moving Your Online Training Courses From Flash To HTML5 Makes Business Sense

While mobile learning or mLearning is being widely adopted, the challenge of how to handle the migration from Flash to HTML5 still persists. This article outlines how you can use this opportunity to effectively migrate your legacy courses and enhance your online training delivery’s impact.

Moving Your Online Training Courses From Flash To HTML5

While mLearning or mobile learning adoption for new requirements has gained tremendous momentum in the last few years, you still have the challenge of what you should do with your investment that is locked in your legacy Flash courses. As we all know, Flash does not support all mobile devices (most smartphones and tablets). Increasingly, browsers are blocking Flash content. While this sounds simple enough, there are several aspects associated with the migration exercise that you should watch out for. You can refer to my earlier articles that provide insights on how you can successfully plan your migration from Flash to HTML5:

Before determining how you should move with the migration effort, let’s take a look at:

    1. Some of the other, associated challenges that you must address.
    2. How you can use the migration opportunity to uplift your learning strategy to incorporate modern corporate learning featuring current trends like gamification, microlearning, and social learning.

What Are The Other Factors You Should Consider As You Embark On The Migration Of Your Legacy Flash Courses To HTML5?

Instead of planning for just the migration exercise, do review some of the associated challenges and factor for them in your migration plan. This holistic approach will help you create the required impact on your ROI.

Organizational View: With economic volatility comes pressure on training budgets. Therefore, Learning and Development teams now more than before, need to demonstrate the impact of their training budgets on learners and business. With changing dynamics, they need to address following specific aspects related to mLearning or mobile learning like:

    • Facilitate learning on the go.
    • Facilitate application of the learning (not just knowledge acquisition).
    • Enabling aspects: Need to plan upgrades (Learning Management System, browsers), evaluate BYOD policy, and address security concerns.

Learner view: Over the last few years, the learner expectations and the way they want to learn have also changed significantly.


    • Change in expectations.
      They want to learn on device of their choice (preferably on smartphones and tablets). They want online training courses to be bite-sized (microlearning). They want the learning to packaged in a manner that is easy to learn and easier to apply. Additionally, they want the learning to be available to them within their work-flow (just in time training).
    • Change in demographics.
      Globally, the work-force is changing to include Millennials in significant numbers. The way Millennials learn is considerably different. They respond better to collaborative learning.

At the core, the migration is a technology uplift (from Flash to HTML5) but clearly this is not sufficient. Your migration plan needs to factor for measures that offset the challenges from the organizational view as well as align to the the way learners want to learn.

Here’s a short video on how you can engage your millennial workforce. It provides insights on the how you can manage the changing expectations of your learners.

Why Migration Of Your Online Training Courses From Flash To HTML5 Makes business Sense?

Migration of courses from Flash to HTML5 makes business sense because of:

    1. Intrinsic challenges associated with Flash courses (no support for most smartphones and tablets).
    2. Limited support from the browsers. There are browsers that support Flash based courses. However, to run on these browsers, a Flash plug-in is required. Learners prefer a hassle-free learning experience and HTML5’s compatibility with all kinds of browsers gives them just that.
    3. There is a fairly large investment on these courses that you need to recover.
    4. The shift from desktop learning to mobile learning is increasingly becoming evident with every passing year. In fact, the percentage of people using mobile devices had overtaken the percentage of desktop computer users globally in the year 2014 itself.
    5. Reports on upcoming trends in the learning space affirm that there will be a surge in responsive design-based learning, so much so that responsive design tools will be a “must-have” for learning organizations.

How Can You Capitalize Further On The Migration Opportunity To Enhance Your Online Training Delivery’s Effectiveness?

I see this as a great opportunity to uplift and redefine your learning strategy and online training delivery. All these aspects are relevant for your migration and can be used for new development.

At EI Design, we recommend an approach of modern corporate learning that:

    • Appeals to both traditional learners and Millennials.
    • Aligns effectively to impact ROI.

How You Can Achieve This?

  1. Some of the techniques we have used successfully to create learning experiences that will appeal to all sections of your learners and help you create the required impact on both learners and business are:
  2. Gamification.
  3. Microlearning (for both formal and informal learning).
  4. Responsive learning portals with learning paths.
  5. Social learning (content curation and collaborative learning).

You can also evaluate the trending new formats like:

    1. Learning apps.
    2. Interactive videos.

What Are The Gains You Will See?

Besides unlocking your investment and meeting the increased expectations (from business as well as learners), you will see the following gains. All of these are the reasons why migration of your legacy Flash To HTML5 makes tremendous business sense.

You will be able to:

  1. Provide sticky learning on devices of learners’ choice.
  2. Reinforce learning and offer remediation (as required).
  3. Provide just-in-time learning aids to facilitate application at the time of need (within the learners’ work-flow).
  4. Facilitate collaborative learning.
  5. Have an impact on short term and long term learnability (learning efficacy).
  6. Factor for changing learner demographics (increasing millennial workforce).

I hope this article helps you in using the migration opportunity to step up your online training delivery that will provide gains for both learners and your business. These pointers will be equally relevant for development of your new courses featuring mLearning or mobile learning. Do contact me if you have need any specific support in this endeavor.

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Localization in eLearning-Tips and Best Practices

Organizations opt for localization in eLearning to meet specific expectations of their employees (learning in a language they prefer), or to address new markets.

In this blog, I share a set of tips and best practices that can help you manage localization of your eLearning courses effectively and successfully.

What is Localization in eLearning?

Localization in eLearning is the process of converting the master course (often in English or the first course) into different languages.

  • Sometimes, the process may be limited to only translation, and the other assets like the audio, video, images, examples, case studies, and assessments may remain unchanged.
  • On the other hand, localization in eLearning can also include the specific adaptation for a region wherein besides the translation, the region-specific nuances are incorporated in the localized eLearning course.
    • This would be reflected in having region-specific audio, video, images, examples, and case studies.
    • It may even include region specific assessments.
    • Besides language translation, this region-specific adaptation also focuses on mapping region-specific cultural nuances into the localized version.

What Are the Key Benefits of Localization in eLearning?

For multinational companies, the key benefit localization in eLearning offers is that you can reach out to your employees in different countries in the language they understand and prefer to learn in.

For businesses, localization in eLearning offers access to a wider market they may not have been able to service.

What Tips and Best Practices Can You Use as You Embark on Localization in eLearning?

Localization of eLearning should not be an afterthought. It needs to be identified upfront as you begin the development of the master eLearning course.

Here is my list of top 6 best practices and multiple associated tips that you can use:

Best Practice 1: Provisioning for Breathing Space in the Master eLearning Course

As the length of the sentences in the translated course will not be identical to the master course, you need to have adequate room to fit in the extra sentence length in the same design.


  1. It is a good practice to validate this and plan for the required spacing upfront during your master course development.
  2. Also, it pays to avoid too many boxes in the master courses that may cause content spillages in the localized versions.
  3. Additionally, keeping the sentences short helps you manage the run length of the translated sentences to a large degree. This also reduces your effort on formatting.

Best Practice 2: Provisioning for Effort on Formatting

Given the differences in sentence length across languages, you need to maintain the formatting of sentences across the course.


  1. Do plan for extra effort on this formatting exercise.
  2. It is a good practice to have a linguistic review done at this stage to ensure that during formatting you break sentences at an appropriate and logical point.

Best Practice 3: Addressing Specific Aspects for Certain Languages

For languages like Arabic that read from right to left, you need to plan for the related aspects that are specific to this format.


  1. Along with the master course design, also create the localized version design (including the banner, footer, menu and so on). This validation will help you identify any changes that may be necessary in the master to handle the localized version.
  2. During this exercise, do validate the placement of instructions and prompt texts and ensure that they map as effectively in the localized version.

Best Practice 4: Using the Right Imagery and Icons

Even though you are addressing the employees of the same organization in different countries, it is important to use the images and icons that are truly global. Otherwise, the learners will miss what they convey or get an altogether different meaning (not what you had planned).


  1. During the development of the master eLearning course, identify these aspects (images and icons) and ensure that they are either truly global or maintain a tracker that you can use to identify equivalent instances in respective languages.
  2. At the beginning, do identify any acronyms or any specific terms that would not be translated into the respective languages. Maintain this list for an easy validation.

Best Practice 5: Maintaining Cultural Appropriateness

This is a highly significant aspect of localization that needs an expert’s validation.


  1. Besides seeking an expert’s advice, you can also do a focus group testing to ensure your localized eLearning courses are culturally appropriate.
  2. Similar to the other best practices, this too should be planned upfront.

Best Practice 6: Selecting Authoring Tools That Are Localization-Friendly

Today, you have a choice of several authoring tools that ease off the process of localization of eLearning courses. With a single click, you can export your content in various formats (Word document, XLIFF, and Text file), localize them, and place them back into your eLearning courses with minimal effort.

We at EI Design use the following authoring tools:

  • Adobe Captivate
  • Trivantis Lectora
  • Articulate Storyline
  • Articulate Rise
  • CrossKnowledge Mohive
  • dominKnow Claro
  • iSpring


I hope this blog provides practical pointers that you can use to successfully localize your eLearning courses.

Need More?

Want more insights on how you can localize your eLearning with required quality and on time?

Schedule a call with our Solutions Architecting Team.

Source: Localization in eLearning-Tips and Best Practices

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5 Examples On How To Convert Induction And Onboarding Program To Blended Or Fully Online Training

Effective Induction and Onboarding are crucial for both, employees and the business. In this article, I highlight the challenges of ILT delivery and pick 5 examples that demonstrate the impact of blended/fully online Induction and Onboarding programs.

Converting Induction And Onboarding Program To Blended Or Fully Online Training: 5 Examples

Recruitment is a time-consuming process, and once you find the right candidate, you need to make sure they are swiftly and efficiently inducted into the organization. A poorly structured induction and Onboarding program can disenchant new employees, and impact the positive image of the organization.

Why Move Your Current Facilitated Induction And Onboarding Program To A Blended/Fully Online Mode?

Face-to-face, facilitated sessions have been the traditional approach to induct and onboard employees, as the human touch (learning directly from peers and seniors) helps them understand the organizational dynamics and its value proposition, quickly and effectively.

However, this approach does have some inherent challenges. We will identify these aspects, and then see how these challenges can be mitigated if you adopt a blended or a fully online Induction and Onboarding approach. Besides, we will also see how an online approach provides several other value-adds that will help you keep your training current and in sync with your changing business needs.

What Are Some Challenges Associated With The Traditional Approach?

Having focused interactions with seniors and peers, and thereby learning the ropes is certainly the most effective approach to induct and onboard an employee.

However, the impact of this approach goes down on account of:

  1. Inadequate time spent by managers.
    Despite the significance of induction and onboarding, All of us are strapped for time. Because of this, the focus on prioritizing this and allocating quality time for these programs often gets impacted.
  2. Inconsistent messaging.
    This challenge is true for all face-to-face training sessions. The message and its impact are heavily dependent on the presenter and can vary from person to person.
  3. Delays in timely completion.
    Again, due to time constraints and changing priorities of managers, Induction and Onboarding programs tend to get delayed. Often, if the number of new employees is small, allocating time is a challenge, and it may be several weeks/months by the time this gets completed.
  4. Cognitive overload.
    From the employee’s perspective, there is a huge amount of information coming their way in the first few weeks of joining, and there is just not enough time to sift through, analyze, internalize, and apply. On the other hand, they do not have access to structured information once they are on the job and really need to access it.

To What Extent Can These Challenges Be Offset By Adopting Online Training? And What Is The Optimal Approach?

While online training offsets almost all the challenges inherent to facilitated or classroom training, it cannot replace the impact that human touch and interactions provide.

In my assessment, the right approach to create an effective Induction and Onboarding program is blended delivery. In this approach, you can offer the learning resources online and retain the facilitated sessions to recap, reinforce, and have discussions (including sessions between new employees) on their impressions and experience so far.

Specifically, online Induction And Onboarding program offers the following benefits to employees

  1. Flexibility for learners.
    They can consume the information at their own pace and can go back to it when they need it.
  2. High engagement quotient and sticky learning experience.
    Today, these programs can be rendered on multiple devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones) and feature trending approaches like microlearning, gamification, social learning, and so on. All these approaches are learner-centric, and ensure the learning experience is engaging and sticky.

An Organizational Perspective: Online Induction And Onboarding Programs

  1. Provide consistent message, and the same program can be made available to a geographically spread-out workforce.
  2. Can be updated and redeployed quickly.
  3. Can be adapted quickly to changing business dynamics.
  4. Can be scheduled in advance, and the implementation will happen as planned.
  5. Can easily track and assess learner performance.
  6. Are cheaper options and can be completed in lesser time.

What Learning Strategies Can Be Used To Create Effective Online Induction And Onboarding Programs?

Today, you are spoilt for choice on the range of creative Instructional Design approaches you can pick from. You can use a combination of techniques, including:

  1. Portal-based solutions that feature Learning Paths.
  2. Gamification.
  3. Microlearning.


  • You can deliver the induction and onboarding program in mLearning format, giving the employees the flexibility to learn on the device of their choice.
  • The bite-sized learning makes it easier for them to assimilate it at their own pace.
  • Additionally, using high-impact formats like videos, interactive videos, gamified quizzes, and so on keeps them engaged.

Here are 5 examples that feature these approaches.

Example 1: Learning Portal For Induction And Onboarding – Featuring Gamification, Microlearning, Social Learning, And Personalized Learning Paths

This example features an eLearning portal that is based on guided exploration, uses a responsive design, and is mobile friendly. It blends in components of microlearning, gamification, social learning, personalization, and so on to actively engage the learners (largely Millennials) and to prompt the learners to keep coming back.

Learning Portal for Induction and Onboarding – featuring Gamification, Microlearning, Social Learning, and Personalized Learning Paths

Example 2: Active Learning – Featuring Industry-Specific Visuals

This example features industry-specific, high-impact visuals. The need was to train the company’s globally spread-out workforce from different geographies, different cultures, and of course, varied age groups. We felt a thread of specific, industry-based visuals would be the right approach to engage all employees despite this diversity.

The theme of this course revolved around underwater oil and gas exploration, and learners progressed through the course as they dove deeper, getting to know more about the organization, its business processes, values, and so on.

Induction Onboarding - Active Learning featuring industry specific visuals

Example 3: Responsive And Millennial-Specific Solution

Built for an eCommerce company, this course takes the learners through a journey about the company, its business drivers, and leadership competencies. To cater to an audience that largely consisted of Millennials, it was designed to feature a colorful and responsive user experience, with a fashion theme to match the organization’s primary mission, which is to “Democratize Fashion”. It featured a visual menu that connected 3 modules (though they could be taken individually) and a fun gamified assessment at the end of each module.

Induction Onboarding - Responsive and Millennial-specific Solution

Example 4: Theme-Based Approach – Featuring Partial Gamification, Information Layering, And Video Integration

This example demonstrates an efficient way to design just-in-time learning aids that focused on introducing new employees to the company’s mission, processes, products, best practices, and marketing trends. The combination of a theme-based approach integrating intelligent visual treatment, videos, a responsive visual menu, and a gamified end-of-course assessment helped engage the learners and promote reinforcement.

Induction Onboarding - Theme-based approach featuring Partial Gamification, Information Layering, and Video integration

Example 5: High-End Graphical Approach

This example is a course that uses rich visuals with minimal onscreen content spread across 3 sections, features a visual menu, and has a narrative strategy. High-end graphics were used to adequately capture the attention of learners and to promote immersive learning that is not too content heavy.

Induction Onboarding - High-end Graphical Approach

Take a look at this video that showcases all these examples in more depth. While it highlights the best features of these course designs, it also demonstrates how a blended or a fully online delivery can bring alive an induction and onboarding program, as opposed to a less engaging traditional ILT delivery.

I hope this article gives you insights into how a blended or a fully online delivery format can mitigate the challenges inherent in ILT delivery and help create highly engaging induction and Onboarding programs.

Source: 5 Examples On How To Convert Induction And Onboarding Program To Blended Or Fully Online Training

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