Everyone hates being confined, restricted and staying put. But during this pandemic, across the world, we’ve all been bound to our homes, working for and from them. All the buzz on the social networks and news channels has been about the pandemic and how, as humanity, we are coping with these strange and uncertain times. It does seem like life will be divided into clear pre and post pandemic eras.
For the working world, there was a time when “WFH” was reserved for when we had unavoidable personal errands to run for part of the day – a doctor’s appointment, PTAs, vets appointments – or when we were working on something we needed to pay more attention to, for example a crucial project, an important presentation. So, WFH in pre-pandemic times was either a luxury or an aid for better concentration.
Now that we are forced to WFH, the concept no longer charms. We miss our buddies from work, the food we had to reheat before eating, and we definitely miss our office desks. And while everyone is wondering when this will be over, and when we go back to work, here are a few simple tips and tricks to make WFH more bearable.
“What gets measured gets managed”
Define your daily tasks and ensure you stay true to this list. Yes, a simple to-do list goes a long way. If you measure what you will complete in a day, you will be able to manage your day better. If you already do this, take it to the next level, by dividing your day into zones/slots and granularly divide your tasks into them. Check out tools like To-do list or Google Keep to help you manage your tasks easily.
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four-hour days.”
Although WFH gives you the benefit of flexible hours, it may help to stick to a defined work timing to help your body clock cope with this change. Stay disciplined throughout the day by consciously thinking of yourself being at work. Start the day early so you can wind down in the evening and relax with your family or do household chores. Don’t delay the start of your day thinking that you can make up for it later in the evening or at night. Remember that your body is not used to so much inactivity, and so adequate sleep and relaxation will be needed to keep your immune system healthy.
“Distracted from distraction by distraction”
Let’s check Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and even Linked every 15 minutes! Unless you work in marketing or handle your organization’s social media account, put a pause on the entertainment folder of your phone during the workday. One episode on Netflix does not hurt, but it does not help either.
“Don’t get bent out of shape”
Now that you are WFH, respect your office space. At work, you have a desk and a chair that keeps you comfortable. The office space is usually designed to keep you in ‘Good Form’, ‘Good Function’, and ‘Good Health’. Try to create office-like ergonomics at home, till the lockdown lasts. This will help in reducing all those aches and pains that result from sitting in bad postures through the day. Avoid sitting on your bed with your legs outstretched or on your living room furniture with your laptop on your lap. Elevate your laptop to just below eye level to help your eyes and your shoulders.
“Invest in Quality Technology”
Yes, setting up your home office or workspace may require a small investment. Much like starting a new business, you may have to purchase the right hardware or software, such as a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone system to do your job every day.
A high-performance router will save you many a frustrated moment. Since working from home often requires more than chat messages, you need a router that will keep up. A router from several years ago might be prone to common network issues.
“Communicate with your co-workers, buddies, and Boss!”
Well, you’re all in the same boat, so no one knows what you’re going through more than them. Over communicate with your teams if you are a manager and speak to your Boss at least 2-3 times in a day. Sound them off on work status, discuss issues that you are facing, and inquire what they’re up to at home. Be approachable to all.
Besides the ones we’ve mentioned above, there are many tips and tricks that can help your WFH be more effective. Read as many articles as you want, but you will need to find your own equilibrium of what works for you.
With the maturing of mobile learning, the focus shifts on how to maximize its potential. In this article, I showcase approaches that will help you enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy in 2019.
Mobile learning is the training that is available to learners on their mobile devices. It can be consumed on the go, and it gives them the flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere, and at their own pace.
Access to learning assets is not limited to smartphones. Instead, it features “multi-device” support providing additional flexibility to the learners to move seamlessly across devices during their learning journey (between smartphones, tablets, or laptops and desktops).
Over the last 2-3 years, mobile learning has transitioned from its first avatar—the mobile-friendly format—to the mobile-first format. The initial format of mobile learning was an adaptive or a mobile-friendly format that supported all devices but wasn’t fully optimized for smartphones. But the more recent format of mobile learning is the completely responsive or mobile-first format that is fully optimized for usage on smartphones. Not only does it feature interactions that align better to the way we use smartphones but also the designs adapt fully to the viewable area of each device.
It also aligns well to the changing learner expectations and demographics. Today, mobile learning is the preferred mode of training for learners and this cuts across learner profiles (not just Millennials) and resonates well with the multi-generational workforce.
What Are The Key Benefits Of Adopting The Mobile Learning Strategy?
The mobile learning strategy offers several benefits to learners and L&D teams as it:
- Aligns to the way learners want to learn (on the go, anytime, and anywhere)
- Empowers learners by giving them control on the pace they want to learn
- Facilitates a “pull” of learning vs “push” and this resonates better with the learners
- Offers a higher engagement quotient
- Can be used across learning needs (formal, informal, or social learning)
- Can be used to support Instructor-Led Training
- Can address the entire spectrum of corporate training needs (ranging from induction and onboarding, soft skills training, product training, sales training to compliance)
- Features better completion rates
- Can be used for knowledge acquisition, its application, as well as meeting specific learning needs (through instant learning aids or job aids)
- Can be used to retain an ongoing connection with learners
What Is The Value That The Adoption Of Mobile Learning Strategy Offers?
The biggest strength of mobile learning is that it aligns very well with the way learners want to consume learning. For instance, you can craft your mobile learning strategy to include learner-centric formats that sync up with their lifestyle. These could include:
- Podcasts that they can listen to during their commute to the office
- Microlearning nuggets for learning that can be easily consumed during waiting periods (and avoid carving out specific time slots for training). You can also offer microlearning nuggets as refresher nuggets to keep the “forgetting curve” at bay
- Microlearning videos for quick time learning
- Interactive videos for the application of learning
- Just-In-Time learning aids or job aids to address specific challenges or provide tips, ready reckoners, or learning summaries
- Practice exercises
- Personalized curated content
- Furthermore, you can add dollops of fun through gamified elements or make learning more immersive by using nuggets featuring Virtual Reality (VR)
- Mobile apps for learning
How Can You Enhance The Impact Of Your Mobile Learning Strategy Further In 2019?
You can enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy by providing:
- A judicious mix of learning and reinforcements to ensure that the “forgetting curve” does not set in
- Adequate room to practice, hone skills, and gain proficiency or mastery
- Detailed feedback and remediation or recommendations to further enhance the learning
- Nudges to review, challenges, and hooks to come back for more
- A channel for informal and social or collaborative learning
- An avenue to contribute User-Generated Content (UGC)
Here is a ready reckoner of the strategies that you can use to enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy.
1. You can use microlearning and video-based learning:
- To create buzz or awareness prior to the formal training
- For formal training
- For Performance Support
- For informal learning
- For inclusive learning (provide room for User-Generated Content)
- For social learning
2. Invest in some of the learning strategies that will deliver high-impact experiences:
- Interactive video-based learning
- Scenario-based learning
- Story-based learning
- Guided exploration
3. Retain the connection with learners by pushing nuggets that:
- Refresh prior knowledge
- Provide room for practice and mastery
- Encourage learning beyond the specified outcomes
As you have probably seen, if you want to enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy, you need to adopt a multi-pronged approach (that cuts across learner profiles and across various types of training needs). I hope this article gives you the required insights on how you can use my pointers and step up your mobile learning strategy.
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.
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 Bhattacharya, Co-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.
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.
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.
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.
This article was first published on Stoodnt.com