Adobe named to 2017 Best of Elearning! Hall of Fame

Adobe Captivate Hall of Fame 2017

Drumroll, please! Adobe has been inducted to the 2017 Best of Elearning! Hall of Fame, in the very first edition of this honor. Established thirteen years ago by the Elearning! magazine, the Best of Elearning! Awards felicitate the creators of outstanding solutions. The Hall of Fame honor was added this year to recognize a brand’s continued contribution towards eLearning. Adobe Captivate, the flagship eLearning authoring tool from Adobe, has been the torchbearer in helping Adobe win the award 13 times – since 2005 – for a range of eLearning solutions.

What lies behind the exceptional track record of Adobe Captivate? How does Adobe consistently anticipate learning requirements, provide futuristic solutions, and exceed customer expectations? These were some of the questions posed to Priyank Shrivastava, Director of Marketing, Adobe, in an interview with the editors of the Elearning! Magazine. Shrivastava gives credit to the “culture of innovation and customer centricity.” He goes on to say that the brand continues to lead the category as the product teams are always clued in to customers’ pain points and work hand-in-hand with the L&D teams of customer organizations to design solutions that address their problems.

Shrivastava also points out: “Our product roadmap constantly reflects changing behavioral trends among both eLearning authors/designers as well as learners.” Adobe entered the world of mobile learning when it was still in its infancy, with the goal of empowering authors to provide awesome experiences to learners – on the devices of their choice – with minimum additional effort. Some of the industry-first features in Adobe Captivate (2017 release) that demonstrate this philosophy are:

  • Fluid Boxes – for creating fully responsive courses without any programming
  • Automatic transformation of desktop-only courses to responsive modules
  • Adobe Typekit integration – to create visually stunning courses using a full library of fonts

Success brings humility and Adobe Captivate is not resting on its laurels. Adobe continues to develop solutions that leverage the latest technologies to facilitate innovative and immersive forms of learning – continuously making it easier for authors to design and for learners to consume anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Read more about the induction of Adobe to the Best of ELearning! Hall of Fame: http://www.2elearning.com/top-stories/item/56974-hall-of-fame-honors-two-extraordinary-brands

Experience the power of the award-winning smart eLearning authoring tool.

Try Adobe Captivate today

5 Examples of How To Use Mobile Learning In Retail To Maximize Your Training Impact

Ways To Use Mobile Learning In Retail Industry And Face Challenges In Employees Skill Development

Skill development in retail industry is challenging. The key challenge is the rapidly changing product offerings and a pressing need to offer “just-in-time” training to the employees. There is the challenge of high employee turn-over and the need for new employees to be trained very quickly to meet the targets.

Employees often work under pressure of stiff targets and deadlines. They need learning solutions that are easily accessible and available precisely at the moment of their need.

While certain training needs can be met through classroom or Instructor-Led trainings, mLearning (or mobile learning) is the most efficient and effective way to mitigate these challenges.

What Is mLearning (Or Mobile Learning) And What Is Pushing Its Adoption?

Just look at the way mobile devices are an integral part of our life today, and it comes as no surprise that learning on these devices is a natural extension.

mLearning is an extension of the traditional eLearning and features training that is available to the learners on devices of their choice (read: tablets and smartphones). These solutions are designed for multi-device support and run seamlessly on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.

The push for mobile learning is coming from the learners, primarily on account of the following aspects:

  • Change in learner profiles.
    Globally, the workforce has an increasing number of Millennials. As digital natives, this generation is addicted to using mobile devices.
  • Learners’ view on how they want to learn.
    The training deployment is no more limited by the way L&D teams want learners to go through it. Instead, learners ask for learning at their moment of need. The push for “just-in-time” learning aids that are available on learners’ mobile devices is very high.
  • Learning device of learner’s choice.
    Rather than be told how to consume training, today’s learners want the flexibility to learn on the device of their choice.

Not convinced? Take a look at these statistics (and plenty more that aren’t stated here) which clearly indicate the need to integrate mobile learning in your learning strategy:

  • Come 2018, 7 out of 10 professionals would be working on the go, using their personal smartphones.
  • A whopping 60% of employees feel mobile devices are their “most critical work device”.
  • Almost all the workers surveyed admitted to completing the training in mobile format.
  • Close to 47% organizations across the world have already adopted mobile learning solutions to train their workforce.

How Can mLearning (Or Mobile Learning) Help Increase The Impact Of Workforce Training In Retail?

Mobile learning is an effective approach in achieving the training goals with quality and efficiency.

Furthermore, mLearning delivered in microlearning format is probably the ideal approach to adopt, as it provides learning available to the employees on the floor, in short, bite-sized format that are easy to review, internalize, and apply.

How Can You Use mLearning (Or Mobile Learning) To Design Training Programs That Map To Retail Industry Dynamics?

mLearning is primarily known for the flexibility it offers to learners, in being able to access the training on the go, at the precise time when they need it. In addition, presenting information in a format that learners can easily understand, internalize, and apply on the job is crucial to further enhancing the value of training to both, the learners as well as the organization. Employee performance improvement is directly connected to:

  1. Easy access to the training (at the time of need).
  2. Presenting the training in an engaging format that is easy to relate to, learn, and apply in these 2 ways:
  • Using strategies that increase the learnability (or learning effectiveness) of the training.
  • Using strategies that reinforce primary training and help learners apply the learning on the job.

Once all these aspects are in place, the learning would not be acquired quickly but would be internalized for effective on-the-job application. It would be highly beneficial for the learners and will bring the required impact the business seeks.

If we look at retail industry dynamics, the need for flexibility in learning and being able to learn on the move (including within work premises) are critical factors that make mobile learning the ideal training delivery format.

You can use mLearning or mobile learning to train employees in retail industry through the following 3 approaches:

  1. For formal training.
    Do not limit your approach to traditional, structured training delivery formats. Take a step further and offer the learners flexibility through learning paths. Instead of holding discrete sessions, foster a culture that promotes learning as a continuum. This would encourage the learners to invest on learning over an extended period of time, be abreast of the latest updates, and apply the learning to attain a demonstrable gain. You can also evaluate learning portals that integrate microlearning, mobile apps, gamification, and social learning elements to double the impact of formal training.
  2. As Performance Support Tools (PSTs).
    Offering job aids (or just-in-time learning aids) for learners’ access within their workflow is a great way to trigger the desired behavioral change. You can also use PSTs to engage the learners post the formal training and facilitate reinforcement of learning.
  3. To digitize ILT.
    Blending mLearning components with the traditional ILT training format is another effective means to achieving the impact you seek. This can include pre-workshop collaterals, and/or simulations, exercises, and role-plays in the workshop, and workshop assessments. This approach lets you establish and maintain strong relations between the learners as well as between learners and instructors to provide learning nuggets post the workshop. The combination of all these elements is bound to have a direct and lasting impact on learning and application and will help you bring about the desired behavioral change in learners.

At EI Design, we have been crafting mobile learning solutions for the retail industry for over 4 years now. Let me showcase a few examples on how we have used mobile learning for formal training and as Performance Support Tools.

Our retail training solutions have been designed for the following learner profiles:

  • Store management team.
  • Store staff, including sales representatives.
  • Customer care team.
  • Sales team.

The range of our solutions cover:

  1. Induction and onboarding.
  2. Compliance training.
  3. Sales training.
  4. Specific training programs to promote key campaigns.

Here are examples that demonstrate how you can use mobile learning to mitigate training challenges in retail and create high-impact training programs that meet the training mandates.

Example 1: Induction cum Compliance Program For Apparel Retail Employees, Integrating Gamification Elements And Supplemented By Performance Support Tools (PSTs)

The course was a learning journey through 6 interactive eLearning courses, supplemented with Performance Support Tools (PSTs) in the form of interactive PDFs that promoted deep, exploratory learning in all (new and existing) employees.

For immersive learning, each module contained interactive content and a key challenge the learners must complete before moving to the next module. It also included gamification elements like points, challenges, and levels for an engaging experience and for motivating the leaners to learn effectively.

EI Design - Induction cum Compliance program for Apparel Retail employees

Example 2: Gamified Product Training For Cosmetics Retail Employees

This standard product training was converted into a highly interactive, gamified solution to make the learning sticky and experiential. Featuring multi-device compatibility, the complete learning journey was divided into two sections – learn and practice. Learners were given store-like experiences to learn the key aspects of the products and then put in customer situations to handle queries.

To make the course motivating and challenging, the exercises and activities were time based and offered bonus points for finishing the course in lesser time. Upon completing each topic, learners would earn a star, which let them advance to the next level (topic) and finally become a star salesman.

EI Design - Gamified Product Training for Cosmetics Retail employees

Example 3: Induction Program For An eCommerce Fashion Company – Designed Using Millennial-Centric Strategies

This course was designed to train new joiners within an eCommerce fashion company to get them acquainted about the company, its business drivers, and leadership competencies. Since the audience was predominantly Millennials, we used a colorful and responsive user experience, with a fashion theme to match the organization’s primary mission – to “democratize fashion”.

The course comprised three modules that could be taken independently, though they were tied together by a visual menu that depicted a journey through a gallery, a retail space, and an office. At the end of each module, learners were given a fun game that let them check their understanding of the topics covered.

EI Design - Induction program for an eCommerce Fashion company

Example 4: Retailer Engagement Platform For Product Training – Featuring Gamification And Social Learning Elements

This course was designed as a retailer engagement platform that engaged trade partners. It was a meaningful learning journey on products and categories to engage and motivate retailers to come back to it and even share it with peers.

The content of the course was transformed into a gamified learning journey across various product facilities worldwide, and it was called the “Open Tour”. It included real stories from existing content delivered through animations and videos and through stories built and shared by users. Gamification and social learning elements were embedded to promote active collaboration with peers in social media and to impart a sense of social recognition as users earned rewards and feedbacks for activities they performed.

EI Design - Retailer engagement platform for Product Training

Example 5: Interactive Food Safety Compliance Course For Food Retail Employees

This course was designed to spread awareness of the best practices in food safety for a large food retail entity. It used rich, vibrant visuals, interactivities wherever relevant, and animations for processes related to food safety and compliance procedures, to make the training lively and engaging. Questions and activities were used at strategic intervals to test the learners’ understanding of the key processes and best practices.

EI Design - Interactive Food Safety Compliance course for Food Retail

I hope this article gives you insights on how to use mobile learning (with microlearning, social learning, and gamification elements) to create highly effective training programs for employees in the retail industry. If you have further queries or need any specific support, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/5-examples-use-mobile-learning-retail-maximize-training-impact/

Tips and Strategies to Engage Your Millennial Workforce

Globally, there is an increase in the percentage of Millennial workforce, and by 2025, it is estimated that three out of four employees would be a Millennial. This generation has grown up differently, features very distinct traits and learning styles. It comes as no surprise that they need a different learning strategy too.

In this blog, I outline who Millennials are and what are their characteristics (traits and learning styles) that would have a bearing on the required learning strategy. Then I share several tips and strategies that you can use to engage your Millennial workforce.

Who are Millennials?

Also referred as Gen Y, Millennials are people born between late 1980s and early 2000s. This is a generation of Digital natives who have grown in the world of Internet, Smartphones and Social Media.

As a result, they expect the training delivery to factor for all these and more.

What kind of learning strategy would engage your Millennial workforce?

Even in the past, L&D teams have handled generational changes leading to a need to relook or overhaul the existing training strategies. (Many of you would recall the transition from Traditional learners to Baby Boomers and then to Gen X and the corresponding impact on the training delivery).

What makes this transition more challenging is the stark difference in Gen X and Gen Y in the way they work, collaborate, interact and hence the way they want to learn.

Micro Blog - Millennials report

Source: https://www.hrpa.ca/Documents/Public/Thought-Leadership/HRPA-Millennials-Report-20161122.pdf

The table here captures the generational change very succinctly. As I move on to share some tips and best practices you can use to engage your Millennial workforce, you will see how I have used cues from Assets, Motivations and Preferred modes of communication.

What are the key behavioural traits of Millennials that should be factored for as you identify the right learning strategy?

Following are the key behavioural traits in Millennial learners that should be considered as you arrive at the learning strategy:

  1. First generation ‘Digital Natives’
  2. Tech savvy
  3. Possess strong multi-tasking capability
  4. Short attention spans
  5. Easily distracted
  6. Ambitious
  7. Need a clear and definitive goal and outcome
  8. Need recognition
  9. Need constant feedback
  10. Need flexibility

How different are  the learning styles of Millennials from those of older generations?

Here are some noteworthy considerations on the Millennial learning styles:

  1. They are keen to invest on learning as this would help them grow at work.
  2. They like to explore things by themselves rather than being told to follow a rigid learning path.
  3. They don’t like taking orders and stay away from prescriptive or preachy style of teaching.
  4. They want to be in a work environment that encourages them to voice their opinions.
  5. They don’t like to be pressured, want flexibility and seek channels to express their creativity.
  6. They seek attention and focus more on personal care.
  7. They tend to seek out only concise, relevant information and usually omit detailed supporting information.
  8. They enjoy being part of group-based activities.
  9. They enjoy active participation and experiential learning.
  10. They want rich media to visually aid their learning.
  11. They prefer to learn from real-life scenarios and experiences, as they find them easy to relate to and apply.
  12. They are very comfortable with technology and relate to interactive learning formats that involve the use of multimedia.

What are the tips that can be used to design Millennial-centric training programs?

I’ve handpicked the 10 most Millennial-centric designing tips, which are as follows:

  1. Courses must be mobile-ready (must be accessible on Tablets and Smartphones).
  2. Deliver the learning in short, bite-sized nuggets that are fun to go through.
  3. Learners must be able to access the training material within their workflow (rather than having to sign up on the LMS).
  4. Information presented in the course must be easy to go through, review, relate to, and apply.
  5. Learning outcomes should be precise and defined clearly.
  6. Deliver the learning in high-impact formats that would keep them hooked.
  7. Integrate Gamification elements to engage and motivate as well as impart ‘a sense of reward and recognition’ in learners.
  8. Leverage on Social or Collaborative Learning to foster a learning environment beyond the formal training.
  9. Offer Personalised Learning Paths so learners can have the flexibility to ‘pull’ what they want rather than be ‘pushed’ towards what you think they are supposed to learn.
  10. Give the learners opportunity to contribute by leveraging on content curation.

What are some strategies you can use to engage Millennials at your workplace?

Here is my list of 8 Millennial-centric strategies you can use to engage them at your workplace?

  1. Leverage on mLearning or Mobile Learning.
  2. Break down huge chunks of information and deliver them as Microlearning nuggets.
  3. Allow room for Personalised Learning Paths in both, Formal training as well as for Performance Support.
  4. Use Gamification elements to boost learner engagement.
  5. Use Videos and other rich media formats to deliver the learning in bite-sized nuggets.
  6. Use Social Learning with curation (as an extension to primary learning).
  7. Personalise the learning.
  8. Leverage on Wearable Tech to supplement the learning.

I hope this blog provides insights on your Millennial workforce (who they are, what makes them different, what are their characteristics and so on. I recommend you use these pointers to create an effective learning strategy that would engage them.

 

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/tips-strategies-to-engage-millennial-workforce/

6 Strategies You Can Use To Design Effective eLearning For Your Millennial Workforce

With increasing millennial workforce, organizations need to re-evaluate their existing learning strategies. In this article, I will explain 6 strategies that you can use to effectively engage and motivate your millennial workforce.

Why Do You Need A Different Learning Strategy For Your Millennial Workforce?

6-Strategies-to-design-effective-eLearning-for-your-millenial-workforce-EI-Design

Of late, there has been a lot of discussion on the need for corporates to re-evaluate their existing learning strategies so that they can meaningfully engage millennial workforce.

Is there a clear business case for this? Absolutely! The percentage of Millennials in the workplace is increasing steadily and over the next 4 years, they will be a significant part of the workforce in several leading global economies. (For instance in India, over 50% of the workforce by 2020 will be Millennials).

The fact is that this generation thinks, behaves, and learns differently, and this opens up a clear need to re-evaluate your existing learning strategies to make them appealing to this profile.

Why Is The Existing Or Traditional eLearning Not Enough To Engage The Millennial Generation?

The answer to this question lies in understanding what sets the millennial generation apart (in contrast to the Baby Boomers or Generation X who respond well to traditional eLearning).

For instance, there have been reports of folks in the academia in several parts of the world being appalled at the increasing use of the SMS language (or “textspk”) in essays, exam papers, and other stuff written by students. While literature pundits are gnashing at the idea of students murdering Shakespeare with “2 b r nt 2 b”, as Learning and Development professionals, this learner attitude can give you a whole lot of food for thought.

What it tells you is that today’s learners, mostly Millennials, don’t shy away from making their non-conformity to traditional methods obvious besides taking the quick route to gaining and sharing knowledge.

To nail this challenge, we must identify the traits of Millennials, which determine how they work, collaborate, and learn. These factors need to be then incorporated in creating the learning strategy that would engage the millennial workforce and motivate them to apply this learning on the job.

What Are The Traits Of The Millennial Workforce That Impact The Learning Strategy?

Some of the key characteristics of the millennial generation are:

    • First generation “digital natives”.
      They have grown with the internet, smartphones, and the world of social media.
    • Tech savvy.
      Goes without saying, an intrinsic understanding of technology comes naturally to them.
    • Strong multi-tasking capability.
    • Are ambitious.
    • Have short attention spans.
    • Easily distracted.
    • Need a clear and definitive goal and outcome.
    • Need recognition.
    • Need constant feedback.
    • Need flexibility.

Furthermore, their learning styles show the following notable aspects:

    • They understand the value of learning to grow at work.
    • Prefer visual aids (rich media).
    • Prefer exploration (rather than a rigid learning path).
    • Want experiential data that they can relate to easily and apply (real life scenarios).
    • Relate easily to technology and online training, and respond best to interactive and engaging multimedia formats.
    • Love working in groups (collaborate and learn).
    • Bottomline: Have a desire to learn but want this to be short and fun.

Apart from these characteristics, we also need to see the key aspects that determine the learning styles of the millennial generation. Both of these would help us in defining the required learning strategies and training Millennials effectively.

What Learning Strategies Would Engage Your Millennial Workforce?

Looking at the traits of the Millennials in the workplace and their preferred learning styles, there are 6 learning strategies that are bound to work and engage Millennials. These include:

    1. Offer responsive mLearning or mobile learning.
      Researchers say that Millennials check their smartphones 43 times a day on average. As Learning and Development professionals, there’s a huge cue you can take from this millennial demeanor. You can offer them responsive mobile learning solutions and the flexibility of device to learn (from desktop/laptop to tablets or smartphones).
    2. Use microlearning.
      As pointed out earlier, Millennials have short attention spans. You can make their life a lot easier with microlearning, that is by breaking the bigger chunks of learning into snackable bites that can be taken on the go.
    3. Extend to Social learning.
      Millennials spend 5.4 hours every day on social media. Now that tells you something. You can use this inclination towards social media that they have to your advantage with social learning: Create forums and communities of practice that facilitate collaborative learning, knowledge sharing, and curation of learner created content.
    4. Engage with gamification of learning.
      How gamification of learning boosts learner engagement? Well, the Baby Boomer population would have been more than content watching Batman and Superman do their stuff on the silver screen. The typical Millennial of today wants to be the Batman himself and bash up the bad guys with the gaming console in his hand in a bid to outdo the Superman (being played by the guy with a gaming remote sharing sofa space with him). You can tap into the competitive spirit that gamification induces and offer learning that is aligned to a learning outcome while making no compromise with the fun bit.
    5. Use videos extensively and offer learning nuggets in rich media formats.
      According to a research, 72% of the millennial population turns to video-based information hubs such as YouTube for their various infotainment needs. You can leverage on the video technology, microlearning approaches, and social learning to offer high impact learning nuggets.
    6. Offer a learning path based approach.
      Rather than an intense but discrete training program, you can use a series designed as a learning path to create a journey that helps learners learn, practice, and take remediation as required. More significantly, these assets are easily available in their workflow, on the device of their choice.

These approaches will certainly appeal to your millennial workforce, engage them, and motivate them to perform better. If you have any queries or would like to see examples of how you can use them in your organization, do contact me.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/6-strategies-you-can-use-to-design-effective-elearning-for-your-millennial-workforce/

10 Reasons Why You Should Use Mobile Apps For Learning In Your Learning Strategy

Mobile apps are increasingly being seen as the future of learning. Popularity of mobile devices and widespread adoption of mLearning or mobile learning is providing them the required push. In this article, I outline 10 reasons why your learning strategy must include mobile apps for learning.

Why You Need To Use Mobile Apps For Learning In Your Learning Strategy

Before deep-diving into the reasons why you should integrate mobile learning trends such as mobile apps for learning in your learning strategy, let’s take a quick look at 3 important, basic aspects (What, Why, and How):

  1. What: What are mobile apps for learning?
  2. Why: Why you should invest on them?
  3. How: How exactly can they be integrated into your learning strategy?

What Are Mobile Apps For Learning?

Mobile apps are a type of delivery format designed for offline viewing of Learning material for learners on mobile devices. Although the course needs to be downloaded to the device first using internet connection, it can be accessed without internet access from the mobile device for subsequent visits once the course has been downloaded to the device. Internet access is also necessary when it comes to tracking of learners’ progress via Learning Management Systems.

People are increasingly taking to mobile apps and the number of mobile app downloads that take place every year justifies that. According to a report, the number of mobile apps forecasted to be downloaded worldwide in 2017 stands at a whopping 2.6 million! It comes as no surprise that mobile apps for learning are an area you must invest on.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Mobile Apps For learning?

There’s a reason why more and more companies are pumping money into mobile learning technology and mobile app development year after year. Mobile apps are one of the hottest mobile learning trends driving the market today. According to reports, the global annual revenue generated by mobile apps will be $70 billion by 2017. The format comes with a host of benefits after all.

Some of the benefits of mobile apps are:

    • Ideal for people looking for information on the move.
    • Suited for online as well as offline viewing.
    • Immensely popular with Millennials.
    • Facilitate higher completion rates.
    • Provide access to just-in-time information.
    • Ideal for performance support.

How Can You Use Mobile Apps For Learning To Uplift Your Existing Learning Strategy?

Mobile apps are a good fit for both formal as well as informal training.

They can be used to offer bite-sized formal training or supplement formal training.

When it comes to informal training needs, they are an ideal platform to offer Performance Support. They can be used as Performance Support Tools (PSTs) and embedded in the learners’ workflow. If they are made available to learners on their mobile devices, there will be greater chances of them using them for just-in-time information and on-the-job support.

There are many ways to integrate mobile apps for learning into your learning strategy. Specifically:

    1. For primary learning (formal training).
      Mobile apps can be used for formal training in the form of short learning nuggets and the nuggets could be part of a learning path
    2. As a supplement to formal training.
    • They can be used as pre- and post- assessments for formal training (online or blended).
    • They can also be used to showcase videos, examples, and scenarios to reinforce learning.

At EI Design, we have used mobile learning technology and mobile apps for learning for both formal learning as well as a Performance Support Tool. You can gain further insights on these through my previous articles:

    • How to boost your workforce performance with mobile apps.
    • How can you use mobile apps for microlearning-based training.

Now, let’s see why it makes business sense to invest in mobile learning trends and integrate mobile apps for learning to enhance your current learning strategy.

Why Are Mobile Apps For Learning The Right Fit For Your Learning Strategy?

Here is my list of 10 reasons why mobile apps are the right fit for your learning strategy:

1. Flexibility Of Usage (For Learners).

According to a survey, people spend 30 hours a month on average on mobile apps. They have become part and parcel of people’s lives because of the flexibility and ease of looking up information that they offer. The power of mobile apps can be leveraged to offer training to learners even when they are not connected to internet.

2. High Completion Rates.

The anytime, anywhere flexibility that mobile learning technology and mobile apps offer help learners take the training when they “want to” rather than “have to”; thereby resulting in higher completion rates.

3. Engaging.

If you’re a smartphone user, you’d know that pretty much everything you do –dropping in a message to someone, hunting for a restaurant nearby, getting your daily scoop of news, and so on– is through apps. You’ve ditched your traditional SMS and switched to WhatsApp messaging for a simple reason that it’s far more lively and engaging and comes with a host of features. The formats of mobile apps and mobile learning technology for learning are remarkably different from traditional eLearning. They provide very high engagement to learners thereby increasing recall and retention manifold.

4. Appeal To Millennials.

We spoke about people spending 30 hours every month on mobile apps. When it comes to millennials, the number of hours spent on mobile apps shoots up to 90. Millennials love mobile apps and these survey figures second that. If you’re looking at creating engaging learning experiences for millennials and mobile apps aren’t on your list yet, you’re missing out on something big time!

5. Easy To Push Updates.

Mobile apps are extremely user-friendly and offer organizations the flexibility to easily push updates.

6. Enable You To Further Leverage Trending Approaches.

From the social media platform you visit most frequently to your favorite game on your mobile device, they all come packaged as mobile apps. Here’s a huge cue you can take to enhance the impact of your training using mobile apps. You can leverage further on trends like microlearning, social learning, and gamification.

7. Can Be Adapted To Varied Training Needs.

You can craft mobile apps for learning to address varied training needs including compliance, soft skills, products, and change management.

8. Can Be Used For Performance Support.

Mobile apps are designed to offer “just-in-time” information. They are ideal for Performance Support intervention and can directly influence the organizational mandate to push the learning acquisition to its application on the job.

9. Can Be Used As A Supplement To ILT/Blended Training.

You can support ILT or blended delivery through assets (pre/post work-shop) or Performance Support Tools. An intervention like this will show a drastic gain in application of gained knowledge on the job.

10. Positive Impact On ROI On Your Training Spend.

By improving the learner reaction, learning gain, and finally its application on the job, mobile apps for learning will provide a demonstrable gain on ROI.

You can also take a look at this video to see why mobile apps are the right fit for your learning strategy:

I hope this article triggers a re-evaluation of your existing learning strategy and helps you leverage on mobile learning trends such as mobile apps for learning. If you have any queries or need support on integrating mobile apps for learning into your learning strategy, do contact me.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/10-reasons-why-you-should-use-mobile-apps-for-learning-in-your-learning-strategy/

Tips And Best Practices To Create Highly Effective Blended Training Program Design

6-Tips-and-Best-Practices-To-Create-Highly-Effective-Blended-Training-Program-Design-EI-Design

What Is The Blended Training Approach?

Put simply, blended training (or hybrid training) combines the usage of face-to-face, Instructor-Led Training (ILT) with online training (that is, eLearning or mLearning).

  • The blended training approach offers the best of both formats and you can “blend” them to create a high-impact corporate training.
  • Furthermore, it provides tremendous flexibility on how you can combine both ILT and online components in a manner that serves your learning mandate most effectively.
  • It is learner-centric and allows them a higher degree of control on how they can learn and at the pace they want to learn.
  • From an organization’s perspective, the blended training approach enables them to reach a wider audience in a shorter time. It also enables them to cut costs, yet provide a higher engagement and accessibility for the learners.

Are There Any Specific Models That Can Be Used To Determine How To Offer Blended Training?

While blended training has its significant advantages, a lot depends on the approach that you use to “blend” the face-to-face or ILT components with online training (eLearning or mLearning).

At EI Design, we have created three models that we use to determine how you should blend the two components. Our blended training design approaches would map to one of the following:

  • Model 1: Significant face-to-face, ILT training and a small component of online training.
  • Model 2: An even mix of face-to-face, ILT training and online training.
  • Model 3: Significant online learning with short and focused face-to-face, ILT training.

How Can You Determine What Degree Of Blending Would Be Most Effective?

As I see it, effective blending is both art and science.

Let me share some of the techniques we have been using. I share a Step-by-Step Toolkit that is particularly useful when you are looking at first-time conversion of an ILT program to a blended approach.

Step by Step Toolkit for First-Time Conversion of ILT into Blended Training

 

Step 1: Determine Why Blending Is Required

At this stage, you need to identify the triggers that are prompting the need to transform the training format and more significantly:

  • Are there any existing challenges in the existing delivery that must be offset in the new format?
  • What are the expected gains from the new format?

Step 2: Validate The Impact Of The New Approach (That Is, The Degree Of Blending)

  • Would the learners align to the new delivery format and get an enhanced value?
  • Would the program mandate be met?

Step 3: Identify The Required Technology Support

As you transition from face-to-face, ILT training to a varied degree of online training, you need to evaluate the options for delivery. This would include finalizing aspects like:

  • Virtual Platform to offer VILT.
  • LMS to offer online training.

Step 4: Review The Program Mandate And The Existing Content To Determine Its Suitability To Adapt To A Blended Delivery

Besides identifying the goals, the approach (the degree of blending), the technology, and the desired impact, you also need to do an effective mapping of classroom-based activities and exercises to online format.

Step 5: Assessment Strategy

You also assess the current Assessment strategy and how it should be adapted to a blended delivery.

Step 6: Once These Aspects Are Covered, You Are Ready To Go

  • Create the blended training program design.
  • Create an approach plan to implement it: Pilot, take feedback, and deploy.
  • Feedback and further improvement: After a suitable time, poll the learners and business units to determine its impact. Based on this feedback, determine if we need to recalibrate the previous blend.

Are There Any Best Practices That Can Be Used To Increase The Impact Of Blended Training?

There are several best practices that we have used successfully in creating effective blended training program designs. Here are a few best practices from our repository:

Before you begin: 

  1. Establish learner roles and responsibilities: As is true for a transition or transformation, there should be clarity on how learners and the organization would be able to leverage the blended training.
  2. Provide clear instructions and communication for the program.
  3. Create an effective support system for the learners as well as the corporate trainers.

Lay the foundation: 

  1. Strategy.
    The blended training goals need to be identified in advance, and these should also reflect the intended gains expected from blended training. The goals should be SMART (that is, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound).
  2. Approach plan. 
    Start small, but factor for its scaling.
  3. Identify the right project and identify the right team to manage. 
    Early success matters and provides crucial feedback to improve in future. Select a project that adapts more easily to a blended training model and can demonstrate clear gains. Have a dedicated team to monitor and manage.
  4. Checkpoint for continuous improvement.
    Use the ongoing tracking and checkpointing to gather feedback for further improvement.

What Are The Tips That You Can Use To Create Highly Effective Blended Training Programs?

The impact of blended training program design can be enhanced by using the following tips:

  1. Develop content in a manner that allows you to calibrate the mix of blending easily.
    This is vital for you to process the feedback and keep stepping up the impact of your blended training program.
  2. Create learning activities that leverage on the power of both delivery formats.
    For instance, a role play (in a workshop) can be supplemented with online branching scenarios. This blending enables you to reinforce the learning and check how the learner is able to apply the primary learning in different contexts.
  3. Use the online resources to support multiple mandates.
    You can use them to prep the learners before a workshop. You can also provide these as online reference materials that they can use post the workshop and on the job.
  4. Tracking.
    The blended delivery facilitates keeping track of learner progress far more easily than ILT training. By the same token, it also enables you to share feedback with equal ease. Use these two aspects to keep the learners in sync with the learning mandate.
  5. Assessment strategy.
    Online assessments provide you with an approach with which you can test and share feedback instantaneously. You can randomize the questions, have different set of questions for different profiles, and decide which ones should be formative/summative.

 

Tips and Best Practices to Create Highly Effective Blended Training Programs

As I had mentioned earlier in this article, crafting the right blended training program design is both art and science. I hope the toolkit, the tips, and the best practices outlined here provide you the required ammunition to create highly effective blended training program designs. If you need any further assistance, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net.

Source:

https://www.eidesign.net/best-practices-blended-training-program-design/

How To Use Mobile Learning To Increase Employee Engagement And Boost Performance

How-Can-Mobile-Learning-Increase-Employee-Engagement-And-Boost-Performance-EI-Design

Modern-day employees expect a lot more from trainings. Organizations need flexible and exciting approaches to keep them hooked. This article outlines how you can use Mobile Learning to increase employee engagement and boost employee performance.

Using Mobile Learning To Increase Employee Engagement And Boost Performance 

Mobile learning or mLearning involves the use of mobile technology to enable learning anytime and anywhere on mobile devices at the learners’ own pace. Generally, the same training would be available across multiple devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and so on), enabling learners to learn on the device of their choice.

Just about everything has gone mobile today and Learning is no exception. The number of takers for mobile learning is only increasing, and this is on account of:

  • Changing learner profiles.
    The millennial generation is now a significant part of the workforce and they are addicted to mobile devices.
  • How learners want to learn.
    Learners today need “just-in-time” information and instant gratification of their infotainment needs.
  • Changing learning device preferences.
    Today’s learners look for the flexibility to learn on the device of their choice.
  • Maturing of tools and technology.
    Today, there is no dearth of authoring tools, platforms, Learning Management System, and other technology to support mobile learning (supporting both adaptive and responsive designs).

Why Does It Make Sense To Adopt Mobile Learning To Increase Employee Engagement?

Working styles and preferences in organizations are undergoing a sea change. Taking the mobile route to working is catching up big time.

Adam Kingl, Director of Learning Solutions at the London Business School says that flexibility is “the number one reason” why employees of today join a workplace. With exposure to modern day communication methods and having been accustomed to communicating with people anytime and from anywhere, flexibility at work is something that employees expect companies to provide them with, Kingl says. It is no longer a perk or a reward, he observes.

Besides, factors such as high speed and inexpensive broadband/Internet access, maturing of technologies, and increasing concerns with regard to work-life balance are prompting employees to look for employers who would provide them with a “no strings attached” approach to work as far as presence in the workplace and flexibility to work/learn from any location is concerned.

With its flexibility, ability to offer Performance Support at the time of need, and several other factors, mobile learning is just the dose organizations need to pump up employee engagement.

5 Ways To Use Mobile Learning To Increase Employee Engagement

As we have seen, mLearning or mobile learning easily maps to what learners want and how they want to learn.

You can multiply the impact of your strategy by weaving in the following elements that have a direct bearing on employee engagement:

1. Gamification.
It is a mature approach today and can be used to uplift almost all corporate training needs. Gamification for serious learning brings in high engagement, high completion rates, and sticky learning. All these lead to an increased probability of application of the acquired learning on the job, just what the Learning and Development teams dream of.

2. Interactive Videos.
They offer an interesting step-up to the classic video based training. Interactive videos flip the passivity of standard video based learning to a richer, interactive, and stickier learning experience.

3. Microlearning.
With dwindling attention spans and higher distractions for the average learner, the answer lies in offering bite sized learning that is available to learners exactly at the time of need. mLearning or mobile learning can be used for both formal training as well as performance support (just-in-time learning aids). The flexibility of accessing this in between meetings or when one is stuck goes a long way in ensuring these nuggets or micro courses get completed and internalized.

4. Millennial-Centric Learning.
mLearning or mobile learning intrinsically appeals to the increasing millennial workforce. You can use the cues of their traits, learning styles, and learning preferences to create a customized strategy that will deliver the required learning experience.

5. Mobile Apps For Learning.
Given the prevalent use of apps in daily life, it comes as no surprise that usage of mobile apps for learning is gaining momentum. They can be used for formal training but their strength lies in their use as Performance Support Tools.

6. Social Learning.
Collaborative learning is accepted as a strong methodology for adult learners. Today, mLearning or mobile learning makes it easier for learners to discuss, deliberate, share, collaborate, and learn.

How Can You Use Mobile Learning Or mLearning To Boost Employee Performance?

The key advantage of mLearning or mobile learning is its flexibility. Learners can access it on the go and precisely when they need it. Access to this information in a format that is easy to review, internalize, and apply further enhances its value to organizations and learners.

The improvement in employee performance has a direct co-relation to accessibility of learning, its availability in a format that learners find exciting, and its learnability or learning effectiveness.

Once these are in place, there would be application of the acquired learning and a gain for learners as well as businesses.

To boost employee performance, you can use mLearning or mobile learning as follows:

1. Formal Training. 

Do not be limited to the structured and traditional formats of delivery but provide further flexibility to learners through Learning paths. Having access to learning as a continuum (rather than discrete sessions) goes a long way in using learners to apply and achieve a demonstrable gain. You can also opt for specific Learning portals that can leverage on microlearning, gamification, and social learning to multiply the impact.

2. Performance Support Tools (PSTs). 

These on the job, just-in-time learning aids that are available to learners within their workflow (and at the precise moment of need) have shown to create the required behavioral change. You can also use them to re-inforce learning by engaging with learners post the formal training.

3. Digitize ILT. 

You can embed elements of mLearning or mobile learning into the traditional ILT delivery and see the impact you seek. This can range from pre-workshop collateral to exercises, simulations, role-plays during the workshop to its workshop assessments. You can retain the connect between instructors and participants as well as between participants and use this channel to provide learning nuggets well after the workshop. All these measures have a direct impact on learning, application, and the desired behavioral change.

What Are The New Or Trending Approaches That Can Increase Employee Engagement And Boost Employee Performance?

My personal recommendations are to integrate the following aspects in your learning strategy:

  • Personalization.
    The learning design in mLearning or mobile learning should include feedback along with reinforcement or supplement options. This personalization shows a manifold increase in both learner engagement and their performance gain.
  • Learning portals.
    As highlighted earlier, you should invest on Learning portals for your key learning or change management initiatives. You can leverage on microlearning, Gamification, and Social learning to multiply the impact.
  • Content curation.
    I believe this is the next big thing to watch out for. It provides learners to curate content, create personalized learning paths, bookmark assets they can use on the job, and share these inputs with their peers/seniors. Organizations can use this to support primary training initiatives and create portals that provide information at the time of need.

Summary

Mobile learning is a powerful approach that allows learners to experience exciting learning with the kind of flexibility they desire, increasing employee engagement and boosting learner performance, thereby resulting in an increased ROI on training.

I hope this article provides you with insights on how you can use mobile learning to increase employee engagement and boost learner performance. If you need any further assistance, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/how-to-use-mobile-learning-to-increase-employee-engagement-and-boost-performance/

Top 3 Common Mobile Learning Challenges For Corporate Training

Mobile learning is turning out to be the most preferred cup of tea in the eLearning industry. Mobile learning or mLearning when blended with ingredients like microlearning, social learning and personalized learning can be the most effective corporate training strategy. Proliferation of mobile devices and the fact that it is apt to the current generation…

It’s just ‘learning’ now. OK?

So, we’ve had eLearning, e-learning, elearning, and ‘e learning’.

We’ve had mobile learning, mLearning, mlearning. But not ‘m learning’.

(We’ve also got the VLE, LMS, CMS, and many more besides, but that’s for another post).

I believe we are now at a place with web development where we should drop able all these different ways of saying ‘learning’. We should not need to be talking about the different platforms or devices students use to access their ‘learning’; they should all be scalable and accessible to accommodate students using a smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop (or any other device I can’t think of now). Access to learning resources should be across the board, easy, and not determined by the device. Pretty much everything the students need is now online – books, resources, notes, assignments – so the moniker of ‘e’Learning (for ‘electronic’) is void. Students have devices now which do not tether them to either a physical location or a specific IT network that I’m pretty sure we can drop the mLearning (for ‘mobile’) too.

So, where are you taking your LEARNING now?

Image source: Alan Levine (CC BY 2.0)