Tag: Elearning content

29 Sep 2022
example of web based training

Role of web-based training safety programs in the construction industry

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has prescribed many standards for companies to make sure that worker safety is prioritized.

Companies, especially those in the construction industry, must ensure that the safety standards are implemented effectively through web-based training.

OSHA requires the construction industry employers to have a specific concentration of chemicals in the air (Parts Per Molecule), which should not exceed a certain limit. It has stated such concentrations of such chemicals for about 500 substances for workers in construction and other industries, including shipyard employment.

Shipyard employment also includes exposure to chemicals; hence, web-based training is required for such workers. The workers come in contact with such chemicals when they repair ships. Their work includes cutting and joining steel on various parts and plumbing, involving exposure to chemicals such as nitrogen dioxide.

What are basic safety practices for construction sites?

Construction companies must ensure that they provide information about dangerous chemicals to employees and customers. Web-based training is required for this purpose. The employees must provide proper training to workers who are required to deal with these chemicals so that no harm is caused. They must be given instructions in print to take with them to work.

OSHA has stated a hazard specification standard (safety data sheets) for chemical and construction employers to adhere to. Per these standards, each container storing such chemicals must have labels containing pictograms. The employee must find these labels understandable to handle these chemicals with care so that no acidic burns are caused. In the construction industry, adequate importance must be placed on reporting any lack of safety equipment such as PPE.

The workers should be given web-based training to use reporting systems. The construction sites must have a medical team to deal with circumstances with excessive exposure to dangerous chemicals. The web-based training can explain the proper ways to handle the chemicals through simulations where it can display how toxic exposure can harm a worker’s health and what to do in case of certain symptoms.

Difference between (Permissible Exposure Limit)PEL AND STEL(Short Time Exposure Limit)

 The construction companies must also know the permissible exposure limits (PEL) for chemicals, i.e., workers can’t be exposed to such concentrations of airborne chemicals for more than 8 or even lesser hours in a day, depending on what can be aftereffects if the chemical is inhaled.

The companies must know that they are supposed to follow the PEL values of concentration of chemicals in the air, but if it’s exceeded, it’s not to be more than STEL. This STEL refers to the Short Term Exposure Limit, which implies how much hazardous substance (time-weighted average) is present in the air for a short period of exposure of 15 minutes. This cannot happen for a duration of 15 minutes or more and should only happen a maximum of 4 times. Moreover, there should also be a time duration of 60 minutes elapsed between such exposures.

If the amount of substance is higher than STEL during such time, then it can prove to be toxic to the worker’s health. The STEL exceeding the PEL rule is applicable when the amount of substance in the air is not constant during the day.

For example, OSHA has made it mandatory that the PEL for carbon monoxide in the air is 50ppm for an 8-hour work schedule. 

What are Safety Data Sheets?

OSHA requires companies to have a mandatory Safety Data Sheet. The safety data sheets, which have a 16-section format, must also be explained to onsite construction employees to ensure they face no trouble.

In Section 8 of the Safety Data Sheet, there should be the inclusion of the PEL, as prescribed by OSHA.

These Safety Data Sheets must be compulsorily prepared either by the construction industry employer or the chemical importer or manufacturer. 

This data sheet must also contain useful information for workers while picking up containers with dangerous chemicals. So, Section 3 must include data about the ingredients of these chemicals. Moreover, if any spill happens, comprehensive information must be included in section 4 of the data sheet, like how to recognize symptoms and how one should take care of the victim because any delayed response can be life-threatening. The symptoms can be acute or severe, and Section 4 must cover the responses to both situations.

Section 5 must include details about how to douse fires caused by chemical leaks. There should also be measures on how to wipe such chemicals in case any spill happens, included in Section 6 of the Safety Data Sheet.

Although a Safety Data Sheet is mandatory, workers might not have everything ingrained in their memory, and any forgetfulness and negligence in such cases can cause problems. Hence, simulation-based videos must also supplement such a Safety Data Sheet to produce better results.

Consequences of non-compliance 

The company can lose not only valuable man-hours if workers sustain injuries due to inhaling such chemicals, but also neurological injuries can be caused to workers, making the company liable to pay massive damages. A company must also maintain that laws are followed pertaining to such dangerous chemicals. It should have evidence regarding the management controls to handle the risks related to the release of such chemicals. 

We Creativ Technologies have prepared multitude of detailed videos for our clients including simulations about the OSHA compliance standards.

26 Apr 2022
elearning content

How many interactivities should be included in the eLearning content?

There has been a need for interactivity in eLearning programs. That is why companies must focus on this need. These courses can only have an impact once they are able to engage the learners. They should feel happy to be learning and not be a passive audience of the course. The eLearning content must be designed so that learners feel pleased to be pursuing such a course.

Michael Moore has defined three levels of interactivities which, when taken care of, can change the response to your course. They are:

  1. Interaction between the learner and the content: The content must be created after taking in tandem how the target audience learns something. When something is not designed according to the learning pattern of a user, it cannot influence him.
  2. Interaction between the instructor and the learner: The course should also be creating such aids which help the learner. The learner should take an interest in the course. This kind of motivation can only be provided by an instructor who can inform the learner about the benefits of the course. When a learner is persuaded properly, he can go through the course on his own.
  3. In the field of distance education, where learning happens asynchronously without the maximum presence of an instructor, such interactions can make sure that the students pursue the course diligently without losing their zeal.

  4. Interactions between students: The third kind of interaction happens between students facilitated by a teacher who helps them in having beneficial interactions among themselves regarding the subject matter.

If a course is easy to navigate, then it does not mean it is engaging for the users.

There are many ways in which digital cues can add interactivity to your course.

The instructional designers must make sure that the course contains enough elements for the learner to grasp the elearning content in an entertaining manner.

There is passive learning in which there are no games and interactivities in which a learner does not answer any questions, so you don’t know whether he has learned anything or not. Anything that he has learned can only be gauged through his on-the-job performance.

The second kind of learning involves providing some interactivities to the learner. There is the inclusion of multimedia to encourage the user to retain his interest.

Interactivity can also be at a higher level (complex interactivity) so that the learners attempt various kinds of drag and drop quizzes and branching scenarios. These kinds of interaction levels are required in those jobs where the users must make critical decisions for everybody, and major analytical skills are needed because any wrong action can have bad results.

In the highest level of interactivity, the users are introduced to real-life simulations involving virtual reality, and their retention is the best. This is mandatory for jobs where learners have to display their critical skills every day.

How many interactivities must be included?

The interactions need to be a part of an eLearning course but how many of them should be included? It is a debatable question because the learners are not interested in any course which has zero interactivities. Including interactivities also increases costs, but a course that does not include any of them is a burden for the learner where every slide just has eLearning content including paragraphs and graphics.

So, these are the guidelines that can help an instructional designer to decide how many interactivities should be included. It is true that without interaction there is no challenge for a learner.

  1. To encourage reading:
  2. It is true that the learners do not read much if they do not have a challenge before them in the form of interactivity. So, the companies should include eLearning reading content to the minimum because including interactivities gives a chance for the course designers to measure how much reading has happened. It is because when a learner has failed in such interactivities, he has not gone much through the eLearning content.

    The requirement of MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) in the eLearning content also needs to be answered because the course creators don’t know whether the learner knew the answer, or it was just a fluke.

  3. To emulate real-life scenarios:

The learners must be given activities that they are required to try. It’s because when they are exposed to branching scenarios it leads to better execution at the job. Also, branching scenarios are closer to situations in the workplace where actions are required. You might have to deal with human situations or software-based scenarios and must know what to do. When a learner is directed to the wrong screen after pressing the wrong button in a software simulation, he is not going to repeat it in his job.

In an MCQ no action is needed and is not extremely helpful in causing betterment of performance. MCQs are better for situations where learners just answer queries at their workplace like someone sitting at the reception but not those who deal with software and machines.

Hence therefore companies require more action-based interactivities in the eLearning content.

 

28 Mar 2022
elearning template

Pointers for designing an elearning template 

The e-learning industry has grown by leaps and bounds. It’s because people have started understanding the importance of learning unconventionally.

The e-learning companies are also coming up with avant-garde content to ensure that the businesses can take care of their employees. But some problems can impair the functioning of a company’s LMS. The LMS has a lot of eLearning templates available, but sometimes they become outdated; hence it’s the job of the business to contact the vendor to modify the template. An LMS template is just like a PowerPoint slide, in which the users can plug in the content. It’s also crucial that before you decide to buy an LMS software, you have a complete idea about its eLearning template library. Sometimes, the eLearning templates might not have an option for you to add videos and audio, which are essential for your course.

Hence, it does not make sense for you to get that LMS. The LMS must also have an option for the course creators to auto-translate because they need external help to add subtitles to a course without it.

These are the essential points that no designer team can ignore while designing a template:

  • Make sure learners get the instructor’s feedback

The LMS must have the option of feedback. This means that it must have an option for you to add the email ID of the instructor or even a chat box option. When the learners don’t get timely help, they are likely to divert from a course. Therefore, the learners must also be given help in the form of access to the social media handles of the instructors or the company so that they can get in touch with their peers who are a part of the official Facebook group. The learners feel motivated to continue with a course when their queries are answered on time. Also, the LMS eLearning templates must have options for the LMS admins to track the usage rates of the module, like when does a learner quits, i.e., he presses the “close” button.

  • Get the opinion of the team on the template

The team feedback is also crucial when getting an LMS template.

For example, the LMS template must be approved after getting approval from the team. Then, the graphic designers can design a style guide as to where the text and images should be placed in a template. If the template does not have the proper placement of the objects, it would be unusable in the future, causing an unnecessary expense on your part in getting a template redesigned. This style guide can include the tone of the template, like how many images would be placed on a slide.

An elearning template must also have a scope for notes, just like in PowerPoint slides, so that the SME team can include some important points if they are missed.

You might not use all the placeholders in a template like for notes etc., but they need to be there because the design can’t be altered to add more of them if needed.

  • Appropriate navigation

The eLearning template must also be navigable, and hence there should be placeholders for buttons/icons. You can also include captions to describe what belongs where.

Navigation is a crucial part of the elearning template. The template must have a placeholder for hyperlinks so that the users can be directed to the last/next slide or the main page. When the template does not have easily visible hyperlinks, the learners get confused, and their time is wasted finding the hyperlinks to go further in the course or backward. It is also necessary that on every elearning template, the place for menu/icons/buttons should be fixed and decided beforehand so that any significant modifications are not needed later.

  • Have proper bullet lists placeholders

The elearning templates have to be designed because every slide can’t have a different layout. You can’t expect the learners to lose their attention during a course. When you have a consistent layout throughout the course, thanks to the e-learning template, you have better brand visibility which ensures that the learners assimilate the eLearning content quickly.

Any template must have unavoidable elements like bullet lists and short text placeholders. Without such elements, the e-learning content is not coherent and articulate. When learners browse through long text blocks, they feel frustrated and suffer from cognitive overload. They might not retain much even after the course, and therefore short text blocks are essential to encourage retention.

Before embarking on a template design job, the design team must take some ideas from the end-users. They could be given surveys and assessments to gauge their response. Through such surveys, the design team knows what kind of layout is preferred in terms of positioning images and text. The target audience might not like any deviation from this layout.

When the organization does have an eLearning template, it makes sure that the employees get a feeling of cohesion. This is necessary because the employees don’t enjoy the e-learning experience when every slide has a different design.

  • Arrange a menu before the course

The e-learning content designers must also make sure that a menu is integrated at the beginning of the course. This menu lets them know whether the e-learning course is sufficient for them, or they also need external resources. So, before any module begins, a slide should be added as an introduction that briefly describes the contents. When the course is sorted with a menu and an e-learning introductory slide before every module, the learners can use the course for just-in-time information needs. They can quickly locate the information needed by them to solve their problem.

Hence, this is how an e-learning template should be designed.

08 Mar 2022
elearning apps

What kind of an elearning app should a business use?

An e-learning app has become a necessity for companies because employees are so engrossed in smartphones. If the businesses don’t have an e-learning mobile app, they can’t make users browse their content. The e-learning companies USA have to produce an app rich in features so that the users enjoy using it, but for that, the right technology stack has to be used. Before choosing a technology stack for an e-learning app for their client, the app creation companies have to think of the scope of the app.

Native or Cross-platform?

 

The e-learning industry is now geared towards native apps, i.e., an app built solely for a single OS, either android or IOS. Moreover, having a native app is a safer option for a company because it has only one codebase, either Java or Objective-C, so there can’t be many bugs.

But a cross-platform app is developed using two code bases for compatibility with both IOS and Android-based phones, so its development time is less and can be used on both the operating systems.

However, native e-learning apps don’t need an internet connection, unlike a cross-platform app, which is beneficial because users can access them without using any mobile data.

Moreover, these apps are ideal ways to ensure that users can access them without public Wi-Fi at any location, which implies that accessibility will happen regardless of location.

Besides, the native app uses the hardware and the software of the OS and the mobile phone. Native apps have the advantage that since they are based on a single operating system, they use the system’s features such as memory management, location tracking, etc., and deliver the best app performance. They can also be linked to the other native apps used on the phone. Hence, they can easily use the device’s capabilities such as push notifications and microphones.
 
But a business needs to decide whether it should outsource the app development or not.

In house development or outsourcing?

 
The e-learning vendor checks which programming languages are reliable when developing an app. They can have their flaws, and hence the app has to be checked for any before it is launched. It’s because any bugs can cause the app to be hacked. The e-learning companies provide the business with a technical specification document that includes all its functions to be developed with ease. These functions decide which programming language is better for the app. The e-learning companies also have app developers with ample experience because any lack of expertise can cause problems later. Hence, these are the reasons why app development should be outsourced to one of the e-learning companies USA:

  1. Experience in developing apps:
  2. E-learning companies in the USA have full-fledged experience in creating such apps. They have a suitable variety of resources at their disposal. They also proceed meticulously with a plan of action. The first phase consists of Story Analysis, which includes developing the inputs and outputs of the app based on collaboration with end-users and managers. After the information flow has been decided, it’s time to create a Prototype consisting of the front end and the backend of the app. Then the third stage is to Determine the Technology Stack, whether it should be IOS or Android. These technologies are also dependent on performance and the app’s scalability, like how many users will access it at a particular time. Once all the considerations are taken into account, the US’s e-learning companies then decide on the Action Plan, like how the app will be developed, the time frame, etc.

  3. Fixed costs:
  4. Companies can’t save costs by using some free frameworks on the internet for app development because they may have to pay extra for more features. Developers have to be hired if they want to offset such additional payment. On the other hand, when a business takes the help of one of the e-learning companies USA, the app costs are decided in advance and released on time.

  5. Guidance by the e-learning vendor:

E-learning companies USA can guide a business on what app they need depending on their budget. A native app is an expensive option because the two codebases have to be written for Android or IOS. These costs can only be averted once you decide not to launch the app for one OS to avoid development costs, but it will restrict the accessibility of your app. Hence, a cross-platform app that works on both IOS and android is a better option because it requires a lower development budget. So, depending on the scale of your business, the app type can be chosen.

If security is a consideration because the app stores the confidential data of users of e-learning companies, then it’s better a native app is preferred because it uses the security features of the OS. The native app developers can include many features, such as file encryption, by using the OS libraries. So, the users can easily upload a file without the fear of it being accessed by hackers because it can’t be decrypted. So, if the e-learning app belongs to banks and hence contains confidential information about the processes, then a native app is a better option.

The customer experience also decides which app should be used, whether native or cross-platform. It’s because native apps deliver a better user experience since they can use OS libraries, and hence they are customizable in the future. The learner engagement can be increased multifold once the native apps deliver them a better UX. The UX decides their app journey, and without the right one, the customers leave the app sooner than desired. E-learning apps need to focus on better UI capabilities because they must have features like gamification. It’s an integral part of e-learning; with native apps making use of an OS’s existing libraries, they are a better choice for an e-learning app, and be it for medical e-learning or compliance training purposes.

15 Feb 2022
elearning content

Should seductive details be used in elearning content? Yay or Nay  

The companies are now experimenting with so much change in technology adaptations in learning and development. Elearning is one of them.

But how to make sure that your eLearning content does not end up wasting up the time of the target audience or they find it too humourous because the content has not been formulated with the proper research and hard work.

Now, when does that happen? The eLearning aims to ensure that the learners are engaged to the tee. Hence seductive details are included in a course, such as GIFs, images, and music, which are not related to the learning objectives but to make the course entertaining. They are added to a course to get the audience’s attention. There are many seductive details like: 

  • GIF images to ensure that the learners understand the situation involving a character.
  • Fun facts to make sure learners don’t get bored with all the details  
  • Providing background information about somebody to set the tempo 

Seductive details are added in an eLearning course to make it enjoyable, but sometimes they steal the limelight or ruin all efforts. It’s because an image makes the audience feel shocked because it has been added for that effect. Or the background music takes the learners’ attention away from the course. 

So how to ensure that the delightful aspects of the course continue to stay but don’t push the audience away from the course. 

What is the seductive details effect?

The instructional designer has to understand that sometimes such elements drag the course. So, the instructional designers must follow these principles to ensure that such elements are added, but they don’t overdo it.

Research has shown that such content in the course leads to poorer recall later. This is because the learners’ working memory gets clogged up with such content, and they can’t bring to mind the essential details when needed. When learners’ minds are supplied with so many details, they can’t process the vital information in such eLearning content. So, when seductive details, aka the junk, occupy the working memory, it does not reach the long-term memory, and hence a learner learns nothing worthwhile from the course except some amusing GIFs.

Working memory has a limited storage capacity, and when too much is fed into it, it does not pass to the long-term memory, which has an unlimited capacity preventing recall later. 

The lack of recall of important content is known as the seductive details effect. It is because such extra elements or seductive details occupy our working memory and affect the evocation of information.

It’s because the working memory holds information for a brief time and is crucial for making decisions by working on stored information (long-term memory) in the brain. It’s because our brain can only work on a short amount of memory at a time. Due to seductive details in content, nothing vital gets passed from working memory(WM) to long-term memory(LTM), and nothing useful gets transferred later from LTM to WM.

Why does it happen?

The learners have a way to organize information in their minds to be remembered later. It is done through schemas but when irrelevant details are included in such content, the learners can’t form proper mental schemas. So, although funny content in the eLearning modules might increase engagement, it can hamper retention.

Does the seductive details effect happen with everyone? 

Working memory levels 

 But the effects varied between people with different working memory levels. People who have high working memory are not affected by the seductive details effect. Such individuals don’t look much at such elements, as shown in an experiment by Sanchez and Wiley where eye-tracking was done. People with low working memory capacity don’t have good reading abilities; hence their attention is often captured by the seductive details rather than the text. It is also better to include seductive details when a lesson is about to finish because studies have indicated that they have the least effects. A study done in 1998 by Harp and Mayer had shown that when such details were added at the end of a chapter, a learner’s performance was not much different to the one who has was given a chapter with no such details. 

Cognitive load 

The use of seductive details in reducing the recall also varies with the cognitive load level of the eLearning content. For example, in 2011, a study done by Park proved that when students were given low cognitive load biology content with seductive details, they performed better than without it. Cognitive load means the working memory resources used during a course. This depends on the intrinsic load, which implies the intricacy of the material like rocket science has a high cognitive load than accountancy. In such conditions, the use of seductive details increased students’ motivation levels. But the same is not true for high cognitive load conditions where the inclusion of seductive details proved to prohibit recall. 

How to prevent this effect?

Decide on the learning outcomes.

Hence the eLearning companies must ensure that the instructional designers develop learning outcomes. These are goals the learners are supposed to learn from the eLearning content. These learning outcomes must be designed as per the audience’s personality to see what they are lacking and how eLearning can help them gain it. 

When the instructional designers have an idea about the educational levels of learners, it helps them design the eLearning content in a proper language understandable for the latter. 

Conduct the content audit 

When you have such a learning outcome in your hand, you can include the content with caution. If any content does not help the learners attain their outcomes, it better not be included. So, any irrelevant content(seductive details) which does not pass this test can be excluded. It is also better, that someone other than the instructional designers is used for conducting this content audit to have a neutral opinion. They won’t be biased towards the content because they have created it. So, all the useless GIFs can be discarded. 

The instructional designers should not completely refrain from using ludicrous content in the course. It does engage learners, but they must not use too much. It’s because humans have a natural propensity to learn new things. So, even if your content does not have memes, the learners will still complete it. You can include storytelling in your course, but it should provide instruction. Also, make sure that you include awe-inspiring pictures pertinent to the course content. 

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