Tag: Elearning USA

22 Mar 2024
STEM based authoring tools

What features should STEM-based authoring tools contain?

The education landscape has changed today. The students want to learn through the modern means.

There are new opportunities set forth by digital means. STEM subjects like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are better understood with digital tools. Students can have problems understanding mathematics. But when eLearning is used to teach them these subjects, their lives become easier. The teachers must know how to use these tools so that they create effective eLearning materials with their aid.  

But the first question is how to choose these eLearning authoring tools. There must be some features present mandatorily in such tools:

  • Diagrams:

Such tools must be able to create effective diagrams for, e.g., the teachers can create a Milky Way galaxy through them. Then there can be a drag-and-drop functionality designed around the galaxy so that the students can understand the names of the planets and their satellites.

The authoring tool must allow the inclusion of all kinds of scientific data into the eLearning module. You must be able to display the data just like you want.

Interactive elements are a crucial part of STEM education. Students must be taught through quizzes which help them retain information better. So, a STEM authoring tool must have the feature to build quizzes.

  • Equation editor:

There must be an equation editor built into such tools. An equation editor helps the students to edit the equations for their font size, color, and alignment. There should be a feature to write long numbers that are generated through satellite-based observations like the distance of the Earth from the Sun.

There must be equation editors that allow printing of matrices, integers, fractions, and summations through the authoring tools. Having these features is integral to an authoring tool so that students can learn advanced mathematical concepts through them.

Equation editors should also be compatible with other tools. This way you can save equations and use them in other tools, exporting them through the authoring tools to other tools. The scientific data can be about planets. It refers to the data that has been aggregated and not tampered with at all, called observational data.

  • Huge Vector library:

Such data can be in fields such as anthropology, which refers to the advancement of human beings. So, when explaining how human beings evolved at all, including various shapes of human beings is necessary, such as how they walked like animals. Such data can also be about astronomy, which includes the position of planets and stars at various times of the year. So, the STEM authoring tool must be able to exhibit all such data.

Ecological data is also a kind of observational data. This data shows how the ecosystem is balanced through different organisms. Hence, the authoring tool must contain the feature to draw organisms and show their movements, like predators running after their prey. Cell diagrams should also be present in the vector library so that students can learn about them through drag-and-drop functionality. This goes for other body parts, such as the eyes. So, there should be a comprehensive vector library that includes various kinds of animals and as many shapes, numbers, and equation signs as possible.

Experimental data also needs to be stored in an authoring tool and shown to students. Such data can be in the form of chemical equations and hence the authoring tool must have the feature to write such data. Such data can be generated after doing experiments like mixing two compounds together. There should be vector shapes like test tubes present in the authoring tool to depict an experiment. There can be prebuilt animation to show when the two compounds are mixed. Either the animation should be a part of the module, or the teacher should be able to create it without having an extensive knowledge of coding. The two test tubes should move away to show the result that occurs when the first two are combined.

  • Curriculum-based templates:

Authoring tools should have various templates available so that STEM education can be easily imparted.

A tool that has many templates can make it simple for the teachers to add content. They just need to edit the template and show the template to students. Such templates must be in sync with the subject curriculum you are trying to teach. For example, there can be a template about the food chain so that you can just change the animals in it. There must be templates that pertain to a grade level in a school. The most important aspect of eLearning is that the students need to have fun while browsing the modules created through such authoring tools.

In the end, the teachers should be given training to use such tools. When they know how to use such tools, they can easily implement their creative ideas.

28 Jul 2023

What are inclusive assessments in eLearning?

Assessments form the basis for eLearning. Without them, it can’t be decided whether the learners are ready for work or not. But the assessments should be inclusive which means that nobody is biased against them due to personal problems, or lack of knowledge of local languages. There could also be other disabilities like dyslexia which could prevent a person from attempting a paper-based test and hence it should be taken care of.

Therefore, it’s the job of the L&D team of the company to design inclusive assessments.

Now what should be the characteristics of such assessments:

  • Prepare tests in all formats and common languages:

The test should allow participants to provide oral answers to questions. This makes sure that participants with reading or speaking disabilities are also able to pass the exam with flying colors. Also, the test questions should be translated into different languages so that all the participants can answer them. If a participant has a writing disability like a fractured arm, he should be provided an aide to complete the test for him or he can be provided speech-to-text facility for the test.

In fact, visually impaired participants should also be given the same facility so that they have no problems doing the test. The test could be converted into the braille format for them and they must have a speech-to-text typewriter so that they can complete the test.

The test takers should not have problems attempting the questions due to the language. The language of the questions should be simple and comprehensible for all. Apart from that, the questions should not be specific to a particular region. For example, if the questions are being attempted by someone from a specific country, then the questions should keep in mind his cultural norms.

There should not be phrases used in such questions which such test takers are not familiar with.

  • Relevant questions:

The aim of any good test is to the knowledge of someone who is going to work in a certain position in the company, whether he is apt for the role or not. The test creator must see to it that someone is not made to answer irrelevant questions in the test which are not related to his caliber to perform the job duties. A digital test is the norm these days since it can be easily evaluated by software and the test results are generated quickly. But someone, who is not required to type so much as a part of his/her role must not be given a test with a lot of typing requirements because it’s useless to check this skill.

Even if a candidate scores well on this test, it does not measure his ability to do good at his job which does not require typing. Therefore, a test must not suffer from construct irrelevant variance which means including impertinent questions in the test which don’t indicate anything in the context of certain skills.

There are also engineering test for employees to check whether they can fix machines in the future. But this test must not include questions in the local language containing intricate words which can’t be understood by someone who is not a fluent speaker. He is required to fix machines but not required needed to speak a language coherently.

Therefore, a test checking the engineering capabilities should be translated into foreign languages too for foreign engineers to attempt it. This is what the test creator has to keep in mind.

How to formulate test questions:

What is the construct of a test?

Whatever quality a test seeks to measure in a test-taker is its construct. Constructs are very important to be established before the test so that it does not stray away from its objective.

Hence, it should be the target of the L&D department to see that test content should be as per its construct. If a test content varies from the construct, which means it starts evaluating something other than the construct and this phenomenon is known as the construct irrelevant variance. For example, when a test requires engineering candidates to show an exemplary typing speed, it is varying from its objective of measuring engineering skills.

Then, as per these test results, the scores of the candidates will reflect their typing skills and not their engineering caliber.

Therefore, before designing any test it’s crucial that some steps are followed so that the test results reflect its purpose:

  • Definition of the Construct:

The first step is that the construct of the test should be established clearly.

  • Coming up with questions:

Designing the questions based on the construct of the test.

  • Testing:

Checking the test’s validity is important so that if there are any problems they can be identified before the test is given to the real candidates. It’s better that before a test is given to a sample, it’s chosen carefully. Such a sample should consist of diverse candidates so that the final test is as inclusive as possible.

For example, there can be the inclusion of someone who does not speak the local language in this sample so that the use of any complex term in the local language is detected 

  • Modification:

Revise the test based on the feedback of the sample of the candidates chosen in the previous step.

Test anxiety is also a problem in which a test taker can have trouble answering questions because of the pressure to complete the test within a certain time limit. It’s better that the test is designed in mind, keeping the construct. If the construct is to check the competence of a test taker, there should be a liberal speed limit.

27 Jul 2023

How can AI help L&D in a company?

Artificial intelligence can be used in many beneficial ways to leverage the power of L&D. In the following ways it can be useful to create better solutions for learners.

  • Easy search results:

Content tagging is useful for learners because it helps differentiate the content. AI can tag the content as per the keywords contained in it. So, when a user enters a particular keyword in the search bar of the LMS, he can get the desired results. All this is possible through AI which analyses the content carefully and checks what keywords can be used to describe it. This is the keyword extraction strategy used for content segregation.

AI can also segregate the content as per the named entity recognition method. This involves assigning tags to the content as per the names and the places which are a part of it. So, when the user wants to get more information about a certain entity, he can use AI to do it. Apart from the above two methods, AI can also use the images and the videos contained in the content to tag it. It can use the title of the image to know what the content is all about.

Since the learners can easily access the content through the use of AI in the LMS, it reduces the workload of the admin. Apart from that, since the searches are made quite easy through the use of AI in the LMS, there is greater scope for just-in-time learning because the learners can easily get information. With AI-based algorithms working to deliver the search results to them, they learn immediately leading to better outcomes for the company. They don’t have to scroll through the entire content trying to find the relevant results.

  • Fair performance review:

Artificial intelligence is also useful when it comes to evaluating skill gaps. The AI can also be used to check whether there are any skill gaps in any employee’s performance so that proper training programs can be created to help them in time.

Without AI, organizations have to spend a lot of time creating the proper employee evaluation forms and using them to get relevant data. Then it again expends hours to go through that data. AI, on the other hand, creates forecasts of employee performance based on the current performance data and how will the employee perform in the future. But AI can ensure that the performance reviews don’t have any element of partiality in them.

Managers may give a positive opinion about someone based on favoritism. Therefore, there is no bias in the AI-based performance reviews.

When such gaps are analyzed, it becomes easier for a company to design proper training programs for its employees.

Managers can have a prejudice against an employee apart from that it’s not possible for them to conduct performance reviews for so many employees, it’s exhausting for them. It’s also tough for them to fill out forms about the performance of so many employees because they don’t have such knowledge. They can’t analyze the performance-based data of so many employees.

But with AI, it’s easy for such forms to be accessed by everyone who is in touch with an employee. When the employee’s performance data has been collected from different sources, there is less scope for wrong data getting collected. Therefore, when data is collected through AI, true feedback about an employee’s performance is received.

When the future performance of the employee is predicted through AI, it can give the management an accurate idea about his performance gaps and what to do about them. They can also set realistic training goals through L&D for him.

  • Easier learning in L&D:

AI can be used to provide better search results for learners based on their usage in L&D.

This technology can also be used to help those learners who have hearing impairments. It can create subtitles for them so that they have an ease of understanding the content. When AI is used in the LMS, it leads to better experiences for the learners.

The standard operating procedures can quickly be created with AI-based algorithms so that users can quickly consult them and solve their work-related problems.

AI is also useful for getting better tracking data from the LMS, implying that the company can take better decisions about its use. It can also get insights into how well the users are responding to the eLearning content. AI can be helpful in creating content in the appropriate format for learners. Suppose the learners want to see simulations of a theoretical chapter, it’s possible with AI. This ensures that the learners are able to understand the tough concepts quite easily.

When the LMS admins in L&D, don’t have time to check the assignments given by students, AI can do the same tasks quite expediently and efficiently. This makes sure that the admin and the instructors are relieved to do other work.

25 Apr 2023
L&D increases digital fluency

How can L&D contribute to Digital Fluency?

Automaton is here to stay, and there is no denying it. Companies have to focus on how to reskill their workforce in the wake of this change. One of the ways to do so is to make them digitally literate so that they can operate the machines run by software. Hence, Digital literacy is an important skill needed in today’s times. When an employee knows how to handle all the software in the company, he does not have to be trained.

Digital literacy has expanded these days. Earlier, it only meant the ability to use computers. But now it also includes the caliber to operate smartphones and the various apps installed in them. If someone can’t operate the mobile phone apps, he loses access to many things. For example, someone unfamiliar with a PDF document might have trouble opening it on a smartphone. So, his means of communication is cut because he can’t decipher the document. Apart from smartphones, IoT devices also require digital literacy to operate.

Digital fluency has superseded digital literacy

Digital literacy ensures that he can easily use different technologies. But digital literacy is not enough now. The employees can’t be taught every software extensively as new technological developments happen with time. They must ensure that they adapt to the nuances of any new software. This is known as Digital Fluency.

Over some time, the employees must be able to understand new technologies through internal training(L&D). Therefore, adaptability to technology is the need of the hour.

How to build digital fluency?

Innovation is also another important quality that is required nowadays. The focus of the company should encourage employees to come up with innovative ideas often. In fact, L&D programs should teach employees how to give the best solutions to companies and not do everything the way it has been done before. Without being creative, employees can’t get ahead in their careers.

Companies’ use of Saas platforms to have productive operations has increased substantially, and hence digital literacy can’t be ignored. The employees can only move from one software to other if they are digitally literate to some extent.

Digital fluency can’t be expected without digital literacy. To build digital fluency, organizations must try to make their employees digitally literate. Therefore, Digital literacy can make or break it for companies these days. If the employees are not trained in using any software, it can be a hindrance.The reason for digital literacy among employees could be the dearth of such education in formative years. Hence a company needs to focus on training such employees.

Also, another reason could be that the employees didn’t have any employment previously and are freshers. Hence this is also a reason why a company needs to train such employees digitally.The lack of digital literacy is also common among older employees.

Need for digital fluency

An employee can only be digitally fluent once he knows how to be agile. He can be agile once he knows how to analyze things. With good critical thinking, he does not have to worry about a company implementing new technology. After the pandemic, employees have to adjust to new roles; when employees are not agile, they can’t be shifted to these roles. The pandemic is just the beginning; employees must become resilient to changes in their job duties.

Employees are now being trained and shifted by companies to roles that are not the same as their current ones. This is only possible when employees have decision-making capabilities.

Hence if an organization does not want to face the negative consequences of digital illiteracy, like lost business and wasted man-hours, it must digitally train employees through L&D.

Moreover, having digital literacy is quite useful in online learning because it helps the learners to explore the e-learning documents quite carefully. They can ensure that all the facts in e-learning are correct before learning anything. He can use search engines to verify the facts stated in any elearning document.

How can e-learning foster digital literacy?

Learners who are taught how to use software through e-learning fill their digital literacy gaps.

 Apart from that, digitally literate learners can benefit others by sharing their knowledge and vice-versa when discussion forums require them to answer questions requiring further investigation into the workings of the software.

Elearning also helps in supporting digital literacy. Learners who complete eLearning assessments can also gain a lot, especially in drag-and-drop quizzes. Sometimes, learners also have to go online to gain the knowledge to complete the assignments. This also helps them in building their computing skills. For example, they learn how to bookmark websites for further reference.

When the eLearning resources are not enough, they browse through the internet to acquire more information and, in the process, become digitally proficient. 

  • Through assignments:

Online learning(L&D) can benefit learners when they are asked to prepare a PowerPoint presentation or create a blog from all they have learned. This helps them strengthen their knowledge about such software and also helps them in better retention of newly gained knowledge. 

  • Through webinars:

You can also ask the learners to present their knowledge through a webinar. For the presentation, they may need to post on social media accounts. Hence, they start understanding the importance of hashtags.

When hosting a webinar, the learners also comprehend how to use the video conferencing tools and set up a meeting through them. Learners also browse through video channels to find the best information for a webinar. 

14 Mar 2023
customer training for products

How to promote customer training for products? 

Customer training is genuinely needed by companies to sell products. Without proper training, customers can’t use products, especially the impeccable software that is getting released into the market every day. The customers have problems using the SaaS products and hence need training videos. Most of these new products are beyond the understanding of customers and they get confused while using them. The entire efforts of the sales team get wasted once customers don’t understand the product after buying it and ask for refunds or they give such word-of-mouth publicity that everyone refuses to buy it.

Benefits of customer training:

Companies should not look at customer training as a way to boost sales; rather they can get a lot of impetus in the market once customers can do something useful with the product. Customer training can make sure they stay with you in the long run even if competitors are providing them with better offerings. 

  • Customer satisfaction:

When customers are trained about the product, they can use it effectively. The customers can know how the product will help them solve their needs and they have not wasted their money. When customers are trained, the client support conversations are reduced needing to hire lesser customer support executive staff. 

  • Product advertisement:

The biggest benefit of customer training is that the customers will opt for a renewal of the subscription and you won’t lose them to new players in the market. Customer training is also a way to advertise and create brand awareness. It ensures that customers get knowledge about the product and its benefits.

Although customers can be given training, it needs to be localized so that users all over the world can understand it. Also, customers can be given certifications after they have completed them.

How to ensure customers sign up for product training?

Well, the biggest hurdle companies can face is how to lure customers into product training. This can be quite challenging if the customers are working professionals and face a lack of time.

  • Offer credits for training:

The companies can offer customer training credits which means they can get cash for credit. So, whenever they have credits, they can buy a product at a discount. So, the more the training is completed by a customer, the higher the discounts he can earn.

Companies can’t take money for training because it can act as a hindrance to software usage by customers. This is also troublesome in the case of corporate customers because the company needs to fund such training and hence consent from the finance department is required.

  • Provide certification:

When software companies have a great certification it acts as an encouragement for the customer, because they can show it off to their colleagues. So, they take more interest in the content. They can also get better career opportunities if they have such certifications in their resume.

  • Send emails:

The customers can be sent automated emails about new courses getting launched. The companies can include a small trailer of the course in such an email so that the customers are attracted to it. But the trailer needs to be interesting, so you can ask your elearning vendor to create it who can add all multimedia effects to it. Also, whatever LMS you are using for imparting training to corporate customers, make sure it has a chat option so that if the consumer has problems despite seeing the demo, he can contact you without wasting time. Round-the-clock support by agents is very important.

  • Host webinars:

Webinars can also be used to entice customers. They can get comprehensive information about the product through them. Webinars can be used on a long-term basis to show product demos to customers. They can easily see all the features of the product apart from how it works.

For corporate customer training, it’s extremely important to convince the managers. They will get appraisals once they introduce a new software product in the company which leads to increased employee productivity. Hence, a company must canvass the managers about the importance of the implementation of their software. Moreover, companies can send emails to managers about new training courses becoming available.

Also, every customer does not need in-depth product training. They need shorter videos. If there are customers who need more detailed knowledge of your products, build longer videos for them. 

How to track customer training?

Companies can also ensure that they are using CRM software which gives them complete insights into which customers are logging onto the LMS and which are not. This is because if customers are not interested in your products even when you are ready to explain them, they are now using other products.

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