Instructional Design Approaches For Adult Learners

How often do you put your adult learners into consideration when designing your eLearning courses? Are you utilizing the right Instructional Design approach to deliver a learning experience that meets their needs?

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Workplace Learning: Importance of social learning in empowering collaborative learning at workplace


Social learning has been the eLearning buzzword for a couple of years where collaboration, engagement, personalization, efficiency is the reason for smooth and successful continuation.

Learning can be achieved from-and-with anything, via on-job experience by collaborating with employees, interaction with peers or colleagues or from formal training itself. Here, this Article outlines-

  • What is Social Learning?
  • Why does it make sense to adapt social learning?
  • How to integrate social learning at workplace?
  • Benefits of using social learning at the Workplace?

What is Social Learning?

It is no surprise that there is nothing best than social learning which can be grasp from anything and anywhere. Social learning is not a new way of learning, in fact, one of the oldest humankind’s forms of learning which can happen either synchronously (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, videoconferencing, chats, etc.,) or asynchronously (Group discussions, through interactions, seminars, etc.).

As an extension, this kind of learning can also be accompanied through determination, observation, positive behavioral aspects, imitation, and Collaboration with one another by sharing knowledge, ideas that can serve as a knowledge center.

Why does it make sense to adopt to social learning?

It is worthwhile to consider why social learning needs to adapt either from learner perspectives or business perspectives to empower collaborative learning.

From Learner perspective, the most personalized model that we mostly pick is 70/20/10 to foster collaborative learning. It is an exciting part for learners to leverage learning through social media that curates mutual bonding between learner and learning. Greater the application of learning, greater the positivity on the jobs.

As hinted above, the impact of social learning on business is directly related to employee skills, learning patterns, behavioral changes that can make the business environment either best or worst.

Social learning has tremendously influenced business by- promoting employee engagement, supporting continuous training, enhances corporate culture, foster workplace collaboration, promotes learner self-organize, etc.,

How to integrate social learning at the workplace to foster collaborative learning

In order to have a collaborative workplace, learners need to provide with multiple learning options which creates likelihood and ease of learning, after all, learner likes learning in different styles.

Conduct seminars and training– It is one of the simplest, easiest and effective methods of training which involves interactions, group discussions among the team members that ultimately provide training and improves employee engagement as well.

Use of technology as a platform– It involves all the possible areas that increase social engagement by connecting with different people on different social channels. As an extension, this way provides the following benefits at the workplace-

Benefits of social learning at the workplace-

  • Strengthen and build a relationship with coworkers and clients
  • Improves employee retention and recognition
  • Boost organizational productivity
  • Encourages collaboration and teamwork
  • Improves ROI of business
  • Helps in employee development by motivating them


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Building A Culture Of Collaborative Learning With The 70 20 10 Learning Model

Changing the way your organization learns can be challenging. Applying the 70 20 10 model, is ultimately about transforming the learning culture of your business. And nurturing a collaborative working environment is crucial for making this model work.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

The Impact Of A Blended Learning Approach On Your Online Training

For organizations, training is one of the vital contributors to achieving success; hence, many of them invest a lot in their employees through it. While it's essential to give training to your employees, there's a need to deliver well-thought-out and effective training that caters to their needs.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

How The Right Mobile Learning Strategy Can Help Your Workforce Deliver Better Results

From internet connectivity issues to time shortage, your mobile workforce faces unique training challenges. Implementing a random eLearning strategy to train them won’t do any good. A carefully planned mobile learning strategy is the key to unleashing the full potential of your employees.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Build a Participatory Culture to Engage Learners (Learning Thursday #16)

Check out the last Learning Thursday article on connected learning here.

In a participatory culture, individuals take an objective into their own hands with the intention of achieving a collective goal.  In the classroom, instructors can create a participatory culture that drives their learning process forward, with the intention of building knowledge. Interactions within the learning community lead to group knowledge greater than the sum of the individuals.  Educational technology provides the practical structure individuals need to collaborate and pass on knowledge.

In a participatory learning culture, each subject matter expert is also a learner.  Different mediums and topics are offered for public consumption, and contributors often don’t care whether they make money off of what they’ve created.  They just want to share their passions.  To me, participatory learning cultures are an example of education being driven by love.

The Harry Potter Alliance is an example of a collective effort intended to create change in a number of social and cultural issues.  The 100,000+ students who are part of the alliance incite major social changes. They pursue new legislation and are capable of gathering massive charitable contributions.  These accomplishments are possible because a number of individuals chose to be motivated by their unified passions.

How can the concept of collaboration be applied to classroom experiences, and how can we enable teachers to deliver such experiences?  In considering my own work for Adobe, I think about the Adobe eLearning community.  Community members are spread across the world, and they interact through a combination of Adobe conferences and smaller events, on-site classes, virtual classes, and an online community.  Adobe also participates in outside events and communities, such as the Association for Talent Development’s conferences, and web sites like Training Magazine Network.

Adobe’s community members create projects, share what they’ve done, and troubleshoot each other’s issues. The community’s collective imagination is applied to a topic, problem, or project. This makes everyone’s projects better, and over time, it helps Adobe enhance products by listening to customer feedback.

A similar knowledge building process occurs in wikis.  There’s a certain amount of chaos – one person generates the idea for an article, others begin contributing, some information is correct, some is not, revisions occur, sometimes facts are debated to determine validity… and this cycle goes on for as long as necessary in order to finally reach a relatively finished product.

The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, discussed how contributors on Wikipedia are essentially building and revising an encyclopedia collectively.  While anyone can submit revisions, there are 600-700 “core contributors” who work together, build the majority of articles, and critique each other’s work.  Often one person will start an article and others will get excited and begin helping to build it.  Every article reflects diversity of thought, which is a key benefit of the wiki format.  Having multiple individuals contribute leads to a more neutral and balanced viewpoint.

One key aspect of the participatory culture is that learning and teaching can occur at the same time, in a complex real world environment.  Individuals could be analyzing content, and reflecting on how their own knowledge and experiences tie in, while at the same time contemplating what they can add to enhance what already exists.

If you’re interested in creating a participatory culture for your corporate training program, check out Adobe Captivate Prime.  You can create discussion boards for your learners, and Prime’s built-in editing tool allows them to create and share videos, audio, and much more.  Here’s a demo of Prime’s social learning features.  And here’s a recent webinar I presented on ways to engage learners without breaking the bank.

Connect with the author on Twitter or LinkedIn, and follow me on Adobe’s eLearning blog.


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Importance of social learning in empowering collaborative learning at workplace

Social learning has been the eLearning buzzword for the couple of years where collaboration, engagement, personalization, efficiency is the reason for smooth and successful continuation. Learning can be achieved from-and-with anything, via on-job experience by collaborating with employees, interaction with peers or colleagues or from formal training itself. Here, this Article outlines- What is Social…

Project-based Learning and Captivate


In this series I try to report some of my experiences with Adobe Captivate while searching for better learning results and experiences both in live training and online training. The guidelines which I always keep in mind are described in this post. View on Training.

In Flipped Classes with  Captivate I described how I used the application for students in software training.  This typical method was used not only for live classes, but also to provide better learning assets to students combining working with self-study.  That already lead to some positive results regarding my guidelines: more engagement, students has to take responsibility for his/her learning, time in class was dedicated to problem-solving and working on individual projects… However I was not completely satisfies because real peer learning didn’t succeed well, collaboration was not encouraged and is very important in their future jobs (either in real estate or in construction companies).  I tried out a new method, project-based learning in group?. Lot of responsibility was given to the student groups.  You will read about the setup in this article. It wouldn’t have been possible without my favorite tool, Adobe Captivate and the LMS to post the eLearning courses and be able to follow up. Although… Twitter became a very important tool as well.

Project Setup

Goal of the Project

Without going into technical details, it was a project linked to management of construction sites. In the ‘virtual’ building company they were pretending to work for, a good preparation workflow has been established for:

  1. Budgets for all costs: using a dedicated cost price calculation application
  2. Time management: using MS Project, and based on price data from the first application

That workflow had been mastered by the students in a previous semester, both theoretically and with the applications. Students were linked each to a building company in a sort of internship (one day a week and some full weeks) where they had access to a mentor and some data.

The ‘virtual’ building company wanted to proceed to the setup of the Follow up workflows, both for budgets and time management, using the same software. Students would prepare those new workflows. To have concrete data to work on, students were provided with a real project, its plans, budgets and time management results.

Groups – Schedule

The group of 9-12 students had 3 weeks for this project. They were allocated a group room with equipment on the campus, which was open from 7am till 10pm.  They had to schedule their tasks, starting with the creation of three subgroups, for each of the three main topics:

  1. Acquiring data from the construction site, structuring those data for use by the other subgroups:
  2. Follow up of budgets, based on data from the first subgroup and proposing ‘cures’ when necessary
  3. Follow up of time management, based on data from the first subgroup and proposing ‘cures’ when necessary

Full group was required to spend a minimum of 20 hours/week on the campus. They had to create an enter a weekly schedule on Friday. Subgroups had to explore provided assets (most of them Captivate courses), and find supplementary information. In the week meeting on Friday each subgroup presented the results of their work to the other students. It was their job to define part of the final (individual) assessment, which had to be known by all students in the group. That meant peer teaching as well, which is the most efficient way of learning for the teaching students.

Collaboration was not only needed within the subgroups, but also between the groups since their tasks depended on the way the other subgroups were realizing their tasks. Just one example: first group had to know exactly which data were used for group 2 and 3, and what the best way was to offer them those data.

Assets and Support

Except for an introductory presentation, followed by questions and discussion, and available as Captivate course, all assets were provided on the LMS: lot of software training and assessment simulations for the applications, eLearning courses for the theoretical backgrounds, some pdf’s and several links to interesting websites, etc.

Discussion groups were created on the LMS. However I also created one specific hashtag to be used on Twitter (and a Captivate courses explaining how to use Twitter and Tweetdeck). I guaranteed them an answer on the discussion forums within 12 hours, but on Twitter within one hour (during daylight) if it were urgent questions.  Trying to get answers by personal email was discouraged. Twitter had most success, as you can suspect.Good for me, easier to check shorter question where they had to reflect on making it concise.

I was present on the campus for some hours a day. They could invite me for a meeting, but didn’t have to do so. Normally they were totally responsible and independent (age 21-24).


Group projects like this often have one big problem: lazy participants who will leave work to the rest of the group. Group needed to keep track of the presence of the members, up to them if they wanted to contact me in case of problems.

However the final assessment would be based only for a small part on the result of the group work. Final assessment consisted of:

  • Individual logbook (based on an Excel template) where they tracked their activities daily, and reflected on ‘what did I learn’? Checked each logbook individually with each student.
  • Participation on Twitter or on the discussion forums
  • Formal individual assessment about the content to be known by students. Part of this content (background, theory) was defined by me), part by the different subgroups about their topic.
  • Individual assessment for each subgroup about their more specialized extra content.

Coach conclusion

What was my experience?  After some hesitation, the big majority of the students got addicted to their work! Instead of spending the minimum of 20 hours per week, most of them spent 40-60 hours in group.  You should have ‘heard’ and seen their discussions, the way they managed the ‘lazy’ students. I only very rarely had to pop in to help them out with conflicts.

Being able to define part of the content to be subject to assessment was totally new. Some more ‘traditional minded’ students were bit concerned because not every students would know everything. I explained that that is simply impossible, and also unnecessary with companies needing more good functional team work. Understanding the basics when other team members explain their needs is a lot more important.

In my mind this project was more meant to uplevel the learning skills of all students, more than having remember them tons of information for a limited time.  They could be in a subgroup of their choice and focus on the main topics of that subgroup. Learning in-depth is too much neglected, and have to teach their peers about their specialty pushes them at practicing their communication skills as well.

Thanks to Captivate this has been made possible, one of the most rewarding experiments I introduced in college. By coincidence we got a press team visiting the department when these project weeks were going on. I remember the question of one of the journalist, looking at a group room. Students were presenting their results to the other subgroups and they were discussing.  “Where is the professor? Cannot see him’ (I was only head of department, and had to accompany the press)).  Imagine my answer… he was impressed.

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