Category Archives: e-Learning

Why training does not get consumed and what can you do about it?

If you’re putting out learning that doesn’t get consumed, it may be because you’re making some very common mistakes with your learning content. Knowing what these are can be half the battle won, as you drive for higher consumption and adoption of your learning.

Ask most learners, and they will say that they don’t consume eLearning because it is snooze-worthy. Most e-learning is boring, not because trainers set out to make it that way, but because it’s not really built to appeal. Today’s audience is more fussy, discerning and can see through almost every learning gimmick that is thrown their way. In such a scenario, how does one appeal to modern learners?

If you’re training a modern workforce, then they are comprised increasingly of Generation Z and millennials, groups that were born into a digital world. These consumers have a glut of digital content, and in as many formats as they want. Content, on a topic that excites their curiosity, is a few clicks or just a search away. There are even apps that serve up a constant stream of entertainment just to ensure consumers can entertain themselves in the few moments that they are ‘bored’.

Smartphone users spend an average of 4 hours a day on their devices, but not on your content To be able to address the problem, let’s try and understand your audience. Estimates put usage of mobile phones among modern audiences at an average of 4 hours per day (eMarketer Research). The challenge you have is stealing mindshare from apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest etc., where users spend close to 80-90% of their time, with the rest spent emailing, texting and using WhatsApp largely.

Your learners need a compelling reason to move away from these platforms and spend time on your online courses, even if these do benefit them ultimately.

So, what are some of the common mistakes that trainers make with eLearning content, that puts off their learners? How can you give learning a compelling reason to consume your content?

Long duration courses do not work anymore

The world has moved to consuming short-form content or microlearning content. Consumer research has shown that 55% internet users read a long-form post or content for less than 15 seconds.

Anything beyond 15 mins and your learner’s attention has wandered to thinking about the latest picture on Instagram or the latest post on Facebook.

Our suggestion: Break your existing content into short nuggets, more in the form of “Did you know?” or “7 ways to make a great sale” to make them appealing to your audience.

Zero to no interactivity puts off learners

Users today need interactivity to keep them engaged. If your content is not interactive and only requires your learner to click the ‘next’ button periodically, then you will lose them very quickly. Ensuring that at least 30% (or 1 in 3 screens) are interactive, is a start to keeping your learner engaged. Interspersing content with games and interactive titbits will not only keep learners talking to your content but will also increase retention.

Our suggestion: Insert a question format every third screen quizzing your learners on what they just learnt.

Absence of multi-media content

Consumers are being engaged across multiple senses today. With the advent of video, just text and visual content does not appeal as much. Therefore, your eLearning content must be peppered with multi-media formats, such as audio, videos, games, etc. Even simple podcasts with a static image will hold learner attention better than plain text. We know it’s expensive to create media-rich content, but there are a lot of tools out there that will allow you to do this for a fraction of eLearning content creation cost.

Our suggestion: YouTube has a lot of free content on various topics. Find short videos that can benefit your learner and include links to these videos in your eLearning content. You can even record 1-minute audio clips and upload them. These can improve your learner’s experience using these tips.

No learner contribution makes for a ‘switched-off’ learner

The world has become a lot more digitally social than before. Consumers engage most when they are asked to contribute to an experience. Reflect to when you obsessively checked your latest post to see the likes, shares and comments it generated. However, most trainers ‘talk at’ the learners rather than have a dialogue with them.

Our suggestion: Have a survey at the end of every course that takes feedback for things like process changes, the online course itself, organization survey, etc. This will provide your learners with a voice.


By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

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4 most effective corporate applications of micro-learning

Everyone knows what microlearning is, it a more focused bite-sized learning to achieve specific objectives.  But often, micro-learning is incorrectly implemented leading to undesirable outcomes for the course. The best fit cases for microlearning in a corporate environment are

Product Training: Product manuals are very large and typically contain too much information. The learner will find it hard recognize key take ways and forget them in days following his learning session. No one really wants to go through the entire document or video to recollect a few key features. Micro-learning can help break cumbersome courses in smaller portions, each containing 5-10 key take ways that you want the learner to remember. This will increase retention and easy recollection for the learner.

Compliance Training: Given the integrated and fast-changing world we live in, the legal, compliance and regulatory policies are changing all the time. You need to ensure the relevant stakeholders are regularly trained. Micro-learning will help deliver the key content in a continuous and easy to assimilate fashion.

Induction and HR Policy training: Ok, so you hold a weeklong Induction training for new joinees running through your company history, ethos, and HR policy. You can be assured that they would have forgotten most of it within two weeks of the course completion. HR policies regarding Sexual Harassment, Employee benefits, and Whistle Blower policies need to be delivered on a regular frequency to reinforce appropriate behavior from your employees.

Negotiation and Objection Handling: You can only organize and run so many case studies, live demonstration or use cases in a two-day workshop. You will have to keep sending short new use cases or simulations to all your learners throughout the year to maximize learning.

By  Venkataraman Ananthakrishnan, Head- Online and Global Business at QuoDeck

3 essential tips to maximize the ROI of training off-roll & temporary employees

In functions such as Sales or Customer support, outsourced, off-roll employees constitute a significant portion of the workforce. In addition, L&D managers are faced with high attrition rates and constant changes in the products and regulations. The following tips will help you maximize the ROI on the training.

Go Mobile: It is financially unviable to provide desktop training to a distributed or off-roll workforce. Mobile & Tablet browser/App based training platforms, will eliminate the cost of conducting the training at any physical location and allow the employees to complete the course on-the-go. Create courses that are mobile friendly.

Keep things simple: Create courses and journey that are easy to navigate and operate under low bandwidth conditions. You want to reduce queries regarding Content or the System, given the sheer volume and geographical spread of your users.

Use SaaS LMS: SaaS LMS are the best tools for training your employees at an affordable cost. They can be deployed across most devices and operating systems. They are hosted by the product creator on cloud, hence do not require any infrastructure spend or extensive IT Security approvals, allowing your user to access the platform at her convenience.

By  Venkataraman Ananthakrishnan, Head- Online and Global Business at QuoDeck

How can professors use technology to boost learning?

An overview on how much technology professors use while delivering education, and how they can mitigate their unsolved needs using available product solutions.

Last week I paid a visit to my engineering college, just so that I could reminisce about the good old days. It had been a decade since I had last visited my alma-mater. I expected things to have changed – both inside and outside the classroom.

Outside the classroom, new structures had been built where the old buildings stood. There were new amenities in the campus, the likes of which I would have only dreamt of as a student. Expecting teaching methodologies to have changed as well, I sat through a couple of lectures. Strangely, the classroom continues to function the way it used to.

In the age of mobile learning and eLearning, professors continue to follow head to head classroom learning using pen and paper. In today’s world that runs on technology, where an assessment can be conducted through online courses, I saw students writing assessments on paper and submit them offline. Instead of using a learning management system (LMS), professors only depend on the content that they deliver offline. Instead of using mobile instructional design principles, they use chalks and blackboards.

What do professors need?

Let’s put down a simple list of features/facilities that would bolster their teaching process.

  • A platform or LMS that will enable them to transform existing offline learning into eLearning modules, to enable them to deliver content from any place in the world, to a student who is located at even a remote location
  • A mobile learning system that will enable them to deliver the content on not just the desktops, but via mobile learning. This need not be different from the aforementioned LMS
  • A system that will enable them to incorporate gamification and game-based learning to enhance the student’s experience – provide a fun to do way of learning.
  • A system that will enable easy creation or upload of content eliminating dependencies on third party software products for content authoring.

Is there a solution available? Yes, there are multiple platforms available that professors can use – Docebo, QuoDeck, etc. Some of these are available for free on the internet. Give them a try today to see how

By  Yashodeep Talele, Software Developer at QuoDeck

3 types of games for Corporate e-Learning

There are many games available based on the eLearning objective of the organization. The 3 most effective games are

Simulation:

The complexity of these games varies widely. You can set up an entire business ecosystem with competitors, lenders, shareholders and customers, simulation of customer negotiation & Objection handling or in simulating Lab results for R&R.

Virtual/Augmented Reality:

While these are applicable to all companies, they become a necessity in manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Defense etc., where the cost of physical training is very expensive.

Casual Games:

These are best suited for organizations, where product, compliance and regulatory training must be imparted continuously. These games have a high ROI due to their simplicity, low cost of deployment, ease of embedding new content and use of existing infrastructure such as desktop/mobile devices

By  Venkataraman Ananthakrishnan, Head- Online and Global Business at QuoDeck

How should team-leaders use Micro-learning to train their team?

Why micro-learning?

Research says that assimilation of content is higher when it is presented in a concise and interactive manner. Traditionally, learning comprises of long classroom sessions and large documents or videos in their online avatar. As a team leads, your aim of training your team should be keeping your learners engaged, emphasizing on key take ways of the course rather than the entire course and making it fun for them to improve adoption. Therefore, micro-learning proves to be an effective way of imparting learning to your team.           

“As a team lead, your aim of training your team should be keeping your learners engaged.”

Case Study

Let’s look at a case study and understand how you as a FMCG team lead can use micro-learning for your team.

You are a team leader and want to train your sales team of 350 people spread across various regions. You have an option of doing classroom training and have a couple of videos, documents, and PDFs. You have used various options, but you see that the learners are not engaged and do not retain what they have studied. You recently learned about micro-learning and want to apply its principles to training. How will micro-learning help you?

How can micro-learning help you?

Micro-learning comes in many forms and has elements of short to-the-point videos, interactive interface, quizzes and assessments, gamification and infographic representation of information. These help in knowledge retention and skill development. As these elements are short and concise, reviewing information is an easier task for the learners.

Elements of micro-learning and explanation in brief

Videos: Traditionally, long videos of recorded sessions were used in training courses. However, with the advent of micro-learning, the approach to video-based e-Learning has changed. Short videos of not more than 3 to 6 minutes with the relevant information focused on the subject matter can help better retention and save time. Whether your training content is regulatory, on-boarding and induction related or new policies, videos can engage your employees and can be interactive as well.

Interactive Interface: We always think that a lot of content means a lot of information. However, large chunks of content in the form of long PDFs just become too frustrating for the learners to read also leading them disconnected with the material. One of the easiest ways to train your learners with engaging content is an interactive interface which can consist of small and short learning modules. It becomes self-satisfying for the learners as completing smaller modules but too many of them give a sense of accomplishment to them.

Quizzes and Assessments: You always want your learners to learn more along with higher retention. It is a great idea to use quizzes and assessments at the end of each topic or course. This helps learners retain better and gives you an idea of how much the learners have retained for designing your further courses. You can also use quizzes and assessments as contests while you launch content courses and give rewards to your learners. This suffices both your aims – retention and reward.

Gamification: It is important for your learners to come back to your courses and use them as refreshers to the topic. Gamification will help you do this. With games, your storyline becomes engaging for them and playing small games instead of going through plain quizzes keeps them on their toes. Your customized learning module can allow your learners to collect points, atop the leaderboard and level up continuously. Giving them a feeling of accomplishment helps keep them engaged.

Infographic Representation of Information: We all know about infographics. They just make your content look simpler, engaging and effective at the same time. Data in the form of graphics and charts make a unique experience for the learners. With infographic information, you can focus on key takeaways of data and statistics that a learner needs to know.

Start using micro-learning and help your team retain better!

By Shruti Shinde, Head- Enterprise Origination at QuoDeck

4 types of navigation flows for micro-learning courses

Micro-learning online courses have been easily accepted by today’s millennial workforce. There are no large chunks of content to process, and it facilitates learning rather than imposing it on the learner.

To make these online courses more effective, these can be structured using one of four types of navigation systems – Course, Reference, Social and Game. Let us look at each of these in a little more detail.

1.Course Navigation

This is the traditional flow of learning management systems. The material is broken down into modules that are typically accessed sequentially. The content escalates progressively in complexity or the depth of the knowledge that is being disseminated. Modules are generally released over a period with regular intervals, and a break in the sequence would make the learning difficult to understand.

When to use this navigation

A course-based format of navigation is typically used when depth of learning in a subject is required.

Disadvantages of this navigation

The main disadvantage of this form of navigation is that it is designed for an academic pedagogy and doesn’t relate well to modern adult learning principles. As an example, for a micro-learning system that is being designed to train a sales team with both absolute rookies and sales veterans, the content must start with the basics of sales to cater to rookies. Sales veterans would find this initial content redundant and repetitive. Their interest in the course may wane even before they’ve even parts that are relevant to them. In the course-based format, they have no option but to plough through the initial content to get to the material that is truly relevant to them. A lot of interest loss in e-learning content happens due to this.

2. Reference Navigation

This takes a library-style approach. In this format, the learning happens because the learner is looking to learn. When the learner wants an answer to a specific question or explanation of a concept, he accesses the material organized as a collection of information nuggets with a well-structured searching system.

When to use this navigation

This format of navigation is best used when the learning system needs to be structured with a knowledge management approach. It is particularly applicable when there are frequent updates to the eLearning content. For example, if the organization is in an industry which is highly regulated, like banking or aviation, such a navigation style is good to have as it provides ready reference material.

Disadvantages of this navigation

The main disadvantage of the reference navigation approach is that learners must know what they need to learn before they can search for it. A lot of critical learning might fall through the cracks as a result. As an example, assume the learning management system deals with compliance training in a bank, and a new regulation prohibiting the opening of a certain type of account is released. An employee who does not know about the birthing of this regulation will not become aware of it, simply because he/she does not know to search for it. Reference Navigation based systems require strong notification mechanisms to handle this disadvantage.

3. Social Navigation 

This is a navigation style based on Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1971). According to this theory, learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely through observation or direct instruction, even in the absence of motor reproduction or direct reinforcement. In addition to the observation of behavior, learning also occurs through the observation of rewards and punishments, a process known as vicarious reinforcement. This is a knowledge management approach to eLearning design. The learners themselves participate alongside teachers in creating and growing the eLearning material.

When to use this navigation

A classic case of this approach is a forum where questions are debated and answered by the participants, or there’s a panel of experts who answer questions shared by participants. The now omnipresent mechanics of likes, comments and shares have created an environment where this has emerged as a powerful learning navigation method. Wikipedia, Quora and Stack Overflow are prime examples of effective social learning on a grand scale.

Disadvantages of this navigation

The main disadvantage of this approach comes from its over-reliance on participation for content creation. In an organizational setting, driving users to participate in the learning system is a difficult problem. Gamification mechanics of points, badges, leaderboards, and rewards can be used to help the cause, but designing such a gamification system requires experts, who can be expensive and difficult to find.

4. Game Navigation

This navigation style, also known as game-based learning, is unique to the micro-learning approach. In this style of navigation, the learner engages with the learning management system with the intention to play a game and any learning that happens is through the game and incidental. The learning structure in the game can span the spectrum of complexity, ranging from simple constructs like in-game quizzes and exercises to more complex formats like story-telling and learning through the game-play itself.

The best example of this style, in our opinion, is the Sid Meier’s Civilization series of games. All titles in the series share similar gameplay, centred on building a civilization on a macro-scale from prehistory up to the near future. As of February 2016, the series has reached 33 million total units shipped. While the game is designed for entertainment, it provides strong insights into history, economics, political science and ecology, teaching players at a conceptual level what these evolved concepts truly signify for a society.

This method of micro-learning falls within the space of Serious Games. Serious games are simulations of real-world events or processes designed for the purpose of solving a problem. Serious games can be entertaining; however, their main purpose is to train or educate users. Serious games may also be used for other purposes, such as marketing or advertisement.

In fact, often a serious game will deliberately sacrifice fun and entertainment in order to achieve a desired progress by the player.

When to use this navigation

Given the buzz of game-based learning and gamification which started a decade ago, this navigation can be used and has been used across different types of learning, from employee induction to even more serious topics like compliance training. Engaging storylines and gameplay have proved effective in communicating learning concepts in an engaging and playful manner.

A word of caution: Avoid using this navigation for sensitive topics like POSH training or Gender Sensitization, as it may not go down well with your stakeholders as well as the audience.

Disadvantages of this navigation

The main disadvantage of game-based learning for learning lies in its very name. Games are often seen as non-serious, and therefore, meet with resistance from organizational decision makers. Also, the complexity of serious games need to maintain a very careful balance of challenge and simplicity to be effective. Creating effective microlearning games, therefore, does require game designers, apart from the technology, which can prove to be expensive.

By  Deepak Gawas, Head- Partnerships at QuoDeck

3 tips for effective gamification in your organization

Gamification is one of the most effective ways of imparting learning to your employees. Standard gamification features include setting up a game like structure, creating leaderboards, offering rewards, badges & certificates, and making it mobile. The following key tenets are routinely overlooked, when using gamification, leading to suboptimal results.

  • Create an interesting storyline: There is a reason why the best games, apart from having great visuals, have the most interesting storylines. Take your audience through a journey, get them excited to move to the next level.  Design all your courses, assessments, and rewards based on the storyline. If you can add mystery and adventure to the fray, you have a winner!
  • Provide a mix of individual and team competition: Most gamified learning journeys offer only one of the two. As social beings, people love competing in groups and helping each other. However, the need to shine as individuals remains. Design assessments that reward top teams and top performers.
  • Decide the deliverable of the gamification: This cannot be emphasized enough. Do you want your employees to have fun, compete or create buzz? Is learning more important or competition? These need to be considered while gamifying your eLearning course.
By  Venkataraman Ananthakrishnan, Head- Online and Global Business at QuoDeck

What are some free, open source, or low-cost authoring tools to create e-learning modules?

When you think of creating eLearning, you are thinking of SCORM modules or a full platform. If you are thinking of Scorm creation, I would recommend building on PowerPoint and using an add-in to convert to basic SCORM. If you can afford it though, Articulate and Captivate are spectacular for authoring.

As an alternative, I would also like to invite you to try QuoDeck to create a mobile learning platform. You can use your existing PPTs, PDFs, and Videos to create the content and layer it with quizzes and games without requiring a separate authoring tool. Give it a spin and see if it works for you…

By Arijit Lahiri, Co-Founder of QuoDeck

How to build effective sales training for high attrition teams?

Attrition is, unfortunately, one of the harsh realities that sales trainers have to deal with today. Driving productivity with a changing base of resources can be tough for any business function, but with sales, it ends up hitting where it hurts. Here are some insights to building effective sales training programs in a high-attrition environment.

While companies worry about attrition across all functions, they worry about it the most in sales teams. CSO Insights puts average sales team attrition levels at around 16% – twice as high as any other function. This means sales trainers are training a third of their audience from scratch every year, without accounting for growth in the team.

Attrition in a sales team can have a strong effect on turnover and affect client relationships as well. Especially when that attrition is of high performers, any organization can go a while before finding replacements and getting these new hires to perform effectively. Therefore, the cost of attrition is not only in actual lost revenues but the time value and return on investment on every subsequent hire.

In high-attrition environments, these costs can pile up significantly. With the amount that companies spend to train these teams every year, ROI for these spends can steadily decline unless managed carefully and through effective sales training programs.

Sales trainers have just one job in high-attrition environments – make new people productive in the shortest time possible. Good onboarding programs can help make sales people productive 2 months faster than less effective programs. With such clarity of purpose, this seems like an easy problem to solve. But its not. 71% of companies take six months or more to onboard people effectively according to CSO Insights.

So, what does it take to build an effective sales training program in such high attrition environments? In one word, “standardization”. Here are some critical ingredients that can help you cook up the right recipe to standardize and increase velocity of your sales training program.

Increase the eLearning/mlearning component in your blend

In today’s mobile world, the tendency and receptiveness to consume digital content has gone up tremendously. A 70:20:10 approach – with 70% on-the-job, 20% mentoring and only 10% structured or eLearning – may be outdated, and more expensive than you think. In high attrition environments, placing the burden of on-the-job training on sales managers can mean a further slowdown in productivity. Since millennials are prone to consume a lot more digital content today, given the ease and convenience of doing so, it could be more effective to increase the eLearning/mlearning component of onboarding programs to ~30% to play into your audience’s natural behaviour. Apart from standardizing what is taught to your audience, it also ensures sales managers can focus on productivity and retention among their sales team rather than constantly worrying about training.

Build a eLearning/mlearning repository for informational content

Most sales onboarding programs try and cram in as much information into the first few interactions that a sales person has with the program. Retention typically takes a hit because of this. A more natural way for your audience to consume is to give them online courses with all the information to be imparted that they can explore at their own pace. This will serve as a go-to destination for all sales people to refer to on a regular basis. In some cases, this can also be used as a sales aid in the field, for quick reference before meeting with customers or networks.

Of course, onboarding programs must give critical information to the sales person before they can get started such as product information, company history, sales processes and systems etc. However, including microlearning highlights with references to your online courses repository will ensure they don’t get deluged with a lot of information they ultimately cannot remember. In a high-attrition environment, having this repository will help you send out your sales people into the field faster with a safety net of the reference repository.

Build a culture of contribution in your audience

When performing sales people leave, a lot of institutional learning leaves with them. Whether this is in the form of insights or anecdotes, effective sales trainers aim to capture and build an organizational knowledge repository to draw upon for their programs. To institutionalize this, sales trainers must push for a ‘culture of contribution’ among their sales teams. Having KPIs around knowledge sharing that require all sales people to contribute to a ‘knowledge repository’ can help build such a culture and keep your program current and relevant.

In today’s digital world, generating this content is far easier than you imagine, especially using modern mobile learning products. Instead of asking your experts for PowerPoint presentations – which you will probably never get – ask them to record and post a short video or audio clip with some sales insights, to the social section of your mobile learning app. Most modern eLearning and mlearning platforms will ease this process. Crowd-sourcing such content can help ease your time and budget constraints and promote ownership of the program among your audience. Such content can be drawn upon by your new sales people for sales tips and tricks they would otherwise take many years to learn.

If the holy grail is getting your new folks onboarded faster, then bringing your onboarding program into the new-age may be a great place to start!

Continue to watch this space for our upcoming series on how to drive sales training adoption

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck