Category Archives: Micro-learning

7 Gamification Techniques For Corporate Training That Work

While gamification has been in use for corporate training for several years, there is still a lingering doubt on its impact. In this article, I share 7 gamification techniques for corporate training that work!

What Gamification Techniques For Corporate Training Still Work?

Gamification techniques use elements and principles of gaming to create an engaging learning experience. Some of the associated gains are:

  • Higher learner motivation (to participate and complete).
  • Higher engagement levels.

Gamification techniques can be effectively used to:

  • Have fun and learn.
  • Apply their learning on the job (by providing them practice zones featuring scenarios, similar to what they will handle in real life. Here, the learners can practice and hone their skills in a safe environment).
  • A longer-term implementation of gamification techniques can influence behavioral change.

So, How Can You Make Gamification Techniques Work In Corporate Training?

Let’s take a step back and identify what the expected gains are from any learning strategy.

Your list is likely to read that it should be:

  1. Motivating
  2. Engaging
  3. Relevant and relatable (preferably personalized)
  4. Challenging
  5. Rewarding

It must:

  1. Create sticky learning
  2. Facilitate the application of learning
  3. Provide room for practice and proficiency gain
  4. Provide reinforcement to ensure the “forgetting curve” does not step in
  5. Trigger behavioral change

How You Can Use Gamification Techniques For Corporate Training To Influence Each Aspect

  1. Step 1
    Identify barriers (intrinsic or extrinsic) that might be hindering the required changes and thereby improve the learners’ motivation levels.
  2. Step 2
    Generate interest in learning by providing relevant and personalized learning paths.
  3. Step 3
    Create effective learning experience using scenarios, simulations, and challenges.
  4. Step 4
    Provide feedback for performance improvement that can help learners pause and think or recalibrate their way forward.
  5. Step 5
    Use rewards and recognition to sustain the learners’ momentum and motivation, and ensure that learners walk away with a sense of accomplishment.
  6. Step 6
    Implement repetition and reiteration for successful change in behavior.

What Is the Impact You Will See If You Apply the Right Gamification Technique For Corporate Training?

Through the right gamification technique, you can:

  1. Create a sticky learning experience
  2. Provide reinforcement (to offset the “forgetting curve”)
  3. Ensure the successful application of learning on the job
  4. Influence or trigger the desired behavioral change

How Can This Value Be Delivered?

At EI Design, our gamification practice is nearly 5 years old. During these years, we have created successful corporate trainings that have leveraged on gamification techniques at several levels, including:

  1. Partial gamification (to enhance traditional eLearning courses)
  2. Gamified aids to support ILT
  3. Gamified learning path
  4. Game-based learning
  5. Gamified portals

Our Next Gen gamification techniques build up from the success of the current approaches. For instance,

  • Instead of just having simple badges and leaderboards for each challenge, you can put the learner through a more complex narrative that can truly challenge him or her. The narrative is selected based on the content type, learner profile, and is aligned to the learning goals.
  • Personalization holds the key to the learner’s attention, engagement, and motivation. You can use mobile apps for learning to offer a personalized learning path that is aligned to the learner’s goals. Thereby, it is relevant and more engaging.
  • You can use a combination of learning strategies to gain higher impact. For instance, the usage of immersive techniques like a Virtual Reality (VR)-driven learning path that is gamified will surely multiply the impact and help you meet the learning goals.

7 Next Gen Gamification Techniques For Corporate Training

You can opt for the following 7 Next Gen gamification techniques for corporate training and achieve your mandates successfully:

1. Longer-Term Gamification

Behavioral change requires the use of gamification over a long period of time. You can use this longer-term learning path to have milestones over successive weeks/months/quarters.

2. Periodic Checkpointing Of Learners’ Progress

Alongside, plan for a periodic assessment of learners’ progress (against the required outcomes) that can range from learning acquisition, its application, or a behavioral change.

3. Multiply The Impact

To make the learning journey more engaging, you can add immersive approaches like Virtual Reality or wearable tech in your fold.

4. Leverage On Microlearning-Based Gamification

Give the learners a “bite-sized” gamification experience.

5. Personalized Gamification

Offer personalized learning and gaming paths for learners.

6. Social Media-Based Gamification

Let the learners collaborate with peers or experts and address challenges or solve problems, much the same way they need to in real life.

7. Invest On Niche Gamification Portals

These can be designed to offer customized learning paths and elements of gamification, microlearning, and social learning.

This Seems To Be Too Good To Be True; Is There A Catch?

Over the years, I have seen several views (or misconceptions) associated with gamification techniques for corporate training.

I share 5 myths and contrast them with facts to highlight how you can make gamification techniques effectively work for corporate training.

Myths And Facts #1

  • Myth
    Gamification in eLearning doesn’t really help learners learn.
  • Fact
    Gamification is not just about having fun. Much like traditional eLearning, it can be used to meet specific learning outcomes.

As I have highlighted, you can map the learning goals to a gamified approach to gain better engagement. It also creates a far more sticky learning experience. The use of gamification techniques over a period of time will influence learner behavior as well.

Myths And Facts #2

  • Myth
    Gamification cannot drive learner performance.
  • Fact
    Several aspects of learning, including retention, an application on the job, as well as behavioral change can be influenced by gamification.

The Next-Gen gamification techniques for corporate training (highlighted earlier in the article) show you exactly how this can be achieved. 

Myths And Facts #3

  • Myth
    Gamification doesn’t provide real value to learners and businesses.
  • Fact
    Both learners and businesses see value in this approach at several levels.

Learners love it as learning is fun, challenging, and rewarding. L&D teams find value in it on account of its wide application across varied corporate training needs. The correct gamification technique can help them deliver their goals (learning, its application, or behavioral change).

Myths And Facts #4

  • Myth
    Gamification can’t drive learning.
  • Fact
    Gamification can provide an effective approach to drive learning.

This is on account of its inherent features that resonate with learners and help them perform better.

Myths And Facts #5

  • Myth
    Gamification appeals only to Millennials.
  • Fact
    The correct usage of gamification techniques will ensure that it will be well received across the multi-generational workforce.

I hope this article will help you use gamification techniques extensively for your corporate training and my 7 gamification techniques for corporate training will help you make it work well for you.

By Asha Pandey, Chief Learning Strategist at EI Design

Presenting The Current Trends In eLearning

eLearning is the modern education system which copes with the busy lifestyles of the current generation. It has also a huge impact on our lives. This article discusses the current trends of eLearning including its pros and cons.

The Most Prevailing Trends In eLearning

eLearning is a new era in the learning industry. It provides an individual with the flexibility to learn based on their own time, pace and availability. There are already many number of successful e learning platforms all over the internet like Udemy, Udacity, Teachable etc. or you can even create an e learning
platform from various custom eLearning development companies. The worth of the eLearning market was measured at $2.5 billion in 2013, $7.8 billion in 2016 and, according to numerous predictions, the number will likely grow into $15.72 billion by 2021. These figures show a huge financial contribution to the distance education field, which shows the huge potential of the eLearning market. As the eLearning industry is growing among the new generations, there are many pros and cons. Let’s have a look at those:

Pros

  • Flexibility
    One of the main advantages of eLearning is that it is flexible. It helps us to cope up with our busy schedules by letting us take the courses in small sections whenever we want.
  • Mobility
    It’s something that’s more useful in our busy schedules. In eLearning, we are able to learn from any location, such as a park, a bus, train, etc, instead of a confined classroom.
  • Low Cost
    In eLearning, we don’t require trainers’ fees or equipment, so it becomes more affordable. While the cost of traveling is taken into account, eLearning is a cheaper option.
  • Performance Monitoring
    The performance result after the end of each topic and module are portrayed statistically on a dashboard. It enables learners to self-assess their overall performance and improve themselves. The instructor is able to monitor their performance more easily than in traditional, offline education.

Cons

eLearning can never replace the need for a human instructor. Even if eLearning is useful in many ways, computers are able to complete all tasks due to:

  • Lack Of Focus
    Both learners with poor concentration and those who are poorly motivated may quickly fall behind the online course. Without a fixed time schedule or a routine, it’s difficult for learners to meet specific deadlines or goals.
  • Lack Of Social And Cultural Interaction
    In eLearning, peer-to-peer communication is minimal, which makes it challenging for some of the learners.
  • Learners May Feel Isolated
    Without interaction with the outside world, there is a probability of feeling isolated.

Even though there are many cons as regards eLearning, there have already been many successful eLearning platforms all over the internet like Udemy, Udacity, Teachable, etc. you can make great use of. Learners engagement is of prime importance to the success of eLearning platforms. These can be effective only if they present something that catches the learner’s attention for more than just study materials, such as:

  1. Group Discussions
    A powerful discussion forum which revolves around the course will probably be the first option that makes eLearning interactive and much more engaging. On the other hand, simply having comment boxes on the article is unpleasant and difficult for the learners.
  2. Interactive Quizzes
    Having questions asked after each session as a module assessment and an overall quiz for topic assessment are always interesting.
  3. Make Iit A Visual Treat For The Eyes
    The use of slideshows and various multimedia gives learners the ability to stay on the task and be easily pulled into the topic.

What The Current Trends Are In eLearning

As in every sector where changes have occurred, eLearning has also undergone some. Therefore it’s high time we discussed what the current trends in eLearning are:

Mobile Learning

For the last few years, adoption of mLearning or mobile learning has been on the rise. It is flexible, the courses provided are responsive; i.e. it can run seamlessly on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The other main advantage of mLearning is that you can learn from wherever you are and whenever you want.

Microlearning

It deals with the short-term learning activity. The course that lasts for 60 minutes can be split into more bite-sized courses. It can be easier and more affordable to produce such courses and as well as to maintain them.

Gamification

It employs gaming elements so as to improve user engagement. It is a technique of transforming learning into a game. In this way, you can create a high impact and immersion.

Interactive Videos

Learning through videos will continue to maintain its own appeal. As a consequence, the way interactive video turn the passivity of regular videos into rich interactive experiences will see a rise and will be utilized for formal training, too, in addition to performance and support.

Social Learning

While there’s a need for formal training that meets specific learning outcomes, there should be an increase in programs for casual or social learning in which students can network, discuss, collaborate, and exchange thoughts on problem-solving.

This article was first published on : eLearning Industry

By Akshay K, Digital Marketing & SEO analyst at Xpertcube

eLearning Trends In 2019: How To Use Them To Enhance Your Learning Strategy

At this time of the year, you look out for trends that can enhance your training delivery. In this article, I share the eLearning Trends in 2019 you can use to enhance, measure, and maximize the impact and returns on your learning strategies.

eLearning Trends In 2019 You Can Use To Enhance Your Learning Strategy

As I began my exercise to predict eLearning Trends in 2019, the fourth one in this series, I took a step back to see why anyone seeks upcoming trends.

The top 5 reasons why L&D teams look at trends are listed here. They prompt them to adopt new or better approaches that:

  1. Keep the learners engaged.
  2. Ensure knowledge acquisition happens.
  3. Facilitate the application of the acquired learning on the job.
  4. The desired performance gain and ROI occurs.
  5. A positive ROI on training spend is established.

In this article, I take this need as the thread to share the eLearning Trends in 2019. I have grouped them as follows:

  1. Section 1: I list the trends that help learners learn and, more significantly, apply this learning to show better performance or the required behavioral change.
  2. Section 2: I list trends featuring learning strategies with a proven track record of delivering a better engagement quotient and higher training impact.
  3. Section 3: I follow this up with a list of trends that organizations must invest on to measure, enhance, and maximize the impact of their training.
  4. Section 4: I wrap up with trends that are clearly emerging as front runners for investment in the very near future.

With this approach, I am confident that the featured eLearning Trends in 2019 in this article will offer tremendous value in enhancing your learning strategies in the New Year.

Upcoming Release: I also have a free eBook on eLearning Trends in 2019 releasing on Jan 15th.

  • Designed as a guide that you can practically use, it features a typical learner journey that highlights how modern learners learn and what they wish to see in their online training delivery.
  • I use this backdrop to highlight how the featured eLearning Trends in 2019 can be used to add value to learning and its application plus measurement and further gains.

Without further ado, here is my list of eLearning Trends in 2019 banded logically to facilitate their impact and application.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 1: The Trends That Help Learners Learn And Apply This Learning To Show Better Performance Or Behavioral Change.

  1. Mobile Learning
  2. Digitalization of ILT (to Blended or Fully Online)
  3. Performance Support Tools
  4. Informal Learning
  5. Social Learning
  6. Self-Directed Learning

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 2: Learning Strategies With A Proven Track Record Of Delivering A Better Engagement Quotient And Higher Training Impact.

  1. Microlearning
  2. Gamification
  3. Video-Based Learning (Videos and Interactive Videos)
  4. Mobile Apps for Learning
  5. Personalization
  6. Curation and User Generated Content

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 3: The Trends That Organizations Must Invest On To Measure, Enhance, And Maximize The Impact Of Their Training.

  1. Learning Engagement Platforms – LXP
  2. Learner Analytics
  3. Big Data-Reporting and Analytics

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 4: Other Notable Trends To Watch Out For—The Future Is Here!

  1. AR/VR and MR for Immersive Learning
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Learning

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 1: The Trends That Help Learners Learn And Apply This Learning To Show Better Performance Or Behavioral Change.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #1: Mobile Learning

Over the last 4–5 years, the adoption of Mobile Learning has been on the rise. This is on account of the flexibility it provides to learners (learning on the go, multi-device support – including smartphones, tablets or laptops/desktops, and anytime and anywhere access).

From an organization’s perspective, this is clearly an approach that resonates better with learners, offers higher engagement, provides better completion rates, and can be used to support both formal and informal trainings.

What I see changing in 2019 is the maturing of Mobile Learning solutions, leading to a bifurcation into mobile friendly or adaptive designs and mobile first or fully responsive designs. The latter will align better to the way learning is expected to be consumed (notably on smartphones) and will feature learning interactions optimized for them.

Additionally, Mobile Learning will be used to offer almost the entire spectrum of corporate training needs. It will feature high-impact formats including videos, Microlearning, and apps for learning.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #2: Digitalization Of ILT (To Blended Or Fully Online)

While the ILT mode is not dying, it will soon start getting limited to niche programs. 2019 will see further increase in the Digitalization of ILT (to blended or fully online). Even the core ILT delivery will get supported by online resources including pre- and post-workshop material and assessments.

The triggers include push from learners to reduced training budgets and shorter cycles to train employees.

My assessment is that in 2019, we will see a higher percentage of programs going to the fully online format that can be consumed on the device of the learner’s choice (ranging from smartphones/tablets to laptops/desktops).

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #3: Performance Support Tools

Performance support tools or PSTs are learning aids or job aids that are designed to address a specific learning need.

They are available to the learners within their workflow and hence can be easily accessed and used without having to log on to an LMS.

Designed to support formal training (focusing on knowledge acquisition), PSTs can facilitate learning application thereby improving the training impact and learner proficiency. They can be used to support ILT as well as online training, and they effectively serve as a measure to offset the “forgetting curve.”

2019 will see further adoption of PSTs riding high on the increase in mobile learning, Microlearning, and video-based learning.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #4: Informal Learning

The fact that learning happens through multiple channels (and not just formal training) is an established one.

Many of us may be familiar with the 70-20-10 model for Learning and Development. According to this model,

  1. 70% of the learning is experiential (that is, happens on-the-job).
  2. 20% is through social or collaborative learning (that is, learning with or from others).
  3. 10% is through formal training programs.

While we may debate on the percentages shown here, the model does affirm the need of organizations to create a support system and the opportunities to promote informal learning in their workplace.

The usage of measures like performance support tools or PSTs as well as platforms to promote social learning will see significant increase in 2019.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #5: Social Learning

In our early years, our learning is purely from others and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is true for learning at the workplace too. Over the last 3–5 years, L&D teams have seen value in adopting and promoting social learning.

With the options of platforms, next gen LMS, and learning experience platforms, social learning is finally poised for growth in 2019.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #6: Self-Directed Learning

In general terms, self-directed learning is the approach of moving the onus of learning to the learner rather than the teacher. As an extension, in the context of corporate training, it maps to empowering learners to choose how they want to learn.

Unlike training programs that are “pushed” through LMS, self-directed learning is all about giving this control to the learners. They can decide on what they want to learn, how they wish to learn, when they choose to learn, over what time frame would they want to learn and so on.

As you will note, this approach provides control to the learners and gives them the option to decide their learning path. Alongside social learning and informal learning, organizations are recognizing the value of promoting self-directed learning that can help them create learning as a continuum. This trend will continue in 2019.

eLearning Trends For 2019 – Section 2: Learning Strategies With A Proven Track Record Of Delivering A Better Engagement Quotient And Higher Training Impact.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #7: Microlearning

The debate on the value and impact of macro learning (or traditional eLearning) and microlearning (bite-sized, short learning nuggets of 2–7 mins run length each designed to meet a specific outcome) goes on.

However, the fact is that the usage of microlearning-based training has revolutionized training delivery over the last 2 years, and I see this trend accelerating further in 2019.

Today, you can opt for microlearning-based training to offer formal training and informal training and support ILT. Its flexibility to be delivered as a single, short nugget to meet a specific outcome to a learning path that can have an array of learning nuggets makes it a powerful choice for corporate training. I see an increased adoption of microlearning in 2019.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #8: Gamification

Till a few years ago, the impact of gamification-based training had a big question mark associated with it. While gamification provides fun-based learning to users, does it indeed help them achieve a specific learning outcome?

The usage of gamification for serious learning has been on the upswing in the last 2 years, and I see this trend increasing in 2019.

The application of gamification, including the game-based approach, or partial gamification will see an increased application across various corporate training needs. With the reduction in development costs and shorter time frame to develop, L&D teams will see higher value in this investment in 2019.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #9: Video-Based Learning (Videos And Interactive Videos)

Video-based learning is fast becoming a standard piece of online training. This includes its usage in traditional eLearning formats to its extensive usage in the microlearning-based trainings.

In 2019, I see this trend continuing. Equally interesting is the wider adoption of interactive videos that overcome the passivity of traditional videos and increase learner engagement manifold through interactivities and assessments.

Another usage of video-based learning in 2019 will be through the curation of public domain videos.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #10: Mobile Apps For Learning

The widespread adoption of mobile learning and its updated avatar of mobile first or responsive design leads to an important fact that the learning experiences on smartphones must be optimized to the devices. The interactions must mimic the way we use these devices.

On similar lines, similar to Apps that learners use, mobile apps for learning can provide a very effective strategy for online training. The training can be personalized and updated with ease.

The cost and longer lead time to develop mobile apps for learning have led to its limited adoption. I see this as a very powerful approach; I see it play a significant role in training formats.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #11: Personalization

Today’s learners do not have the patience or the attention span to go through learning that is generic and doesn’t map to what they are looking for.

This is where personalization of learning fits in and provides a custom learning path to learners. You can personalize learning based on the learner’s role, proficiency, area of interest and so on.

The Microlearning-based training approach provides the required granularity to draw up highly personalized learning paths for various learner profiles. Rendered over mobile devices, this approach can provide a highly relevant and personalized learning path to each learner.

This trend is worth a watch in 2019 wherein we will also see the usage of machine learning and AI to create more meaningful learning experiences.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #12: Curation And User-Generated Content

While we may be spoilt for choice on data and information that is easily accessible on the Internet, tagging it and identifying the relevant info is a time-consuming process.

Content curation addresses these pain areas and provides relevant learning resources to users. Learners have the flexibility to opt for the recommended learning path or configure their own version.

Furthermore, the exercise also promotes user participation by encouraging user-generated content to keep the knowledge base current and relevant.

This is not all. Content curation enables organizations to tap into resources that are available in the public domain, and they do not need to re-create them.

This trend has been on an upswing, and I see a similar traction in 2019. This too will benefit from emerging techniques like AI for learning, machine learning and so on, to create even more relevant learning paths to the users.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 3: The Trends That Organizations Must Invest On To Measure, Enhance, And Maximize The Impact Of Their Training.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #13: Learning Engagement Platforms – LXP

Learning Engagement Platforms (LXP) provide a highly personalized learning experience to users through learning pathways. Besides this, they feature social or collaborative learning, inclusive learning, content curation and facilitation of user-generated content.

In contrast to LMS, the LXPs empower learners to define their learning path from a set of learning assets featuring varied formats. Besides facilitating self-directed learning, they encourage learner participation through user-generated content.

They feature social learning and offer recognition to active participants. They do feature assessments along with badges and certification.

They are fun, more engaging, and relevant for learners, and they will help learners meet specific learning outcomes.

In the short term, including in 2019, they will co-exist with LMS. Many existing LMS players are already offering the LXP option as an add-on. Then, there are new participants that offer AI-based recommendations and aspects like “career pathways” that resonate very well with the learners.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #14: Learner Analytics

2019 will continue to see the usage of learner analytics to review learner behavior and what additional measures can be adopted to increase engagement, motivation, and facilitate the application of acquired learning.

A wider adoption of Tin Can API will provide the relevant cues in this endeavor. Furthermore, the usage of Artificial Inteligence (AI) in learning will further facilitate the usage of this analytics to create more relevant and personalized learning experiences.

I see this trend seeing further traction in 2019, resulting in learning designs that appeal to learners and create the required value and ROI that businesses seek.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #15: Big Data-Reporting And Analytics

Big Data refers to voluminous data that is aggregated from various sources (typically, LMS, LCMS, learning portals, and surveys/polling or assessments in the context of eLearning). Given its volume, complexity, and the fact that it is dynamic, there is no tool that can manage and analyze it.

Big Data-reporting and analytics refers to the methodology to present the data in formats that are actionable. When processed right, this can give us tremendous insights on how learners learn, the impact of training on skills or behavioral change, and the impact on business and eventually ROI determination.

I see an increase in Big Data-reporting and analytics in 2019, leading to further optimization of the training delivery. This analysis can be used to understand learner behavior, the way they want to learn, the learning paths chosen, and how to update the existing training delivery. These cues can then be used to create personalized and more effective learning paths that enable learners to learn, practice, obtain feedback and remediation, and so on.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 4: Other Notable Trends To Watch Out For – The Future Is Here!

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #16: AR/VR And MR For Immersive Learning

L&D Teams’ hunt to evaluate immersive learning strategies is an on-going endeavor. Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) are acknowledged as superb approaches to provide highly immersive learning experiences for a few years now.

High price and substantial lead time to develop them have been two factors that have limited their wider usage. Also, the use cases that justify the investment and ROI are limited.

With main authoring tool providers like Adobe and Trivantis getting into VR solutions, the price points have dropped. Their design approach also makes it easier to author these learning experiences in a short time. I see further traction on VR solutions in 2019 as these solutions become more affordable and can be offered to supplement the formal training.

In my opinion, 2019 will see a wider adoption of AR-based training, including mobile apps that embed VR features. The use cases will expand to include soft skills training as well as learning to trigger behavioral change.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #17: Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Learning

The usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in learning is one trend in 2019 that you should watch out for.

AI can facilitate the creation of highly customized learning paths by analyzing the data it collects. This data can then be used to understand the learner’s interest, proficiency, and recommend further learning assets that they may not be aware of. Potentially, personalized learning will not only engage the learner better but also help L&D teams gain the impact they seek.

I hope this article helps demystify the value and impact of each eLearning trend I have listed and provides the context of why you should use them.

By Asha Pandey, Chief Learning Strategist at EI Design

Microlearning Trends To Adopt In 2019

As microlearning-based training moves to center stage, I outline what is driving its rapid adoption. In this article, I also share microlearning trends in 2019, and how you can leverage them to boost employee performance.

Discovering All About Microlearning Trends In 2019

Microlearning consists of short, bite-sized learning nuggets. Although short in run length (between 2-5 mins and, typically, not exceeding 7 mins), each nugget is action-oriented and is designed to meet a specific learning outcome.

In the last couple of years, microlearning has moved from being a player on the side to center stage and for good reasons.

In a world that is full of distractions and diminishing attention spans, it is critical to have sharp, focused learning nuggets. Only then do you get the learners’ attention, and they invest in completing it. This is precisely what microlearning-based training delivers.

Learners love microlearning-based training as:

  • It is short and focused.
  • It can be taken on the go.
  • It is available in the learners’ workflow and can be accessed at the moment of their need.
  • It is designed for multi-device support and provides control to learners on when and how they want to consume it.
  • It uses high-impact formats (notably, videos) that are engaging and immersive.

L&D teams see value in microlearning on account of:

  • Its ability to engage the learners across profiles, that is today’s multi-generational workforce.
  • Its ability to provide a sticky learning experience.
  • Its high completion rates.
  • Its capability to push acquired learning to the application on the job.
  • Its concept of learning paths or learning journeys that can help learners gain proficiency as well as trigger the required behavioral change.
  • Its innate strength to offset the “forgetting curve” and convert it to the “retention curve” through ongoing reinforcements.

Based on our long experience in developing Microlearning based training, and what we see in the near future, here is my view of microlearning trends in 2019.

Microlearning Trend #1 In 2019

Microlearning will be used for a wider spectrum of corporate training, specifically for:

  1. Change management
  2. Awareness programs
  3. Formal training
  4. Just-in-time training (Performance Support Tools or job aids)
  5. Informal learning
  6. ILT support aids

Microlearning Trend #2 In 2019

Microlearning will leverage mobile learning further—particularly, apps for learning: Building on the wider adoption of mobile learning in organizations, it will be the mode L&D teams would prefer for varied corporate trainings.

It will leverage particularly on formats like mobile apps for learning where a personalized learning path with microlearning nuggets can be offered to learners. This approach can be used to provide both formal training as well as just-in-time learning aids within the learners’ workflow.

Microlearning Trend #3 In 2019

Microlearning will use personalization techniques to offer highly customized and relevant learning to each learner.

Microlearning Trend #4 In 2019

Microlearning will capitalize on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and analytics to offer support and personalized learning paths. Furthermore, its capability to offer recommendations to learners will ensure that they come back for more even after completing the prescribed training.

Microlearning Trend #5 In 2019

Microlearning will continue to use video-based learning as a significant design strategy. However, it will see an increase in the NextGen format, that is, interactive video-based learning.

Microlearning Trend #6 In 2019

Microlearning will be used in formal training in conjunction with successful, engaging, and immersive strategies like:

  1. Virtual Reality
  2. Gamification
  3. Scenario-based learning extended through a master narrative or story-based learning
  4. Complex, branching simulations for decision making

Microlearning Trend #7 In 2019

Microlearning will be used extensively in content curation to provide “learning as a continuum”. This will help organizations create a better learning culture and facilitate informal learning.

Microlearning Trend #8 In 2019

Microlearning formats will also help in promoting collaborative or social learning.

Microlearning Trend #9 In 2019

Microlearning will continue to the preferred format to offer just-in-time training (Performance Support Tools or job aids).

Here, most of the established formats will continue. These include the popular and effective ones like:

  1. eBooks/Flipbooks
  2. Infographics
  3. Interactive infographics
  4. PDFs
  5. Interactive PDFs

Microlearning Trend #10 In 2019

Microlearning will support ILT trainings and VILT trainings by providing online resources:

  • Pre-workshop prep material
  • In-workshop exercises, role plays, simulations and so on
  • Post-workshop handouts

Impact Of Microlearning In 2019

Microlearning-based training is no more a buzz. It is a technique that has transformed the online training format and is here to stay.

NOTE: The usage of microlearning does not mark the demise of macrolearning or what is termed as traditional eLearning format. For instance,

  • This would still find its place in programs that need longer seat time, as breaking them into too many nuggets can create a disruptive learning experience.
  • For certain programs like compliance, several organizations will continue to use the more traditional format.

On the other hand, there would be a rapid adoption in programs like:

  1. Induction and onboarding
  2. Sales training
  3. Leadership training
  4. Professional skills training

I hope this article throws light on the possibilities of using microlearning in 2019 as a significant part of your online training delivery or to support your Instructor-Led Training.


By Asha Pandey, Chief Learning Strategist at EI Design

10 best practices to implement gamification

Gamification is not a magic lamp. It won’t solve your problems overnight. But if you plan and use it well, it will serve its purpose.

Here are the 10 best practices which you can use while implementing gamification.

1.Identify the success criteria: Define success i.e. what you intend to achieve through the activity. It is important to know the parameters of a successful outcome. Without having a clear cut desired result, you can’t find out whether the activity was successful or not.

2. Consider alternatives: Always explore the alternatives. DO NOT jump the wagon. Many a times, people ignore simple and effective learning solutions just because they find a new trend catching up. Use gamification only if it makes sense and will add on to the activity. If you think the alternative is much more effective, use that!

3. Creating a tie-in to business needs: Any activity has to tie-in with the business goals. Make sure the gamification also does. Do not use gamification just to make your content interesting. It has no value if it does not push your business forward.

4. Create a story/context: We all love stories! Develop a story around your gamification activity. Tell people the context. Give them a purpose, a reason to interact with your content. Tell them why they are earning points, saving someone or conquering something.

5. Use science to advance learning: Remember the 2 mantras – Spaced Retrieval and Retrieval Practice. Spaced retrieval helps a learner retain access to the memorized information over long periods of time because it promotes a deeper understanding of the learned material. Retrieval practices encourage a learner to recall information rather than simply re-read or re-listen to it.

6. Make scoring and winning transparent: Make scoring easy! The learner should know how his actions are related to the scores. So, he will know exactly what he needs to do in order to be successful. Also, try different scenarios. Make sure you have covered up all the possible issues that could arise when a learner is doing the activity.

7. Keep the rules simple: Really simple! Avoid complexity. Always provide a tutorial so that the learner can learn the rules beforehand and perform better. This will also help you prevent any kind of frustration that a learner might develop due to lack of knowledge of the rules.

8. Keep leaderboards small: No one is really interested in the world rankings unless he’s up there. Keep the leaderboards customizable and personalized. The learner should be able to see his position, his friends’ position along with the top 5 performers.

9. Use levels and badges appropriately: Give the learner a goal and the number of levels he will need to complete before the learning is over. Badges can be tied to either levels or enabling objectives. Badges are also a good way to show off your prowess to your friends and colleagues.

10. Test your game before you release it: It is a good way to find flaws, cheats and shortcuts that you might have overlooked. Human Beings are the most creative and lazy people imaginable as we look for a better/faster way to achieve the same result.

Let us know if you have any more points to add to the list.

By Deepak Gawas, Head- Partnerships at QuoDeck

What is Micro-learning?

Micro-learning is learning presented as short and focused nuggets of content. Content can be in multiple forms including text, images, videos, etc. Micro-learning presents only as much content as required for learners to achieve a specific learning outcome. With today’s workforce comprising of Generation Z and millennials, it is particularly valuable in corporate learning.

Micro-learning solves learning problems that plague today’s workforce

The training that your learners experience, whether in the form of workshops, ILTs or online courses on your LMS, are mostly long-form. As a result, learner gratification usually happens only once on course/workshop completion. Also, because the attention span of the audience you talk to is short, as little as 5 minutes, their interest in long online courses often wavers causing understanding and retention to suffer.

With the help of micro-learning nuggets, you can attack both these problems. These provide gratification in shorter intervals and prevent learner demotivation. Also, since their length is usually kept below 5 minutes, learner attention does not waver either.

Benefits offered by micro-learning

Apart from just solving problems for the learner community, micro-learning offers multiple benefits to individuals who own learning or training of teams.

a. Just-in-time learning

Micro-learning can be accessed on mobile phones, LMS permitting, without using up too much data. With content being available on their handiest device, your learners can access it on-demand. These micro-learning online courses can thus act as ready reckoners and prove helpful on the job.

b. Autonomy

Millennials needs more autonomy than any other generation. Allowing them to consume relevant content, as and when they choose to, drives motivation as well as interest. Additionally, this gives them the feeling that they can chart their own learning paths. Learners thus apply their learning in their daily lives and often look for content that they can consume. This reduces the pressure on learning managers as content does not need to be pushed as much as earlier.

c. Varied forms of learning

Micro-learning principles demand concise and to-the-point information nuggets with focused and compact objectives. Using various forms such as games, videos, infographics, eLearning and m-learning, it can help create specific content with effective training outputs. Along with this, micro-learning content also helps achieve content interactivity and learner engagement.

d. Advantageous for small teams

Micro-learning offers key advantages to small teams, groups or departments. Given their small size, setting up a micro-learning mobile app is easy and affordable. This can be used for achieving smaller but important milestones that a department may have set for itself.

When should you use micro-learning?

It is important to consider two aspects while applying micro-learning strategies – business aspect and learner needs.

Here are some things to consider while using micro-learning:

a. What technology will you use?

Micro-learning’s success largely depends on how easy it is to access. If a learner cannot easily and quickly find content that she is looking for, it is likely that they will not spend any effort to access it again. Not all LMSes handle micro-learning well. It is important that your LMS deploys these courses easily and tag the learners to help them find what they need. The LMS needs to be accessible on mobile as well.

b. Who are your learners?

It is crucial that you know your learner profile before you design a micro-learning course. While micro-learning can be effective across all generations, younger learners or learners who are more technologically savvy may be more comfortable using these than those who do not use digital devices frequently.

To conclude, micro-learning is the best learning strategy for the Gen Z and millennial workforce. Not only can it be engaging and effective, with the right approach to creation, it can be entertaining too.

By Shruti Shinde, Head- Enterprise Origination at QuoDeck

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

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.


(An example of course-based navigation. Look at the index on the left where the material is broken into modules and must consumed sequentially)
Image source: QuoDeck Technologie
s

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.

(An example of reference-based navigation. The help and resources section on Hubspot is available as a well-structured searching system)
Image source: Hubspot

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.


(An example of social navigation. A learner is asking a question and experts have answered it.) Image source: Quora

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

5 Benefits of a Learning Management System for Businesses

With a growing need to foster effective learning and cater to the training needs of a global workforce, organizations across the world are implementing learning management systems for corporate training.

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that can deliver course material to learners, administer assignments and tests, track the performance of participants, manage records, and offer continuous support.

When your business’s corporate training requirements start to become more complex, an LMS is likely to be the best solution that can meet your needs. With that in mind, here are five benefits of a learning management system for businesses:

1. All the eLearning content is accessible from one location

With a cloud-based LMS, your organization’s eLearning content is not stored on different offline hard drives or devices. Instead, its securely saved on the cloud which allows your employees to access eLearning courses wherever and whenever they want. This also greatly reduces the risk of losing data, since all the information is saved on a secured remote server.

The easy accessibility of an online LMS makes it the right fit for organizations that have a global or a remote workforce and it also ends up saving time for your employees.

2. Mobile readiness

Over 99% of the mobile users believe that mobile learning has enhanced their overall learning experience. That is why, with mobile-ready learning management systems, you are able to offer a great user experience to your employees and in turn get increased overall productivity.

Your employees are no longer required to stay at their desk to access and complete online courses. Instead, they can log into the LMS app on their mobile phones and view eLearning content while they are on the move. This is one of the main reasons why 67% of the organizations are already implementing mobile learning in some form or the other.

3. A more engaging learning experience

There was a time when corporate training was all about spending hours listening to an instructor in a conference room. But today, learning is more personalized with LMSes that offer interactive lessons, fun quizzes and games, video conferencing, and forums to discuss the courses.

The new learner-centered approach has not only led to a more engaging experience during the learning process but also helped achieve better results at the end of the course.

Since the LMS is already accessible online, it is possible to integrate social learning into your eLearning strategy. You can create eLearning exercises that are centered around peer collaboration and even add online forums where your workforce can discuss and help each other.

Games augmented reality, and virtual reality can also be leveraged to incorporate interactive simulations and scenarios that can easily explain and highlight complex tasks or processes.

4. Reduced time and costs

With an LMS, you no longer have to worry about instructor costs, printing course material, or setting up a conference room for training sessions. Your employees can carry out all the training online and your business is able to save a sizable sum on your learning and development budget.

Since LMS gives online learners only the information that they need in a more direct and organized manner, you are also able to reduce training time. Instead of sitting through a 3-hour seminar, your employees can just access the online modules on the LMS that they need to learn. With the flexibility that LMS provides, your employees are able to take these courses according to their own time, which doesn’t disrupt their important everyday work as well.

5. Driving compliances is easier

Compliance rules and regulations get regularly modified, but updating your traditional offline course to reflect these changes can be a rather time-consuming task.

With an LMS, it becomes possible to update your learning content according to the new compliance standards in just a matter of a few minutes. This is in stark contrast to the traditional courses where you would have to send the updated courses to every employee separately and different versions of the same course could create even more confusion.

LMS can ensure that all of your employees are on the same page about the company policies and the compliances are always followed.

In conclusion

A learning management system clearly has numerous benefits. You are able to create a more skilled, productive, and engaging workforce in your organization while saving time and costs. It’s also possible to track the training progress of all of your employees and generate reports in real-time.

That is why it is no surprise that more and more organizations are implementing LMSes for their workforce. When are you incorporating an LMS in your organization?