Tag: elearning

23 Nov 2023
software training

What are the best ways to design software training?

The eLearning has made its mark in the world today. However, knowledge retention should be the main aim of eLearning because if that does not happen, there is no use. Why does knowledge retention not happen in eLearning?

What is wrong software training?

Miller has specified how much knowledge can be there in a person’s brain at a single time. But not all those seven things created in the mind are equally remembered. Some things are remembered more easily.

For that, the eLearning content creation companies must use videos and infographics. Such companies mustn’t use text to explain every matter but rely on interactive material to better retain certain things.

The most typical example of wrong learning is trying to teach software to your employees. The workers can’t mug up all the steps of how to carry out a certain process in software.

However, companies have to understand that although software is an integral part of every company process, the employees can’t be expected to learn every step. It’s not only impossible, but it also has no major effects on the company when the employees can Google software steps and carry on with daily tasks.

In fact, the employees should be taught soft skills that are more important. For example, employees who are in sales should be taught how to canvass the customers to buy more products or related products.

Effects of wrong software training:

When a company has not properly imparted software training, it can lead to many negative effects. There won’t be an expected ROI and all the software costs would be wasted. It’s because the employees don’t understand the software and can’t use it fully.

How to properly teach the software?

The company must know the software flows for all the employees. This helps them understand which users will use which features of the software. It’s better to design the training accordingly for such users.

  • Remove their fears

So, how can companies make software training easier for employees? First of all, the trainees must be encouraged to participate in training. Their fears regarding the new software must be eradicated. Those kinds of people in the company are not at all happy with change. They are just complacent with the current situation. They hate to ask questions when they have doubts about learning software. So, it’s better that such resistant people are asked questions about their fear of change and then pacified to adopt the new software.

  • Training should be role based

Since explaining each and every software feature to the user is cumbersome and results in cognitive overload, it’s better to refrain from it. Instead, only those features that are complicated in nature and can’t be figured out on their own should be explained to the user. The user might find these features tough to use and commit errors, leading to wrong operations.

Also, some roles require the user to only know certain features that are a part of their daily work and hence should be focused on. Extra features a certain employee will never use should not be focused.

  • Explain the software through articles:

Also, software features can be discussed in articles or documentation for those users who like to go into depth. Such articles save those users who are not interested in knowing in depth about all the features.

  • Use screencasts instead of videos:

The best way for software training is to use images instead of videos.

Videos are tough to edit when there is a change in the software processes. But images are not so hard to edit. You have to screen capture a certain image that has changed. When the user wants to revise his knowledge of the software, he finds it easy to come back to a certain set of images rather than rewinding and watching the video.

These are some steps for screencast videos;

  • Include a table of contents: Firstly, there should be a table of contents so that the users know which page to check for which information.
  • Use less text: The text on the screenshot should be less than the length, as much as equal to 10 words or fewer. A box should be used to highlight the correct portion of the screenshot. 
  • Include all screenshots: Don’t skip any screenshots because the users might get confused.

The eLearning vendors have to work hard to get the process right. They must ensure that in software training, the process is indicated in the software itself so that users can check it carefully. They can be given screenshots of the software processes in the help row itself.

15 Sep 2023
Are VR simulations necessary?

Are VR simulations so necessary for training? 

AI has added a new scope and dimension to companies’ learning and development initiatives. The term technical training has acquired a new context with the development of AI. But chatbots are no longer adequate to answer the queries of the employees. Companies must develop and implement large language models (LLM) that can answer employees in real time. 

How does the AI function? 

A large language model functions with a transformer model, which reads and simplifies the text, and then the LLM produces the text in response to human questions. A transformer model was first invented in 2017 when this neural network structure-based model was used to convert one kind of input into another. This neural network was used to produce French from English. 

The companies can now use large language models that can browse the complicated company manuals with a transformer model so that employees can use them to search for information. They can analyze the company’s compliance database compared to chatbots, which only provide employees with basic information.

Let’s talk about VR simulations:

Although the Metaverse is the coolest thing to have hit the industry now, it’s not always the best answer. The first reason for criticizing this much-celebrated simulations-based technology is that employees are taken from work for a long time, which is not feasible in every industry.

Companies must make critical decisions like where to use the simulations based technology to get the best return.

The companies have to create a plan and then follow it to ensure that such technologies are not overused, leading to an excess budget. 

However, immersive learning is needed when it comes to learning technical skills for employees, like using heavy machinery. The employees can’t be trained on using such machines in person due to the cost of accidents. When AR/VR-based technologies are used, the solution happens in a simplified manner because the learners imbibe the exact manner in which a robot or machine has to be used during their work. 

In certain industries like manufacturing and healthcare, it’s the demand of the competition to use such technologies. 

Pros

  • Industrial demand: 

It’s the job of the L&D professionals to see that success equals prudence, too, and using technologies like augmented reality/virtual reality is well justified. It can only happen when they have done a thorough analysis to prove why such simulation-based technologies were the best solution possible in a certain situation.

They can also implement a small program to check whether the investment in AR/VR systems is necessary, and then scale up everything if necessary.

  • Better results: 

They can lead to lesser costs and lead to easier recall. In such a situation, making employees learn about surgeries through such technologies is the most effective way to create efficient surgeons of the future with the least possible training time. 

Cons 

  • Need for data collection: 

Implementing VR is another task, but collecting data after its execution is also equally important. This data helps the company analyze whether the learners are truly gaining anything from this implementation. If the learners find any problems with the simulation that they cannot fully engage in the experience, it is time to contact the vendor.

Who uses the VR experience to learn and cannot understand anything? All this data has to be collected by a company before implementing VR for training. 

Why is data collection necessary? 

The data needs to be collected according to the stakeholders who are responsible for making decisions about implementing this technology. xAPI is a brilliant way to capture all the data about a user’s movements during virtual reality technology, where his hands are positioned on the controllers. For example, when the learner is putting off fire in a simulation, how long does it take to do that?

Does he consider certain other factors before taking that decision, like how many people had to be evacuated before the fire was extinguished?

In this kind of simulation, did the learner consider the number of people in the room who had to be evacuated? If the fire could not be extinguished, the occupants had to be evacuated, but it was not the case when it was possible to douse the fire(Decision point). Also, it is important to set a milestone so that the time taken by the learner to extinguish the fire is measured(Milestone).

 So, when the learner’s time exceeds that milestone, he can’t be considered relevant for the job. All this data assortment is necessary for VR/AR to generate successful results in a company and be considered a useful training resource. Whether VR simulations actually lead to intended training results causing a better performance in the company, or does the performance between a simulation and real-life events differ? 

In every decision a learner takes, it’s important to evaluate the chain of events, like when a learner took a certain decision. He might have extinguished the fire when he saw people running, not when the smoke alarms started beeping. So, such a learner needs more training, depending on his slow reaction to the beeping smoke alarms. 

Midway:

Blended learning is a better approach than virtual reality training. It’s because a company needs to analyze data like learners who were trained before performed better in VR simulations. Was it necessary to distribute instructions to elicit a better response from learners? 

At Creativ Technologies, we provide 2D simulations for our clients so that they can provide unrestricted learning experiences to their employees. With the right integration of authoring tools and craftsmanship, our niche simulations have been used by clients all over the world for focused experiential learning.

15 Jun 2023
learning program perfect implementation

How to implement a learning program with the least resistance?

Learning has taken center stage for most of the companies these days. These are the reasons why the operational manages can pose problems for the project:

  • High costs:

But, sometimes, there can be resistance from the employees’ side. An improper needs analysis could be one of the reasons.

Also, operational managers might disapprove of the project because they feel too many resources are getting spent on it.

Therefore the learning project manager then ensures that the project is created after considering the resources and time suggested by the other managers.

Hence, they must have a say in the project before it is finalized. It’s because they can only approve the budget.

The Learning department must meet with the operational managers before it fixes the project costs. It can be easily implemented when they approve the budget for the project’s costs. For example, the sales manager does not favor getting a training program from outside to avoid expenses. Hence it’s better to introduce a simple sales coaching program by seniors so that the sales managers don’t oppose the training efforts. It’s better to take the operational managers into confidence because, in the end, they are held accountable for any learning costs.

  • Lack of results:

The KPIs of the learning program are also important because it can help the operational managers meet their goals.

The primary metric of any program is that it makes employees apply what they have learned in the program. The purpose of the operational managers is to see that the employees’ behavior has changed.

For example, if it is a sales program, employees should meet their sales goals after attending it. The operational leaders should provide roadmaps for such learning programs. The employees must be able to finish the training in the required number of days with predefined test performance. If the performance does not improve after training, the operational managers are also responsible because the program was improperly created.

  • Improper schedule:

The training timetable must also be implemented per the wishes of the operational managers because when the training is too lengthy, projects can’t be started on time. For example, if the sales training for production is not completed on time, it can’t be sold. The sales department finds it tough to meet its goals due to not selling the concerned product.

When the employees are attending training, they are not working. This means that the training should be concise and goal-oriented. When the training includes content that includes extra details, it can prove to be a waste of time for the company, and the learning department might have to face criticism for the same reason.

The teams’ performance during the learning program must also be measured carefully; otherwise, it’s impossible to have the training implemented in the right manner. For example, how the employees must attend the training must be indicated.

If the employees are not attending the training per the scheduled hours, it wastes company resources. The attendance of employees can be decided in coordination with the operational managers. The training should not be implemented when a business has its peak season. It should be implemented when there is a slow season for the company. This means that although employees might be cutting down on work to attend training, they are not reducing too much productivity because it’s a lean period.

  • Testing of the project:

The various operations managers should also test the project to ensure it yields the desired results. When they test the project, they know whether it meets the expected objectives. Therefore, various operation managers, such as Finance, HR, and sales, should be included in project implementation. Once the managers provide the feedback, changes can be made to the learning program as per their feedback.

When the Learning project manager consults the operation managers, he earns their respect, and the project meets the least resistance. If the project does not meet the objectives, it can be stopped from implementation.

Lastly, just like the cooperation of the operational managers, there should also be help taken from the IT team. The IT managers can only help a company decide how to implement the LMS. It should also have a proper bandwidth so the required employees can access the LMS simultaneously. It’s a tough task to start a learning program in the company; hence the IT team must be enrolled.

01 Jun 2023
importance of screencasts

What is the use of screencasts in elearning? 

 

Technology is rapidly getting adopted by companies. But, indeed, digital adoption is not happening because employees cannot understand the technology. In a survey done by PwC, half of the company staff are not pleased with the resources available to learn technology.

The instructional design services can be useful to employees in learning about technology. The instructional designers help prepare the right training materials for employees to imbibe the nuances of how to operate the software. These resources ensure that the employees can expedite their work related to new software.

The instructional designers of a company have to get niche knowledge from subject matter experts about how to use a certain software application. The employees might also need knowledge about the old software applications, particularly if they have just joined the company. But if they have been working for a long time, they need information about new software only.

In both cases, an instructional designer is needed to take screencasts. In the first case of the new software, the IDs are asked to take the inputs from someone developing the software. But in the second case, an SME provides them with sufficient information about how to use the software. 

When there is an instructional designer in your organization, he can prepare the JIT resources and screencasts for the software users. They can consult them when they need to use the software. Apart from videos, VILT can also be provided to these learners about software usage.

The best part is that with these instructional designing services, the software is clear to the users, and they face no issues. Also, when the training has been designed properly for the users keeping in mind empathy, it results in feasible learning experiences.

An ID can improve the software training by using authoring software to take screencasts, and then he can add a voiceover and finalize the training.

The training modules can be created for different topics to be included. The following steps can help the learners in designing a screencast based video:  

  • Assess the skill gaps:

Instructional designers first need to check whether software training is needed. It might be so that the employees know the software quite well and don’t have any skill gaps. Hence a training needs analysis is required.  

  • Introduce a table of contents(TOC):

The learners might not have the time to watch a complete video. Hence it’s better to have a TOC in the module so that the learners can watch the different sections. They can skip the sections with which they are already familiar. Instead of trying to teach everything at once, it’s better to be broken down into modules. This ensures that the learners don’t have a cognitive overload.  

  • Have a short video:

A video should not be more than two minutes long, but if a procedure requires more steps, divide the video into segments and introduce blank screens between them. If you have a long procedure video on the same topic, it’s better to introduce a blank screen between various steps.  

  • Include quizzes:

Learners can easily forget the information taught to them in screencasts. This is directly proportional to the number of steps in a task. Hence, they must be given quizzes and asked what the next step in a task should be. Such quizzes must be included in different parts of the video. Also, hotpots must be used in the videos to indicate which buttons should be pressed by the learners or which textboxes should be used by them to add information.

Ensure the narration and text don’t appear on the screen together. It’s because we don’t use our senses of listening and reading together. We only use one at a time.  

  • Don’t talk about concepts:

In a screencast video where you are trying to teach the user a certain way to do things, it’s better to include only steps that can help the learner understand how to do something. There is no need to include the concepts-based information in such a video. This is how you can design a screencast-based video. 

The learners must also be given proper gist of the steps taught in a module. This not only refreshes their memory but also gives them a much-needed break between modules.  

19 Apr 2023
maximize retention after an elearning course

5 ways to ensure knowledge retention after an eLearning course

There has been an upsurge in the companies learning needs. But it’s not enough to offer e-learning courses. Companies must also know how to make employees retain them.

Whatever has been learnt in an elearning course must be imbibed by the learners. For this, they must be sent tasks which involve repetition.

For example, multimedia has an impact on the human mind. It’s true that people remember images and videos more easily than text. In fact, animation can explain the most complicated of matters to human beings.

The same concept applies to quizzes where the learner can apply his knowledge and improve, and this way, he recalls the knowledge.

Techniques to ensure knowledge retention:

  • Active learning:

Active learning involves ensuring that the learners discuss with the trainer. It’s like holding classroom sessions with the trainer when the elearning is over.

There the trainer can ask questions from the learners, like giving them case studies to solve. The active learning approach is crucial because it involves both parties, i.e. the teacher and the learners.

If the learners are facing problems with whatever they have learned, they can ask the trainer about them. The active learning sessions can take place until the learner is fully clear about the concept. They can involve a single session or several sessions.

  • Use of micro learning:

The elearning course must be designed keeping in mind that the energy levels of the learners are not high after working at the job. Hence when at the end of the day, the learners log on to their PCs, they must go through a well-designed and crisp course. Whatever the course is, it should contain only relevant information so that the learner does not end up watching useless information. So instead of a long course, divide it into smaller modules.

The course must consist of micro-learning modules such as brief videos which learners can watch and understand easily. Whenever the course is too much lengthy, learners don’t have time for it and can’t even remember it. For example, a course with longer modules containing impertinent information can cause cognitive overload. Apart from small videos, some portions can be managed through podcasts also.

  • Reflective learning:

The learners must also get a chance to reflect on the information. Reflective learning is also crucial to ensure that the learners don’t forget much. Hence classroom sessions are important where the learners can be asked to question each other so that everyone recalls the concerned information. The students also get to know what information they are unable to recall or apply and hence need a revision of the same topic.

For the same purpose, it’s also necessary that the eLearning vendor includes a quiz after every module. Quizzes in an elearning course are a better way to make learners retain information than summative assessments because it makes sure that the learners remember just the relevant portions. When the learners can’t score passing marks on a quiz, they must review the module repeatedly. If the learners commit a mistake in a quiz, they need to go through the same material. When students cannot use their learning to solve the problem, this can be done by the teacher to ensure that they understand the material better.

  • Spaced repetition:

Spaced repetition is a useful technique in the case of eLearning because it ensures that the learners can easily remember concepts taught in a course. This is done through flashcards. The company can get such cards based games. In such games, the learners are shown flashcards which have difficult concepts frequently but less tough concepts only randomly. This ensures that the learners can retain the intricate concepts. 

  • Use of stories:

Learner retention can be improved when a story is told to them before a concept so that they can relate to it. It’s better if managers tell such anecdotes because they know the real-world situations of the jobs where such knowledge can be applied.

The e-learning courses must be interspersed with stories where simulations are shown to employees about the course. 

To conclude: 

Self-paced learning is not an easy task. It’s important that the learners are guided about how to manage time so that it does not take a toll on their health because they are managing their job along with the course. Hence the e-learning course must be designed properly because if it’s not, the learner has to grasp extra knowledge, which he does not require for performance at his job.

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