Category: eLearning

20 May 2022
Is informal training always to be preferred?

Is informal training always to be preferred due to a human-centric approach? 

Companies now understand the importance of informal training. It’s the best way of making humans learn. It’s because of the natural way of learning when you pick up skills yourself.

There are, however, many advantages and disadvantages of such a training process:

  • No tests: The foremost benefit of informal learning is that adults don’t like giving exams. When they undertake informal training, they are relieved from that burden. They are exhausted because of giving exams to prove their worth.
    Internships are excellent ways of making employees learn. The employees enjoy them because they are paired with mentors who coach them on a one-to-one basis. The best part is that informal training pays them, unlike formal training, where employees are not paid. These sessions don’t have a structure; hence employees can learn at an individual rate without adhering to a curriculum. Informal learning ensures that employees are supported by other personnel and even the organization when they are trying to learn.
  • Although informal learning does not contain any exams, one of its cons is that the employees can’t be tested for what they have learned.

    Hence the companies must include testing modules so that employees are at least aware of the compliance rules. The companies can ensure that employees don’t flout such rules intentionally or unintentionally, incurring losses with evaluation.

  • No need for an instructor: Informal training does not require a company’s dependence on an instructor, but still, some training materials are needed that the employees can consult. The employees can be given access to virtual resources that they can browse through to deepen their knowledge. The login credentials of this digital library can be provided to all employees to consult at any time required. This is where the problem with informal learning lies. Since the course is not structured, the employees don’t have any learning path handed over to them. They can go overboard with their learning and waste the company’s hours. Hence a company still needs to monitor such activities as formal learning.

The best part about compliance training is that the content is static in the formal training unless the company plans to change it all the time. But informal education can always be updated, which is beneficial for the company.

It’s simpler to add materials to informal training rather than formal training.

If a mentor is using social media to impart knowledge to the mentee, social media can be updated. Also, a mentor is always more aware of the industry’s current trends rather than some static material.

  • It’s spontaneous: Informal learning is useful when someone needs information just in time. Sometimes, a new employee can waste time looking for something that needs simple software instruction. It is a common problem for companies where databases are maintained for storing soft copies of files. Employees must know how to query through such databases to get a file. Also, although a senior employee might not feel particularly happy with sharing his information with a fresher, things have changed because cameras are installed in companies to monitor such behavior.

When informal training is imparted, the juniors can ask questions on the spot. It’s because they are working with software, and in the event of facing any trouble, they can immediately question the supervisor. This is not possible in the case of classroom training, where so many employees are present, so everyone can’t be attended to during the class itself.

But informal training also has another problem, i.e. it’s not all standardized. A mentor does not use a script to impart such training. Sometimes, the mentor is busy, due to which an intern is given a brief lecture. The mentor’s training also depends on his state of mind. So, all the interns get different knowledge about the company’s work procedures, and problems can ensue because they don’t adhere to compliance rules. The mentor might miss out on critical work procedures which have to be performed in a certain way to ensure compliance. Informal training is an excellent process for the mentors to answer the queries of mentees whose problems are not the same as others. Also, the understanding levels of employees are different, and they can’t always be clubbed together without making the fast learners bored. When a formal training session takes place after an informal event, learners are already equipped with a lot of knowledge.

What’s the best solution for a company: formal or informal training

Companies need to recognize the importance of informal training. The senior employees have developed some work-related specializations which they can only share. Such events in the handling of which they have developed a competency need to be integrated into the training material, but it’s not always possible.

Hence Soufflearning is an important technique for companies where employees are paired with mentors during their first few workdays. The new employees don’t have to wait for an event to happen to learn what’s to be done after making a big mistake. Learning through experience is not always the best possible solution, especially when mistakes are costly.

17 May 2022
How must a VR training vendor be selected?

How must a VR training vendor be selected?  

VR training is getting popular day by day due to its impact on changing the entire education scenario in the corporate world.

This technology is nowadays used to provide the most advanced training to the employees, including taking them to VR-based simulations where they learn the crucial skills from their offices. The initial VR training video should be short, which can then be followed by longer videos. Retention is better when the 1st video is short, leading to better involvement with the second video, which is more complex.

But there should be certain precautions exercised by a company before hiring a VR training vendor because it costs so much money.

The companies should also check the portfolio of the vendors to see that they have the right graphic designers with them because they can create realistic images. The clients can also ask for a sample before proceeding. It can be a VR video of 2-3 minutes only.

Moreover, any VR training vendor must know the compliance laws. He cannot create training modules based on it without knowing about such stuff.

These are the categories in which a vendor should be tested before providing his services to a company:

  • VR knowledge:
  • The vendors should be checked for their knowledge of this domain. Virtual reality vendors must have a portfolio through which the interested clients get a complete idea about what the former is capable of. Virtual reality technology is evolving, and the vendors need to ensure that it can produce such effects.

    Virtual reality will soon amalgamate artificial intelligence so that the user will be taken to a world he has seen before.

    Also, the headset will be more powerful with an 8K processor, allowing it to show better images to the user. These processors will produce better images for the user because they will recreate the current 4K content and then use upscaling algorithms to produce pictures with less burring. This artificial intelligence will be used to assess images stored in the database of the VR hardware.

    For example, motion sickness can be caused by people wearing a virtual reality headset because they get introduced to a unique environment. There is also a problem with such technology known as clipping. Some solid objects are also shown properly in the virtual world, and the user thinks he can pass through them. There are also other developments in this field about which a vendor must have thorough information. The VR training vendor must ensure that his output does not have such problems.

  • Adherence to the deadline:
  • Virtual reality is a crucial part of any company’s training calendar, but it needs to be delivered on time by the vendor. So, he must be informed in advance about the deadline. When he is not, problems can arise because the company can’t launch the necessary training in time. It can cause losses for the company because the employees will not be informed about the new compliance rules. The VR training vendors must ensure that if any changes happen in preparing such content, which can set the clock behind schedule, they inform the client.

  • Creativity:
  • Virtual reality vendors must also have creativity in their team because they can work wonders through it. They must be able to create fictional scenarios and avatars based on real-world situations. Apart from having a flair for storytelling, their storyboards must also serve the purpose of training the users.

The company can also help the VR training vendor in preparing a storyboard. They can give a specific job duty to the vendor and provide him with something specific to concentrate on. Asking the VR training vendor to create a storyboard for a particular job situation is easier than asking them to cover the complete job description in a single VR training video.

For example, we might be required to cover multiple job tasks as part of our role but focusing on one task in one video provides detailed coverage for the learner. Such videos encourage the learner and get better retention because you cannot expect them to learn everything at once.

The managers and employees from your company will narrate their experiences to ensure that the vendors produce relatable storyboards. Sometimes the vendor might not know your niche, but still, he can create something of your domain. So, his portfolio is only an indicator of his technical skills, not his acumen. Hence taking a sample is necessary to evaluate the combined intellect of his team.

Hence, it is important to assess the skills of VR training vendors to ensure whether they can create an entertaining virtual reality experience for your employees.

When a company is outsourcing its work, the vendor is given a huge responsibility. The company’s managers risk a lot because they must be answerable about the budget. Hence, they should look for someone who can implement their ideas within a budget and has ample experience.

The vendor can also answer other crucial questions as to whether a company needs an XRS because it can be integrated with the headset to record the training activities of the user. An XRS (extended reality software) is software that has separate costs from the headset.

It helps the organization track the key indicators of a user’s performance on a virtual reality system, and all the data is delivered to the dashboard. Since it captures individual user data, new XRS software is needed for each user.

Such software is installed in the headset of each user and can send all the data to the PC of the VR training administrator.

The VR training vendor team can help you procure the headsets and the XRS software. He knows which headset is more compatible with your developed courseware. For example, courseware with better resolution graphics needs a headset with wires (tethered headset) and not a non-tethered headset.

Hence keeping these considerations in mind a company should select a VR training vendor.

16 May 2022
Why is hybrid training useful in offices?

Why is hybrid training useful in offices after the pandemic?

Hybrid training has become a feasible solution for companies ever since the Covid-19 pandemic became a reality. The employees shifted to the work-from-home mode and didn’t want to rejoin offices. The Hybrid Training concept means providing training to all the employees, including online means for those working from home and offline to those working from the office.

Hybrid training is useful because it addresses all the employees at the same time.

But is holding a hybrid training event always essential? The situations in which such an event must be held are the following:

  1. Crucial event

Sometimes, an important situation has arisen in the office due to which all the employees need to be informed about. In that case, hybrid training becomes crucial. Apart from that, when some employees work from home, they are not aware of the latest product developments. In that case, remote employees must be brought online to get an introduction to a new product. Sometimes, a special speaker is also called to the office to discuss his industry experience. All the employees need to be gathered together for a hybrid training scenario. Such a scenario ensures that the remote workers also can interact with such speakers, which are only called on exclusive occasions to the office.

  1. Anyone should not feel left out

When meetings are held in the hybrid training model, it’s advantageous for the team because remote workers get to see their office colleagues; this helps in culture building because they learn about other people’s ways of working. Such hybrid training sessions ensure that remote workers who often feel isolated because they are not attending offices don’t feel that way anymore. Since important discussions occur before them in the office, they feel included and don’t suffer from FOMO, leading them to quit.

They might feel that the office workers are being given undue attention because they are included in decision-making. But hybrid training events ensure that such things don’t happen.

  1. Product launch

Sometimes such training is the only option for companies when introducing new products. And all the employees have to be contacted at once to get information about the product. When remote employees are excluded from such training sessions, it can affect the product launch, which is detrimental for the company, given the competition.

For example, sometimes, the sales professionals working remotely and from the office have to be given sales training simultaneously; otherwise, the sales process gets delayed.

In hybrid training, the companies have the advantage that someone present from the office has a good attention span. But what about those attending the meeting online, who could be checking their phone every time. They might have turned their camera off and not listened to anything in the meeting.

Training material is the crux of such a training event

Hence, the most important concern in a hybrid training environment is the training material, which has to be designed properly. The remote participants must feel that the content is as per their needs. If the company does not design the environment in such a way, the whole idea of hybrid training can backfire. The hybrid training must be intentional and can’t be organic because it might not deliver the required results.

The hybrid training presentation must be recorded pragmatically because the remote workers must find the webinar interesting. There must also be PDFs shown in the videos and slide decks that can excite the participants. There can also be ebooks that can be given to the participants so that they have gone through them before attending the class.

Encourage employees to attend such training

The organizations have to make sure that the certifications are also awarded because they give motivation to the participants.

But for that, a tech-based platform has to be used so that there is no extra work for the HR team to keep track of participants who have to be issued certificates. If such software is not given to the HRs, their workload can be increased immensely because of the maintenance of spreadsheets for recording participants.

Organizations have to consider their work culture because presenteeism is not the only matter of importance now. The companies have to see whether the employees are meeting the goals regardless of how much overtime they put in. If an employee cannot deliver the required output, his efforts can’t be rewarded.

Hence this is how hybrid training must be conducted.

12 May 2022
How is gamification necessary in the corporate world for preventing obesity?

How is gamification necessary in the corporate world for preventing obesity?

Online education is taking economies forward now because it helps people learn in the fastest way.

In companies, gamification has become a critical need now to prevent obesity.

There is a lot of use of such education in imparting healthcare knowledge. Ways of taking care of their health can be imparted to people so that they can prevent themselves from adverse health conditions like obesity. It’s important for the working professionals of today that they follow a healthy work-life balance which involves making judicious use of time. The professionals can be taught to step from their seats after every 10 minutes so that they can get some kind of workout.

Benefits of such apps for employees:

    • Better health:

When employees are encouraged to exercise regularly because wearables count their steps and they are given such targets through game-based apps, their possibility of taking sick leaves decreases. Such gamification makes sure everyone starts paying more attention to health because at the end of the day they can compare their score with each other like how many calories lost per day. Such apps can ensure that employees devote at least half an hour to some light cardio activity especially those with chronic diseases such as anxiety and depression.

They can also conduct meetings to include activities like walking while addressing their teammates. They also become productive due to robust lifestyles and getting confidence due to better physical appearance. Providing employees with such apps can be a part of the company wellness program.

  • Fixed schedules:

Healthcare is a crucial aspect of our lifestyles these days because a lot of work happens from home which has led to more sedentary work practices. When employees get gamified apps they can keep a tab on what they eat too. With gamification fitness, related goals are set for employees who start altering their schedules and with time, enhance their efforts in that direction.

Gamification can make sure that online education for health becomes easy for professionals. They don’t have to set timers on their phones to remind them to take some steps down a staircase after brief intervals. Apart from making adults adhere to fitness routines, online education and gamification ensure that those with chronic health conditions also take care of their lifestyle and follow the prescribed medication schedule. Gamification adds more fun to the task of following a healthy lifestyle because it sends a notification when it’s time to sleep, how many glasses of water to drink per day etc.

With gamification, a lot of pressure is relieved on medical health practitioners. The employees can also book appointments through them which it becomes easier for doctors’ assistants also. Such games have a record of the medical data of all the patients which can also be referred by doctors when required. Employers get a lot of benefits when employees are trained through gamification. It’s because employees are not wasting their time on medication due to obesity-related diseases.

Gamification apps can reduce employee insurance costs

It has been found that employees who are obese are more prone to diseases such as psychosocial stress due to workplace exposure. Companies should also consider that apart from modifying the eating and exercise-related behavior of employees through gamification, it’s also crucial to prevent the consumption of harmful substances such as alcohol, and smoking to prevent obesity. Overweight people can also develop diseases such as musculoskeletal ailments such as cervical.

They also have lower chances of recovery from any injuries caused at the workplace and it is costlier than individuals who have average weight.

According to research done by Gallop and Duke University Medical Center, the employees who are obese have a higher chance of suffering from workplace injuries by 25%. As a result, their chances of being absent from the workplace and filing medical claims are also high. When an employee is obese, this has direct repercussions for the employer. It’s because he pays for the workers’ compensation insurance which is a certain percentage of the total compensation.

How are obese employees more prone to accidents and illnesses?

When an employee is absent from work due to some illness they are paid for their lost income through this insurance. Also, if an employee can’t work due to some accident at the workplace they have to be paid through this insurance fund for hospitalization charges.

If an employee develops a disability due to which he has to abstain from work even temporarily, the employer has to pay him compensation for a specified period. It’s a portion of the weekly earnings of the worker.

Therefore, an employer should make sure that employees don’t become obese which makes them prone to workplace accidents and illnesses. Hence an employer must make sure that he provides healthcare-based gamification apps to employees so that they are fit and don’t fall prey to obesity-related diseases.

11 May 2022
How can businesses ensure psychological safety for elearning companies?

How can businesses encourage psychological safety for elearning companies?

Elearning companies are now supplying the aptest solutions to businesses. But there are many things that a business must take care of to get the best output from them.

The buyers must take care of the psychological safety of the elearning companies. Managers must make sure that the elearning company can take risks without having to get a backlash about it. When they are given the freedom to take risks, the elearning company can deliver more excellent solutions because it’s free for experimentation.

The vendors must be considered credible because they have experience. Also, without the clients’ trust, the elearning companies can’t proceed. They have to adapt continuously to provide the best solutions to clients because the training needs are changing rapidly.

So, the businesses must stay in continuous touch with the client to ensure that they can implement changes quickly. The vendors must not wait too long to get a business approval to introduce any new concept in the project.

When vendors are encouraged, they can be dynamic and provide amazing ideas to their clients, resulting in better execution of the projects. There can be a technology change even when the project is in the development phase, and hence there might be a need for a consultation with the client.

Suppose the elearning companies know that the business management is too conformist and not open to answering any questions that they can shy away from clarifying their doubts. Sometimes, they can’t understand a client’s needs and make ambiguous assumptions about the same, which can cost a client. A business needs to respect its elearning vendor and never doubt the intelligence of its team.

Sometimes, the budget can also exceed the limits because the client does not want to solve any doubts, leading to the elearning content being developed and redeveloped. Any elearning company can have important queries about the target demographics and would want to meet them in person too to develop an effective solution.

Hence, empathy is the most important aspect of the relationship between elearning companies and their vendors because a training solution can result in many positive repercussions for a business.

The businesses can ensure that there is psychological safety established for e-learning companies through the following steps:

  1. Encourage vendors
  2. There should be proper communication which includes a genuine response to the vendor’s problems. If you feel that the vendor is not suggesting something right, you must let him know, but politely so that he does not refrain from giving any ideas next time. Suppose the vendor is demotivated from giving any inputs. In that case, there will be no interaction between you and him during the time between the assignment of the project and its delivery.

    This could be a potential sign of danger for a business that the vendor is not willing to experiment because he is not feeling psychologically safe.

    Even if a business gets some not so favorable news from the vendor, it’s a good sign. It might be possible that the vendor is finding problems in creating a module and finds it better to come to you with this problem. If he does not communicate, you might not find the result to your satisfaction.

  3. Be open to being rejected
  4. The business should make sure that it’s receptive to new ideas and provides its suggestions, which can lead to a better end product. Since the senior managers are dealing with the target audience themselves, they know how to make training better for them, i.e. what kinds of games can be included. These managers are also in the best position to explain what kind of elearning content is needed to deliver the maximum impact in terms of the changed performance of employees.

  5. Two-way communication must be there

Vendors might be confused about the expectations of the client. So, the company should not hesitate to let the vendors know if the work-in-progress has some flaws. That’s why the company must be open to continuous feedback. With proper response from your end, they can deliver the end product which completely meets your needs. So, communication is the essence of getting an elearning project prepared that meets the mark.

Businesses can also ensure that they are open to criticism so that vendors can become more open to offering a correct judgment too. They must not be scared to criticize their clients when they know something is not executable in terms of technology.

Vendors need to be agile, and without two-way communication from the client’s side, it’s impossible. The deliverables have to be changed during the project execution only when there are changes in government policies or technology.

09 May 2022
What is self directed learning and how it can help?

What is self-directed learning, and how can it help? 

These days, companies are focusing so much on making employees feel valued in an organization. Making them get better at what they do by allowing self-directed learning is a part of such appreciation.

Self-directed learning can help companies give much-needed encouragement to employees. Employees have become more oriented towards their careers nowadays. There is a considerable difference between the employees of earlier generations and those of today. Generation Z prefers learning through its ways, which has intensified because it has so many sources.

It has smartphones that have Social Media and YouTube available for it to absorb information.

Self-directed learning makes sure that the company does not restrict the employees from completing their eLearning modules within a certain time. Self-directed learning also helps companies save money on supervising the learning activities like tracking the LMS activities of employees.

What is self-directed learning?

In broad terms, self-directed learning means a learning process in which people take the liberty themselves to evaluate what they need to learn and, hence, decide their objectives for the process.

Once they have decided on their goals, they evaluate what resources are available at their disposal, both human and nonhuman. Henceforth they create some learning methods and check whether they have learned enough.

Direct learning, where a teacher gives students instructions, is completely different from this concept, where students only consult teachers when they have problems.

In a hybrid workplace where remote employees can’t come to the office to attend lectures, self-directed learning is an important solution. The main goal behind self-directed learning is to boost the confidence of learners. They decide their learning topics without being forced by the organization.

Hence their levels of interest in this process are better. They also have to take responsibility for meeting their learning objectives because they choose the learning topics themselves. When learners don’t fail after learning something in a formal training environment, the L&D department is blamed for not choosing the right topics.

Self-directed learning also makes sure that employees don’t resign because they can’t keep up with the training schedules of the company.

In self-directed learning, learners have complete autonomy for upskilling or reskilling themselves. Once a company introduces a culture of self-directed learning, it should be ready to reap its benefits in the long run. Such learning improves the technical and communication skills of employees, but it also makes them ready to battle any change in technology through such learning. They embark on a road of self-discovery and self-reliance. Companies with such individuals can expect the latter to upgrade their skills whenever needed.

Also, individuals don’t like to attend classes like young children after a certain age, unlike in self-directed learning.

Its most important benefit is:

Reduced work for L&D: The L&D teams also benefit from such autonomy given to the learners because it saves their time in planning learning schedules for employees. Instead, they get feedback from learners about whether they need more resources to support their learning. If the employees need access to more experienced persons or books for self-directed learning, HR can arrange that.

But organizations also have to see to it that when they are guiding employees towards self-directed learning, certain elements are taken care of:

  • Proper learning technologies: The organization must have proper learning technologies like the LMS so that the employees can embark on these self-directed learning paths. Hence, the companies must ensure that the employees have access to the organizational library of resources, including senior managers. Discussion forums can be set up for communication between the inexperienced and the veterans in the workplace.

    Such resources include human beings and technical assets, such as simulations and animated videos offering instructions for different procedures. When employees have such resources, they can easily learn independently without requiring an instructor.

  • Raising a need for such learning: Apart from providing access to resources for self-directed learning, it’s also the organization’s job to see whether the employees feel a need for it. That’s why employees have to be given an idea of their knowledge gaps through scenarios with similar job roles as theirs. The employees should be given continuous feedback by employers on their performances rather than yearly or six-monthly feedback to understand their gaps. Learners could be given skill blocks developed by their seniors, but the level of the block to be mastered by them must depend on their tenure in the company.

A company has to understand that self-directed learning is so crucial in a company because everyone has a different learning path depending on their intended growth trajectory. Everyone cannot be taught through a homogeneous course that presents everyone with the same material.

Hence this is how an organization can excel at self-directed learning.

 

05 May 2022
Why is xAPI the future of learning analytics

Why is xAPI the future of learning analytics now?

Learning technology is advancing at full throttle now. The companies are indeed making the best use of innovations in elearning to get the maximum reach of employees.

XAPI(Experience API) helps a company collate data about an employee’s learning behavior.

The best part about experience API is that the data about the learning behavior of employees can be recorded from several devices such as mobile phones, games, and simulations instead of just an LMS. So even if an employee browsed a website on his Mobile phone, it gets into the record in an LRS (Learning Record Stores).

The XAPI technology is open source, and it can be downloaded from the internet, and any device can be empowered with it. So when a company has implemented xAPI, it does not have to depend on an LMS to track its learner’s activities. They can be tracked on a desktop PC or even a Gamification app, whatever software product on such devices supports xAPI.

The LRS works like a server and stores the xAPI data where the data related to the learning activity of an employee is stored. So every device which uses the xAPI technology sends all the activities of a learner to the LRS in the form of statements.

The LRS can not only store xAPI statements about an employee but can also be used to extract these statements by an xAPI device to learn about an employee’s learning preferences in terms of gadgets.

So once one system with xAPI has collected such data from LRS about an employee’s learning patterns, it can show something similar to him.

Difference between an LMS and an LRS

The LMS can track the learner’s formal learning activities, i.e., how much time he spends on this platform, but an LRS makes sure that whatever he does as a part of his learning is captured. So use an LRS to ensure that the user is shown relevant content on an LMS because all his non-LMS learning activities are tracked. All the learning activities on the LMS can be sent to an LRS to help the user with his informal learning activities. Hence LMS vendors are providing LRS inbuilt in such systems.

What kind of non-LMS learning activities can be monitored by the xAPI?

The XAPI data storage and retrieval requests to and from the LRS can come from three learning devices, including non-launched learning activities that don’t happen on the internet. For example, someone who reads a book can store the learning activity by using an app that allows one to scan its barcode.

The second kind of activity includes launched learning activities through intranet or social media where an LMS is not used for uploading elearning content; rather, it is shared via the former mediums.

The third learning platforms include elearning systems like mobile apps. xAPI data helps the content creators know what kind of learning content employees prefer. So, even an LMS can send the data retrieval requests to the LRS to know how users cope with elearning content published on the former platform.

Use of a bookmarklet

For example, an employee might Google something after going through them on an LMS because he might not be able to comprehend something or wants to learn further. In that case, his activities on the browser can also be tracked when a bookmarklet plugin is installed on his browser. All his browsing activities are communicated and stored on the LRS.

However, the user has to bookmark the websites he visited, which he found useful to boost his learning to get his informal learning experiences recorded in an LRS.

So, when the bookmarklet is attached to a browser, the user can send XAPI data about all his activities, like whether he opened a CRM or a social media platform, or an email program on the browser. Once enabled, the bookmarklet will allow the user to send actor, voice, and object statements about his activities, such as whether he finished reading an email.

So an organization knows what the user is doing as per his informal learning activities, and he can be encouraged. It also exposes the weaknesses of the formal training, i.e., elearning content or the technology used in its delivery.

Hence with an LRS, better ROI is provided to elearning buyers

With so many businesses now implementing elearning products for their employees and other stakeholders, they need relevant data about the utility. Hence elearning vendors need to provide more detailed data with SCORM. With XAPI, if a business has implemented an app, it can also get the learner’s usage data.

Once the businesses have detailed reports about how many learners interacted with the product, they feel satisfied. With xAPI enabling storage and retrieval of such learning data, creating such reports for buyers is feasible for elearning vendors.

Shortcomings of SCORM

  • Not accessible in offline mode: One shortcoming of SCORM is that you can’t track any learning data of the user when he is surfing the content of the LMS in an offline mode. In XAPI, regular connectivity with the LMS is not required; it can also be intermittent to store a user’s activities. When a connection is rebuilt, all his offline activities are transmitted to the LRS.
  • Not usable on mobile phones: A second shortcoming is that SCORM can’t be used to track the user’s activities on a mobile elearning app. This is a major problem for businesses whose employees use smartphones to learn a course.
  • Can’t report multiple test results: xAPI is more advanced than SCORM because when you have several quizzes in your elearning module, you want to see the user’s sores for every one of them. But SCORM can only report the scores for one quiz, which is quite a limitation for the elearning vendors and their clients.

Hence, xAPI is a better reporting technology than SCORM.

04 May 2022
Why should L&D activities consist of podcasts?

Why should L&D (Learning & Development) focus on podcasts? Are videos not enough?  

The L&D industry is getting revolutionized now. Employees are getting incentivized in every way to receive training with pleasure.

Podcasts are prerecorded audios, and many people find them a better way to increase their knowledge base without straining their eyes. Moreover, many important guests can become a part of such a podcast, and apart from listening to the host, you can also get their opinions on a topic.

Podcasts can be a useful resource for a company when its employees are coming back from work because instead of listening to a music channel in the car, they can listen to a podcast. Bluetooth enabled headphones have been invented, and you can easily listen to podcasts while driving the car.

But all knowledge cannot be delivered when it is a podcast because the listener might have questions they cannot ask. They must email the L&D personnel to ask such questions. But there is also an advantage that such podcasts are prerecorded because they can be recorded multiple times before perfection is attained. Hence, there is no irrelevant content in such podcasts because the host knows that anything, not fitting in won’t interest the audience.

Podcasts have become a true need of the learners because the pandemic still exists. So, it is the best way to train remote employees who cannot be called to the office. They can understand the company rules through a podcast and later post their queries to HR (Human Resources). These are the reasons why podcasts are getting popular:

  • Increase in podcast users
  • There is also a surge in the number of podcast users. US citizens have been taking a keen interest in learning through podcasts. The estimated growth of podcast listeners will be up to 125 million by 2022. The remote employees find podcasts an excellent way to assimilate knowledge when doing the mandatory household chores.

    Also, more and more employees are shifting to work from the home method, they have become so attuned to it during the pandemic.

    Due to the pandemic, workers are still working from home because of the Omicron variant. There is a nationwide rise in Omicron cases in the US. At the end of April, these cases had increased in all of the US, barring three states. Apart from the pandemic, remote work is still happening because people feel inclined for it now apart from their relocation to another area. Hence, it is not possible to work from the office. The pandemic in 2020 has awakened people to the benefits of working from home. So, the remote work option is here to stay.

    Moreover, podcasts are ideal for connecting with remote employees who feel annoyed because they never interact with their fellow workers. They might need a personal touch in communication included in a podcast, especially when they are addressed by the HR or the company leaders about their key goals.

  • Better retention of podcasts

Podcasts are getting popular because they do not contain any graphic content and are easier to retain.

Podcasts can also engage the employees much more than documentation. They might not have the patience to go through PDF manuals and emails, but a podcast is not boring for them. It has been revealed that documentation has lesser engagement rates, but podcasts have 60% engagement. It has been proved that podcasts have better comprehension rates than written text. People understand 38% of the material in podcasts, rather than only 7% in written text.

So, the L&D department must know that podcasts are result-oriented to deliver urgent information like compliance changes.

How should the podcasts be created?

A Podcast’s success depends on the host’s hard work.

Selecting the right speakers: The podcasts can include many insights when the industry leaders are called. In training audio, people want to hear the reasonable opinions of those not at the C-suite level positions. Podcasts can feature anyone, be it frontline workers who understand the problems of a common employee. The success of a podcast depends on a host’s expertise in the matter so that he can ask very expansive questions from the leaders. He can make sure listeners hear the answers to the most relatable problems in their work domain.

Before recording a podcast, it’s also crucial to see that the guests called to contribute must be the most relevant experts on the subject. The guests must be recognized in their field, like writing a PhD dissertation. So, such guests might take some time to fix their time for the podcast, but booking them is essential for its success. The L&D professional must ensure that such guests are approached well to get their confirmation.

Every podcast episode must have a theme introduced at the beginning, so the listeners know what’s in store for them.

The podcasts meant for employees are excellent for training them because they contain information about relevant changes in the company and political and economic conditions affecting the business. They can also contain inspiring messages during critical times.

Podcasts should be downloadable so that the employees can access them outside the office too. There should be a library of podcasts in which the users can search through keywords. The users must also get regular updates when a new podcast series episode is launched.

Are podcasts the perfect way of training? Depends on the situation

There are also limitations on whether podcasts are suitable for all forms of information. It must contain a story for a podcast to be interesting. All subjects don’t lend themselves to a storytelling format, except historical knowledge. For example, a podcast is insufficient when explaining human anatomy to a medical intern because graphics like video and images are required.

Hence, eLearning forms a better option in this case. Podcasts have the highest accessibility out of all the eLearning formats because you can’t watch a video while jogging, but this is not so with a podcast. So, an L&D professional must have experience in developing podcasts. However, podcasts do not have interactivities, so how much information the user has retained after listening to them cannot be tested.

02 May 2022
WhyWhy do businesses need to convert Flash to HTML5?

Why do businesses need to convert Flash to HTML5?  

Technology is the key enabler of Elearning now. It makes employees learn and grasp new knowledge. Flash was earlier used to produce marvelous special effects in educational videos. There were many reasons for the eradication of Flash from the elearning scene. The problem with Flash leading to its extinction is the lack of accessibility of its software on mobile phones. The coders also wanted to keep working while they were on the move. Hence HTML5 became a realistic option for them because it can be accessed on the phone.

Ability to write HTML5 code on a Smartphone

The coders can download any HTML editor app and comfortably write their code on it while traveling to work. It was no longer required for them to reach the office and log on to their PCs to start working on HTML5.

The need for elearning companies USA to convert Flash to HTML5 solutions was also there because of a heavy expansion in the elearning industry due to the Covid-19 virus.

Although there can be a Flash player downloaded on mobile, or you can allow it to be used on the Google Chrome app, it causes exertion on mobile phone batteries. Steve Jobs was the first to point out that using Flash was a cumbersome experience on mobile phones because they heavily used their batteries. Flash is slow in H.264 video decryption, and hence watching such videos used to become an agitating experience for the users.

Although the Google Chrome browser had built-in Flash, it was disabled by default, and the user could enable it. Even after enabling it, the user could still choose whether to permit sites to use Flash or not. However, another browser like Mozilla Firefox wasn’t enabled with Flash, so you couldn’t open Flash-based websites without the plugin.

Later, Flash was discontinued by big software companies such as Microsoft and Google because it could not be used on touch screen devices which are so frequently used in our era.

Why Flash is no longer used?

  • Flash could not work with Touchscreen technology

The main reason elearning companies opted to convert Flash to HTML5 was that Flash can’t be used on touchscreen devices, and customers can’t do without them. They can’t have the same experience using the elearning modules on a non-touchscreen device because its creator does want to convert Flash to HTML5 through the elearning authoring tools. Without this conversion, the elearning companies can’t find buyers for their courses and can lose clients to more technology-savvy vendors.

When the major browsers stopped providing an inbuilt Flash player it became impossible to play online learning content based on Flash on them.

It’s because Google Chrome no longer has an inbuilt Flash Player since 2020. And even Mozilla Firefox discontinued it in 2019. And no business wants its elearning content not to be used on mobile phones. Hence all the old companies are now making their elearning vendors convert Flash to HTML5. And HTML5 content can easily be accessed on all browsers, both on desktop and mobile phones.

Hence elearning companies had no choice but not to use Flash in their work. It’s because no one could access them. They had to create all their new work in HTML5 so that their new clients won’t suffer from the inaccessibility of Flash on mobile phones.Also, the old buyers of such companies who need courses frequently turn to those vendors who offer HTML5-based elearning modules.

The millennials are the major consumers of the elearning content. They want to browse the content even when they come to the office. Hence HTML5 provides better access in terms of mobile phones not possible with Flash-based elearning modules.

Use of a plugin to access Flash content

Other problems led to Adobe Flash soon becoming an obsolete technology. One of them was the plugins to support this technology on browsers. A website that used Flash couldn’t be accessed without such a plugin(Adobe Flash player) which used to be accessible through the Adobe website, but not any more since December 31, 2020 when Adobe stopped providing this plugin.

It could have been used to get confidential data from your browser. Such a plugin posed a danger to any sensitive information you entered into a website form. But the same is not the case with HTML5, which does not need any plugin to access its sites.

Why did businesses need to convert Flash into HTML5?

Businesses had no option but to convert Flash into HTML5 because otherwise, the redundant Flash-based resources had to be built from scratch, which is a costlier option. When the Flash content is getting redeveloped, a business has to experience downtime of its elearning modules because they can’t be watched on any browsers. So, when you choose an experienced elearning vendor to convert Flash to HTML5, you can get your content accessibility back on track in no time without any high costs.

Hence elearning vendors can provide extremely useful help to a business updating their Flash-based content to HTML5.

28 Apr 2022
How has Edtech evolved in the modern times?

How has EdTech evolved in the modern times?

EdTech(Educational technology) has become a ubiquitous part of the education industry now.

As per the definition on Wikipedia, EdTech refers to the use of both hardware and software to provide education. So the academic knowledge imparted through technology uses learning theories and other streams to ensure that learners have the best possible learning experience. These other streams are psychology, AI, sociology, and computer science.

Educational technology has come a long way from classroom projectors when the students were shown PowerPoint slides on a PC connected to a projector to webinars now where they are given quizzes during a session.

Educational technology is quite relevant for the learners of today, whose skills development is affected by the use of the right tools such as LMS.

The EdTech hence includes virtual reality solutions where students can be made to explore architecture in any part of the world through VR headsets. Apart from that, EdTech also includes podcasting and gamification. Even chatbots are a part of EdTech, ensuring that students are directed to the right web links to solve their queries.

But many EdTech products fail to provide the right kind of experience, due to which the vendor’s services are not taken again. So what should a company or schools look for before getting an EdTech product?

The EdTech products are a major investment for a company, and hence it needs to be cautious while getting them. First of all, a business needs to understand why an EdTech product is needed and how it will affect them. Hence the EdTech Products need to be evaluated in the light of their effects.

The following EdTech technologies are used for various elearning theories:

  • Behaviorism
  • The EdTech products can teach students as per the learning theories after which they were designed. For example, the behaviorist theory of learning states that a student learns from his environment, and learning is not dependent on any inherent factor like genetics. The environment at home can also influence a student’s studies. Hence the teacher must know the value of reinforcement, making a student learn.

    So, the stimulus-response mechanism is at the crux of this theory. When a student is given positive feedback to his response, known as positive reinforcement, he will repeat it once he is given the correct stimulus. For example, if a student gets a party as a treat for scoring well on a test, he is likely to study better(response) whenever he is stimulated to give a test.

    So, human beings can be motivated to take the most complicated actions when given a good response to a stimulus. That same stimulus might not be so encouraging for others, but it can initiate the toughest actions for those who have been given a certain response.

    The EdTech products, which are based on behaviorism, provide assessments(quizzes) to students after reading. Once the students attempt the test well(response), they are given a good grade(positive reinforcement), or for more positive reinforcement, their score can be made part of a leader board.

    The results are quickly shown in such modules to the students rather than delaying them. If the students don’t get good scores on a test(negative reinforcement), they study the material again. Their lower scores can also be advertised to others to get some criticism which makes them work harder in the future.

  • Cognivitism
  • Cognitivism is also a learning theory that states that learning must attempt to reveal new information to the learners already stored in their minds. Hence, the learners are encouraged to grasp new topics and then think about them to assimilate them into the building blocks of their minds. So, all learning is rearranging the old knowledge in our minds by modifying old blocks(schemata).

    Teachers can use this methodology in EdTech by approaching new topics by asking students whether they know something and then adding a new facet. But for introducing new topics, the teacher has to check students’ past knowledge and ensure that any schemata they have in their minds can be strengthened to form new schemata by learning.

    For example, students might know about triangles and can be asked for it before they are taught about isosceles and equilateral triangles.

    The games are a perfect way to check what students already know about a topic and then introduce new concepts to them. There can be puzzles used to make them acquainted with newer topics. For example, once disequilibrium is created in students’ minds through such puzzles, he is often encouraged to learn the novel thing to complete the game. Due to disequilibrium, the existing schemata of knowledge in his mind breaks down to accommodate new topics and build new schemata.

  • Constructivism

Constructivism is based on the theory of how learners are responsible for their learning. They can either gain knowledge themselves, which is Cognitivist constructivism. The second way is to gain knowledge through interactions with a social group, i.e., socio-cultural constructivism. The learners can acquire knowledge through both these means.

In the case of EdTech, students ingrain knowledge by working together in groups through mind mapping software. Students can use this software to ensure that they can create such a diagram with a central node in between and then add nodes with the assistance of other students. It allows classmates to learn through collaboration and is ideal for offices’ brainstorming sessions.

Once all the students have added their nodes, including pictures/text or both, then you can rearrange them to provide a better understanding and layout. The best part is students can also create nodes, including documents, hyperlinks, and videos. Students can collaborate on such projects by being present with each other or by getting ideas about a new node from a friend by contacting him online by the chatting option integrated with such a mind mapping software. So, this is how EdTech technology is getting modified to accommodate different kinds of learning theories.

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He was a German psychologist who is known for discovering the forgetting curve. According to this curve, the biggest decline in memory happens within 20 minutes, and then 1 hour.