Tag: elearning companies USA

20 Jun 2022
VILT

What is the role of a moderator in a VILT session?

All over the world, the VILT sessions are happening at a rampant pace. It’s an aftermath of the pandemic, but conducting such sessions is not easy. The companies were looking forward to changing to the virtual training method due to the excessive costs of classroom-based training. But the change has been expedited by the pandemic.

Gen Z also cannot concentrate in-classroom training sessions and prefers VILT sessions where they can log in at a preferred time. It’s because it’s easier to focus when you are alone rather than with others in a classroom.

What is so peculiar about VILT that such sessions require both a trainer and a moderator?

  • Participants are not face-to-face:

The biggest loophole of a VILT session is that since the cameras of the attendees are off during such sessions, the trainer can’t see their facial expressions. Such expressions help trainers understand the difficulties of a learner. Hence, there can be a major communication gap between the VILT instructor and the participants, which the moderator bridges.

Hence, if the trainer does not know that his teaching speed is not acceptable for the attendees, there is a cognitive overload, i.e. too much information gets passed on to the learners in a short time.

The problem of not seeing attendees’ faces is a huge obstacle in synchronous VILT sessions to result-oriented communication.

It’s because, in such sessions, the trainers and students have taken out time from their over-packed schedules, and when they cannot comprehend each other, it is futile.

  • Helps the trainer in preparing for the session

It’s because there can be problems with a VILT session when large uploads are happening at the teacher’s end. The internet speed can get slow when live screen-sharing happens because, during this process, a stream of your video gets sent to the server from where the browser downloads it to the learners’ PC. Internet content upload speed is slower than the download speed. Hence during screen-sharing, the quality of the video call is average.

So it is better that if software screencasts are getting sent to the learners during the session, it’s better to record them beforehand rather than during the class. A moderator can help the trainer in recording a screencast video before the VILT session.

A moderator is someone who helps the trainer but is he required so essentially in the VILT sessions.

These are some situations that can arise during a VILT session for which the moderator’s help is needed:

  • The trainer can’t handle large sessions:

Another loophole in such a session is that sometimes trainers get nervous in large sessions and face technical issues.

For example, the learners might be unable to log into the meeting URL through their browser. So, they might send the trainer a message to resolve this problem. When so many participants send chats to the trainer, it’s tough for him to respond. That’s where a moderator helps to facilitate and responds to the learners’ confusion.

The moderator can access the meeting through a remote desktop and has no problems responding to the participants. A moderator must be an experienced IT person so that he can solve any technical glitches in time when a participant can’t access the VILT meeting URL through his web browser because it’s not compatible; the moderator can help him rectify the situation by switching to a different browser.

For example, the internet explorer is an outdated browser that does not work with web versions of the video conferencing software.

  • Preventing anyone from creating a nuisance during the meeting:

It’s a tough task to manage participants in remote learning sessions because sometimes, they may share some unwanted content.

Hence, a moderator can help the VILT trainer prevent the participants from sharing their screens if they send irrelevant content.

The moderator makes sure that such a participant is removed from the meeting. A remote moderator can immediately do this task for the trainer. So, the moderator can help the trainer block such a participant or change the options where no one can share screens except the host.

  • Makes sure that the trainer is not disturbed:

It can be ensured that the trainer is unaware when any participant leaves the meeting due to the lack of any notification because the settings can be enabled for the same.

However, the moderator calls the participant to enquire why he has left the meeting. A moderator can also mute a participant if he starts speaking between lectures. They can mute and unmute participants when needed based on whether they are talking about anything pertinent. If a participant is not allowing others to express their opinions, he can be muted.

  • Preventing latecomers to the meetings:

Moderators can also lock meetings to ensure that nobody unknown joins the meeting or any employee joins after a certain time. The meetings can be locked since they begin or after a certain delay after their beginning. This can help prevent any late entrants to a meeting.

In the end, the moderators allow the meetings to go unhindered, save the trainer from solving any technical and human problems, and focus on his topic during the session.

 

17 Jun 2022
change management

Companies should pay attention to change management! But how?  

The companies want things to change, but they have to work hard in this concern. How should companies go about change management?

Change management involves educating employees about how to tackle new problems by learning the evolved ways of doing work.

But changes cant be introduced so quickly in a company because of employee resistance. Hence implementing changes through a systematic approach is crucial, known as change management. It implements changes in a phased manner so that they leave a company with desired results. 

Why is change management necessary? 

For example, Change management is essential when a company is going through a merger.

The employees need to be acquainted with the other company’s new operating styles, skills, and management structure. If at this time, the employees are not made secure in their positions, they may leave the company. Employees must be convinced during mergers that their jobs are safe in a company to learn things efficiently.

Implementing changes generally causes problems because employees don’t react positively when their routines change due to changes. The employee attitudes are anticipated, and it’s the management’s job to appease them. The company must plan the employee training required to respond to the change. 

Training is a significant factor in reducing the stress involved in change management. The employees are the best sources of information about the needed training. Hence polls can be conducted, and employees can be asked about their knowledge of new processes. If they choose a particular process, they can be trained about it. Employees can also be given assessments to know whether they have sufficient knowledge about the new process. 

  • How can interactive learning, e.g., simulations, help?

Hence they must be provided with simulation showing their new job roles. The management has to take care of the change management because otherwise, employees might not go through the long manuals containing the change rules of the company. But their knowledge retention is high when such new rules are explained to them through simulations. Hence due to simulations and branching scenarios, change management is easier for the organization because employees understand what is required of them and what can happen if they go wrong in terms of processes and behavior.

What are the other ways to handle change management besides interactive learning? 

  • Webinars 
  • The companies are keen on bringing a change but don’t know how to go about it. When such mergers happen, it’s time for the management to take the reins in its hand. It should conduct live events so that employees can ask questions from the new managers.

    When a merger happens, a company moves in a new direction with another company, so the employees need some background information about the latter. There is a change in employees’ jobs, which creates a need for reskilling them. Therefore a webinar becomes essential to the company’s employees, informing them about the new branding. 

  • JIT
  • There are some employees who are not too happy with the merger. They need skills so that they don’t lose their jobs. Hence JIT resources are essential for them because they can help them keep up with the changing environment. They won’t feel helpless when they cannot figure out something and can’t ask someone for help because of the lack of time. So, instead of delivering wrong results, such employees can consult JIT resources on time. 

    Such employees can learn about the new processes through podcasts and video tutorials as JIT resources. 

    • The most important of them all, an LMS

    Such resources must be incorporated in the LMS, which the company has implemented. An LMS is the best way to introduce change management in a company. It ensures that employees are empowered without any human intervention. Once they access the LMS, assessments can be sent on time, and once they pass, they are issued certificates automatically.

    When an employee gets his certification, the management is also kept in the loop; hence, it knows that the employee is prepared to embrace the change. 

    Workforce development is in contrast to online training because the latter ends once the employees have gained expertise in a specific skill set

    Employees must understand that workforce development will help them grow in the company because their productivity will increase. But job training focuses on the employee’s needs, for example, when he has newly joined the firm.

    The LMS can provide employees with all the resources from the internet and those created by senior employees required for workforce development.

    Hence, why is workforce development needed in case of mergers instead of firing employees who lack the new skills? 

    Job training is essential when employees have newly joined a company, but workforce development happens regularly based on their career preferences. Workforce development is critical for an organization in case of mergers because sometimes a company does not need some employees as their skills have become redundant.

    The company must realize that it should not fire such employees because of their loyalty, and it must reskill or retrain them; hence, workforce development is needed. It can’t fire employees who lack technical skills because of their other talents. Hence reskilling them creates multifaceted employees more suited to handle the ever-adapting job profiles. Moreover, companies can’t ignore the demand for reskilling when technology has become an essential resource at work.

    In the end:

    A company might hire a technically adept employee to replace someone, but there is no guarantee that the former might not try to switch jobs soon to find a higher-paying job.

    07 Jun 2022
    LMS

    How has the pandemic made implementing LMS necessary for drug manufacturers?

    The pandemic has made it necessary for pharma companies to deal with clients on a special basis. The pharma industry has indeed faced a lot of pressure due to the pandemic over the years.

    Because of the coronavirus, the role of the medical sales staff became quite challenging because the drugs requested by a doctor have to be delivered by courier. In fact. Once the delivery was done, it had to be confirmed through the doctor’s credentials like his name, signature, and address. The doctor also had to submit a written request for getting a drug.

    Challenges before the pharma industry

    The pandemic exposed the pharma industry to face unanticipated challenges like never before. There were restrictions on medical trials to ensure that the researchers were not exposed to the Virus.

    But apart from that, the salespeople also had to follow regulations like they could not sell medicines by meeting doctors in person.

    Hence, there was a shortage of people willing to work in this industry, due to which companies had to ensure that the existing labor was retained.

    Due to this, there was a large-scale use of pharma LMS to ensure that the labor employed in sales and manufacturing departments was made abreast of the new laws and regulations.

    The companies have to ensure that an LMS is implemented to upload any updates made in the compliance laws immediately. If such content is not provided to healthcare workers by pharma companies, they can face heavy penalties caused to violation of such laws.

    LMS helps in RIE

    For example, during the Covid-19 problem, pharma companies could not cut down on their output because the authorities were not available for in-person drug approval as they could not visit the drug manufacturing sites in person. Hence they approved drugs through the process of remote interactive evaluations. Hence the employees have to be trained on how to ensure that the drug is approved in an RIE. The LMS can be used to train employees with the requisite knowledge for this purpose.

    FDA grants drug approval before it is manufactured and marketed. The FDA conducts PAIs(Pre Approval Inspections) to ensure that the manufacturing of a specific drug is approved. But due to Covid-19, such in-person site inspections were not possible. Such critical inspection ensures that the drug can be manufactured at the concerned site as per CGMP practices or whether the drug is safe for human consumption through clinical trials.

    But during the pandemic, such inspections are conducted in remote interactive evaluations(RIE) because travel restrictions have been imposed due to this virus. The authorities at the site must know how to ensure complete cooperation with the FDA staff during such inspections. The FDA also uses its own technical equipment for conducting such RIE, including the FDA Microsoft teams, FDA adobe Connect, and FDA Zoom for Government. The FDA requires a lot of evidence about the safety of manufacturing practices, including showing proper records to them. Apart from that, the staff must ensure that the FDA gets an idea about the site’s manufacturing and testing facilities.

    How does an RIE happen?

    The drug manufacturing site has to consent to its capability to participate in such an evaluation and must be willing to share documents through a teleconference or screen-sharing facility. The site will indicate its consent for such an evaluation in response to a request filed by the FDA.

    FDA conducted the PAIs through RIEs, and once the sites were found to be eligible for this process, the site operators are notified through emails. A site cannot request an RIE and it’s at the discretion of the FDA to request the procedure. The FDA uses the registration file of the site to establish any correspondence with it.

    What happens during an RIE?

    The employees of such a facility can show a live video of their facilities during working hours, including how the types of equipment are cleaned and how the samples of a drug are taken and tested, the setting up of medical equipment, and the sanitization practices, etc.

    Hence before the remote interactive evaluation, the staff at such facilities should ensure that there are no connection issues, and the FDA should be able to watch the working practices at the facility with ease. Once the FDA has assessed the manufacturing processes, it will approve the drug.

    The staff of such facilities must take such inspections quite seriously. Its because such inspections determine the fate of a drug. During a Remote interactive evaluation, the FDA can ask for documents via email it has requested before. The pharma company must share such documents via email during an RIE or share them through a screen-sharing tool. Such documents are protected by password as they are confidential and should be disclosed to authorities for their review. If a pharma company can’t provide any requested document in English during RIE, it should provide a translator to aid the FDA officers in understanding the document.

    How does an LMS help in an RIE?

    An LMS can be a source of communication for the site officers to communicate about the impending RIE and ensure that it goes as per procedure and that there are no lapses. An RIE is not a substitute for on-site inspection because if any problems are detected during the former, the latter can still happen.

    However, when a warning letter is issued to the pharma company after any faulty manufacturing methods are discovered during an RIE, they can be uploaded on an LMS for immediate action. The warning letters could be issued to drug manufacturers when they refuse to comply with records requests during an RIE. i. e if they fail to show any requested document.

    An LMS keeps the medical employees of a pharma company updated about the consequences of an RIE because it includes an RIE report that includes all the FDA authorities’ observations during it. This report can be shared with the pharma company employees when it has been taken from the FDA through a disclosure request filed by the company.

    Pharma companies have to use an LMS because the FDA is not facing any pandemic-related travel restrictions but has to use RIE to deal with the extraordinary application backlog created because of the Virus.

    03 Jun 2022
    interactive PDFs

    Are interactive PDFs useful for busy learners?  

    There has been a revolution in the eLearning industry now. The vendors are coming up with new solutions to retain the learners and reduce the bounce rate.

    When the learners drop out of a course, it reflects poorly on an eLearning vendor.
    Hence, the eLearning vendors are now using PDFs to prepare interesting courses for learners. Interactive PDFs are getting used nowadays, allowing their creators all the facilities such as hyperlinks and embedded video files. The learners can also add information to the forms, part of the PDF. Moreover, such PDFs are of immense use in eLearning because learners can benefit from scrollable images.

    But the eLearning vendors should find ways to make such interactive PDFs entertaining:

    • Using arrows for moving between pages: The eLearning companies can make use of the fact that instead of just using buttons in a PDF, they use colorful buttons or even arrows, which get the user’s attention much faster than next or back buttons.
    • The eLearning vendors can use all kinds of information hints in an interactive PDF so that learners do not face any hindrance while understanding information.

      If they are, they can click on the “hint” popup and get the meaning of a specific word. They can also be linked to an online dictionary website where users can search for the meaning of the complicated word.

      When the social media icons are included in such a PDF document, the learners can be directed to the social media profiles of the content owner.

    • Use hyperlinks: Moreover, the users can also be directed to audio clips through clickable photos, making the former more interesting. For example, the national flag of Canada can include the YouTube hyperlink of the national anthem of Canada.
    • Hyperlinks can direct a user to external websites or PDFs stored on the server, but they often point to subsequent pieces of text also. The users can click on a term and be directed to the next paragraph where its meaning has been explained. It’s better to have internal links in the course because this way, the user can be made to study the complete eLearning module, and he can also access such links without having an internet connection which happens when the course is browsed through after office hours. It saves the user from the extra expenses on mobile data.

    • Make PDFs entertaining for users: Interactive PDFs can be entertaining for the learners because if the learner is on a train journey and he is not in the mood to read the PDF documents, he can listen to the audio file. This way, the learner can skip reading some portions of the document and instead listen to them. He can select the parts he prefers to read by muting their audio. There can also be audio files to which the user can listen so that the entire PDF document is not too boring. For example, when he clicks on a new chapter, he can be provided with an audio recording of a song.
    •  

    • Adding worksheets to a PDF document: The users can also have downloadable worksheets in the PDF document. A worksheet is just a form where the user can add his answer to the given questions. So, various choices can be provided to the learner, such as text fields, radio buttons, and even a signature button.

    When the user has such options, he can add his opinion about the module or even submit his response to an MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) quiz through radio buttons. When a user is required to choose multiple alternatives, he can be given a checkbox instead of a radio button.

    These forms are ideal for creating checklists for confirming whether all the things required for a certain condition are fulfilled, like whether all the requirements are met for growing vegetables in a home garden.

    The submission of such worksheets is easy because there can be a hyperlink to a server added to the submit button. So, the user’s data can be sent to the server, where it can be checked for accuracy. The data can also be sent to an email address when the user is submitting a job application. The hyperlink can be added to the submit button by choosing an action option when this button is clicked. The user can also reset the form once he is not satisfied with his choices.

    Interactive PDF forms or worksheets are excellent options for users because, unlike non-interactive PDF forms, which cannot be filled out online, they are easier to fill in and can be printed out too. While adding such a form, all the fields can be exported to the server for which the user has entered any data or only those that the user has filled.

    The latter category of forms must be downloaded, printed, filled out, scanned, and then emailed, which is quite time-consuming.

    Interactive PDFs are a good option for sharing sensitive company data for training purposes because they are password protected. You can ensure that only the employees are supposed to open them because they are protected with their credentials.

    Hence interactive PDFs are a new revolution in Elearning.

    20 May 2022
    informal training

    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
    VR training

    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.

    11 May 2022
    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
    self directed learning

    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.

     

    28 Apr 2022
    Edtech

    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.

    27 Apr 2022
    training

    3 tips to make sure your training is equitable  

    Training has become a key need of companies in recent years because of the multiple changes in the workplace. But sometimes training has to be adapted to the participants’ needs to be effective for them. You can’t have the same training solution because that is inequitable training. Such training might not cater to the needs of the minorities because they are not as experienced as the managers. Hence the training needs to be created as per the requirements of different groups of people.

    Hence the Learning and development managers need to take into consideration the following requirements of various groups before coming up with training programs:

    • Include everyone 
    • There should be the inclusion of everyone in the training program because a knowledge upgrade is required. Hence, it’s discriminatory if someone is not asked to attend a training program because he is not at a senior rank or of a certain gender. Not only for the participants but the trainers also it’s better that different people attend such a seminar. It’s because they have different opinions about the topics taught to them. Such opinions enrich the training experience for every attendee who benefits from the pool of diverse experiences and educational backgrounds. 

      When a company does not include minorities in its training programs, it can lower morale.

      It can hurt their productivity, which is least desirable. But it’s also true that you can’t just include one participant from a minority group for inclusion. If he is a foreigner present in a room full of natives, he will experience a lot of hesitation in speaking in front of others. So due to his awkwardness, he does not bring anything new to the table as needed. 

    • Prepare diverse content 
    • The content must also be created as per distinct requirements for equitable training. The participants should get to hear such language in the training program with which they can relate.
      Hence participants from minority groups should be included in the content development process right from stage 1. As learning and development consultants, you can’t assume that you know the nuances of every culture. The L&D team should include people from diverse backgrounds so that no problems arise at a later stage. Also, complicated local language should not be used or complemented with English words that non-native speakers can understand. A participant’s confidence is boosted if his language needs are catered to in a training program. 

      There could also be people with disabilities attending the training program, and hence their needs are important. Someone with a vision problem gains nothing if a training program does not have audio narration. Sometimes, hearing problems are also there; hence the narration should also be accompanied by text bubbles on the screen. All these disabilities in the attendants must be included during the program development only for its success. 

    • Facilitate delivery for everyone 

    Equitable training also depends on how a program is delivered. It’s because, during facilitation, participants who can’t move between different places such as their homes and the office must be taken care of. The program must be prepared in a virtual format to cater to such remotely situated participants.

    Hiring an appropriate trainer is also crucial because he understands the cultural differences between participants. Also, he knows when something culturally inappropriate has come up during training and how to handle it. He makes sure that such a topic is taught calmly without hurting anyone.

    The unavoidable quality that any facilitator must have is modesty which makes him understand the opinions of everyone in his room. He does not get annoyed when people ask him questions in the middle of a lecture, although not frequently. The job of a facilitator is to make others learn and imbibe something from others in the process. Such facilitators know when their knowledge is not so full-fledged and ask someone with a different viewpoint to explain them. Thus all the attendees benefit from such training when a two-way exchange of knowledge happens. When made to face intolerable situations in someone telling things unknown to them, they don’t panic or get angry and let the other person speak. Equitable training is delivered when no one’s opinions and factual knowledge are ignored during a session. 

     

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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.