Tag: ELEARNING USA

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.

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.

20 Apr 2022
health and safety training

Is health and safety training worth a company’s investment? 

Health and safety training has become essential given so much risk in manufacturing organizations. The workplaces have hazards due to machines that can’t be ignored. There are also risks present on a construction site, such as asbestos and slips. So, all the employees have to be acquainted with such risks so that no inexplicable accidents happen.

Asbestos is a dangerous material because the human system can’t digest it. It can cause a lot of deadly diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Hence the company personnel must be trained to take actions such as wearing a suitable PPE kit while working on construction sites that have used such material. The use of asbestos in construction has been banned since 2000, but it was used before that time assorted with other materials.

Why is such training required repeatedly?

The employers can’t choose to be satisfied with the steps taken for health and safety. It’s because any new employee can fall prey to an accident. Hence the health and safety training must be a continuous process. Moreover, as time passes by, new health and safety training challenges arise. Hence there should be new kinds of procedures established to detect new risks. When the organizations set up documentation for health and safety training, there should be comprehensible language used.

What are the benefits?

Health and safety training can make your company a better place and increase workers’ productivity. When employees know how they have to work to prevent any accidents, their concentration is more at work. They have clear instructions about working with machines and in other unsavory conditions involving chemicals. The organizations have proper written procedures for the workers; they have easy tasks before them. The employees don’t waste time on trial and error and use their working hours precisely for just work. So there is no wastage of manpower to figure out how something is to be done.

When health and safety training is not imparted in a company, they lose crucial employees due to accidents and have to expend time on finding substitute employees who have a learning curve.

The companies also have to understand why health and safety training is crucial because they also have to pay heavy damages to victims once any accidents occur. Companies that have failed to comply with any norms for such purposes have to pay fines amounting to millions in recent times.

Why is first aid needed?

Apart from providing proper health and safety training to employees, it’s also a company’s job to ensure adequate arrangements for the first aid service in the company. The employees need health and safety training to assess whether they need any first aid person in the company who also needs to take some training. His training levels depend on the training needs assessment, including profiling any risks in the workplace. Hence any first aider is given training so that he has the appropriate knowledge on how to handle an injury. An employer also needs to research when any training provider for a first–aider is suitable for his role. The employer can ensure that such training provider has been certified and recognized. Although the conditions at a company might not require a first aider, there must always be an appointed person as per HSE who can take care of any problems. Such employees can be trained in a first aid course. Even if a first aider is present, such a trained employee can help him in exigencies.

These are the reasons why a first aider is needed in a company:

Health and safety training videos can show whether any employee needs a first aider or not.

  1. Breakout of fire:

  2. Fire has been a common problem for many organizations. It can happen for many reasons, such as not using the extension cords properly when the liquids are kept near them, and they spill, causing a fire. So, to douse the electrical fire, it’s better to use an extinguisher rather than water. Sometimes, the business might also be using faulty equipment like a multi assembly outlet which can cause an electric spark and a fire. Hence, it’s better to make sure that all the equipment is up-to-date. There should not be a loose wire anywhere connected to a switch that is not turned off.

    The fires in an office can also be caused due to other reasons, such as flammable materials not being stored properly. So, employees need health and safety training on storing such materials.

    The employer needs to train employees on the mandatory evacuation steps if a fire occurs. A simulation showing 2D characters is better in this regard. Till the proper firefighters arrive at the scene, everyone should have been removed because any injuries can result in disastrous consequences. An employer can be even sued for the same. A First Aider is required in companies where employees can be prone to injuries such as burns at the workplace, and a need assessment assists an employer in knowing it.

    It’s also crucial that an employer has the proper fire alarms in place to alert the employees about a fire. When they are not informed in time, they might not be able to escape. Hence, the fire alarms need to be active at all times; they should be tested for functionality.

    Health and safety training is also crucial for the company’s security personnel because fires can also be caused by arson. Hence any ex-personnel holding some grudges against the company should not be allowed an entry. The majority of office fires in the UK have been caused due to arsons. There should be CCTV cameras installed in every part of the building so that any unwarranted activity at night can be monitored when any place is particularly vulnerable to arsonists. The company must be cautious in maintaining proper nighttime vigilance in the company.

  3. Pre-existing diseases:

First aid is also required in cases where an employee is suffering from ailments like epilepsy and asthma, which requires immediate attention.

Hence health and safety training is pivotal to avoiding such undesirable circumstances.

19 Apr 2022
medical training

Can medical training increase allied health care workers? 

The Covid pandemic, which brought the world to a standstill, has made many changes necessary. One of them is the regular medical training which can only ensure that the health care workers don’t quit. It has been true that health care workers gave their best during the critical times of the pandemic, but they were exhausted after a certain time. The reasons for their leaving jobs were an unexpectedly high number of hospitalizations and working during odd hours during this medical emergency.

Who are allied health care workers?

There has been a lack of talent in the medical sector, majorly in the allied health care sector. This branch of health care involves helping the doctor diagnose a disease. So this includes lab technicians and doctors who run laboratories. Without an X-ray or an ultrasound, it’s tough to determine why someone is ill. There are also assistants working with dentists who clean your mouth before he examines it.

The pandemic exposed the shortage of workers in the allied health care sector. It’s true that now there is an increased need for doctors’ assistants. They check whether the patient has any disease through an examination like an ophthalmologist’s assistant checks whether the patient has an eye problem by putting some eye drops. These kinds of people in allied health care save the time of a doctor who examines those patients who have some genuine problem. Doctors also get tests conducted on a patient for a preliminary analysis of his disease, like the reason for abdominal pain. This helps the medical practitioner prescribe the right medicine depending on the cause.

The medical system cannot run smoothly without the allied health care professionals. For example, a doctor who diagnoses a blood sample cannot do so accurately when the wrong one has been sent to him. Phlebotomists ensure that the blood is collected in the right amount and correctly marked before it reaches a doctor’s laboratory.

Why did the need for such workers heighten during the pandemic?

When the pandemic spread, there was a shortage felt for such allied health care workers who conducted the viral tests to find out whether someone had the virus or not.

Due to the unexpected situation of Covid19, the importance of these professions was realized. It’s because pharmacy assistants had to carry out the job of giving out the self-administered Covid-19 tests. The following were the major functions performed by the pharmacy technicians during the Covid-19 crisis:

  1. Telehealth calls
  2. Pharmacy technicians played such a great role during the pandemic because they ensured that patients took their medicines on time during telehealth calls. This made sure that the need for visiting patients at their homes was decreased, reducing the risk of infections. With licenses, these pharmacy technicians provided telehealth services like demonstrating to a person how to conduct a Covid-19 test. They also helped patients get better knowledge about the disease through telehealth calls. So this made sure that patients who had the symptoms didn’t have to visit doctors in person. The hospitality workers also had to be retrained to ensure that they could check who a foreign visitor was coming into contact with.

    The pharmacy technicians were even administering the vaccine during the pandemic. They were doing so when supervised by a pharmacist licensed by the state. So, there is a need for such workers in the future should the need arise.

  3. Remote order verification

Pharmacy technicians have also done remote order verification, which involves validating whether a prescription contains correct entries or not. If a patient has asked for medicine again, then the pharmacist technician can check whether he is buying the medicine too soon. He can check the previous orders of the medicine by the same patient on the PC. Due to remote order verification, the pharmacists can carry out the prescription verification of people living in far-off areas and supply medicines to them. During the pandemic, when the pharmacy technicians were working from home, the prescription verification was done on systems, and hence patients were supplied medicines. But medical training is vital for pharmacy technicians to use such systems. It also helped the pharmacist cope with the lack of technicians, which happened due to lockdowns because online working became easy due to medical training.

How can medical training help in getting such workers?

Medical training can ensure no scarcity of allied health care workers because it provides reskilling to them to prepare for their roles.

This kind of medical training imparted in videos can help these workers learn how to take blood specimens, for example. Elearning is a crucial form of medical training because such aspiring workers might not have time, or even their location might be too far from the place of offline education. Reskilling is also an important part of medical training for such roles. The medical clerks must be promoted to the allied health care workers’ roles. This retains such data entry workers and ensures that the nurses are not faced with an intolerable workload.

12 Apr 2022
Elearning authoring tools

How must elearning authoring tools be chosen to create stimulating games?

Gaming is an important asset in the e-learning design. However, businesses must choose the right vendor for getting the most entertaining yet effective games. Elearning authoring tools must contain gamification elements so that vendors can come up with good designs. It’s because learners have so many expectations from e-learning. We live in an age where learners like Gen Z have been exposed to advanced games containing 3D characters, so they expect nothing short of an e-learning game. It’s undeniable that Gen Z is addicted to games and they have to be designed as per their likability. Hence, they like to play a game repeatedly until they have attained the desired score. Therefore, they retain knowledge better because they consider games as a practice until they are experts. It has been found by The Game Agency that, on average, a learner plays a game almost 3 times, devoting 6 minutes each. It also enhanced knowledge retention.
 
Companies have to be prepared for hiring Gen Z(born between 1997 and 2012) because they have completed graduation and are looking for jobs. But they are smarter than millennials because they were born after the internet was invented(1990). They are smarter and have been using smartphones since they were old enough to hold such gadgets in their hands. The games created for this generation obsessed with Candy Crush and Japanese manga characters have to be dynamic and sophisticated.
 

They are also very career-oriented and hence e-learning content has to be created smartly for these tech-savvy people. Their onboarding also can’t be done through PDF documents; they require an eLearning course. Hence if our eLearning course is not at par with their standards, they won’t learn, quit the course and resign from the job. Hence an eLearning authoring tool must have the following features to allow smarter gamification:

  1. Vector and raster Image editing:
  2. Image editing is also a requisite feature of the eLearning authoring tools because pictures are also needed in the eLearning content. If the software does not offer anything but image resizing, then it’s not of much use. It should offer features such as image background removal etc., pasting an image on another and changing its contrast. Such features in eLearning authoring tools eliminate hiring a graphic designer

    The vendors can use sophisticated software like Adobe Illustrator to create vector elements as game characters. However, they can ensure that the eLearning authoring tool also contains images that can be time-saving. Moreover, any authoring tool must have a memory to store these edited images so that there is no need to store the revised image on the PC.

  3. Layering of images and visual elements:
  4. The eLearning authoring tool must be able to add dynamism to a set of images or even a single image in HTML5, which is time-saving. In addition, layering is a must in an eLearning authoring tool now so that images can be stacked on top of each other apart from text bubbles and other elements such as hotspots, etc.

  5. Leaderboards and visual designs for scoring:
  6. Also, the learners are encouraged more to participate in the games when they see their scores in the form of leaderboards and progress bars rather than just numbers. When they have a leaderboard, they can contrast their performance with other layers encouraging competition. Similarly, a progress bar lets them know how close they are to completing a coveted level. These progress bars and game scoring elements must be available in the form of .AI designs so that they can be customized to match the company’s theme colors.

    Apart from this, the eLearning authoring tools must make sure that animation can be introduced in the game so that there is no problem with visual design.

    When an animator is hired to create the same effects in Aftereffects, it is time-consuming.

  7. Triggers for creating scores based on time spent in a game:

Another inevitable feature of eLearning authoring tools is that they should contain triggers. It’s required because every user can’t access all modules; hence nonlinear navigation is necessary so learners can go to a module depending on certain conditions. For every learner, the experience should be different depending on his caliber.

The games must have a scoring feature that should depend not only on whether a learner completes a puzzle but also on how much time he takes to complete it. The learner might also use different ways to finish the puzzle, such as choosing too many wrong pieces. So, his score should be tied to such decisions also. He must get a negative score if he chooses the wrong piece two times. For example, a trigger should end the game for the user when he fails to finish it within a certain time. Hence, the variable must be choosing the wrong piece upon which a trigger is generated if its value is two.

Hence eLearning authoring tools must have the capability for someone to introduce such triggers in the game rather than uploading JavaScript for such actions. When such scripts have to be introduced, there is a need for a programmer. Sometimes, it’s time-consuming for an eLearning vendor to find such a resource.

 

An eLearning authoring tool must also have scope for introducing simple games such as drag and drop and branching scenarios. Although there must be sufficient trigger options in a game based on the time elapsed in solving a puzzle, there must be scope for adding JavaScript for more complex actions.

A game can come to life because of the visualization by the instructional designer. But only an advanced eLearning authoring tool can convert such a storyboard into reality.

Hence, the eLearning vendor must thoroughly consider various options before investing in an authoring tool.

04 Apr 2022
continuous learning

How can management encourage a culture of continuous learning?

Companies are working hard to make their employees work hard to attain goals. But it’s not so easy because only continuous learning can make them the best. The companies can ensure that employees put their energies into learning, which is not an easy task, especially with remote employees.

Why is continuous learning needed?

For companies to get extraordinary performance from their employees, it’s paramount that they are always learning because innovation can only happen then. For example, a company may want to add a better structure to its work, implementing new production rules and the accompanying software.

And this process upgrade happens occasionally; hence the companies must encourage continuous learning which is available on-demand for employees and happens when they are free from their scheduled duties.

Remote employees don’t come to the office, and it’s a challenge to stay in touch with them. Employees also don’t like to follow up on industrial trends because they consider them a waste of time. Hence, they have to be made to realize the importance of such news. They can be sent a digital newsletter informing them of the most contemporary happenings in the form of summaries of their sector. The remote employees can also be sent birthday cards and welcome letters to new joiners. There can be weekly Teams call where the employees are congratulated for their exceptional performance and areas where there is scope for betterment.

The remote employees might not have time to access the training modules. They might be traveling a lot, especially in a target-based job. Hence, make sure that they can access the training modules offline or get them better mobile data packages to get a signal wherever they are.

Sometimes, continuous learning becomes a problem when the employees hesitate to ask questions. It’s not a good company culture when the employees have such apprehension because it can affect their performance. Such shyness comes when it gets revealed to the whole group that a particular employee has asked a question. And when all the team members know that a certain employee has problems, they start answering his question simultaneously. The solution, in this case, is that the remote employee with a query must get someone working from within the office(mentor) to support him. Such queries by remote employees can be simple, like how reports have to be prepared, but their delayed resolution can be troublesome.


However, this mentor can also support the remote worker by providing him with help on how to use the LMS for his continuous learning because the latter might face problems frequently. This is how the management can foster a culture of continuous learning in a company:

  1. The job of managers
  2. Managers have to encourage employees for them to pursue their learning activities. If an employee is taking time out for his work, his manager should not take it as abstinence from work. The employee can better contribute to the job with his improved skills. By making a role model of such an employee, you can inspire other employees to do the same. A lot can be achieved in a culture of continuous learning through collaboration. The managers should popularize the belief that sharing is caring. So if an employee knows something, he should share it with others.

    Knowledge hoarding is a dangerous phenomenon because it does not help when employees conceal crucial information from others to get ahead. So, it is the manager’s job to see that knowledge sharing is given its credit and that such employees are acknowledged. Employees should not follow a practice of knowledge hoarding because they feel important when everyone asks them about work. A company should ensure that team victories are more important than personal success. This way, a worker hoarding knowledge will share it with the team.


    Sometimes, some employees have better access to resources than others because of their education or academic contacts. Moreover, the employees should be privileged to get a paid subscription to professional magazines. The management can pay for such magazines and hold discussions about what employees have learned during lunches. The employees can also be paired in groups (task-force) to share their queries with others and get competent answers through investigation.

  3. Social learning
  4. Social media groups are essential to continuous learning, but they can start veering from the topic. Hence, it’s the job of a moderator to see that no one posts irrelevant memes on Facebook. Also, when any can’t answer back a question in two hours, it must be directly reported to the seniors to provide correct answers. The learners who share the most strategic posts like simulations, podcasts, or an article must be rewarded for their efforts. They could have contributed such content themselves or got it through somewhere. But a worthwhile article link can solve the problems of employees who get a reliable resource. However, there must be a schedule by which employees share such information, like once every week. If every employee posts something every day, there can be cognitive overload, and employees might miss something. Again, a moderator must approve such posts.

  5. Weekly webinars

After an expert has conducted a webinar, the next round ensures that all the solutions are crystal clear to the attendees. There can be a moderator in their webinar-based question and answer(Q&A) session who has ample knowledge and can shortlist the important questions. Send emails to the employees about the time and the meeting link of the webinar. The script of such a webinar containing questions and answers can be given to the employees who didn’t attend the event.

In the same way, when any online discussion gets started, the moderator should inform all the employees about it. The new employees might be getting solutions to their problems, like how to tackle a tough client. When a discussion starts about an online post, the other employees should be notified about them. The employees become aware of any ongoing discussion when they click on the “Join” button. The employees who have started their jobs from home sometimes feel left out when they are not given a proper introduction. They can be given a virtual training session through an experienced manager, who can also listen to their problems online. Later, the employees can be sent an online MCQ questionnaire by the LMS admin, in which they can fill in their responses about the quality of the lecture. This survey can also contain a Likert scale where employees can rank the lecture from a rating of 1-10.

The employees also feel that providing feedback about virtual sessions is not so time-consuming in such a way. When the employees give the questionnaire results, the reports can be prepared in the form of charts and then shown to the manager, who can be given access to better resources to be a superior trainer for the juniors.

Ensure that if you have implemented an LMS for continuous learning, it sends notifications to employees as soon as an article or a video is published. If the employees have a Facebook group, as soon as someone posts a query on it approved by the moderator, he must send email notifications to all the group’s followers.

28 Mar 2022
Elearning solutions

How are elearning solutions becoming better with AI paper graders? 

There has been a high improvement in e-learning solutions all over the world. But such solutions can yield better results when AI is used. This has been proven to be highly effective. Machine learning has become a part of our daily lives. It’s true because whenever we use apps to order food, it gives an estimated cost of the delivery time. If we have ordered previously from the app, it stores such information and, based on it, provides us with an estimate. Machine learning is now also used to create better e-learning solutions. The AI is getting used to becoming a substitute for teachers for assessing exam sheets because:

  • AI better evaluates students

The teachers are also using machine learning because it aids them. The teachers can assess students, but computers do it better when they do the same job. Through artificial intelligence, the PCs get a deeper insight into the learning ways of students. It helps them evaluate those areas where a student needs improvement.

When you have machine learning algorithms used in eLearning solutions, they can store and evaluate data about a student, like whether he is weak in grammar or spelling.

So, when programs are developed based on such data, his assessments can be checked faster. The student can also be checked for his understanding of the subject.

Artificial intelligence is also used to detect which students have cheated. Sometimes teachers can’t detect whether the students’ assignment has been completed by someone else, but AI can do it. It can analyze the student’s handwriting and find out whether it’s original or not. Someone could have completed the test in his handwriting, which a machine learning algorithm could detect through a scanned copy of the answer sheet.

  • Lack of human assessors

Here, a computer-based assessment is more beneficial because it does not rate students based on their handwriting. However, Handwritten e-learning assessments are used in the case of MOOCs. But the problem is how to get assessors for checking them. The students can upload their written assessments on an LMS. Essay-based questions test the advanced cognitive processes that MCQs can’t; the former must be included.

So, AI has been helping devise better test checking in e-learning solutions because the human assessors might be in short supply. Through AI, the teachers and the instructors have more time to spend with students. This is because AI has taken over their work of grading the exams. The AI Is also helping universities grade the admission essays submitted by students. The teachers are now getting relieved from the duty of segregating scanned answer sheets of students. The AI is used for checking multiple questions submitted by students/employees as a part of e-learning solutions.

In the traditional method of checking assessments, two teachers were assigned the job of grading the same exam paper. This method ensured that the students didn’t face any bias when their exam was checked. Although this method protected students’ interests, it was quite time-consuming for teachers. But due to AI-based grading solutions, the quality of checking assessments has not been affected, although the teachers’ time has been reduced.

  • Saves a teacher’s time

Learners can also have problems navigating through e-learning solutions. They might have queries that have to be answered in real-time. But the teachers don’t have time. So even when the teachers are busy attending other sessions, the employees/students can get answers through chatbots. The chatbots are like virtual instructors who can browse through the entire e-learning content to find the answers for students.

The virtual tutors developed through artificial intelligence are also providing to be helpful. It’s because they can recognize any stress in the student’s voice. This way, the teachers learn when does a student need attention. The teachers understand the students’ behaviors through an emotion detection AI algorithm, which lets them know whether a student understands something or not through his facial expressions and voice.

Essays don’t provide any help to students, unlike MCQ’S

 

The students need to be tested for their better understanding, and essays facilitate it because they have to think before writing anything. Unlike MCQs, the students don’t get any help through the various options present. However, the students should be given a time limit to answer essay-based questions, like 10-15 minutes. Also, they should have some hints about what to write on in an answer so that they don’t write ambiguous or nonrelated essay answers. The students should not be writing crap in answer sheets to make the answer lengthy.

What is a paper grader?

A paper grader is a software solution that is used for this purpose. This software provides accurate scores even to research papers. This software collects all the parameters used for grading through assignments checked by professors. It uses the same metrics for evaluating students’ papers. The AI paper grading software never becomes outdated because it continuously updates itself by scanning an answer sheet checked by a human assessor. Also, the software does not have any problem understanding handwriting because it has an optical character recognition feature.

It also helps evaluate the answers in different languages; hence the university does not need to hire multilingual assessors.

25 Mar 2022
elearning solutions

How is technology affecting elearning solutions?

The workplace has undergone a tremendous change ever since the pandemic struck. Extended reality(XR) is becoming a commonplace phenomenon, but what does it refer to. Extended reality includes all forms, including mixed reality, augmented, and virtual realities. All these technologies connect humans to PCs and change reality by immersing the learner in a new world(virtual reality), increasing his surroundings with virtual objects(augmented reality), or combining both(mixed reality).

What is mixed reality?

Mixed reality(MR) is the new form of technology in which the real and digital objects coexist.

So, in mixed reality, you can use objects from both the real and the virtual world. You could introduce objects from the real world into the virtual dimension, like hitting a character in a game with an object in your hand. The mixed reality ensures that when you are wearing the MR headset, you can place one of your hands in the real dimension and the other in the virtual world. But the mixed reality is helping organizations to produce innovative e-learning solutions.

It’s true that through the use of this technology, the students can be shown 3D projections. They can touch them and get to feel objects like dinosaurs. This kind of technology is even useful for teaching factory workers how to work on a machine because they can be shown a holographic template of the machine and arrange all its parts.

There can be an extended reality elearning solutions system that allows companies to provide training to employees irrespective of where they are.

So, the learners are shown holograms through an app on their phone, which also monitors their activities. The learners can be reached anywhere without any wired connection. The user can access the app through their smartphone and view the entire course in the form of holographic screens.

This mixed reality is going to be immensely useful in medical e-learning solutions.

The doctors could easily transfer files from their PCs and read them.

The engineers could work with 3D holograms of dams before executing anything. This could save the money spent on applying labor and materials to the actual construction. With an MR headset, the users can close the room’s virtual windows with their hands.

So, it’s unlike augmented reality, where virtual objects are overlaid into the real world like you could read the patient’s vital signs or even get to know his blood pressure. All this is possible through smartphones that have AR-based apps in them that scan real-world objects to add more details. For example, you can add so many accessories like wigs and hats on yourself when using the Snapchat filter. The AR technology can also simulate the empty cash register with loads of cash and gauge the employee’s reaction.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality is used to train the medical interns who can be given a headset and controllers to move virtual objects like medical objects on 3D simulated human body models. So, the intern has no cognizance of the real world while he is getting his VR based training.

When the learners are wearing the VR headset, they get transported into a new world like taking a stroll on the moon, so this technology is useful for teaching them about scientific concepts which can’t be recreated all the time, as the underwater life.

Advantages of virtual reality

No contact eLearning solutions: Virtual reality has become an essential part of employee eLearning solutions. The employees cant be indeed arranged together for an onboarding solution. So, recruits can be given practical training with virtual reality-based headsets where they can touch a machine. They can also be given the practice to talk to virtual humans who react similarly to us through such headsets only. The best part is that when such training sessions are recorded, HR can check the human feedback and know the areas where employees need learning. All the vital stats of an employee are measured when he is part of a virtual reality-based assessment.

Contactless interactions: It’s also possible with virtual reality that employees can attend parties whilst sitting at homes. They don’t have to worry about reaching home on time or even contracting an infection because physically, they are present at the house but virtually, at a party. The employees can take part in virtual games and virtual karaoke sessions. Such chats where employees have taken part through their avatars are excellent ways to break the ice and aid in relationship building.

Iron Man has often been seen using augmented reality where he works on a hologram-based diagram of his PC. He just uses his hands and moves the objects in a virtual dimension. Privacy will be a major concern when using XR technology. It’s because, at the end of the day, when MR devices simulate the real environment, they will have to be stored, which is costly. Also, privacy can be a major problem because any details about a user’s surroundings can’t be leaked.

14 Mar 2022
LMS

Can an LMS be hacked? Make sure that does not happen!

Online learning has become a crucial part of our lives in the pandemic. Cyber awareness training takes so much of a company’s time, but is it worth the effort when the LMS gets hacked. E-learning is happening all the time, but sometimes that can cause problems when your security details are shared with unwanted people.

Issues arise when the company’s LMS gets hacked or when a MOOC’s website is compromised.

Hence, these organizations must ensure that the users cannot log in without providing an OTP. It will prevent unauthorized users from accessing the accounts of learners. This can be the adverse consequence when an LMS gets hacked:
 
Hackers can take loans and steal mail
 
Hackers can get access to so much valuable information through login credentials. This can include the user’s bank details, which can be further used to take credit. But this can be stopped through a credit freeze, where the users can ensure that no one can apply for a credit card or a loan when such a freeze has been imposed. When you need a loan, you can unfreeze your account.

Apart from that, the unsuspecting users of such e-learning sites can also have concerns when someone gets access to their house address and pays a visit. He can check the mailbox and steal all kinds of items, such as passport numbers included in confidential mail.

The learners must make sure that they do a follow-up whenever they have not received any mail from an organization. They know if their mail has been stolen by someone else in such a situation. When they are not in the house, they must ensure that their mail is received by someone else so that it does not go into the hands of fraudsters. If someone is not available to collect your mail while on vacation, it’s better to ask the sending organization to delay it until you arrive. Apart from passport numbers, thieves can get access to all kinds of information through your mail, such as school records, utility bills, etc.

Solution 1: Limited number of login attempts

The e-learning companies USA must ensure that the users are given an extra layer of protection when they log on to the LMS through their business’s website. Any user must be unable to access the LMS after three attempts to log in. His access must be blocked because, generally, a user can’t enter an incorrect password three times. It could be hackers trying to get into an account using brute force algorithms.

Solution 2: Anti-spam feature in the LMS

The users must also be given a reCAPTCHA option so that no bot can access the LMS. Also, the user data must be protected on the server’s end. Only specific LMS administrators must have access to this server so that no one can steal this confidential data. The company getting an LMS from the e-learning vendors must ensure that it has features such as anti-spam. It makes sure that no one can access the LMS through spam email accounts. Once any spammer creates an account on an LMS, he can install ransomware on the server and access all user details. They can then ask for a hefty ransom to get back access to all its LMS files. Even if such spammers don’t install ransomware on the server, they can still send learners phishing emails and access sensitive information like banking details.

Solution 3: LMS access allowed through specific IP addresses

It’s the job of the e-learning vendor to check that anyone cannot register on the LMS. The permitted users should only be from certain specific domains, like the corporate website or an e-learning portal created for this purpose. Anyone else logging from his email ID should not create an account. Furthermore, the company should ensure that no one has access to the e-learning portal except the employees. But even if the URL gets known to others, its access must be allowed from specific IP addresses. Hence, the businesses must ensure that the LMS security is taken care of properly by the e-learning vendor.

Solution 4: Automatic Backup

An LMS vendor must also have backup support if the servers get hacked. In the absence of a backup, the e-learning content is also lost apart from user details. Hence, its LMS software must have the capability to create a backup every night on the dedicated server of the LMS vendor. When a backup option is there, companies are saved from the hassle of recreating all the e-learning content from scratch.

The LMS vendor must ensure that the users’ systems don’t get hacked by fraudsters. Hence, the LMS must come bundled with antivirus software to scan the users’ computers and alert them about any virus installation.

Solution 5: Access through OTP only

The LMS vendors must also ensure that the software is compatible with the mobile phone. It’s because any app can be hacked quite easily; hence it’s the job of the LMS vendor to check that the users can only log into the app through the OTP protocol so that anyone who has downloaded the app can’t log on to it. Also, all the data transferred through the app must be encrypted to protect it from hacking.

This is how an e-learning vendor can prevent an LMS from getting hacked.

14 Feb 2022
Virtual reality

When must a company implement virtual reality training?  

Companies now increasingly use virtual reality to impart the best possible training to employees. The learners can benefit so much from this training, whether related to soft skills or technical skills. Virtual reality can be used effectively in all kinds of situations. In cases where employees need to use heavy machinery as a part of their work, virtual reality-based simulations can ensure that they are introduced into simulations where handheld controllers allow them to experience the tools.

They can be asked to work on assembly line production through a machine and see how the various buttons work. The learners can be immersed in a world of faulty machines and learn how to repair them. 

The virtual reality-based simulations are effective for nontechnical situations too, where employees have to deal with huge crowds

This can also be tried with HR managers, who can be asked to confront a deviating employee in a VR simulation. The former can see how his body language, voice modulation, etc. affect the latter. It is the best role-play for becoming an expert in handling real-life office situations. 

The same procedures can also be used for training recruits and introducing them to the shop floor procedures. This way, they can also learn how to prevent defects in the product line. 

But organizations need to ask before they decide to use this technology to create training whether it’s the perfect fit given their budget and other considerations. 

Depending on time and budget 

A company can develop the VR training depending on the timeframe. If a company needs immediate training solutions such as for recruits, VR is not the answer because the development time is long and can range between 1-6 months. The cost is also high and can vary between, 20000-1,50,000 dollars. Industries like manufacturing, retail, and transport require VR training compared to others where conventional training methods are sufficient. The 360 VR videos require an omnidirectional camera to be captured because they can take a shot from every angle. Such a VR video can be watched without a VR headset, but it can have an immersive experience. 

Virtual reality-based training is of two types, and it depends on an organization’s needs which it should use. First is the 360 degrees VR in which the learner does not move, and he only can vary his viewpoint, i.e., he can watch the objects in the environment from the left or right angle but can’t change his position. But in the Full VR, he can also move in the simulated environment apart from viewing them from different angles. 

Depending on training needs 

Virtual reality(VR) is a better way to train employees because they get to see a machine from proximity and find out where are all its parts. However, the 360 VR does not have much training scope as the full VR, allowing better learning. The employees can only see a machine from all angles, but they can’t touch the equipment. For example, the employees can learn about different parts of the equipment and which one to use during an emergency in 360 VR, but what happens when they do that can be checked in full VR only. Supposedly, just turning off the machine might not be the best solution in case of a crisis, but employees can only learn that when they are in a full VR simulation wearing a headset and holding controllers. They might need to take another action, like accessing the nearest fire extinguisher. So, when employees are required to take action, a full VR provides a more result-oriented training solution. 

Virtual reality training is not required for tasks such as cybersecurity, which requires employees to sit in front of PCs because they can be taught through screencasts. But in the case of safety training, virtual reality is an inevitable solution because lives are at stake. 

From the safety perspective, a company can’t take any risks, and such situations are more uncontrollable than computer problems, so VR, which emulates reality, is necessary. A VR training vendor can help a company carry out tests to determine whether a certain skill requires VR-based training or not. On the other hand, an organization can’t do without VR when the employee’s response is extremely critical, like pilots, because they have to be monitored for their response. Any delayed response by them can cost a company, but a late response might not have such adverse effects in some situations. In the latter cases, implementing e-learning training is sufficient because employees can be tracked for their right/wrong answers in an assessment. In addition, e-learning can measure employee performance metrics such as their MCQ test results. Unlike VR, e-learning can’t provide metrics like voice recording, body movements, data entry speed, etc., which are necessary for employees dealing with customers. 

So, the introduction of VR-based training depends on what performance metrics a company needs to measure, which are determined by a training needs analysis. 

A company can also use its current training materials like 2D e-learning videos and convert them into 360 VR. The businesses can consult the e-learning vendor about whether they can convert the characters and situations in such videos to virtual reality. Virtual reality allows the maximum retention of e-learning videos because employees are immersed in situations that require them to apply their knowledge.
They also have reinforcement of their training, and hence better retention happens. Since employees have practiced their skills through such simulations, there is decreased attrition due to the inability to face job challenges. On the contrary, employees have already experienced the worst-case scenario through simulation, which boosts their confidence and productivity. 

Companies should also make it a point to ease employees into VR-based training. It can ensure that the employees get the tutorials to handle any troubles while using the headsets and controllers. The employers can also ensure that the employees are given sufficient demo time before they are put into the VR simulators. If employees can’t get the hang of the headsets and controllers during such demos and still have some problems, they must be able to access technology experts for resolving issues. 

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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.