Learning Thursday #6: Track Classroom Attendance Using a Scan Gun (Includes Video)

Learning Thursday is a blog series that features a new L&D article every other week along with discussion points.  Read and then share your own ideas by commenting below!  Check out the last Learning Thursday here.  The week’s discussion question is: What is your best time saving tip for those new to learning management system administration?  Please comment below.

Important note: If you would like to distribute or republish the ideas or content below, contact me to obtain written permission. This content is taken from a copyrighted book.

Yes, entering training data into your learning management system can be made incredibly easy. And it will cost you less than forty dollars! The idea has been published in both editions of LMS Success and has been used by several of my clients. It predates the QR code feature available in some learning technology platforms, which I’ll also touch on.

Before we get into barcodes though, let’s just acknowledge the popularity of QR codes in the corporate training space. Many instructors add QR codes to their presentations so learners can access supplemental resources on their mobile devices. Some learning technology platforms provide QR codes that a learner can scan to receive credit for completing a course. For example, Adobe Captivate Prime allows learners to mark attendance of classroom sessions using their mobile devices and the Captivate Prime mobile app.

Having learners scan a QR code is probably the most efficient way of marking course completion because the learner is able to do it themselves. However, some companies don’t allow employees to use mobile devices for work purposes. Some employees aren’t allowed to have mobile devices on premise for security reasons. And sometimes you may not want to rely on learners to mark their own classroom attendance.

Several of my clients and employers have faced these situations. So a few years ago, I created a different solution.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say there is a classroom full of learners who have just finished a session. The instructor uses a scan gun to scan learners’ badges into an LMS import spreadsheet, which is later uploaded into the learning management system to update learners’ transcripts. Each learner’s badge contains a barcode that corresponds to their LMS user ID.

You could also create a “barcode cheat sheet” of your learners’ user IDs. That way, you can scan the sheet any time you are entering course completion data. Scanning the barcodes ensures your data is accurate because there’s no chance of mistyping the numbers. And it saves you from manually typing every learner’s user ID into the LMS, or into an import spreadsheet, in order to track attendance.  Every time you scan an ID rather than typing it, you save a couple of seconds. If you work for a large organization with lots of classes and instructors, this idea can save thousands of hours per year. I’m speaking from my own experience.

One final note… you will need a barcode font in order to generate barcodes. I use Code 128 (you can download it here) but you can use any barcode font that works with your scan gun. Also, please note that many scan guns aren’t capable of scanning a type 2D code. A QR code is a type 2D code, so if you are trying to scan QR codes, check the product description before making your purchase. (Here is an example of a scan gun that can read QR codes.)

If you are buying a bunch of scan guns for your organization, I would recommend calling the manufacturer to negotiate a bulk purchase because it has saved me a lot of money in the past. Also, think before purchasing the warranty as it is often more cost effective to simply buy more units.

What is your best time saving tip for those new to learning management system administration?  Please comment below!

Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.  My books are available on Amazon: LMS Success, The LMS Selection Checklist, and Corporate Training Tips & Tricks. The LMS books come with a collection of supplemental resources and a private discussion forum to ask questions.

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Recommended Reading Summary: A Chapter of “Emerging Technologies for the Classroom”

In October, I posted some recommended reading that complemented one of my classes on gamification.  I’ve since started writing chapter summaries (here is the last article) so people can “preview” some of the great books out there and hopefully end up reading them!

Below is this month’s chapter summary.  Google Scholar features most of the chapter for free.  For the full text, here’s a Springer Link, which is free with subscription, or you can purchase the chapter or book.

Chapter 9: “Like, Comment, Share: Collaboration and Civic Engagement Within Social Network Sites,” by Greenhow and Lee, in Emerging Technologies for the Classroom: A Learning Sciences Perspective.

Social media and social networking sites allow individuals and groups to collaborate and learn together.  Social media has a different impact on the learning experience, compared to technology that is often utilized in the learning environment.  Students often use technology in the classroom for independent study or for research purposes.  Social media on the other hand supports research while also encouraging a learning process that is rich with peer to peer interaction.  Teaching and learning practices benefit from the collective knowledge that social technology provides.

Social media practices can facilitate new forms of collaborative knowledge construction.  It encourages civic engagement in broader communities of practice.  And social media can encourage an environment of trust, where individuals share information about themselves and their interests.  Establishing a level of trust within a social group can make the learning process more effective.  And cultivating a professional network can lead to opportunities above and beyond the learning experience.

A social networking site (SNS) is a web-enabled service through which individuals can maintain existing ties and develop new social ties with people outside their network.  Other examples of social media include media-sharing services like YouTube and Flickr, collaborative knowledge development through wikis, and creative works like blogs and microblogging.

There are opportunities to use social networking in both formal and informal learning settings – meaning social networking can be used regardless of whether learning objectives are determined for an experience.  Cultural and technological trends have sharply increased the amount of interest in social media, and access to technology is increasing as well.  Social network sites can bridge the gap between the formal learning environment of the classroom, and informal environments like afterschool programs or communities of practice.  They can also help instructors better understand the interests and backgrounds of their students, making it easier for them to cater to the students as individuals.

Social media can facilitate learning experiences through debate, allowing students to compare their opinions against those of a broader community.  It can also allow students more direct access to communities outside of their familiarity, such as people in other countries or industries.  This access can provide students with context and a better understanding of how the information they are learning applies to the world as a whole.

Students can use social media sites they are familiar with outside of school – Twitter and Facebook for example – to discuss what they are learning and gather information.  Using familiar social media tools may allow students a greater level of comfort during the learning process.  Instructors can also use specialized applications, such as learning management systems, to provide a more structured environment.  Instructors can use students’ activity feeds to monitor levels of engagement and adjust the curriculum accordingly.

The use of social media and social networking sites to facilitate learning aligns with the constructivism approach to learning design.  Students, teachers, and other parties take a flexible role within the social media space, often acting as mentors and mentees within the same setting.  All participants are encouraged to express interests and creativity, and collaborate to reach a collective goal.

Social media supports the exploration of realistic, complex problems because learning is taking place in the real world.  Learners can provide feedback through multiple channels and post questions or comments whenever they feel the need.  Research can be self driven and may incorporate multiple social media platforms if the learning environment allows it.

Using social media to facilitate a learning process comes with obstacles that educators should address in order to ensure the learning experience is successful.  It’s important that social media be applied with intention and vision, if it is meant to facilitate specific learning objectives.  Administrative vision and planning are critical.

Also critical is addressing online privacy and security concerns that relate to student usage.  Students may need to be taught how to responsibly and ethically use social media platforms.  The school culture must be accepting of collaboration and group activities in order for social media usage to be effective.  The evaluative environment in particular should emphasize digital literacies and competencies that align with the use of social media.

Instructors may choose to overcome challenges by partnering with library media specialists who have a greater familiarity with technology integration and information technologies.  It may also be beneficial to involve youth workers and other adults who can assist in extending instruction into the community.  Instructors may need to persuade school administrators to change policies involving social media – or instructors may choose to have students only use technologies outside of school hours.

Instructors may find it useful to prove the effectiveness of social media by collecting data related to learner engagement and the effect on desired outcomes.  Results can be shared with administrators and other parties in order to generate discussion about how a school’s policies and educational approaches should evolve to accommodate changes in technology.

If you need a learning technology platform that encourages social learning, check out Adobe Captivate Prime, which you can try for free.

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Attending the Adobe eLearning Conference on March 13?

It’s free! And there are lots of awesome speakers joining us in Washington DC!

There are two tracks on e-learning development and three more tracks on enterprise learning, multimedia training and virtual learning. You can check out the full session catalog here. My 2:30PM session is about increasing engagement through social learning, user generated content, and LMS gamification.

You can register for free. You can also register for the Adobe Captivate Specialist program on March 12 for a fee.

P.S. In addition to the learning sessions, the food is really good. I’m serious. 			</div><!-- .entry-content -->
	    
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Scorm files created don’t work

I’ve generated scorm files out of Captivate and loaded them into the LMS, LearnDot. The content plays but when I close it I get an error. LearnDot tells me there’s a problem with the scorm file, but I seen no errors to indicate where to begin. I’ve tested on ScormCloud and I don’t see any errors there, either. How do I open the black box?

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Learning Thursday #5: Overcome Your Blended Learning Phobia

Learning Thursday is a blog series that features a new L&D article every other week along with discussion points.  Read and then share your own ideas by commenting below!  Check out the last Learning Thursday here.

I wrote this week’s article for InSync Training’s “50 Modern Blended Learning Blogs” series.  The discussion questions are: What is the biggest hurdle you’ve faced when implementing blended learning?  How did you rise to the challenge?


Blended learning programs can be a beautiful thing. Need to cover a global workforce? Use virtual classrooms to engage learners everywhere. Can’t get employees to leave their desks? Bring learning opportunities to their desks in the form of short videos, quick reference guides, and fun simulations. Mix learning content together to create interactive training programs.

But wait, you say, it’s not that easy. My organization has expectations. 

Your organization may expect learning to take place in person. In their opinion, if there isn’t a person in front of the classroom, teaching with an apple on their desk, it’s not “real” training. Sometimes the perception comes from your learners – other times it’s from your leaders. Either way, it will take time to change your organization’s collective mindset.

You may ask, “Why would you go to the trouble of moving to blended learning?” Because it helps the learner retain the training. It helps you serve your workforce efficiently. And, it helps your organization reach an increasingly tech savvy employee base that expects learning to be as easy to access as Google.

Become the training equivalent of Google. Give your learners options, and they will take advantage of those options.

Start small. If you encounter resistance from the top, don’t start there. Start at the bottom, with one little group of learners.

Converting your learning program is a major change. Resistance to change is driven by fear – often fear of failure, or fear of the unknown. To ensure your organization accepts blended learning, address both fears up front by trying out your program ideas on a small group of learners. Get their feedback and incorporate it into the program. If a course element isn’t effective according to your learners, ask why. Refine instead of removing. Tweak instead of making sweeping changes.

Know that one round of revisions will not be enough. Like any training product, a blended learning campaign is a work in progress.

What happens if something doesn’t work? You take it out. You try something else. Don’t give up.

Like any part of training, blended learning programs require a willingness to add, delete, and refine. Edit before you roll your program. Collect feedback from learners. Refine more.

Is your current program delivered entirely in the classroom? Look for ways to replace small pieces of classroom content with videos, documents, or simulations. In the beginning, spend as little as possible. Use free or affordable content until you build up your organization’s confidence in blended learning.

Other ways to replace small pieces of classroom content include:

  1. Start with the obvious, the easy, and the accessible. How much do YouTube videos cost? Nothing. Add them to your classroom experiences to give the learner variety. Are there quick reference guides or internal communications you can repurpose into learning? Into the LMS they go. Free compliance training from government agencies make perfect, ready-made material.
  2. Look for the little victories. Include activities where learners do research online or do scavenger hunts around the office, before returning to class to share their findings. Rather than accomplishing it all in the classroom, find ways to deliver content in other ways, before and after class. Look for ways to cut material out of classroom training and replace with other resources.
  3. Add mentoring elements to your learning program. Look for existing resources in your organization – supervisors, SMEs, and experienced employees, especially those seeking a promotion. Look for topics in your program that can be reinforced through coaching and one-on-one interactions. Reward those who teach others by making mentoring a line item on job performance reviews.

Sometimes it isn’t the organization as a whole that fears blended learning. It’s the trainers themselves.

“You’re getting rid of my job!” they scream. “Classroom training is what the learners want!” (If all your organization has ever delivered is classroom training… how would learners know that’s what they prefer over everything else?)

It’s natural to fear change. Blended learning necessitates a change in the trainers’ role. Those who only know classroom training will be required to learn new skills, such as e-learning development, LMS administration, and technical editing. Those on your team who see change as exciting will dance. Those who fear technology will hide. But change is real and necessary. Change happens regardless of whether we ask for it. And the change to blended learning is spreading across the entire learning and development industry.

Duncan Welder IV, Director of Client Services for RISC, Inc., shared a personal experience in Corporate Training Tips & Tricks. It is a great example of the new role of the learning professional in this modern approach:

When I was in grad school, we had to complete a group class project.  (This was for instructional video if that places an age on me.)  We produced a recruiting film for the High School for the Human Sciences, a new magnet school for people with an interest in health care professions.  Again, it was student developed and overseen by a professor, but it rendered a final piece for the school that would have normally been a capital expense if it was something they could have done at all.  It’s not a bad idea to reach out to an educational or instructional technology program nearby and see if they can assist.”

Building the acceptance of change starts with your own team. Introduce your team to blended learning elements, and give them time to embrace it. Give them time to become good at it. Remember that trainers are learners too, and they have to be given time to adapt to new responsibilities. Give them time not just to become competent, but confident. Enthusiastic even. Get the buy-in of your immediate team, and let their love of blended learning motivate change in your organization.

What is the biggest hurdle you’ve faced when implementing blended learning?  How did you rise to the challenge?  Comment below.

Try Adobe’s learning management system, Captivate Prime, for free.  Assembling a blended learning catalog has never been easier!

Connect with the author on Twitter or LinkedIn

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Is Microsoft or Google your next LMS? The view from BETT

BETT, das ist „the UK’s largest educational technology show“, kurz: die Learntec in groß. Jason Cole war in London und hat beobachtet, dass die bekannten Lernplattform-Anbieter wie D2L, Moodle (bzw. die UK Moodle-Partner) sowie Blackboard nicht vor Ort waren. Dafür aber Microsoft und Google. Was ihn dazu bewegt, Microsoft als LMS-Anbieter einmal gedanklich durchzuspielen (warum Google im Titel steht, weiß ich auch nicht).

Heraus kommt dabei Folgendes: „When Microsoft makes their push, the learning system won’t look like an LMS, but it will look like Teams.“ Und: „Teams is not ready to replace or compete with the LMS yet, but it isn’t terribly far away.“ Weiter: „The ecosystem around Teams and Office will give Microsoft an increasingly interesting story.“ Natürlich nicht morgen: „While the potential is there, there are a few hurdles on the way.“

Fürs Protokoll.
Jason Cole, e-Literate, 6. Februar 2019

Green Check Marks with VR Hotspots

Using Windows 10 and Adobe Captivate 2019

While creating a virtual reality slide if you place a hotspot and use the DISPLAY TEXT action, you get a green check mark once the hotspot is clicked.

If you change the action of the hotspot to JUMP TO SLIDE, you don’t get the green check mark once it has been clicked. I am trying to let the user know what they have and have not clicked.

How do I get check marks for jump to actions?

Greg

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[Free Webinar!] More Courses, Less Cost: How to Provide More Content on a Limited Budget

New year, new training budget!  And a new class to help you figure out what to do with it.    Managing a budget has always been weirdly enjoyable for me – sort of like playing a jigsaw puzzle with money.  You add and subtract until you have the right number of resources to accomplish each goal, and where you don’t have cash flow, you hold things together with duct tape and creativity.

Join us on Wednesday, February 13 at 9AM Pacific.  Register with Training Magazine Network for free. The description is below. See you soon!

More Courses, Less Cost: How to Provide More Content on a Limited Budget

How is your 2019 training budget treating you?  It’s early in the year, and many L&D managers and directors are figuring out how to best apply their budget to their annual goals.  Many of us have limited funds, so we start asking ourselves questions like the following:

  1. Should I develop this course or learning program in house, or purchase existing content from a vendor?
  2. What kinds of content are out there, and how do I select content that will best serve my learners?
  3. How can I use course content catalogs to augment our existing curriculum?
  4. How do I develop more custom content without investing more of my budget?
  5. Can I save money by presenting some instructor-led classes in a virtual format?

In this session, Katrina Marie Baker, Senior Learning Evangelist of Adobe, will facilitate a discussion of these questions.  You will have an opportunity to share your ideas and hear what fellow attendees are doing with their training programs.  Katrina will also share real-life examples and practical tips for prioritizing, planning, and budgeting against your organization’s L&D priorities.

The post [Free Webinar!] More Courses, Less Cost: How to Provide More Content on a Limited Budget appeared first on eLearning.

Returning to last visited page

Hi

Never send return data: If the box is unchecked, it returns the user inside a started quiz, to solve this issue we check the box, so the user will start from the beginning.  But users should be able to return to where they last visited in the course itself, how can this be solved?

CP2019

TIA

Robi

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