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Attention span varies. With modern day lifestyle, our attention flits within minutes. It’s like travelling in a fast car. Things zoom by. Web surfing is like that. Content zooms past. You swipe a page after skimming the details.
As a working executive, your mind grapples with atleast five things daily. You have a deadline for your project or specific task; you have a team meeting; you have some emails to follow up. Personal appointments have to be kept. Money or health stress also play at the back of your mind.
Some typical reactions from learner to traditional elearning.
These are the typical responses to trainers and L&D from busy professionals.
It’s no different with children.
“Mom, I want to change the channel.”
“Mom, do I have to read all this today. Can I eat popcorn with this?”
“Why do I just have to sit there and watch the teacher speak on the video? It’s so boring. Can’t I do something?”
These responses tell me a few things
More importantly, I need to design my learning which incorporate all the above.
The best solution for learners with short attention span, lack of time, or hyperactive learners is to create micro learning. Micro learning refers bite sized learning modules with limited content delivered in short time.
Micro learning can be designed in two ways.
idesigngyan has designed ten minute capsules. Each of these have or are based on an interactive module with specific information. The ten minute learning for children is game based and includes information as well as exploration links. The learning capsule for adults are scenario based modules. Depending on the complexity of the topic, we also offer decision tree based scenarios. For details about topics, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A preview of interactive content capsules from idesigngyan.com for your 4-8 year olds. This is just one in a series on wildlife. For more details , contact me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
On the job training requirement is high in a dynamic workplace where the paradigms are constantly shifting. All employees upskill; reskill and constantly learn workplace related skills.
At the same time, most employees spend personal time to learn more. Or have to take time from a busy work day to meet compliance requirements for reskilling or training. Not very motivational, is it?
Imagine at the end of a stressed day, when they are probably in crowded transport places or traffic jams or even home with family, the employee has to spend time learning or refreshing a skill, which may or may not be immediately applicable. How would you tackle this demotivation apart from strategies implemented by gamification aficionados?
In my experience, the biggest issue with on the job training is the time required. Whether it is blended learning or elearning, time spent on training is always factored into ROI and impacts results and cost. The best training that has maximum ROI is the ten minute content module with check points. I firmly believe that a course should be delivered only as ten minute chunks with one concept exploration.
What are the advantages of this approach?
Content strategy for 10 minute modules has to be very detailed. As each module will have to target a learning objective with content tailored to meet it. The content must be carefully chosen so as to best explain the concept in the shortest possible time.
At idesigngyan, I design and develop ten minute capsules with Storyline 2 for short skills and for hard information based courses. For fully customized courses, fill in the contact form or call me/ skype me.
A project I worked with in 2005 had a very specific client requirement. A video address from the company head. Mandatory for the induction program. Over the years, videos have grown from connecting with employees to delivering essential learning content.
Here’s why –
Instructional designers have to keep the following in mind, while using videos –
Once an ID is satisfied with all the above points, the video can be effectively included in an eLearning course.
Post this, close attention has to be paid to it
A primary factor in using videos is whether the video is already available; has to be sourced or has to be created from scratch. If available, is it free of copyright issues? Has the client made the video or is it hosted on a commercial site, like YouTube or Vimeo? Does the client expect you to purchase a video available at video stock sites?
If the video has to be made from scratch, do you have to do a shoot? Or is it an animation based video or an image based video?
Further, if your course consists of video based learning entirely; then, scripting the video from scratch is mandatory. ID’s require good language skills, esp. conversational language skills to make a good video.
Also, the ID needs to keep the content precise; in-flow and effective. Natural conversation style is a good option for scripting, yet it needs to be on topic and not include any off topic examples or anecdotes. The script should have an explanatory tone which makes the user familiar with the content.
While including video in eLearning and / or video based learning may seem an easier training option, there are many factors to be considered before opting for it. Most important of all are the learning needs of your audience.
Is the audience better suited to learning from videos? What are the learning styles most common among your audience? What kind of time does the learner have? What kind of technology does the user have access to?
Some good video based learning sites
The above have excellent quality videos and can provide a guideline for you to create your video. You should also check the footage available at various stock video sites to use in your course.
Most new eLearning companies claim loudly – “Let us save you from boring eLearning” And then garbed in a new avatar they sell the same old boring eLearning.
I avoid such companies who first put down what they are selling and then change the dressing and sell you the same old greens.
Either you are selling eLearning or you are not.
That leads us to wonder – What is eLearning?
ELearning stands for electronic learning. All forms of learning taking place through digital means is eLearning.
If you are selling gamification based program or simulations or blended learning solutions, which involve digital learning; you are still selling eLearning.
ELearning can be different types and complexity levels
From Level 1 to Level 4, it ranges from a simple text and graphic based page turner (much like Kindle books) to complex simulations. Some game simulations; MMORPG also constitute eLearning.
How does eLearning become more effective?
It is the instructional designer’s forte to ensure that your eLearning is relevant and engaging. In bespoke eLearning, it is always a good idea to understand the customer’s requirement first. A needs analysis should identify the goal that your customer has for making eLearning. Follow this up with a learner and context analysis. Know your learner and the situation they learn in. Identify the learner behaviour and design around it.
Effective eLearning is always focused on the learner. In off-the-shelf solutions, identify why the customer should purchase your eLearning, and thus, know customer needs. Then, know your learner. Have an average learner in mind before you design.
To find out how you can avail of more effective eLearning visit my site – idesigngyan
Or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Even a trained graduate is useless, unless he or she applies skills learnt. The video identifies an audience who learns through discovery and then applies this learning to succeed where trained designers didn’t.
At a later stage the designers learnt how to apply skills to achieve a higher rate of success.
What is interesting is that the audience which succeeded initially, was not trained, yet had an open mind, a curious and exploratory mind which led them to design success.
Click to watch the video on – The Marshmallow Challenge
I registered for a MOOC.
What is the solution for better online learning? How can you increase course appeal and make it more engaging?
Some alternatives are
Scalability is not a challenge any more. Engaging the student and more importantly retaining the student is the new challenge.
Engaging the student therefore depends entirely on your lecture design. You need to customize your lecture and here is where prior registration and limited number of students comes into play.
Let’s run through a quick check list of questions while designing a course.
When I design a course, understanding learner needs becomes the most important aspect of my solution design.
I need to do a learner’s and context analysis:
These questions can be answered through
Does my lecture include recap points to check learner understanding? Can I give a customized feedback to learner?
Here, the concept of branching becomes relevant. If you can anticipate the several different types of responses and then guide the learner onto a pre-designed path as per response, then you have achieved a maximum level of customization without direct intervention.
Have I created enough to-do activities which are relevant to the course and can engage a very busy adult mind?
Have I created explore points? Are these explore points vague or directed to particular reference sites? Or are they just directed to a general source in Wikipedia?
How do I ensure that the learner comes back for the part 2 of the course?
How can I establish a relation with the learner?
The biggest challenge in online learning is the lack of personal reach and thus it reduces the experiential learning component. The learner is unable to associate a learning point with a specific ‘teacher’ remark or incident or live example. I still recall the rotten egg smell of sulphur dioxide (H2SO4) in my chem lab because we opened the gas jar for longer than the required time. And I am not even from the science stream, though I scored the highest in class in chem.
That’s another point for student retention. What is the reward factor?
More than twenty years post my schooling, I recall my scoring percentile -and with it comes the satisfaction that I was not dumb, but up there among the best.
Here is where we instructional designers build in ‘gamification’ elements, scored quizzes, leader boards, online badges to display on forums, and/or carry over into reward ceremonies with trophies and cups.
Elements where MOOCs and other paid for online courses fail miserably. At the end of the day, online learning succeeds if
Finally the MOOC model is based only on three factors:
If the factors in MOOC model were to be woven into online courses, which are professionally designed, sponsored and made available to the masses by philanthropists, then perhaps the model would be more successful in making education a global experience.
Tin Can API – It brings to mind statements like Break Free of SCORM or is a data analysts dream come true.
At first, the Tin Can API sounds more like a data aggregation tool, which allows for individual pieces of data to be collected, stored and accessed at any time, anywhere.
So, what else is Tin Can API and why is it relevant to instructional designers?
Well, for one it can become a ‘voluntary snoop’ for all your online learning activities and thus provide a huge database to all those instructional designers who work with customized training and care about the learner’s learning quotient!
For example, we designed and developed a sales training program to introduce a global sales staff to new products and selling strategies. Eight months post implementation, the training manager shared that 63% of the sales staff had responded positively to the program and said that it helped improve their performance. Wow! But how did the training manager collect this data and why did it take so long to share it?
It was long painful process, where each user’s course completion or passing of assessment was tracked and recorded on their LMS; their responses were documented via feedback and survey forms; data was tabulated and shared. Sure, as the course designer, the data helped me
How much more effective would it be if I could have had this data within a month or less of implementation? With Tin Can API I can!
Tin Can API allows me to
I’d be willing to bet that I could get a 90% plus positive response with this level of customization.
The positive impact on the user would be
Some features of Tin Can API, which fascinate include
Tin Can API’s course creation mantra will be – ‘Record, Analyze, Assess, Customize, Create’
Tin Can API is already a publishable feature via Storyline and Lectora and allows for hosting on several LMS as well.
The question that dogs me is will instructional designers finally break free of the SCORM content packaging challenge allowing learning to be completely non-linear and available from anywhere? In short, is elearning free of the SCORM shackles again?