Tag Archives: Game-based learning

Monotonous to Fascinating: Changing Employee Training Module

Training used to mean boring, but what if you play a game and get trained on a particular niche! Technology has revolutionized our daily lives and so the training. Now with the help of engaging contents, you can provide training to your employees or learn a new technology.

QuoDeck developed a game-based platform to train employees in a fun manner. We spoke to Arijit Lahiri, Co-Founder, QuoDeck Technologies to understand their vision and how it can be helpful for enterprises.

What’s the idea and How you began this journey?

When we started off in 2013, we were looking for a bunch of potential learning games but there was no software. So, we plan to create an engine which will allow us to develop games, specifically for learning. We wanted to pick up this space because most of the learning is fairly boring in the Enterprises, even today. As we have worked in that environment for our careers in Enterprises, we found that learning is very monotonous. We thought that games would make it interesting.

We thought to build a software microservice architecture and over the course of time, we developed a platform kind of web version like Netflix, Amazon kind of approach. Instead of having like one Central Core, we decided to have multiple small services which kind of aggregate the entire API level. So microservices on the API and micro apps on packages on the front-end side, where we are using just for context for backend.

Some of the backends will be on Ruby on Rails, so basically, some of rails APIs are actually Phoenix and Alex API. Also, some backend parts are on PostgreSQL and some are on MongoDB.

For the front end, we earlier used jQuery and all without using the frontend framework. Later on, we migrated most of it to React. Apart from that anything which is created on the QuoDeck framework can also be consumed through Augmented reality apps like Euphoria, Unity or Virtual Reality which is unity based, so it connects to the API.

What sort of API integration has been done?

This is cloud-hosted, some of the microservices can actually iterate what we call Omprem, behind the firewall. So, let’s say there is end number of services which are there in the app. So, they adapted in the firewall which communicates with the client systems with the clouds.

What kind of mechanism you have designed?

We have done a bit of inspiration from On the TV shows Silicon Valley. They had this concept of they were talking about this concept of mobile internet, so what we realize that lot of the calculation, a lot of the analytic which have been done on the server, doesn’t need to be done on the server so.

What we have done! Let’s say there are hundred thousand learners in a particular company he if I aggregate all the data on the server and calculate, it becomes a fairly complex affair. Instead of what that R code does the whole set of calculation and caching and storing at the mobile level.

What is aggregated needs to who goes to the server now again this is not on one single server, we have a set of app servers, which are serving out to do shading calculation by the Mongo app. Basically, we shed out the Analytics so that it allows us to do the whole bunch of real-time otherwise it would take like three days to calculate.

Why would enterprise adopt your solution?

Either they are looking for something which is free, very simple, low maintenance and can deploy easily for Speed. Because it’s a microservices app architecture the entire thing is very modular. You can launch the customized app as we have just launched QuoDeck Express. It is a variant which is built it on the context of speed. What would otherwise it will take maybe like two or three months to setup up and deploy, that can effectively now be done in just 10 minutes. That’s the hyper-speed version of the QuoDeck.

Everything is like merging Google Drive with all the powers of the learning management system. So, ability to start with a very fast system & and scale it up to a very powerful system is what really works for the Enterprises, and it works for most of the companies.

People don’t likely to come out to buy tech, they come out to solve a problem. So, when we try and cater to that this express kind of offering as You take it and get ready and go. Once that is done then are saying like OK this is interesting can we do a little bit more of this. And then you say ok so how this you can scale up the system till you can go to. Its largest we have a deployment which is a group company level deployment which has about 15 companies within it and each, so there is one common app and somebody comes in, they get to see their own branding.

At the most powerful level, there is mobility, there is engagement which is all the game-based learning techniques, and the third is fairly deep and complex analytics. Learning should be measurable, it should be treated more like a Marketing activity and not just as a charity activity for people in-house.

By Ashok Pandey, author at CioL

This article was first published on CioL

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Technology-driven 2019 HR trends in the workplace: View

Employers today already face the daunting task of transition towards a digital economy that is transforming businesses as well as their traditional HR functions. Adapting to new technologies is one of the major trends that will be visible across HR in the workplace during 2019.

Employees today, are not just looking for companies that provide salaries and perks. They want organizations that provide engagement and promote general wellness. They are looking for jobs that help them strike a good work-life balance. As a result, HR fast needs to become an employee’s friend rather than a guardian, as it has traditionally been. This transition is not going to be easy.

Employers today already face the daunting task of transition towards a digital economy that is transforming businesses as well as their traditional HR functions. Adapting to new technologies is one of the major trends that will be visible across HR in the workplace during 2019.

A recent survey of 1200 global executives conducted by KPMG International highlights the inertia that a segment of HR managers display. On the one hand, there are forward looking managers who are constantly harnessing resources to redefine contribution of the HR model to any enterprise. They are implementing technologies such as Digital Labour, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Analytics. On the other hand, a larger segment of less confident HR managers are playing the waiting game, or are simply remaining quiet about this change in the digital landscape.

Some of the expected HR trends for 2019 and the foreseeable future, that HR professionals need to be aware of, are listed here:

Employee performance managed by managers – The organisation will benefit from performance management lying in the hands of managers, as opposed to HR stepping into the workflow. The role of providing feedback will belong to the manager, and as a result of this, even poor performance will be addressed quickly and turned around faster. HR needs to be a department of productivity enablers and this change will allow the function to concentrate on becoming that.

Higher access to analytics for employees- Members of the C-Suite will have greater access to people insights and analytics than in previous years. Organizations will look to implement robust HR platforms that are user friendly and can provide strong people analytics trends that will assist decision-making. The C-Suite will naturally make better decisions with the help of key people analytics and hiring statistics. 

Rise of the ‘remote’ workforce- A rising segment of employees today prefer to work out of remote locations instead of the office. This has entirely been made possible through recent development in technology. About half of the US workforce is expected to be freelancing, in some capacity, by 2020. HR departments will be able to use this trend to their advantage. Instead of hiring full time employees, they should explore teams of talented freelancers and independent contractors, thereby building trust on a project-to-project basis. 

Rise of micro learning- Most adults start losing attention within as little as ten minutes and is likely to go down further. To meaningfully engage and train learners with such low attention spans, HR departments need to design training sessions that are short and impact-based, rather than long ones. More frequent and shorter training sessions will be more beneficial at workplaces. Micro learning, as a result, will rise further as the industry norm. 
Extensive use of VR, AR, games and video- Both AR and VR are helpful during training and recruitment. A gamified application experience can be created for recruitment of candidates, as is done by Jaguar and Land Rover. 
Collaborating with the band Gorillaz, they create a real setting, allowing candidates to see and experience iconic cars from these manufacturers. This is followed up with a series of puzzles that enable candidates to move forward.

In 2019, HR managers will need to plan systematically, instead of moving rapidly. This will help prevent badly created applications which may frustrate users. AI and Analytics will be able to touch every sphere they operate in, from employee engagement to recruitment and performance management. The year 2019 is likely to be the one when people analytics will finally be able to demonstrate its true potential. 


By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

This article was first published on ETCIO.com

How Machine Learning and AI are Making Online Learning More Beneficial


Online learning (aka E-Learning) is now considered to be an integral part of the education sector. In simple words, online learning refers to the type of learning where the learning process is mediated by the internet i.e. the learners use the internet to learn.

Online learning is gaining tremendous popularity. It is also said to increase the knowledge retention rates from 25-60% in comparison to face-to-face training. Online learning owes much of its popularity and efficiency to machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Gone are the days of one size fits all. ML and AI have made learning to become personalized and adaptive.

Every student has different educational backgrounds and thinking abilities. It is imperative to provide case studies and examples to them that they can best relate to, meaning that the course needs to be customized as per each student for better learning.

Such a high-level of customization can be achieved with a Learning Management System (LMS) that has machine learning capabilities.

Leveraging Big Data

AI provides insights based on the enormous amount of data it has collected and analyzed, which facilitates the creation of customized learning programs, faster than before. Access to these insights and data allows online learning platforms to develop a better understanding of learner behaviors and to predict needs by recommending and positioning content based on past behavior. Adaptive learning that is personalized to the individual is a powerful way to engage today’s workforce.

Personalized and Adaptive Learning

Apart from personalization, AI and ML also facilitate better optimization of course content and delivery. An online course on any cloud-based LMS is not a one-time activity. The course content gets revised based on the feedback that you are getting from the students. The feedback can be in the form of qualitative surveys or comments left by the students and the quantitative data like quiz results, ratings, and other course metrics that the LMS provides the learners.

Gamification

Another big factor is gamification, which makes simple activities from documentation to interaction with customers easier. Companies like BYJU’s, Collegify, and QuoDeck are doing excellent in that front.

QuoDeck’s DIY LMS is one such product which is built on mobile and game-based SaaS platform and brings cutting-edge technology at affordable costs for SMEs, start-ups and educational institutes. Presently, the platform can be deployed within an organization whose employee strength varies from 30-1000 with different work environments.

QuoDeck uses a multivariate model including clickstream data, time spent on the system, distribution of course usage, devices used amongst many other variables to uncover patterns, correlations and other insights. Read the 2019 HR Trends in the Workplace by Kamalika BhattacharyaCo-founder, QuoDeck Technologies.

AI and ML have been exclusively used to improve resource allocation of QuoDeck’s partners, customize learning for employees and to significantly improve their courses efficiency. In the future, the company hopes to leverage AI and Ml tools to provide a pre-designed course based on the learners’ profiles before they begin their e-Learning journey.

Collegify also came up with interesting features that help the students stay engaged on the platform while taking self-paced SAT/ACT test prep courses.

Students can choose avatars, part of a “gamified” work-and-reward approach that speaks to the target age-range and encourages consistent progress. This includes the gradual unlocking of content, in line with our pedagogy of balancing performance with difficulty and avoiding inundating students.

Content is carefully categorized and separated into incremental difficulty levels, which is then driven by AI to respond to and anticipate trends in each student’s learning and performance patterns in real time. This adaptiveness not only ensures students spend their time productively, it ensures teachers, counselors, mentors, and parents also fully understand how best to support applicants both on and off the platform. 

Similarly, Byjus leverages data, ML and AI to offer personalized lessons. The focus is on making learning visual and contextual, rather than just theoretical. This helps students realize what to learn when to learn, how to learn and how much to learn. Its flexible learning style can be adopted according to the student’s learning capabilities. Now, no more mugging up, all you have to do is turn on your phones or tablets and repeat the content till you get a grasp over it.

At present, online learning, in some form or the other, is used by anyone who has access to the web. Among the numerous advantages of online learning, some of the top benefits are mentioned below.

Top Benefits of Online Learning

Easily Available Information

With online learning, information is easily available and at a lower cost. Additional costs like physical space for classrooms, equipment, etc. are reduced. Any learner from any corner of the world can have access to the global contents from anywhere and at any time. This is extremely helpful for the individuals preparing for competitive exams as they can have access to numerous study materials at the comfort of their own homes and for free.

Engagement and Better Memory Retention

The traditional education system is mostly teacher-centric and limited to only writing boards. With technology, this has changed a lot. Now, teaching is no longer only limited to writing boards. The online lessons include various animations and other visual effects to increase the engagement of the students. With better engagement, students not only understand in-depth concepts better but also retain the topics for longer.

Personalized Learning

Adaptive technology has made personalized learning possible. At present, most online learning platforms use big data and cloud computing to understand the unique learning style of the students and allow them to learn at their own pace and style.

Flexible Learning

Using online learning tools, learners can learn from the comfort of their own place, style, and time. Any individual from any corner of the world can now learn according to their own convenience. This is extremely helpful for the students as they can now download any resource, be it NCERT books, or sample papers and refer to them whenever they want.

Costing

E-learning alleviates the need for students and instructors to be located in a central place for learning to take place. This saves money that could be spent on traveling, accommodation and other uses that school-based learners cannot escape from. The time that would be spent commuting to class could be used for other duties too.

These were a few benefits of online learning. These advantages prove that online learning surely has the potential to revolutionize the education sector and can surely make learning more effective, engaging, and student-friendly.

By Tanmoy Ray, Counselor at Stoodnt.com

This article was first published on Stoodnt.com

2019 – HR Trends In The Workplace

Employees today, are not just looking for companies that provide salaries and perks. They want organizations that provide engagement and promote general wellness. They are looking for jobs that help them strike a good work-life balance. As a result, HR fast needs to become an employee’s friend rather than a guardian, as it has traditionally been. This transition is not going to be easy.

Employers today already face the daunting task of transition towards a digital economy that is transforming businesses as well as their traditional HR functions. Adapting to new technologies is one of the major trends that will be visible across HR in the workplace during 2019.

A recent survey of 1200 global executives conducted by KPMG International highlights the inertia that a segment of HR managers display. On the one hand, there are forward-looking managers who are constantly harnessing resources to redefine contribution of the HR model to any enterprise. They are implementing technologies such as Digital Labour, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Analytics. On the other hand, a larger segment of less confident HR managers are playing the waiting game, or are simply remaining quiet about this change in the digital landscape.

Some of the expected HR trends for 2019 and the foreseeable future, that HR professionals need to be aware of, are listed here-

Employee performance managed by managers

The organization will benefit from performance management lying in the hands of managers, as opposed to HR stepping into the workflow. The role of providing feedback will belong to the manager, and as a result of this, even poor performance will be addressed quickly and turned around faster. HR needs to be a department of productivity enablers and this change will allow the function to concentrate on becoming that.

Higher access to analytics for employees

Members of the C-Suite will have greater access to people insights and analytics than in previous years. Organizations will look to implement robust HR platforms that are user-friendly and can provide strong people analytics trends that will assist in decision-making. The C-Suite will naturally make better decisions with the help of key people analytics and hiring statistics.

Rise of the ‘remote’ workforce

A rising segment of employees today prefer to work out of remote locations instead of the office. This has entirely been made possible through recent development in technology. About half of the US workforce is expected to be freelancing, in some capacity, by 2020.  HR departments will be able to use this trend to their advantage. Instead of hiring full-time employees, they should explore teams of talented freelancers and independent contractors, thereby building trust on a project-to-project basis.

Rise of micro-learning

Most adults start losing attention within as little as ten minutes and is likely to go down further. To meaningfully engage and train learners with such low attention spans, HR departments need to design training sessions that are short and impact-based, rather than long ones. More frequent and shorter training sessions will be more beneficial at workplaces. Micro-learning, as a result, will rise further as the industry norm.

Extensive use of VR, AR, game, and video

Both AR and VR are helpful during training and recruitment. A gamified application experience can be created for the recruitment of candidates, as is done by Jaguar and Land Rover. Collaborating with the band Gorillaz, they create a real setting, allowing candidates to see and experience iconic cars from these manufacturers. This is followed up with a series of puzzles that enable candidates to move forward.

In 2019, HR managers will need to plan systematically, instead of moving rapidly. This will help prevent badly created applications which may frustrate users. AI and Analytics will be able to touch every sphere they operate in, from employee engagement to recruitment and performance management. The year 2019 is likely to be the one when people analytics will finally be able to demonstrate its true potential.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

This article was first published on stoodnt

QuoDeck launches mobile learning app builder

The app focuses on making things simple, so companies that have never done learning before this can also get started in no time. 

Game-based learning platform QuoDeck has announced the launch of learning app builder QuoDeck Express. 

Targeted at small and growing businesses, including startups, QuoDeck Express allows these businesses to participate in the mobile learning revolution that the industry has witnessed over the past few years. The company aims to sign up over a million users within the next 12 months. 

“We observed a significant increase in demand from small and growing businesses, as training has become a critical function for business growth,” said Kamalika Bhattacharya, co-founder of QuoDeck. “These companies need to leverage technology to impart training and connect with their employees,” she added. 

‘Express’ was conceived as a product to help companies become better places to work. “Learning is often cited as one of the reasons people move between organizations, so there is a tangible benefit that products like Express can drive for small and growing businesses -from higher productivity and revenues to lower attrition and faster onboarding,” she said 

The app focuses on making things simple, so companies that have never done learning before this can also get started in no time. Not only can they add their existing content through presentations and videos, but can also use games and themes to make them interesting. 

QuoDeck is currently supporting learning at over 35 global companies including Unilever, Star India, eBay, SBI Life, Aditya Birla Group and Axis Bank, and has close to half a million learners on its platforms. The Express platform offers nearly all the major functionalities of a full-fledged LMS – Design customization, story creation system, learning games library, quizzes, and surveys and reports. 

The global e-learning market, valued at over $200 billion, has seen a couple of large shifts that have led rapid growth, – a shift in device to mobile and a growing proportion of millennials and generation Z in the workforce. In India alone, this trend is evident with over 45% of the workforce being between 25-39 years of age, providing a huge opportunity for the right training product. 

By Rica Bhattacharyya, ET Bureau

This article was first published in The Economic Times

How QuoDeck enables enterprises to deliver game-based learning

QuoDeck relies on using gaming as a natural behavior of the learner to drive enterprise learning.

Experience indeed is the best teacher. Having experienced their share of boring mandatory trainings in their 15-year-old careers, Kamalika Bhattacharya & Arijit Lahiri thought something needed to be done about the kind of training which was literally being forced down the throat of employees. While a lot of this learning is needed as it a functional understanding, but the way in which it is delivered does not evoke any sense of excitement or feeling from the employees that it is being done for their betterment.

But over the last few years, people have picked up mobile as the primary device through which they consume content. So while people were clamoring for more content through new age formats on Google or Wikipedia, but somehow enterprises could not get into that mind shift. Enterprise learning remained very boring, stale, and desktop oriented. Says Kamalika, 

“That is when we thought that there was a need for enterprises to adjust to the new millennial generation used to consuming on mobile, in interesting and interactive formats.”

When the duo started looking at millennials, they realized that apart from browsing on social media, a large chunk of their time is spent on online gaming. A lot of these games were simple games like Candy Crush, Angry Birds which fall in the category of hyper-casual gaming. The duo started looking at how to marry these thoughts together and that’s when QuoDeck was born in 2010. 

QuoDeck is a SaaS product catering to the enterprise learning market, using interactivity and games to engage enterprise learners and use that to capture data, which in turn gets used to improve the learner experience and effectiveness. The product relies on how to use gaming as a natural behavior of the learner to drive enterprise learning. 

When the duo started looking at millennials, they realized that apart from browsing on social media, a large chunk of their time is spent on online gaming. A lot of these games were simple games like Candy Crush, Angry Birds which fall in the category of hyper-casual gaming. The duo started looking at how to marry these thoughts together and that’s when QuoDeck was born in 2010. 

QuoDeck is a SaaS product catering to the enterprise learning market, using interactivity and games to engage enterprise learners and use that to capture data, which in turn gets used to improve the learner experience and effectiveness. The product relies on how to use gaming as a natural behavior of the learner to drive enterprise learning. 

How does Quodeck enable enterprises to deliver learning

Kamalika believes that the thing with LMS is that they tend to think of themselves as just a delivery vehicle. They don’t give much thought to what content they put in it. But QuoDeck cares as much about the content as much as the format in which it is delivered to the learner. The platform has a delivery app along with multiple products under the same room-such as an authoring tool, an entire game library-so all the tools are embedded in this platform. 

Organizations can easily upload their content in predefined templates and create content in a simple way on the platform. All enterprises have to do is enter content in text and the product platform renders it in beautiful formats for the mobile app. The DIY platform is also enabled with big data tracking. 

The platform allows enterprises to create a pull-based learning.

So from gamification to game-based learning to storyline based games which can be used to create an entire course, the platform goes on to offer simple hyper-casual games; documentation simulation which teaches people how to do documentation- a big requirement in insurance, banking, pharma, and retail; conversation simulations which teach people how to talk by simulating a chat with a customer, which is used a lot for sales training as well as customer service training. Moreover, the full-featured platform can address a small company of 30 people to a large company with thousands of people with a complex environment. 

35 companies, half a million learners

The product which was released in 2014, has seen steady adoption in the four years hence. Today, the platform boasts of almost half a million users on the platform across more than 35 companies including global clients as well. This number is expected to grow to 600000 over the next 3 months on the back of the current deployments in progress.  Unilever, Star India, eBay, SBI Life, Aditya Birla Group, Axis Bank, are some of the companies which are big clients of the subscription-based SaaS platform. 

Kamalika attributed this growth to the fact that the product spans an entire gamut of what you could do with gamification to simple gaming complex gaming to create a pull for learning. Companies like Reliance, Unilever, Aditya Birla use the platform to train their ecosystem advisors such as advisor network, distributor network as well as their salespeople. Thus the platform is being used to deliver a level of impact which actually drives business for them and not just for training them. So effectively, she believes that QuoDeck counts with pretty much every LMS out there. 

The future of game-based learning

A report by US-based learning technology market research firm Metaari states that the worldwide five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for Game-based Learning products and services is a robust 37.1% and revenues will more than quadruple to reach well over $17 Bn by 2023. While revenues will more than triple in all eight global buying segments surveyed in the report, over the forecast period, the corporate segment will see the maximum rise in demand, driven by the booming demand for pre-employment assessment and evaluation games.

Kamalika avers with this trend of the corporate segment poised to post the highest growth rate out of all eight segments. She adds that upwards of 50% of companies in the world are looking to change their existing learning systems. One of the main reasons they look to switch is because of the lack of interactivity and mobile capability in these systems. So gaming, mobile learning, social learning are the new trends which no enterprise can afford to stay away from given their audience has changed completely. Added to the fact that they are no more dealing with traditional learning problems anymore. With a globally scattered employee base, companies can no longer get their employees to sit in a classroom for learning. 

More so as the audience demographics changes to millennials, who live in a digital world, enterprises are starting to realize that very strongly that they will start to fall behind if they are not using digital means for disseminating learning. So they are moving from traditional learning to digital learning. This change is very much essayed by the fact that compared to 2010, when QuoDeck would have a hard time convincing companies of game-based learning, today it is no more a challenge.

Kamalika aptly concludes, “Moving away from traditional learning is more a question of companies coming out of their comfort zones. Gaming is no more as bad a word as it used to be anymore!”

By Shweta Modgil, Feature Writer with People Matters

This article was first published on People Matters

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

5-step guide to kick-starting your digital strategy for sales training


Digital learning is a shift that sales trainers need to get behind as quickly as possible. Designing a good digital strategy can make a big difference to whether your sales training program succeeds or not. Let’s talk about how to get started with implementing a great digital sales training strategy

Every sales trainer needs to have an effective digital strategy for reaching and training their workforce. In the sales segment, this is even more important, because every day that salespeople physically spend away from the field being trained, means another day that sales are not being done. So, reaching them through digital means can ensure that they are focused on what matters to the organization – generating business.

Most sales training follows a blend – a combination of classroom training, mentoring & coaching and digital learning. If you already have a mobile learning strategy in place, then your digital strategy can be delivered right into the hands of your learner. Earlier, the blend of 70:20:10 between these strategies was recommended, however, because modern audiences are much more digitally savvy, this blend has been moving more towards 50:20:30. This means 30% of your workforce’s learning hours will be spent on digital learning that you need to put out.

Is that a terrifying thought? It shouldn’t be! Let us take you through these simple 5 steps to kickstart your digital sales training strategy. 

  • Find a digital delivery platform – A good digital delivery platform is half the battle in your digital strategy. Look online and you can find some pretty exciting platforms that can help you rocket your digital strategy to the stratosphere. The criteria you need to be judging them on are the mobile experience they offer, how easy it is to update and put out your content and how data gets tracked. Check out Docebo, QuoDeck, Grovo, and Litmos.
  • Collate your existing content to get started – You don’t need to create content from scratch to launch your digital strategy. Get started with your presentations, documents, existing videos and even audio podcasts and put them out on your digital platform. You can create as you go along, but to begin with, your existing material should power your first month of learning, so that you can focus on driving consumption.
  • Launch with a mandatory program – The most important milestone when you launch your app is getting your learners to download it. It’s always a good idea to start with a mandatory test or course that your learners are required to go through. Remember to launch with content beyond your first course, so that if learners finish the course and want to go through something else, there is content for them to consume.
  • Fresh content every day – Make sure that you have something fresh to send out every day on your platform. Even if it just a quick 5-question quiz or a nugget of information in the form of a social post, make sure that there is activity on your platform every day. If you can keep this up long enough that your learners get into the habit of checking into the platform every day, you are home free.
  • Track data to understand what your learners like – Your digital platform can give you data on what your learners are consuming more of. Track the kind of courses or media that are most popular. You can figure this out by checking two data points – the amount of time spent and consumption levels across your learner base. If any of your learners like this kind of content and they spend a lot of time on it, it’s a good sign that you should do more of it.

Once you’ve kick-started your digital strategy, and gained some momentum, start leveraging your digital platform’s content creation tools to put out more interactive content like games and story-based courses.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder 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

7 Instructional design principles for professors and teachers looking to create effective eLearning modules

As teachers and professors, was today begin incorporating eLearning as a key part of their curriculum, what are the instructional design principles they must keep in mind to make learning most effective?

Teachers and professors who are talking to Generation Z students in their classroom, cannot afford to only depend on conventional pedagogy. They must incorporate eLearning and mobile learning into their curriculum to ensure learner engagement and retention. It is important to note that instructional design principles for these new-age teaching techniques may be slightly different from what is conventionally used.

If you are not well acquainted with these principles already, here is a list of instructional design principles that you can use when setting up your eLearning courses.

Principle 1: Grab your learners’ attention and don’t let it go

Your content should be structured such that it is interactive and requires learner participation. Methods to do so include:

  • Use storytelling in your content. Quests, treasure hunts and journey of a hero are some examples of stories that are simple and yet, engaging
  • Intersperse content with questions that act as knowledge checks as well as those that seek the learners’ opinions
  • Use interactive content templates that reward the learner for an action that he takes. For example, make learners click on an image to learn more on what the image depicts
  • Offer visual relief through the usage of image-based content or videos. Ensure you include videos of about 5-7 minutes in every hour of content you put out. Use visuals in every 1 of 3 slides.
  • If your LMS offers the use of forums or social learning, make sure you facilitate their usage.

Principle 2: Provide learners with a clear set of objectives that the course will meet

Imagine playing soccer without a clear goalpost or basketball without a hoop. Ridiculous, right? People respond better when they are aware of the end-goal that they are looking to reach. Once you provide objectives to your online course, the learner becomes aware of where she is and how far she needs to go to meet them.

Things to do to provide objectives include:

  • Before providing any instructions, define what the course/ module will achieve and what topics and sub-topics it will cover
  • Do not forget to mention why the course topic is important and how students can apply learnings
  • Clearly put down what the minimum required performance for the online course is. This will include the percentage of content slides that need to be consumed and the minimum score that the learner must get in the assessment associated with the online course/module

Principle 3: Stimulate recall of prior learning

Help students comprehend new information by relating it to something they already know or that they have already experienced.

Methods for stimulating recall include:

  • Use anecdotes that help create analogies between what is being taught in the course and real-life scenarios
  • Ask questions to remind users of things they know where they use the concepts being taught. For example, when teaching Newton’s third law, show a visual of things hitting each other and moving back and ask learners why they think this is happening
  • Ask students questions that assess their understanding of previous concepts. In this case, if a learner is unable to answer a question correctly, she will tend to go back and brush up on her knowledge

Principle 4: Present the content in logical consumable blocks

Use strategies to present and cue lesson content to provide more effective, efficient instruction. Organize and chunk content in a meaningful way. Provide explanations after demonstrations.

Things to make content logical and consumable include:

  • Follow a simple pattern for content presentation – Definition, Description, Explanation and Evaluation. To explain any concept in eLearning this 4-step process works very well. You may sometimes choose to play around with this flow but always include all 4 steps.
  • Before getting into detailed understanding of content, include an index of key terms. This will help your learner comprehend the content better
  • Use examples generously to facilitate better understanding and retention
  • Present multiple versions of the same content. You can bolster concepts covered in decks using video, reference documents, interactive content, voice over media, etc. This addresses different learning preferences for different learners

Principle 5: Provide feedback

Provide immediate feedback of students’ performance to assess and facilitate eLearning.

Types of feedback include:

  • Confirmatory feedback – Informs students they had done what were supposed to do. For example, you could thank them for answering a survey question
  • Corrective and remedial feedback – Informs students of the accuracy of their response to something. For example, informing them that they had answered a question correctly
  • Remedial feedback – Directs students in the right direction to find the correct answer but does not provide the correct answer
  • Analytical feedback – Provides the student with suggestions, recommendations, and information for them to correct their performance

Principle 6: Assess performance

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the instructional events, you must test to see if the expected learning outcomes have been achieved. Performance should be based on objectives that have previously been stated.

Methods for testing learning include:

  • Conduct a baselining exercise with a pre-test before exposing the learning content.
  • Conduct a final assessment at the end of the online course. The average score on this will be higher, for well-presented and consumed content, than the average pre-test score. This score can also be looked at on a stand-alone basis to assess the student’s mastery of the subject
  • Embed questions in the content through individual questions or small quizzes
  • Include objective or criterion-referenced performances which measure how well a student has learned or understood a topic
  • Identify normative-referenced performances which compares one student to another student

Principle 7:  Enhance retention

To help learners develop expertise, they must internalize new knowledge.

Methods for helping learners internalize new knowledge include:

  • Use games to get learners to engage with the learning content/questions repeatedly. Try and use simple game mechanics such as those used in slot-machines or snakes and ladders
  • Use metaphors
  • Create concept maps or outlines
  • Create job-aids, references, etc. that the learner can use outside of when she is accessing the online course

Help us add to the list if you think we’ve’ missed out on any points in this article.

By Yashodeep Talele, Software Developer at QuoDeck