best practices

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

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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 QuoDeck, 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!

Things To Cross-Check Before Launching Your E-Learning Course

Vehicle_Inspection

Designing an e-learning course is a comprehensive task. After spending diligent hours working on your course, there would be nothing worse than encountering errors post the launch of your course. More importantly, the USP of an e-learning course is that it is learner-centric.  It would dilute the whole point of the course if the learner is unable to understand the content due to crude finishing. Below is a check-list that will help you to have an error-free course launch.

1. Make sure the content fulfills the course objective

The first and the foremost priority of any course developer is that the course should fulfill the learning objective. Have clear learning goals & outcomes and make sure that every element of the content reflects it.

– Incorporate real-life and practical aspects to the content. The learner should be able to relate to them effortlessly.

– Give links to external resources that you may have used in the course

Chunking is an effective & popular tool in e-learning. Chunk your content into groups using bulleted lists & highlighted key phrases that will allow the learner to process & retain the information effectively. If necessary, use videos or images to make the content interesting.

2. Break down the course into relevant and consumable blocks

Divide the course into modules. Make sure each module is complete and all the modules deliver the course cohesively. Provide an overview before each module to give the learner a gist of what is going to be covered. This could be a list or an introductory video by the Head of the Company or Department Head. Similarly, provide a summary and a short quiz at the end to test his learning.

If possible, have a marker or an indicator, like a bookmark, to show how much content has been covered. It will help the users to set a timeline for the course.

3. Be ruthless with editing

Once the course is ready, make sure you invest generous amount of time in its editing. A proper edit will eliminate repetitive points, grammar/spelling errors and ensure that there are no distorted images or multimedia.

4. Ensure that the course has a user-friendly interface

Your e-learning course should be easy to use with working links and buttons to guide the learner. The navigation should be simple and effortless. Using a narrator or mentor throughout the course would help here.

5. Make sure there are no brand/ trademark violations

There are 2 aspects to consider here. Firstly, you should work to make the course reflect the brand value of your company. Then importantly, take meticulous care that the course has zero trademark violations. Cross-check the font type, logo, colours, images, case studies/ examples used; and ensure that they are in sync with the brand guidelines. Trademark violations may even result in legal issues.

6. Test the course rigorously

An e-learning course is bound to have a lot of interactive elements like quizzes, videos and other multimedia. It will make the learner extremely disappointed if he is unable to access the information due to an unsupported browser or if he has to download other software to access the course. Have a through technical testing to confirm that it can run on multiple browsers & is mobile-friendly (if you plan to go that way). All links should be functional and the submission of forms/ quizzes should run smoothly without any technical delays.

7. Tests/ Assessments should serve the learning outcomes

Take care while drafting the assessments. The assessments should cover the entire course and should incorporate real-life problems and decision making scenarios. Also, make sure that the level of questions should not be too simple or too complex for the learner. Use tools to give them feedback on their performance. It will motivate them to do better.

I guess I have covered all the important points in this check list. Do let me know if I have missed any.

4 Tips To Make E-Learning Content Better Using A Story-Telling Approach

Designing an E-learning module is a work of art & diligence, precisely the reason why a regular power point presentation disguised as an online exported file fails to gain the learner’s attention. An easy way to convert a dull power point into a brilliant E-learning module is through the concept of storytelling. Here are 5 powerful tips to master the art:

1. Develop a script: Come up with a story for your content, and create life-like scenarios for it. This way, the learners will easily be able to relate to the content which will keep up their interest and inquisitiveness.

2. Use a conversational tone: Avoid the formal narrative style and opt for a conversational tone instead. It will keep the content simple, impactful and engaging. Case studies have proved that using a conversational tone in your narration increases results by 20%-40%.

3. Pick the right voice: Even a brilliant conversational script’s impact can be diminished by a robotic voice. Do not compromise on a professional narrator. A friendly and conversational voice will definitely add on to the learning experience.

4. Use Multi-media: Once you have the entire setting together, make the package more enticing by using multimedia. Bring out your creative streak and choose your images, videos from the wide range of multimedia options available online. Powtoon is one such tool for creating videos. Inculcating such media into your module is easier than ever as the online sites have a very user friendly interface. Another element that would heighten the experience would be games. Try amplayfier.com. It allows you to create your own learning games as easy as 1, 2, 3 …

I guess that should be enough to give you a head start. In case, you have any tips, do share with me.

Using Case Studies To Make Your Elearning Course More Engaging

There is a big difference between a course that is engaging, and a course that is well-documented.

You may create a comprehensive course with interactive branch scenarios and detailed explanation, but, if it is not relevant to the learner, than it will just confuse or worst case, frustrate her. Such a pattern may be good and easy to build, but it is only good enough to share information. It lacks in creating engagement and results in poor retention in the mind of the learner. Such courses are ‘well-documented’, but not engaging.

Engagement requires an emotional connection between the content and the learner. It goes beyond presenting interactive content; it is about designing truly motivating learning experiences.

The biggest challenge in creating an elearning course is engaging the learner, and there is a very simple solution for this – Case Studies

So here’s how you can use case studies to make your course engaging and interesting.

  • It is after all, a Story: Humans have used the art of story-telling as a mode of communicating ideas and knowledge since the Stone Age, and there is a reason behind it. We tend to remember a story better than just facts, and it provides a very practical, firsthand account of events that happened, and the appropriate solutions to them.
  • It is Simple: The simpler your story, the clearer is the message and the easier it is for the learner to remember and use it when required. If you stuff your course with extra details, your course will end up being a clutter of abstract information, making it tougher for both – you and the learner.
  • A Relevant Perspective: If you tell your story from the perspective of the customer, or anyone other than the learner, she will receive insights on the situation from a different perspective too. Also, this will raise the interest of the person enrolled in your course. Instead of telling the learner what they need to know, show them how not knowing affects others.

Even as a trainer, this makes things simpler for you as well.

Case studies need lesser time to build, and they rarely result in an information dump. Thus, you waste lesser time and energy, thinking and pondering over your course, and tweaking it time and again by introducing gimmicks to make it more engaging.

A case study is still mostly linear, but I see it as a first step in an iterative process of moving away from the boring click and read style. What is your take on this?