Feel free to use this graphic as is anywhere, for a personal or commercial purpose.
Feel free to use this graphic as is anywhere, for personal or commercial purposes.
The best way to train the modern workforce. Find out more here!
Let’s start by understanding, what exactly is ‘Cloud Authoring’!
Cloud authoring is ‘internet based authoring’. In other words, one can access these tools using their web browser. (For example, Google Docs) Everything is online and you just need to log in to get started with your work.
So, what makes Cloud Authoring better than others?
They are free! (Most of them)
No installation required
You don’t have to download these tools in order to use them. You can access them using your web browser. All you need to do is sign up. So, you don’t need to have any particular configuration to use these tools. It also saves your effort of coordinating with IT department to install software on your computer.
Accessible from anywhere
These tools can be accessed from anywhere. You can access the content created on these tools from anywhere. You don’t have to go through the hassles of carrying the data everywhere.
Creating on the go
Using these tools, you can create/ edit content on the go. And here’s the best thing, once you load the tool on your website, you can use it even offline. You don’t need internet connection at all, except when you have to save or publish the content.
Easy to collaborate
Collaborating with your colleagues is a lot easier using these tools. You can share the files or the published content for reviewing. Or by sharing the credentials, you can even ask your colleague to make the necessary changes.
Want to try one of these cloud authoring tools? Try QuoDeck – a game-based learning creator.
There is a big difference between a course that is engaging, and a course that is well-documented.
You may create a comprehensive course with interactive branch scenarios and detailed explanation, but, if it is not relevant to the learner, than it will just confuse or worst case, frustrate her. Such a pattern may be good and easy to build, but it is only good enough to share information. It lacks in creating engagement and results in poor retention in the mind of the learner. Such courses are ‘well-documented’, but not engaging.
Engagement requires an emotional connection between the content and the learner. It goes beyond presenting interactive content; it is about designing truly motivating learning experiences.
The biggest challenge in creating an elearning course is engaging the learner, and there is a very simple solution for this – Case Studies
So here’s how you can use case studies to make your course engaging and interesting.
- It is after all, a story: Humans have used the art of story-telling as a mode of communicating ideas and knowledge since the Stone Age, and there is a reason behind it. We tend to remember a story better than just facts, and it provides a very practical, firsthand account of events that happened, and the appropriate solutions to them.
- It is simple: The simpler your story, the clearer is the message and the easier it is for the learner to remember and use it when required. If you stuff your course with extra details, your course will end up being a clutter of abstract information, making it tougher for both – you and the learner.
- A relevant perspective: If you tell your story from the perspective of the customer, or anyone other than the learner, she will receive insights on the situation from a different perspective too. Also, this will raise the interest of the person enrolled in your course. Instead of telling the learner what they need to know, show them how not knowing affects others.
Even as a trainer, this makes things simpler for you as well.
Case studies need lesser time to build, and they rarely result in an information dump. Thus, you waste lesser time and energy, thinking and pondering over your course, and tweaking it time and again by introducing gimmicks to make it more engaging.
A case study is still mostly linear, but I see it as a first step in an iterative process of moving away from the boring click and read style. What is your take on this?
P.S.: If you are interested in knowing about micro-learning, then this one is a good place to start – 5 reasons why micro-learning is perfect for today’s workforce
Implementing a learning system for any organisation is not an easy task. It requires deep analysis of the organisation’s requirements, resources and estimation of the future needs as well.
The key to a proper implementation of any learning system is identifying the constraints and defining the specifications for the system. This study, known as the ‘Detailed Constraint Analysis’, helps in identifying the constraints which might create a roadblock during the actual implementation. (Download this INCITE Micro-learning Framework to find out more about Detailed Constraint Analysis)
Here are the 7 recommended parameters one must check to ensure that the implementation specifications are comprehensive:
1. Device Constraints – These constraints pertain to whether the micro-learning is being built for the mobile or the desktop or both. Based on the answer to this question, constraints with respect to operating systems, screen orientation and sizing, app vs. web, etc. need to be further analyzed.
2. Security Constraints – These constraints pertain to the data and access security concerns of the organization. These can range from basic questions like whether the learning is to be accessible only inside the office to more complex issues like remote wiping of learning data on exits, etc.
3. Bandwidth Constraints – These constraints pertain to the network bandwidth available for the learning system. These constraints are typically derived from surrogate analysis of geographical dispersion and network capabilities of the devices on which the learning is to be deployed.
4. Org Structure Constraints – These pertain to the team structures within the company and non-hierarchical structures (like Leadership Group, Committees, etc.) that might be present. The main aspect to analyze is the likelihood and extent of overlap between multiple micro-learning systems for a learner who might belong to multiple cohorts.
5. Engagement Level Constraints – A lot of organizations seek to tread cautiously on the extent of engagement they would like to implement. The interaction level of the micro-learning has to be kept on the fine line which creates motivation without creating obsession which hampers work.
6. Learner Psychology Constraints – Depending on the organizational DNA and employee profiles, it is critical to understand the needs and attitudes of the learner groups and design the system accordingly. In this section, it is also critical to assess how learners might try to “game the system”.
7. Learning Objective Constraints – Ultimately, it all comes down to the learning objectives that you want to drive through the system. Depending on the objectives you want to achieve, you will need to make trade-offs on engagement, length, seriousness, etc.
Document the above constraints and your Learning System Specifications are ready! Now you can move on to the next stage – Designing the micro-learning system. (How to design a micro-learning system for your organisation in 6 easy steps)
Designing a learning system for any organisation is a critical task. It’s not easy, given the fact that one has to consider the various departments in an organisation and understand their training requirements. Not to forget, coordinating and collaborating with different entities like Learning Consultant, Human Resources, IT and so on. One often gets confused on where to begin.
The good news is, once you finish reading this article, you will know exactly how to start and where to start.
Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting … The INCITE Micro-learning Framework – a step-by-step framework to help you design a Micro-Learning system for any organisation’s training need.
I am going to write down a brief synopsis of this framework which should be enough to help you get started. (Download the full whitepaper here)
Step 1 – Implementation
Understanding the objective of the micro-learning system
The first pillar of this framework is to discover the ask from the micro-learning management system and establish the constraints around organizational processes, technology and learner psychology. This will ensure that you stay focused throughout the process and will help you in your decision-making process.
Step 2 – Navigation
Establishing the flow of the learning content
Depending on the objective, the flow of the learning has to be established next. An established concept in Formal Learning design, creating a learning flow is akin to establishing curriculum and lesson plans for a course. In simple words, how do you want your learner to access your content. Should all the topics be accessible at the same time as a library? Or one needs to go through all topics in a particular sequence?
Step 3 – Content
Creation of micro-learning content
Micro-learning content is very distinct from regular e-learning content. It is driven by criticality of information, which in turn drives size and form of the content. Ensure that the content is developed keeping in mind that it is for a micro-learning system. (Read more: How to design micro-learning content in 4 easy steps)
Step 4 – Interactivity
Deciding on the interactive elements in the course
A learning system targeted towards the modern learner has to engage first and explain quickly. This makes it essential to embrace a participative pedagogy delivered through interactivity. Decide on the level of interactivity and the elements which would go well with your learners. It could be a quiz, or a video, or a game.
Step 5 – Testing
Deciding on the assessment criteria for the learner
The modern learner has typically grown up in a very connected social context, with high doses of competition and a healthy dose of skepticism towards authority. Modern testing methodologies have to account for these attitudes. The usual ones like online quizzes might not work here. Try exploring options like games or simulations. These are more engaging and effective.
Step 6 – Effectiveness
Measuring the learning outcome
Of all organizational processes, learning is perhaps the least measurable, reducing the focus and importance of this function in spite of its criticality for the organization. Measurement of learning effectiveness is critical to the success of any learning system.
That’s it! You are ready.
In case you want to know more about The INCITE Micro-learning Framework, you can download the complete whitepaper here – http://goo.gl/47iWZn
Also, if you need help in setting up a micro-learning system for your organisation, feel free to get in touch with me at email@example.com.
“We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless, and where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention” – Satya Nadella.
Micro-learning caters to this reality and helps in planning out content to be delivered in the most effective manner. (5 reasons why micro-learning is perfect for today’s workforce)
So how does one design micro-learning content?
Using the Criticality Analysis – a 4-step approach inspired from the INCITE Micro-learning Framework.
Step 1 – Collate
As a first step to designing micro-learning content, the learning material needs to be collated from across various sources. Look out for wiki articles, whitepapers, pdfs, blogs, presentations for raw content. Given the plentiful resources found on the internet and other sources, one could end up collating an incredibly large amount of information. The trick to collection is knowing what to pick. Remember, micro-learning is about bite-sized content, and that is where the collation focus should be.
Step 2 – Curate
Once all the content has been collated, as a logical next step, remove all duplicate or near-duplicate information. Post this step, classify the content nuggets into one of these 5 categories – Facts, Concepts, Processes, Procedures and Principles. This will help you in figuring out how to present the content.
Step 3 – Chunking
Chunking involves reducing information that can be difficult to remember, down into shorter and more manageable chunks. The typical rule of thumb for the length of a micro-learning topic is approximately 15 minutes. In our experience, this is enough time to cover 30-40 points at a maximum for a topic.
Step 4 – Compose
The next step is to organize the chunked content into a logical flow. Subsequent to that, each point is to be deconstructed into its critical import and additional information. The critical information has to be front and center in the micro-learning flow, while the additional information should be made discretionary in terms of access for the learner. This output should ideally be first organized into an instructional design storyboard.
And finally, even though this is not a part of the process, it is a critical thing – an authoring tool for composing your content into consumable learning blocks. This will largely be determined by the micro-learning technology you decide on. (Design a micro-learning system for your organization)
Hope this should get you started with your micro-learning content. Have any queries? Mention in the comments below!
Do you really need to include visuals in your learning content, or you should avoid them? Find out by taking this ‘Picture Test’!
- Will the visual make the content easy to understand?
- Will the visual be more effective than an extensive description?
- Will the visual help you structure your content in a better way?
- Will the visual make your content attractive enough to grab the reader’s attention?
- Will the visual help you reinforce the central idea?
If the answer to any of the above questions is ‘Yes’, then feel free to use visuals in your content.
Do you know that the attention span of an average human is shorter than a goldfish? (Source: Microsoft Canada, 2015). A goldfish can focus for nine seconds; people are down to a mere eight seconds.
So, the million-dollar question is – how do you design learning which caters to such a short attention span and ensure that it is effective as well?
Micro-learning is the way out!
Micro-learning deals with relatively small learning units and short-term-focused activities (Hug, 2005). In the e-learning context, it refers to a learner’s short interaction with learning matter broken down to very small bits of content.
Here are 5 reasons why micro-learning is perfect for today’s mobile-oriented workforce.
- Easy on memory: Learners are routinely overburdened by unfocused, information-heavy content. Micro-learning reduces cognitive load, making it easier for learners to process.
- Low on space: Since micro-learning takes up less digital space, you can avoid digital real estate issues that come with storing and displaying media files – especially on mobile devices.
- More focused: Micro-learning is more focused in scope, making it easier for a learner to tie what they learn directly to specific on-the-job actions.
- Cost-effective: Short content is cheaper and faster to produce and update, so you can continually test and experiment, even on the tightest budgets.
- Learning throughout the day: Micro-learning forces us to consider the small learning moments and opportunities that happen continuously throughout an employee’s day.
If you could think of more reasons, share with me in the comments below!