Mobile Learning is not E-Learning on the Mobile…

learn

The other day, I found myself sitting across the learning manager of a large pharmaceutical company. He was faced with a daunting task – training his company’s medical reps, and if there’s one thing we all know about medical reps it is that they are always on the move. 2,000 medical reps running around the entire western zone are not a pleasant lot to get together in a room for training.

E-learning had naturally been the top suggestion internally, and our creds were impressive enough for him to ask for my suggestions on the matter. I hesitated for a bit (It was a sitter of a large deal if we just churned out the e-learning they wanted) and then suggested that a possible potent solution for the problem could be mobile learning. What surprised me though was the response I received…

“Well, we are planning to build a robust e-learning course with a specific focus on product knowledge and to host it on our internal LMS. I think it has a mobile interface as well. Won’t that be enough?”

For those of you who think that the solution is viable, do consider the difference between e-learning and mobile learning before any implementation.

  • For starters, the purpose of e-learning is to provide in-depth knowledge on a subject, while that of mobile learning (m-learning) is to support an on-going learning process where the learner needs quick access to information, usually on the go.
  • M-learning is designed for smartphones and tablets with each screen having not more than 1 idea, while e-learning is designed for consumption on a large screen that has the space for complex and detailed information.
  • Lastly, m-learning is designed to be completed in 3 – 10 minute bursts, while e-learning requires the learner to go through each module with an average duration of 20 – 30 minutes.

I explicitly stated these differences to the manager, and not surprisingly, he took the point. Now, convincing his company is another matter, but he seemed up to the task. Whether the deal goes through or not finally, I am inclined to believe that it is better to do it right or not at all. Everybody should know that mobile learning requires expertise and specificity of thought and design. It is not simply e-learning on the mobile. It is not.

incite microlearning framework

7 things to check before implementing a micro-learning system in your organisation

elearning-checklist

Implementing a learning system for any organisation is not an easy task. It requires deep analysis of the organisation’s requirements, resources and estimation of the future needs as well.

The key to a proper implementation of any learning system is identifying the constraints and defining the specifications for the system. This study, known as the ‘Detailed Constraint Analysis’, helps in identifying the constraints which might create a roadblock during the actual implementation. (Download this INCITE Micro-learning Framework to find out more about Detailed Constraint Analysis)

Here are the 7 recommended parameters one must check to ensure that the implementation specifications are comprehensive:

1. Device Constraints – These constraints pertain to whether the micro-learning is being built for the mobile or the desktop or both. Based on the answer to this question, constraints with respect to operating systems, screen orientation and sizing, app vs. web, etc. need to be further analyzed.

2. Security Constraints – These constraints pertain to the data and access security concerns of the organization. These can range from basic questions like whether the learning is to be accessible only inside the office to more complex issues like remote wiping of learning data on exits, etc.

3. Bandwidth Constraints – These constraints pertain to the network bandwidth available for the learning system. These constraints are typically derived from surrogate analysis of geographical dispersion and network capabilities of the devices on which the learning is to be deployed.

4. Org Structure Constraints – These pertain to the team structures within the company and non-hierarchical structures (like Leadership Group, Committees, etc.) that might be present. The main aspect to analyze is the likelihood and extent of overlap between multiple micro-learning systems for a learner who might belong to multiple cohorts.

5. Engagement Level Constraints – A lot of organizations seek to tread cautiously on the extent of engagement they would like to implement. The interaction level of the micro-learning has to be kept on the fine line which creates motivation without creating obsession which hampers work.

6. Learner Psychology Constraints – Depending on the organizational DNA and employee profiles, it is critical to understand the needs and attitudes of the learner groups and design the system accordingly. In this section, it is also critical to assess how learners might try to “game the system”.

7. Learning Objective Constraints – Ultimately, it all comes down to the learning objectives that you want to drive through the system. Depending on the objectives you want to achieve, you will need to make trade-offs on engagement, length, seriousness, etc.

Document the above constraints and your Learning System Specifications are ready! Now you can move on to the next stage – Designing the micro-learning system. (How to design a micro-learning system for your organisation in 6 easy steps)

incite microlearning framework

5 reasons why micro-learning is perfect for today’s workforce

why microlearning is best for workplace training

Do you know that the attention span of an average human is shorter than a goldfish? (Source: Microsoft Canada, 2015). A goldfish can focus for nine seconds; people are down to a mere eight seconds.

So, the million-dollar question is – how do you design learning which caters to such a short attention span and ensure that it is effective as well?

Micro-learning is the way out!

Micro-learning deals with relatively small learning units and short-term-focused activities (Hug, 2005). In the e-learning context, it refers to a learner’s short interaction with learning matter broken down to very small bits of content.

Here are 5 reasons why micro-learning is perfect for today’s mobile-oriented workforce.

  1. Easy on memory: Learners are routinely overburdened by unfocused, information-heavy content. Micro-learning reduces cognitive load, making it easier for learners to process.
  2. Low on space: Since micro-learning takes up less digital space, you can avoid digital real estate issues that come with storing and displaying media files – especially on mobile devices.
  3. More focused: Micro-learning is more focused in scope, making it easier for a learner to tie what they learn directly to specific on-the-job actions.
  4. Cost-effective: Short content is cheaper and faster to produce and update, so you can continually test and experiment, even on the tightest budgets.
  5. Learning throughout the day: Micro-learning forces us to consider the small learning moments and opportunities that happen continuously throughout an employee’s day.

If you could think of more reasons, share with me in the comments below!

 

incite microlearning framework

7 key elements of an engaging learning flow

learning flow

Learning is a process, not an event, which makes the planning of the journey through the process, a critical part of learning design. The navigation of learning flows is fundamental to the success of any micro-learning implementation.

So, before we find out about the key elements, let us understand what is a ‘Learning Flow’.

A Learning Flow is a continuous steady stream of social micro-learning activities – accessible from the web and mobile devices. (Hart, 2014)

Now, let’s look at each of the elements of the above sentence, that describe a Learning Flow.

  • continuous – that are ongoing (i.e. no end date)
  • steady – that are daily (or probably more likely, weekly)
  • micro-learning – that are short – i.e. taking no longer than 15-20 minutes to undertake
  • activities – that involve reading (watching or listening to) something and doing something
  • social – that invite and encourage active participation and contribution
  • stream – that are organized and structured in the Flow in weekly themes
  • accessible from web and mobile devices – that ensure that learning takes place anywhere and at anytime

Make sure you keep these in mind while designing micro-learning solutions for your organisation. (How to design a micro-learning system for your organization in 6 easy steps)

microlearning-learning-flow

How to design a micro-learning system for your organisation in 6 easy steps

design-micro-learning

Designing a learning system for any organisation is a critical task. It’s not easy, given the fact that one has to consider the various departments in an organisation and understand their training requirements. Not to forget, coordinating and collaborating with different entities like Learning Consultant, Human Resources, IT and so on. One often gets confused on where to begin.

The good news is, once you finish reading this article, you will know exactly how to start and where to start.

Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting … The INCITE Micro-learning Framework – a step-by-step framework to help you design a Micro-Learning system for any organisation’s training need.

I am going to write down a brief synopsis of this framework which should be enough to help you get started. (Download the full whitepaper here)

Step 1 – Implementation

Understanding the objective of the micro-learning system

The first pillar of this framework is to discover the ask from the micro-learning management system and establish the constraints around organizational processes, technology and learner psychology. This will ensure that you stay focused throughout the process and will help you in your decision-making process.

Step 2 – Navigation

Establishing the flow of the learning content

Depending on the objective, the flow of the learning has to be established next. An established concept in Formal Learning design, creating a learning flow is akin to establishing curriculum and lesson plans for a course. In simple words, how do you want your learner to access your content. Should all the topics be accessible at the same time as a library? Or one needs to go through all topics in a particular sequence?

Step 3 – Content

Creation of micro-learning content

Micro-learning content is very distinct from regular e-learning content. It is driven by criticality of information, which in turn drives size and form of the content. Ensure that the content is developed keeping in mind that it is for a micro-learning system. (Read more: How to design micro-learning content in 4 easy steps)

Step 4 – Interactivity

Deciding on the interactive elements in the course

A learning system targeted towards the modern learner has to engage first and explain quickly. This makes it essential to embrace a participative pedagogy delivered through interactivity. Decide on the level of interactivity and the elements which would go well with your learners. It could be a quiz, or a video, or a game.

Step 5 – Testing

Deciding on the assessment criteria for the learner

The modern learner has typically grown up in a very connected social context, with high doses of competition and a healthy dose of skepticism towards authority. Modern testing methodologies have to account for these attitudes. The usual ones like online quizzes might not work here. Try exploring options like games or simulations. These are more engaging and effective.

Step 6 – Effectiveness

Measuring the learning outcome

Of all organizational processes, learning is perhaps the least measurable, reducing the focus and importance of this function in spite of its criticality for the organization. Measurement of learning effectiveness is critical to the success of any learning system.

That’s it! You are ready.

In case you want to know more about The INCITE Micro-learning Framework, you can download the complete whitepaper here – http://goo.gl/47iWZn

Also, if you need help in setting up a micro-learning system for your organisation, feel free to get in touch with me at deepak@quodeck.com.

How Brands Use Gamification To Boost Their Marketing Efforts

How Brands Use Gamification To Boost Their Marketing Efforts There’s one thing which is troubling the marketers all over the world – over exposure of traditional marketing. Fortunately, marketers have recognized this problem and they are looking at alternate innovative solutions for their marketing requirements. In such a scenario, the concept of Gamification has started creating ripples across the corporate world.

Gamification is an extremely powerful tool if used the right way. A lot of industry giants have attempted and succeeded in executing gamified marketing strategies. Below is a collection of the some of the best cases where brands have used gamification effectively to boost their marketing initiatives.

Campaign: My Coke Rewards

Coca-Cola was awarded ‘The Best Use of Gamification 2014’ for its marketing campaign ‘My Coke Rewards’. It’s a customer loyalty program which runs on the concept of rewarding loyal users of the brand. Customers are encouraged to enter codes found on specially marked Coca-Cola products, on a website where they can convert these codes into redeemable points. These points make the users eligible for a variety of prizes.

Campaign: Happiness Quest

Another example of Coca-Cola’s gamified strategy is its ‘Happiness’ campaign. As a part of this campaign, Coca-Cola personified the activity of using vending machines in Japan. With the help of QR codes, each customer is allotted a single machine referred as ‘My Machine’. Users are awarded points on the basis of the number of check-ins and interactions with the vending machine.

Campaign: Nike Plus

In 2012, Nike launched Nike Plus – an application that allows users to track and share their workout statistics; and earn ‘NikeFuel Points’ in return. NikeFuel is a unique way of measuring all kinds of activities. The campaign has been an instant hit, leading Nike to gain a pre-dominant hold over its market.

Campaign: StarPlayer

Heineken was the official sponsor of the Champions League. It launched a gaming app – StarPlayer to boost user engagement during the match. This app allowed users to share their predictions during critical match moments by downloading the Heineken app. They were awarded points on correct answers.

I guess these are enough to give you an idea about how gamification works. In case you have more such brand cases to share, do respond in the comments box below!

Decoding Cloud Based Authoring Tools For E-learning

Here’s a simple infographic explaining Cloud Based Authoring Tools and its benefits.

Cloud based authoring tools infographics

I haven’t mentioned all the tools out there. So, in case you know a particularly useful one, do mention in the comments below.

Note: Please feel free to use this infographic for any personal or commercial purpose.

How To Make Your Training Unique And Memorable

How To Make Your Training Unique And Memorable

Source: Kungfu Panda (The Movie)

Training is an integral part of employee development, but it is often frowned upon. Employees generally tend to find these sessions repetitive and boring. This negativity associated with training can be frustrating for both – the Trainer and the Trainee. So, what can be done to change this and make your employees look forward to your training sessions? Let’s find out!

1. Market Your Training

We live in an age where you need to market everything. Sadly, most trainers do not realize this. Therefore, it is necessary to build excitement around your training campaign so that people wait impatiently for the training day. Send out teaser emails using tools like Mailchimp to create hype around your session. These emails can also act as reminders for registration and RSVPs. You can go a step ahead and make this more interesting by launching a few video trailers before the training. Try Powtoon for this. It’s a wonderful tool which allows you to create marketing videos in a couple of minutes.

2. The First Impression

Start your training with a bang. Do not let your marketing efforts go waste by having a mediocre start to the session. Exploit the beginning of the session by doing something interesting to captivate your audience. It could be an inspirational video, an ice-breaker or a game. Keep trying out different things to sustain the excitement.

3. A Different Approach

Rather than going for the usual and mundane way of conducting training, use personal experiences or a storytelling approach to engage your audience. Building a story around the training topic will generate curiosity in the learner’s mind and personalize the overall experience. Know more: 4 tips to make elearning content better using a story telling approach

4. Gamify The Session

Gamification is a unique and sure-short way of making training sessions productive. It should be designed in such a way that the learning objectives are aligned with the game. Use simple techniques like Leaderboard or Rewards or Bonus points to encourage the learners. This will motivate your employees to perform better. Companies like Deloitte and Cognizant have been successfully implementing gamification for their training and development needs. Know more: 8 reasons to use serious games for training 

5. Make Your Courses Interactive

Since you will be using technology for your session, take care to use the correct interactive elements. Your learners should have fun during the session but ultimately the learning objective should be fulfilled. Integrate elements like push-buttons in assessments and voice-overs during the training. Try out tools like Amplayfier, Articulate Storyline, Powtoon, etc to make your courses interactive. Know more: Key elements of an interactive elearning course

6. Feedback and After-movie

Do not forget to take feedback post the session. Try to find out in what manner the training session helped out and if there are any recommendations for the future. You could even make an after-movie of the training session. After-movie is a trending concept used to market events, seminars, conferences, etc. It is basically a short video capturing moments from the start to the end of the training. You may add a couple of interviews from the audience in the end. It is a great way of showcasing the impact of the training and making people look forward to such sessions.

I guess that’s it! You have any more tips? Do share in the comments below!

5 Key Benefits That Gamification Brings To Your Business

5 Key Benefits That Gamification Brings To Your Business

Gamification is no longer just a buzzword. It has found some real and interesting applications in the domains of learning, marketing, personality development, data analytics and so on. The right implementation of this concept can generate powerful results and do wonders for your business.

Here are the 5 key benefits that Gamification will bring to your business.

1. Making the mundane interesting

The game-based interactive elements add thrill and fun to the otherwise mundane processes. Whether the task is about conducting a survey or employee training, gamification makes the process more interesting as the knowledge is supplied non-intrusively, thereby yielding better results.

2. Sustainability

Using Gamification in your company is a strategy for sustainability. The games are re-playable and are built using real-life scenarios. They can be played again and again for performance improvement without incurring additional costs on the company.

3. Real-time analytics

A gamified campaign will allow you to target particular user groups of your interest and get real-time feedback. You can analyze the user behavior and draw inferences. Such feedback is a powerful contributor in designing your business’ future strategies.

4. Self-motivated work force

These games are built with features like leaderboard, award system, etc that reward the employees on their accomplishments. This keeps each employee self-motivated and self-aware about his/her performance.

5. High productivity and ROI

These games can be customized to align with your business objectives. Gamification’s unique features directly link the company’s objectives to the employee performance, thereby increasing the overall productivity. Any initial investment made to include game-based learning in your business is easily replenished along with a high ROI.

I guess that’s all! If you think of any more, please share with me!

Gamification in the Corporate Sector (Part 2)

This is the second and the last article from the series ‘Gamification in the Corporate Sector’. In case, you haven’t checked out the first one, here it is.

Gamification in the corporate sectorNote: Please feel free to use this infographic for any personal or commercial purpose.