Category Archives: eLearning Develpment Best Practices

Gamification in Education: 5 ways Gamification improves Students’ Education 

Gamification is a Meta approach to boost education & keep students sharp & engaged like nothing else.

Gamification is a buzzword that’s ringing doorbells in all the industries revolutionizing the way learning resources are created and distributed.  

Here’s what it means –  

Gamification is the process of breaking down complex learning elements in simplified fun versions using game design, making the resources super-digestible.  

It’s far more effective than traditional ways of learning with a proven impact on comprehension and speed of learning.  

Another industry that’s been heavily impacted or will be heavily impacted is education.  

It’s been static and rudimentary for quite a while and technology is here to flip that over, making changes to the core for good.  

Here are five ways gamification improves students’ education  

  1. Learning is fun, finally! 

Gamification makes learning fun and more interactive. Students finally fall in love with learning, simply because it is served to them in a form they can easily chew.  

It’s like mixing some chocolate powder into milk to give them some nutritional benefits.  

The key is to make it relatable.  

Old traditional ways of learning, though proven effective in the past, lack a very important element that can change the whole game i.e. Interest.  

The classic broadcasting and rote-learning methods are boring and unengaging.  

Gamified learning beats that focusing on all-round development of a student while they are focused on collecting points, choosing avatars.  

It’s a win-win, finally 

  1. More visible hands-on learning  

Number of challenges, percentage of progress in the game or levels unlocked. Every visible aspect related to progress is a dopamine booster for the students pushing them to work harder.  

This is one of the major problems that the traditional education system has – there’s no visible progress and students don’t really know what’s ahead of them.  

Gamification solves this mystery by making learning very visible with the use of the points system, the journey map or the levels unlocked and yet to be unlocked, progress bars & goal-setting elements.  

  1. Students are more proactive & less afraid to make mistakes 

Making mistakes and failing are a crucial part of the learning process. But traditionally, it was taboo and students went through periods of embarrassment and ridicule in front of every other student.  

It’s not the same when it comes to games. Students don’t resist a second to ‘play again’ once the game is over. Moreover, they are self-motivated to play harder the next time to beat their previous scores. 

Gamification takes the embarrassing part associated with making mistakes (a fundamental part of learning) out of the equation and empowering students to work better the next time.  

  1. Students are self-motivated to learn  

The same set of students that resist studying & finding ways to skip school every now and then are found to be excited and self-motivated to learn.  

The impact is sometimes so massive, that kids even get addicted to these gamified versions of lessons & in a sense, they just can’t stop studying.  

According to a study around a decade ago, video games were told to have three factors that made people play them again and again:  

  • Points: Students or players want to achieve more points and finish as many challenges as possible.  
  • The multiplayer: The team building factors and being the best in the competition drives them to work even harder the next time. And there always is a next time.  
  • Something new: Players discover new aspects and exploration helps them work for more.  
  1. Creative & Critical thinking unlocked!  

Creativity and critical thinking can’t be taught. But it sure can be unlocked by setting up familiar environments where students have no choice but to engage and get their creative juices flowing.   

A study in 2013, revealed that problem-solving games have a massive impact on the overall cognitive development of a child.  

Gamified learning can explore these areas benefiting students by:  

  • Increasing their info retention power 
  • Impacting their focus & attention allocation speed 
  • Making them more aware of the surroundings  
  • Giving them the ability to look at things from different perspectives  

It’s already happening  

Math blaster & Treasure mountain were the earliest evidence that validated the gamification concept.  

Now games like these have taken over the gamification revolution and are making studies fun:  

  • Minecraft (Education Edition) – lesson plans & installable worlds that integrate the game design to the classroom making it super creative and fun.   
  • Google’s read along – google speech tech to encourage elementary school students to read and follow along with stories. The assistant Diya makes it more fun and interactive for the kid helping them all along  
  • Amplayfy- Create multiple-choice quizzes. Students will be using their phones and that creates a fulfilling and exciting experience for the student. It’s one of the most direct and tangible examples of game mechanics revolutionizing the classroom.  
  • Archy learning –  Intuitive gamified e-learning platform.  

Final Words 

Education is changing. With different,  more soft-skill oriented demands of the future, the old ways to education might not be sufficient enough.  Gamification crunches the old paper ball of a broadcast education making it super-interactive & way more preferable to students. It might be the push that current outdated education structures need.  

Why implementing EdTech in classrooms could help in immersive learning

In recent times, EdTech has been gaining prominence at a rapid pace. It has found its place in classrooms of various scales, ranging from schools to universities. In short, EdTech has revolutionized education by bringing about some much-needed changes. Online classes are one of the results of the growth of EdTech. However, EdTech has also gained popularity in physical classrooms as a means of promoting immersive learning.  

What is EdTech? 

EdTech is a blend of sophisticated technologies and the academic sector. It is a rather vast field consisting of digital classes, e-learning, audio-visual classrooms, and other technologies. The integration of such technologies makes learning much easier and effective. In the past, only a few leading institutions used to try out sophisticated EdTech solutions. Now, however, EdTech has become relatively mainstream.  

How is EdTech helping in making learning more immersive? 

It is quite a known fact that students often find education to be boring. When it becomes immersive, the learners naturally find it to be more interesting. Here are some of the ways in which EdTech improves learning: 

  1. Gamification 

Gamification is one of the most popular features of EdTech, especially for children. The integration of game mechanics in learning makes it fun. There are various types of custom educational software that provide the students with resources in a more engaging manner. 

  1.  Resources 

Students can now learn from eBooks, online platforms, and educational videos. Academic institutions are implementing EdTech to provide learners with better resources. This makes the learning process much richer.  

  1. Collaboration 

EdTech adds collaboration capabilities to the educational field. Learners can easily connect with others around the globe to share knowledge. Discussion forums are a prime example. Video conferencing solutions have made virtual classrooms a reality too. Moreover, student teams working on projects can easily coordinate and collaborate online.  

  1. Better job-readiness 

One of the most popular drawbacks of conventional education is that it is outdated in nature. It does not prepare students for modern-day jobs. However, EdTech helps to get over this issue. It accustoms the students to digital tools like electronic whiteboards, video calling, and emails. Moreover, online resources help the learners obtain up-to-date information.  

  1. Comprehensiveness 

One of the key factors that make EdTech so immersive is its comprehensive nature. Unlike conventional education, modern education is no longer bookish. Instead, the students can learn from online videos and other resources. This helps to gain more practical knowledge. The significance of practical experience in today’s world makes EdTech a logical choice.  

  1. Customized learning 

EdTech helps to deliver customized education to each student. This is far more effective than conventional classrooms. A teacher offering the same knowledge at the same pace for all the students is not really effective. This is because every student is different. However, with EdTech, students may learn in a personalized manner and at their own pace.

Popular immersive learning technologies 

Newer immersive learning technologies are always in the making. These create digital environments to offer an immersive audio-visual experience. Three of the most popular immersive learning technologies are: 

Virtual reality 

Virtual reality is basically a computer-generated scenario that delivers an experience similar to real life. VR helps to make education immersive by making it easier to relate to. For instance, a student watching an educational video would find it to be engaging. 

Augmented reality 

This is a technology that places virtual objects in the environment around the learner. In this process, it creates a digital interface. It has typically been a popular technology in the field of entertainment. However, lately, AR has also found its place in education.  

Mixed reality 

Mixed reality is essentially a blend of VR and AR. The real-world environment is still a part of the digital environment, making the mixed-reality environment seem even more realistic.  

Conclusion 

These technologies are finding application in the academic sector at a growing pace. Their popularity is increasing among students and teachers alike. Virtual environments are also proving helpful in educating children who require special care.   

It is unlikely that the trend of growing EdTech usage would die out any time soon. Essentially, it is helping the education sector evolve and meet the demands of the modern world.  

The future of EdTech post pandemic

In recent years, EdTech has been becoming increasingly prominent. The pandemic acted as a catalyst for the growth of the EdTech market. It has constantly spurred demand for sophisticated educational technologies. In the post-pandemic world, EdTech continues to be an integral part of the academic sphere.  

The future of EdTech, however, seems unclear so far. Considering that the sector can adapt to the changing demands of the customers, it has fair chances of doing well.  

What is EdTech? 

For those who are new to the terminology, EdTech refers to the blend of information technology and the academic sector. In the past, computer technology in classrooms mostly referred to large computers. However, with immense development in the field of computers and IT solutions, this has changed.  

Classrooms now come with far more sophisticated features. The COVID-19 pandemic even caused classrooms to turn entirely virtual. All this diverse integration of IT into academics together comprises EdTech.  

What are the post covid trends in the EdTech industry? 

The EdTech industry has undisputedly undergone impressive growth during the pandemic. More and more institutions are taking up online classes as the only viable solution. As a result, the demand for EdTech products has risen.  

  • Video conferences are no longer limited to office and business meetings. There has been a sharp rise in the number of institutions delivering classes online.  
  • A growing number of businesses are coming up in this sector. The post-pandemic period witnessed the launch of thousands of startups in the field of EdTech.  
  • Newer EdTech technologies are constantly coming up. The leading players in this market, as well as the new startups, are trying to innovate.  
  • Naturally, the competition has grown quite high in the EdTech sector. This ultimately leads to better EdTech services as every business tries to attract more users.  
  • For now, the sector is likely to continue growing at a fast pace. At least until the pandemic ends and institutions can hold physical classes safely again, online classes are here to stay.  
     

Hence, it is unlikely that the EdTech sector would die out any time soon, at least until the pandemic ends completely.  

What is the scope of EdTech post covid? 

The academic sector has undergone a sudden and immense change in a matter of months. Quite naturally, it took some time to adapt to EdTech. As EdTech became more mainstream and the new normal, the need for further development arose.  

  • EdTech solutions that involve artificial intelligence and machine learning are on the rise. These would further streamline the education system by automating various activities.  
  • Many parents and students indicate that they would prefer to go back to physical classes once normalcy returns.  
  • The demand for better software solutions is on the rise too. This is especially because children often find the conventional platforms difficult to use.   

Essentially, the EdTech products still have drawbacks. These make many students and academic institutions hesitant to use them. However, one must remember that the academic sector was far less digital in nature until not long ago. The EdTech companies need some time to develop their products further, and they likely will.  

What changes should you expect to see? 

It is evident that if the EdTech companies intend to thrive in the long run, especially once the pandemic is over, they must evolve. They need to be able to cater to the changing demands to stay relevant.  

  • EdTech products like video calling platforms are undergoing rapid development. A sharp rise in user-friendliness of several of these has become quite prominent.  
  • Some of the leading companies are coming up with better learning automation products. These are software solutions that help the students learn at their own pace.  
  • The development of automated assessment solutions is on the rise as well.  
  • You may certainly expect to see rapid innovation in this sector. The EdTech companies now have plenty of incentives to capitalize on.   

Conclusion 

The EdTech brands need to evolve and adapt quickly to capture the rapidly growing market. They are likely to keep on pushing for sophistication and help the sector grow faster. For now, it seems that online classes may not remain a popular option in the future. However, this can quickly change, based on how the EdTech companies act. 

How to drive more engagement out of your sales training in 2021

Engagement is one of the most important metrics to analyze the effectiveness of a training program. Engaged users are motivated, inspired and have a high willingness towards performing well. While developing a sales training course for your workforce in 2021, you must keep in mind that getting higher levels of engagement can be tricky because of various constraints. In this article, I will be highlighting a few, very interesting ways by which you can address the above issue and encourage a fun environment during the sales training. 

Storytelling:

An artform which is a two-way interaction between a storyteller and the learner. The interactive nature of storytelling partially accounts for its immediacy and impact. At its best, storytelling can directly and tightly connect the teller and audience. Relatable characters help the learners immerse themselves into the situation of the protagonist as their personality resonates with that of the character. Elements like story structure, emotional connectivity, real life challenges, use of multimedia components make sure that the learner is kept engaged throughout and can achieve the set goals. 

Personalization of training:

Personalization of training is the customization of training so that it is aligned to meet a specific learner’s needs. A highly learner-centric approach, personalized learning makes the training sessions highly relevant to the learners leading to high engagement. As trainers you must let your learners be flexible with your course, they should be able to choose their own device, their learning path, manage their timelines, learn at their own pace, and set their own milestones. 

Gamification elements:

Leaderboards are a great way to introduce healthy competition amongst the learners. This element of challenge encourages learners to do better than others thus improve the level of engagement throughout the batch. Rewards and recognition promote good work ethic and a sense of socialization within the company. Every learner wants to show off their achievement and share their accomplishments with others. This creates an environment where everyone wants to do well and demonstrate how skilled they are. 

Application of learning on the job: 

Provide job aids in your training program which could be used by the learner in the most practical sense. Your sales workforce is on their feet, the whole day interacting with different stakeholders. The training course should be designed in a way that salesperson could refer to the job aids to complete an important task during his/her day. This creates value of the training course in the minds of the learner and will improve motivation and engagement. 

Learner Feedback:

Learners should be encouraged to provide their feedback on different aspects of the sales training regularly. This will not just help in improving the course and fill the loopholes but also reassure the learners that their inputs are valuable and that they are a part of the process itself. This feedback needs to be used to upgrade the system and build on the research that was initially done on the learner profiles.  

There are various strategies which could be used to achieve higher levels of engagement and high immersive experiences. As the marketplace is evolving, the trainer needs to step up with their sales training programs which require effective strategies to drive readiness for the sales teams they support. Take into account the characteristics and personalities of your learner, conduct a discovery process, build and improve at each step of the learner journey. The elements mentioned in this article could be a solution to the challenges involved in engaging a learner during the sales training process by turning routine tasks into fun activities that give your learner a sense of confidence

Podcasts: Effective ways to train your sales team

Podcasts aren’t just entertainment, but also informative. We summed up a 3 minute write-up to explain how these mini audiobooks can affect your overall sales. Few things might surprise you. 

A podcast is  an audio/video transcription of information that can be downloaded and played anywhere and anytime—it’s like satellite radio, but in pre-packaged and time-limited format.  

  

Podcasts are recorded using certain software online recording programs, exported to a digital warehouse like Spotify, and then downloaded/streamed by anyone who searches for that topic or anyone who has a direct link to the podcast itself. 

The popularity of podcasts have exploded and are now considered a conventional mode of media, easily accessible to everyone. You have podcasts available for every topic under the sun, from gardening to mental health to project management. The ease and mobility of podcasts make it a perfect medium for conducting sales trainings.  

Sales professionals are usually exposed to a lot of content, sometimes too much. Yet, finding accessible and correct content to read can be struggle. Especially if you are an incentive driven sales professional, every second not spent on a deal could feel like a useless second. Apart from being incredibility popular among the current generation, podcasts are turning out to be an effective way for sales trainings. The 5 top reasons to use podcasting for sales training are listed below: 

  1. In most companies, sales professionals don’t have a stationary office job in-front of a computer or at a desk for most part of their day. Creating secure mobile podcasts can make it easier for the field sales teams to have access to the content on their phones, away from their office and home networks. Podcasts allow representatives to have access to the trainings offline, on the road, or anywhere they can multi-task. 
  1. In a podcast episode, business guru Tim Sanders says that our capacity to   understand information when reading text is 7% but increases to 38% in an auditory setting. This would mean that shifting from an email-based culture to an audio-based culture, would improve the understanding by almost 500%. For sales representatives, or anyone for that matter, this jump in efficacy is critical. 
  1. Mobile training methods for sales reps don’t just improve accessibility to content on the field, but are also a good way to generate quantifiable productivity gains. According to research, sales reps spend at least eight hours per month in transit. Extrapolate this number to all the sales representatives, and the company loses a huge amount worth of productivity every month. Mobile training methods easily engage the reps to continue learning, especially in the field, or even behind the steering wheel. Hence, this makes podcast trainings an exceptional choice to turn the wasted downtime into productive opportunities.  
  1. You can’t deny the fact that podcasting is already incredibly popular and has seen a sharp growth due to the pandemic. After the US and China, India happens to be the third-largest podcast market in the world, and the estimation states that the country would see 17.61 million people listening to podcasts by the year 2023. 
  1. Highly successful organizations usually provide its sales representatives with ongoing training throughout the year. This can become extremely easy with 5-minute daily/weekly podcasts in keeping the sales representatives up to date. The minimal effort required in the production of these podcasts, makes it an even easier tool to work with.

Podcasts are proving to be efficient micro-learning solutions as they produce bite sized episodic content which are short, information heavy and engaging. And although podcasting for training is still at an early stage, this could be the perfect time to initiate and experiment with it. 

BONUS READ 

How to Record a Podcast from your Mac 

1.) Open Garageband. Click on “Podcast” when it asks what to record. 

2.) Click the record button to record your voice. Click it again to stop recording. To playback, click the rewind button.  

3.) To add artwork, just select “Artwork” section on your podcast. Then, from the right sidebar, select “Photos”, pick one and upload.  

4.) Select the “Jingles” section on your podcast to add them. Then, from the right sidebar, select “Audio” and find a sample you’d want to use. Shorten it by selecting the track.  

5.) After you’re done saving, go to the top and under “Share”, click “Export Song to Disc”.  Now, you can upload the exported file to your platform.  

5 Reasons Why You Should Implement E-Learning

In our previous blog, we discussed how onboarding training can boost efficiency and productivity in your organization. As new learning methods have grown in popularity, more and more businesses are realizing the advantages of e-learning. Although online learning can be costly to implement, it pays off every time an employee completes their courses. Virtual learning is not only less expensive than traditional learning, it’s efficient, and reduces instruction time significantly.

Here are 5 reasons that will help you understand how switching from traditional learning to e-learning can benefit your organization.

  1. Improved retention and consistency in learning

In traditional learning, you usually have an educator who has his teaching tools, methods, and approaches. Employees may find it hard to adjust to new learning methods while simultaneously absorbing the information educators share.

One of the advantages of e-learning is that it can provide important information in ways employees can understand easily, which results in improved retention. Content is simplified using podcasts and interactive modules. Employees can access their learning when their energy and focus are at their peak for retention. This nature makes it easier to retain the new concepts and, of course, to implement them in their work.

  1.  Providing new learning methods

Not everyone learns in the same way. Some people prefer to retain knowledge through videos, while others prefer written notes, and still, others require realistic opportunities for practice before they truly grasp a new skill. One of the most significant advantages of e-learning for employee training and development is the availability of a wide range of content formats. These new learning methods are engaging for everyone when it includes videos, notes, infographics, games, and other types of content. 

An increased engagement is a sure sign that employees want to finish their course. Apart from this E-learning enables you to update the material whenever necessary. This means the online learning courses can be adapted along the way as it is relatively simple to make changes to online material, particularly textual changes, online courses are always up to date, and employees are not provided with information that is no longer relevant to them.

  1. Gamification and interactivity

Some new skills require more than video notes. Active employee participation is required in learning new skills. The ultimate interactivity and practice can be provided through a powerful learning management system (LMS) that supports gamification, quizzes, branching scenarios, and surveys. Interactive e-learning courses enable employees to practice new skills in a secure place, so they are set up for success in real life. Furthermore, by using a variety of assessments such as quizzes and case studies, you can engage learners as they progress through the training.

  1. Collaboration and community building

Learning can be solitary, but social exercise shouldn’t be so because employees learn much more by interacting with their colleagues than by reading a book. New learning methods lead to discussions and discussions lead to innovation.

Online learning benefits the community and leads to collaboration. Including activities such as forums for discussion and live tutorials can be immensely beneficial. Commitment to other employees encourages collaboration and creates a team culture that showcases its benefits beyond the educational environment.

  1. Immediate feedback and acknowledgment

Another advantage of e-learning in the workplace is that employees have access to immediate feedback. Immediate results from online assessments assist employees in determining how well they are doing and which sections of learning material they may need to review before moving on. Furthermore, gamification features in courses such as leaderboards, badges, and certificates give employees a sense of recognition and achievement, which motivates them to learn. Timely and automated feedback is beneficial not only to employees but also to their managers and the business. This is due to the fact that it eliminates the need for manual feedback and grading.

Conclusion

Learning is an ongoing process and as time changes we all have to adapt to the new virtual learning. Online learning programs apply to every industry, business, and employee worldwide. These learning methods are convenient, easy to access, easy on the budget, and measure results while keeping a digital record for everything. E-learning is cost-effective, improves employee performance, reduces staff turnover, and boosts productivity.

How To Enhance Virtual Learning With The Help Of Social Learning

A virtual environment is a medium of learning where learners go through courses, study materials and learning aids through an online medium. It can be browser-based or a virtual training session through Zoom. Virtual learning offers activities, interactions, and resources within a course structure and provides different levels of assessment. Given this context, learners can access learning materials through peer-to-peer collaboration networks such as forums. As social learning is a continuous process of learning from other people within and outside the organization, it can be integrated into virtual learning through various means.

At the present virtual learning also happens through social technologies like blogs, wikis, discussion forums, messaging tools, conferencing tools, subject-matter directories, and videos. Organizations are increasingly using social learning in their training methodologies for improved learning retention, increased learner engagement, and reduced training costs.

The 70:20:10 Learning Framework

In traditional classroom training, most learners recall only 10% of what they have learned after 72 hours. Such lack of knowledge retention can harm the business of your organization. For example, a salesperson may face trouble recalling the knowledge learned at the appropriate time the next week, which could cost them a sale.

As per this methodology, about 70% of learning happens through on-the-job training and practical experiences, 20% through interaction with peers and colleagues, and just 10% in a traditional, instructor-led classroom training environment.

Why Social Learning?

Social learning helps employees with enhanced retention of knowledge, which is the primary goal of any training program. Social learning encourages learning in a working environment and allows learners to apply their knowledge to work. They can learn from peers, senior employees, or experts within the organizations. People learn from real-life scenarios/examples and by direct experiences. Research studies also indicate that social learning methods deliver a better ROI (almost 75:1 ratio) when compared to traditional classroom training.

Here are a few strategies on how to enhance virtual learning with the help of social learning.

Enhance Learner Engagement

A virtual learning environment allows you to manage the learning activities by using various means such as an LMS for learner administrations, learning platforms, and virtual instructor sessions. In social learning, employees can either start or take part in a discussion, training or coach others as and when a situation arises. This type of freedom to engage in their learning will directly impact increased engagement in their work.

As part of social learning, provide a network of mentors and peers, where information is created and distributed easily to employees. Thus, employees can obtain more practical knowledge and make better decisions through increased engagement with others.

Collaborate Proactively With Learners

Communication and collaboration among the participants with emails, chat, wikis, blogs, etc., are other key components of a virtual learning environment. Social learning is collaborative in its approach, happens in real-time, and has a direct relation to an employee’s work. Learning can happen anytime, anywhere, and by using any device. Organizations that support social learning need to have learning environments that foster conversation, discussion, and collaboration between learners across the organization.

Social learning involves knowledge sharing in a joint effort between peers, and between peers and facilitators. It promotes high-level thinking, good relationships, oral and written communication, self-management, responsibility, and leadership skills.

Encourage Peer Learning

Peer learning is a great way in which learners learn from each other. Participants connected can observe and learn from others, helping each other in the virtual session. Learners can directly learn from seniors and experts who have been in similar situations. In peer learning, learners receive more time for individualized learning, and interactions between employees promote active learning.

Learners get a chance to reinforce their learning by instructing others. Also, learners feel more comfortable and open when interacting with their peers. For companies, peer learning is a financially efficient alternative to hiring trainers or instructors. Research studies indicate that peer learning activities yield more benefits to the organization, such as enhanced team-building spirit, more supportive relationships, greater psychological well-being, and improved communication skills. Thus, organizations should encourage peer learning to achieve greater productivity.

Add Simulations And Gamification Elements

Simulations and gamification help facilitators turn their virtual learning into a more interactive experience. Simulations can turn virtual learning sessions into more interesting and fun learning sessions. Mock trials and digital simulations are great ways to enhance a virtual learning session and engage the participants more.

Gamification involves turning an activity into a competitive game for the learners. You can take learning concepts, assignments, and activities and convert them into interesting games. The facilitator can announce badges and rewards for winners and create that unique spark that attracts the learners’ interest. Gamification and simulations allow learners to observe real-life scenarios and examples.

By Suresh Kumar DN, CEO at Tesseract Learning

On-boarding for a Job Role STACK

Unless you have been living under a rock through the last decade, you have heard of tech stacks. A tech stack is the set of underlying elements of a software application. These are the frameworks, languages, and software products that everything else is built on. Every developer who joins a tech team needs to learn his stack.

Similarly, I believe that every business role has a stack. A stack that has to be mastered by anybody looking to do that role.

Skills

Skills are what we all need to know how to do in order to our job effectively. There are two broad categories of skills – Soft Skills and Functional Skills. In the context of this framework, the “Skills” being referred to are Functional Skills only. Every role demands certain core functional skills, that are essential for the employee to function in that job.

Good examples of these are Javascript expertise for a ReactJS developer, Negotiation and Presentation Skills for a salesperson and Accounting Skills for a credit analyst. While such skills can be trained for, true expertise comes only from experience. This is why expertise in such core skills is typically evaluated during the recruitment process itself. And once in the job, organizations trust employees to progressively get better the longer they perform the role.

In the context of role on-boarding, there is very little that can be done in a short duration program to build up these core skills. Instead, what is recommended are skill assessments and quick refreshers. Essentially, just show them a mirror and jog their memory.

Don’t spend inordinate amounts of time (not more than 10%) on skill training during on-boarding.

Tools

Can you imagine a carpenter without a saw or a blacksmith without a hammer? A skill is useless without the tools that go along with it. Similarly, every job role typically requires an employee to use a set of software and hardware tools and systems to perform their jobs.

Good examples of these are IDEs for developers, Canva and Amplayfy for content marketers and Microsoft PowerPoint for salespersons. Apart from industry-specific tools like these, most companies also have their own company-specific ERP, CRM, LMS, HRMS, etc. that the employees need to familiarise themselves with.

In the context of role on-boarding, expertise on industry-specific tools is akin to having the core skills. It is not recommended that any industry-specific tool training be undertaken during the on-boarding program. Instead, it is recommended to focus on providing primers for company-specific tools. Most people are hesitant to learn new systems, and the on-boarding program is the best place to manage this trepidation through these introductions to the tools. Giving them access to manuals or help videos in a repository format will encourage deeper self-training at a later date.

Spend more time on training on tools (about 15%) over training on skills during on-boarding.

Attitudes

Attitudes are a mixed bag of soft skills, beliefs and habits that are required for working in a role. These dictate how well you can work or interact with others to form relationships, create trust and dependability, and lead teams.

Good examples of these are leadership abilities in team leaders, assertiveness in analysts and persuasiveness in salespersons. Beyond the role requirements, all companies have a clear set of values, principles and guidelines that they look to inculcate in their workplace. Every employee must learn, internalise and display these attitudes to fit into the company culture.

In the context of role on-boarding, such attitudes need to be communicated right up front. These are best done through meet and greets, icebreakers, evangelical sessions and value discussions with the employee. Given that these require significant face-to-face interactions, it is perhaps the most expensive part of an on-boarding program in terms of time and effort and might seem to have a lower direct benefit in role on-boarding.

However, attitudes are critical in integrating a new hire into the company on the whole, and deserve significant resource allocation (about 20%) during on-boarding.

Customers

Customers are the only purpose for existence of any business activity. Customers can be internal or external, depending on the nature of the job role. But in all cases, knowing about and understanding customers is critical to performing the job well. Such customer education is unique to role on-boarding, differing from organisational induction in its application.

Good examples of these could range from retailers for front-line FMCG sales, website visitors for SaaS inside sales teams and company employees for an HR team. A stakeholder mapping exercise would be a good starting point for identifying the customer for a role.

In the context of role on-boarding, the difficult question is determining the best approach for the customer familiarisation exercise. In the case of institutional sales, it could be one-on-one meetings with the clients and account planning exercises. In the case of B2C sales, it might be participating in surveys, focus groups and interviews. Attending reviews and meetings might be a good way to familiarise the employee with internal customers.

Customer familiarisation during on-boarding requires significant time expenditure (about 25%), but reduces the need for on-the-job training in the long term.

Knowledge

Knowledge required for a job role spans a matrix of Industry-Company-Employee and Information-Concepts-Expectations. This has been explored in great detail in the ICE Cube induction framework I and II which are linked here and here.

Good examples of knowledge needs are company background, regulations, company policies, business concepts, etc. A larger part of required knowledge are job role specific knowledge of concepts, processes, products, expectations etc.

In the context of role on-boarding, the knowledge requirement takes up the largest chunk of time. It is recommended that to the extent possible, the knowledge sections should be administered through e-learning and not instructor-led training. The knowledge content should be structured as a combination of course-ware and reference learning centers, with a focus on on-demand learning and personalization. Try and find ready learning resources on LinkedIn, Coursera, Udemy, etc. before starting to create your own learning resources.

Knowledge training forms the base of the entire role on-boarding program (about 30%) and needs to be planned smartly to manage time, cost and effectiveness.

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The Job Role STACK approach integrates really well with competency mapping and organizational development. Ideally, we typically recommend getting veterans of each job role in the organization to define the STACK and its constituents. Post that, taking the common elements of multiple Job Role STACKs into a common company induction program becomes easier. The remaining STACK components then move into a relatively shorter role on-boarding exercise that finally gets integrated with on-the-job training and coaching.

Do let us know your opinions on job role stacks and whether you see them being applicable in your businesses. And if you are looking for an easy to use tool to create interactive content for such programs, do consider giving Amplayfy a spin…

P.S. This was first published on LinkedIn – Click here to see the original post

6 tips to integrate micro learning in your courses for rapid learning

Micro-Learning can be defined as a skill-based approach in education as well as training that delivers the information in small, ‘bite-sized’ chunks. This is useful as the learners can quickly assimilate the knowledge that they need to perform a particular task without having to spend long hours learning about it. Thus, it creates an opportunity for the learners to engage with the content exactly at the moment they need it.

In recent years, Micro-learning has supplemented and in many cases, even replaced the traditional method of learning which was time-consuming and primarily focused on theory. Microlearning, on the other hand, focuses more on the application and is largely self-driven, thus, producing effective and measurable results.

This is why many training programs are now utilizing the micro-learning principles to generate rapid learning and make the process engaging and successful.

Let us look at the 6 tips to integrate micro-learning in your courses for rapid learning:

1) Gamifying Learning Content-

Learner engagement is one of the most important aspects of any training program. Without effective engagement, content retention or recollection is not possible. Micro-learning principles can be utilized to create a game-based learning scenario that is interactive and interesting. Gamifying the learning content makes it visually appealing and engaging which can help the learners better understand and remember it. Incorporating gaming mechanics like compelling narratives, characters, badges, etc proves to be useful in making the entire learning process fun and effective.

2) Using Interactive Training Tools-

Using micro-learning principles in creating Interactive training tools like simulations and scenarios can effectively and rapidly teach a particular skill-set. Simulation, in particular, can be really helpful in creating a virtual situation where the learners can apply the knowledge they have gained to solve a problem or achieve a certain goal. Thus, focusing on the content application instead of theory can help increase its intake and retention. A time-based decision-making scenario is also helpful in testing the learner’s capability in handling work pressure. Thus micro-learning principles offer a unique experience in a training program that may not be possible by following the traditional way.

3) Creating Instructional Videos and Podcasts-

Instructional videos can be a great way to give information as they are engaging and brief. Micro-learning can be used to create short videos about a particular product or developing a needed skill-set, which can then be shared across a variety of platforms like the company’s website and Youtube. This is convenient as the learners can access it whenever required.

Similarly, educational podcasts make it easier for the learners to gain information from the comfort of their own house or while traveling, without taking up too much of their time during work hours. It makes the process more learner-centric as they have control over their learning and can easily set their own pace for receiving the necessary information.

4) Writing Blog Posts-

Micro-learning principles can be used to create something as simple as a blog post which can keep the learners informed about various topics. Blogs don’t take much time to read, and a large chunk of information can be easily condensed in the form of points which the learners can easily remember. Blog posts can also be easily accessible from any device and can be published on various platforms which makes it handy for the learners to read them as and when required.

5) Creating Self-Assessment Tools-

One of the most effective ways of using micro-learning principles is by creating self-assessment tools which can include online quizzes, questionnaires, puzzles, case studies, etc. They provide an excellent opportunity to gauge the level of the learner and quantify their progress and understanding. Instant feedback that is given, helps the learners in identifying knowledge gaps which they can then rectify. As the evaluation is quick, the learning also progresses at a rapid pace. Self-assessment tools are also helpful in judging the effectiveness of a training program as they test the learner’s understanding and retention of the content.

6) Using Multimedia Resources-

Micro-learning makes it easier to condense information into various multimedia resources to provide a variety in learning and make the process interesting and enjoyable. Online slideshows and presentations are a great way to deliver information in a few minutes as the learners can easily absorb the content. Micro-learning is also used to create infographics that provide a comprehensive overview of the subject in a way that the learners can quickly understand and recollect.

Thus, integrating microlearning into the regular courses is a great way to boost the productivity of the training program and generate rapid learning and better content engagement, involvement, and retention.

4 Micro-Learning Strategies For Employee- Engagement

Micro-learning is a skill-based approach to learning that delivers information in small ‘bite-sized’ chunks. In today’s modern economy which greatly prioritizes speed, this is especially effective in generating greater knowledge absorption and better content retention. In recent years, micro-learning, with its emphasis on application and self-learning, has supplemented the traditional methodology which was time-consuming and primarily focused on theory. This transition has improved the learners engagement with the program and has produced effective and measurable results.

Employee engagement is an essential aspect of any learning program. In today’s fast-paced world, it has become difficult to focus on lengthy content for a long period of time. Micro-learning strategies, here, prove useful in delivering the relevant content at the required time in a quick and easy manner, using technology channels that are favoured by the employees.

Let us look at 4 Micro-learning strategies for employee-engagement :

1) Gamifying Learning Content-

Micro-learning strategies can be used to create gamified, scenario-based learning content which is not only visually appealing, but also interactive and engaging. Employee engagement is essential for the success of any training program because without effective engagement, content retention or recollection is not possible. Gamifying the learning content with compelling narratives and characters makes it interesting for the learners and hence they can better understand and remember it. Incorporating gaming mechanics like badges, awards,points and leaderboards can also bring out healthy competition among colleagues and peers, making the entire training process more engaging and effective.

2) Utilizing Multimedia Resources-

Utilizing multimedia resources can be a great way to enliven a technical or lengthy content. Micro-learning principles can be used to effectively condense information into various multimedia platforms like slide-shows and infographics which provides a variety in the learning experience. Online slide-shows and presentations can effectively deliver information in a short period of time and in a manner that the employees can easily absorb and understand.

Similarly, infographics are a great learning tool as they provide an overview of the content in a visually appealing manner with the help of texts and graphics. They are an ideal reference material and can easily cater to the short-attention span of the learners, thus, creating better content engagement and retention.

3) Creating Instructional Videos and Podcasts-

Micro-learning videos are one of the most effective ways to engage the employees as they do not require any expensive set-ups and are highly flexible in terms of time and place and can be shared across a variety of platforms like the company’s website and Youtube. They are tailored to deliver a specific set of information and hence are not only brief but also relevant. Videos create an immersive learning experience and hence are effective in employee engagement and retention ability.

Similarly, micro-learning strategies can be used in developing educational podcasts that can deliver information to the learners that can be easily assessed anywhere, without taking up too much of their time, especially during work hours. This makes the process more learner-centric as the employees have control over their learning and can set their own pace for receiving the required information.

4) Creating Blog Posts and Interactive eBooks-

Blog posts are an effective way of providing information in an engaging manner as they do not take much time to read and a large chunk of information can be condensed in the form of bullet points that make it easier for the employees to recollect and remember. They are also easily accessible from any device and can be published in various platforms which makes it handy for the employees to access them as and when required. 

Interactive ebooks with their appealing visuals and user-friendly navigation is another great micro-learning strategy to enhance employee engagement. They can also be made compatible with various formats like pdf, epub, etc., and across various platforms and devices which makes for a very convenient learning experience. These ebooks can also be complemented by worksheets, checklists, quick tips and other interactive exercises that make the training program more immersive and engaging. 

Thus, micro-learning strategies can be employed to deliver content that is appealing, concise and highly interactive. It is ,therefore, an effective way to engage the employees in their training programs which in turn can positively impact the overall progress and productivity of the organisation.