Tag Archives: elearning solution

Can I store multiple values in a single variable in Ruby?

Yes, you can. Ruby offers a data structure called Array using which you can store multiple values in a single element. Let’s look at an example.

Variable with single assigned value:

user_limit = 250

Variable with multiple assigned values:

users = [‘john’, ‘kevin’, ‘jay’, ‘navin’]

This is an array, and you can store more than one value in an array like this.

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Design Thinking: The Future Of HR Learning And Development

L&D and HR leaders deal with some pretty large-scale people development problems, starting from managing attrition and creating learning engagement, to managing to stay abreast of technology trends in Learning and Development.

What The Future Of HR Learning And Development Looks Like

In a fast-changing world, incorporating design thinking into the design of employee training can help to solve problems like maximizing learning, improving engagement, reducing drop-offs and managing attrition.

In most organizations, employee training design has more of a top-down approach, where employers decide what learners should learn and how they should learn it, rather than catering to what and how they want to learn. This process has been seeing diminishing returns as a rising proportion of Millennials and Gen Z has joined the workforce. While some organizations have tried to solve this by building access to MOOCs such as Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning, these sort of learning options only cover self-development. What gets left out is functional knowledge or product/process training, which needs to be put out as structured learning.

So, how can design thinking help? The central premise of design thinking is a solution-based approach to problem-solving. Design thinking requires that the client (in this case the employee) is placed at the center of it all.

Step 1

Empathize with learners to understand their experiences and motivations. Leaders need to put themselves in the shoes of employees and figure out what motivates them. Tools to help with this can be surveys and interviews of employees, to get a thorough picture of different learner profiles. This is different from a Training Needs Analysis, since it focuses a lot more on behavior, likes, dislikes, motivations, and challenges in their daily life.

Step 2

Define the problem you want to solve. Very often learning outcomes falter because the learner and organization do not agree on the intended outcome of the learning. Defined problems will yield much clearer solutions.

Step 3

Ideate with all relevant stakeholders. Creating a multi-functional team that can contribute to this can help to introduce more perspectives and ideas into the mix. This team should know the learner, understand the problem you are trying to solve and brainstorm possible solutions. Approaching this as an open-ended discussion can help bring out as many solutions as possible before you start converging on one for the next step.

Step 4

Prototype a potential solution. Often the response to arriving at a potential solution is to select one and jump right into implementing it. This is exactly what the design thinking process tells us to avoid. The next step is to produce a scaled-down, inexpensive prototype of the most favored solutions, such as a tech platform or digital content. These are then shared within the design team and with a small group of people outside the team. The aim of prototyping is to identify the best possible solution for the problems identified in Step 2. These are investigated, accepted, improved, accepted or rejected based on the learners’ experience.

Step 5

Test the product using the best solutions identified in the prototyping step. While this is the final step in this 5-stage process, design thinking is an iterative process and testing phase results often indicate that you need to go back to the prototyping or ideation phase to get things right. If new insights present themselves about your learners or market realities have changed, then this may need a new set of solutions.

The process outlined above may seem linear and structured, but in reality, these steps are followed in quick succession and in a non-linear fashion, to ensure that speed is achieved. Design teams can delineate themselves to do parts of the process.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

This article was first published on elearningindustry

Why cloud authoring tools are the best for elearning?

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)

Yes! Many cloud authoring tools like Google DocsQuoDeck, etc. are free. Others like PowtoonDropbox, etc. are also free, but in case you need more features than you have to pay.

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.

Let us know if you agree or have any more insights to add here. Go ahead and comment below.

By Deepak Gawas, Head- Partnerships at QuoDeck


Avoiding the LMS Overkill

“The world is full of people who will help you manufacture tornados in order to blow out a match”
Shaun Hick, Author

What LMS Overkill Is And Ways To Avoid It?

In a fast-changing world, organizations need to keep their teams up to speed with the latest trends and methods for each industry. This requirement for learning has spawned the multi-billion-dollar Learning Management System (LMS) industry. And, today, there are hundreds of LMSs to choose from, with a mind-boggling array of features. Which brings me to the all-important question: As a company looking to implement an LMS, how does one choose the most appropriate one?

Well, most LMSs would provide core features – User Management, Course Creation, and Basic Progress Analytics. What distinguishes one LMS from the other are the shiny advanced features they offer.

So, why not just go for the one with the largest number of features, or the one with the coolest features, or the one that the leader in your industry is using?

Because you might just end up with a system that is nightmarish to implement and, altogether, too complex for your audience to use. This is the concept of the LMS overkill, and most LMS providers, including us, have been guilty of it at some point or the other.

The truth is that given the size of the target base, experience with learning systems and the complexity of training to be administered, enterprises have different learning requirements at different points in time.

This is called the Enterprise Learning Life Cycle, which broadly maps into 5 stages:

Enterprise_Learning

The selection of the most appropriate LMS should ideally depend on where the company is in the Enterprise Learning Life Cycle.

1. Solo Stage Requirements

In the Solo Stage, a senior leader or trainer acts as a Subject Matter Expert and trains a select set of learners in the subject. The content is mostly from existing knowledge built over the years of practicing their trade. The onus of learning is on the learner with little focus on assessments or pushing adoption.

Stage Indicators

 Learning System Requirements

Learning_System_Requirements _LMS_QuoDeck

In the Solo Stage, there is no real need for a formal learning system unless the Subject Matter Expert is planning to translate his knowledge into something more permanent. In such a case, the only requirements they would have is a repository to store the learning content and a way to share the content.

Instead of an LMS, you should consider using Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox or a similar file sharing service at this stage. Alternatively, you could create a course on a MOOC like Coursera or Udemy to host and share your content.

2. Startup Learning Team Requirements

In the Startup Stage, the organization relies on its managers to train their own teams. This is typically the case when the organization is in the startup stage or is composed of small teams. The main learning objective for the learners is to get familiar with the company’s products and sales pitches. A lot of the learning happens on-the-job, and the quality of training depends on the quality of the managers.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Learning_system_requirements_lms_QuoDeck

In the Startup Stage, the requirement is for a low-cost system that can be handled by the manager himself. Most of the content that needs to be disseminated is already available as sales pitches and planning documents. The requirements, in this case, are a repository to store the content, a way to share it, a system to check whether the learners have viewed the content, a way to make the whole experience more engaging, some basic assessments and above all, a method to prevent download or onward-sharing of the often-proprietary content. In case the team operates in the field, you might also require mobile learning functionalities.

For this stage, you should try out a lite LMS like QuoDeck ExpressTalentLMS or ProProfs.

3. Standard Learning Team Requirements

In the Standard Stage, the organization takes on the responsibility to scale up all its employees. The organization typically has a dedicated HR team, who explore need gaps and plan and conduct learning sessions to plug them. Leading with classroom sessions, most organizations typically look to add in eLearning to standardize the content and dissemination approach as well as reduce costs.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

System_requirements_lms

The Standard Stage is when the company is most susceptible to LMS overkill. Given the mandate to acquire a new enterprise system, it is but natural for the team to go for the “best” instead of the “most appropriate”. LMSs tend to get evaluated on the number of features they offer, rather than what is really required by the organization.

Ideally, the focus should ideally be on creating high-quality interactive content on tools like Articulate and Captivate. The LMS is required largely for structured dissemination.

At this stage, it is preferable to go for a cloud-based mobile learning system with a lower technical learning curve. Ideal candidates for this are LMSs like CanvasDocebo, and Litmos.

4. Seasoned Learning Team Requirements

In the Seasoned Stage, the organization starts a decentralization process due to the increase in its scale of operations. Each team has dedicated HR managers who take on the responsibility to scale up the employees in their team. There is a central, dedicated learning team, who oversee and authorize learning activities.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Learning_requirements_lms

The Seasoned Stage is where the organization should look to acquire a full-fledged LMS. However, the key at this stage goes beyond the LMS features themselves. The ongoing learning management for the organization requires many offline processes which are the mainstay of the learning team.

Mapping of the organization, arranging them into cohorts and setting up aspects like escalation matrices, social networks, etc. require close coordination between the learning team, IT, and business units. Tracking of offline activities requires strong processes driving such activities and social learning requires tight moderation.

At this stage, it is advisable to go for a full-featured LMS like MoodleSabaBlackboard, QuoDeck Enterprise, CornerStone On Demand, etc.

5. Scaled Learning Team Requirements

In the Scaled Stage, the organization has learning as a business function. Beyond training its own employees, the learning team of the organization takes on the responsibility of training the employees of its company’s ecosystem (vendors, partners, distributors) and its consumers too.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Requirements_lms_QuoDeck

In the Scaled Stage, the organization extends its enterprise LMS with multiple microlearning platforms. These platforms get deployed for differing purposes and are managed by the business teams once set up.

Advanced analytics become a significant component of learning management in this stage. Being a business function, learning at this stage becomes strongly MIS driven, with roll-up reports and integration with Business Intelligence systems.

This stage typically requires an on-premise deployment of a full-featured LMS as in the Seasoned Stage and multiple cloud-based micro-platforms as in the Startup Stage.

Conclusion

Given the hundreds of choices available when picking an LMS, it is undoubtedly difficult to be sure of the one you choose. Be careful that you do not end up investing in a system that is more expensive than what you need to afford, and one that offers features that sound impressive but in reality, add little tangible value to your specific needs. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and start simple.

And remember; ultimately, the LMS is just the technology. Your learning architecture, Instructional Design, content quality, and adoption drives are equally important in proving the difference between a successful implementation and an LMS overkill.

By Arijit Lahiri, Co-Founder of QuoDeck

This article was first published at eLearning Industry.com.

7 things to check before implementing a micro-learning system in your organisation

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)

 

microlearning-framework

 

 

 

7 key elements of an engaging learning flow

Learning is a process, not an event, which makes the planning of the journey through the process, a critical part of learning design. The navigation of learning flows is fundamental to the success of any micro-learning implementation.

So, before we find out about the key elements, let us understand what is a ‘Learning Flow’.

A Learning Flow is a continuous steady stream of social micro-learning activities – accessible from the web and mobile devices. (Hart, 2014)

Now, let’s look at each of the elements of the above sentence, that describe a Learning Flow.

  • continuous – that are ongoing (i.e. no end date)
  • steady – that are daily (or probably more likely, weekly)
  • micro-learning – that are short – i.e. taking no longer than 15-20 minutes to undertake
  • activities – that involve reading (watching or listening to) something and doing something
  • social – that invite and encourage active participation and contribution
  • stream – that are organized and structured in the Flow in weekly themes
  • accessible from web and mobile devices – that ensure that learning takes place anywhere and at anytime

Make sure you keep these in mind while designing micro-learning solutions for your organisation. (How to design a micro-learning system for your organization in 6 easy steps)

microlearning framework

Is micro-learning the solution you need?

Micro-learning (a.k.a. micro learning or micro-learning) is an emergent learning strategy known for quickly closing skill and knowledge gaps. It seems to be an ideal instructional approach for many situations because:

  • Information changes quickly
  • People find it difficult to keep up with things
  • Resources are freely available online
  • Newer technologies support it

What is Micro-learning?

Some in the industry conceptualize micro-learning as a small and informal self-directed learning experience arising from one’s personal learning environment, such as watching a Ted Talk or taking a lesson from Khan Academy.

Others think of micro-learning as the planned organization of brief learning experiences designed to meet an extended learning goal. Still others think that micro-learning is synonymous with performance support or mobile learning.

Want to know more about Micro-learning? Read the complete article by Connie Malamed.

(Connie Malamed is an eLearning, information and visual designer. She has a Masters Degree in Instructional Design & Technology and many years of experience in the trenches.)

 

microlearning framework

How to make e-learning content better using a story-telling approach

 

Designing an e-learning module is a work of art & diligence, precisely the reason why a regular PowerPoint presentation disguised as an exported online file fails to gain the learner’s attention. An easy way to convert a dull power point into a brilliant e-learning module is through the concept of storytelling. Here are 4 powerful tips to master the art:

1. Develop a script: Come up with a story for your content, and create life-like scenarios for it. This way, the learners will easily be able to relate to the content which will keep up their interest and inquisitiveness.

2. Use a conversational tone: Avoid the formal narrative style and opt for a conversational tone instead. It will keep the content simple, engaging and impactful. Case studies have proved that using a conversational tone in your narration increases results by 20%-40%.

3. Pick the right voice: Even a brilliant conversational script’s impact can be diminished by a robotic voice. Do not compromise on a professional narrator. A friendly and conversational voice will definitely add on to the learning experience.

4. Use Multi-media: Once you have the entire setting together, make the package more enticing by using multimedia. Bring out your creative streak and choose your images, videos from the wide range of multimedia options available online. Powtoon is one such tool for creating videos. Inculcating such media into your module is easier than ever as the online sites have a very user friendly interface. Another element that would heighten the experience would be games and quizzes. Try tools like QuoDeck and Articulate Storyline. These allow you to create learning games & simulations easily and quickly.

I guess that should be enough to give you a head start. In case you want to read more about storytelling, I recommend this one – 7 tips to integrate storytelling in your next elearning course

Image Source – Shutterstock

Mobile Learning is not E-Learning on the Mobile…

The other day, I found myself sitting across the learning manager of a large pharmaceutical company. He was faced with a daunting task – training his company’s medical reps, and if there’s one thing we all know about medical reps it is that they are always on the move. 2,000 medical reps running around the entire western zone are not a pleasant lot to get together in a room for training.

E-learning had naturally been the top suggestion internally, and our creds were impressive enough for him to ask for my suggestions on the matter. I hesitated for a bit (It was a sitter of a large deal if we just churned out the e-learning they wanted) and then suggested that a possible potent solution for the problem could be mobile learning. What surprised me though was the response I received…

“Well, we are planning to build a robust e-learning course with a specific focus on product knowledge and to host it on our internal LMS. I think it has a mobile interface as well. Won’t that be enough?”

For those of you who think that the solution is viable, do consider the difference between e-learning and mobile learning before any implementation.

  • For starters, the purpose of e-learning is to provide in-depth knowledge on a subject, while that of mobile learning (m-learning) is to support an on-going learning process where the learner needs quick access to information, usually on the go.
  • M-learning is designed for smartphones and tablets with each screen having not more than 1 idea, while e-learning is designed for consumption on a large screen that has the space for complex and detailed information.
  • Lastly, m-learning is designed to be completed in 3 – 10 minute bursts, while e-learning requires the learner to go through each module with an average duration of 20 – 30 minutes.

I explicitly stated these differences to the manager, and not surprisingly, he took the point. Now, convincing his company is another matter, but he seemed up to the task. Whether the deal goes through or not finally, I am inclined to believe that it is better to do it right or not at all. Everybody should know that mobile learning requires expertise and specificity of thought and design. It is not simply e-learning on the mobile. It is not.