Possibilities of making classroom based practical via e-Learning

I was working on an e-Learning module on how to “tie a knot to restrain load on the vehicle.” Till date, I have developed more than 1500+ hours of courses. But for the first time, I’ve got a situation where I felt as if I was running out of ideas to make the course interactive.

The challenge here was to teach the user how to work around with the ropes. If training was on software simulation, then gamification, scenarios and drag & drop would have made the things interactive. But here it was working with ropes and I was not sure how to make it interactive.

Initially, I used static images with explanatory text to explain the procedure on how to tie a knot. Later, I realised that it was not allowing the learners to practice it in a virtual environment. So, I tried to make multiple choice questions, but again I felt it was not so engaging.

By making the real time video or 2D animation, the content can be presented in a good format but budget will go up. More importantly, the client was expecting an activity which is more near to the reality.

Then I searched on web for ideas which can make my life easy. After browsing many websites and considering the flexibility available in Articulate Storyline, I’ve made an activity which gave a satisfactory output.

The output is interesting, engaging and near to the reality. Using the same methodology, here is an example of what we have developed on “How to tie a Tie?” Please experience the solution and provide your feedback.

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Blended Learning is Useful for Designing Corporate E-learning Courses

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Technological innovations have brought in high quality improvements in all fields of human interests, and the arena of education is not an exception. Varied types of technological tools facilitate the learning process of the present generation. Though e-learning methods have become all the rage for quite some time now, with the introduction of the blended learning approach, they have become more lucid and coherent. Blended learning solutions are appropriate tools for designing operative corporate e-learning courses. In blended learning, the effectiveness of classroom learning and the innovative digital learning methods are blended, and thus the course becomes pragmatically good for corporate training and self-development programs.

Blended Learning – Key Attributes

The main purpose of all training programs is to make the participants fully aware of the subject that is discussed, irrespective of the schemes employed for the same. The participants must not only comprehend the contents in entirety, but also become competent to apply them in practical terms. Blended learning solutions make the process of learning uncomplicated and straightforward. Classroom learning will pass on the essential knowledge regarding the various connected theories and concepts, and also will give the participants detailed hands-on training, whenever the same is required. The digital presentation modes, on the other hand, will give them more extensive study on both theories and practical, so that they become experts in implementing the same without much ado. This sensible combination is actually the essence of blended learning and is the reason for its popularity.

Yet another significant plus point of blended learning is that the related training strategies can be twined together without losing the real spirit of the learning course concerned. The overall structure and the synchronization of the elearning courses can be easily carried out by applying the appropriate blended learning solutions. This will be handy in dealing training classes in which there are a lot of participants. You can reduce the classroom teaching hours to the bare minimum; just to convey the key relevant points and then can switchover to videoconferencing. This will only enhance the quality and efficacy of the training course concerned.

Learning Management System or LMS

The sharing of the elearning course materials can be performed through the innovative technological technique of ‘Learning Management System (LMS)’. By this way, the essence of the subject can be communicated to the participants effectively and in a cohesive manner. LMS can be also utilized for conducting the required and relevant course tests, related surveys, or for issuing the course certificates.

In fact, LMS is a pivotal tool by which you can manage the entire training process successfully. You can make use of functional ‘classroom apps’, this will enable you to arrange ‘active’ training programs by picking relevant location, time, and the related learning course materials. If you can incorporate the most advanced level apps such as the ‘unified calendar’ in the system, you will be able to make sure that all course participants are attending the training program, and thus can impart the course contents to the entire group in a worthwhile fashion.

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Transfer your regular training to mobile learning in a few simple steps

Mobile Learning

Transferring the regular training programs to mobile learning is one of the best ways to make full use of the technology available in front of you. Transfer the elements in to the perfect format to learn on mobiles, and see the difference for yourself.

A rational LMS decision

The first step in this direction is to take a rational LMS decision. Here, you need to find out if it is time to get a new LMS. If you see that your LMS is performing only sub-optimally for mobile learning, you need to actually do away with it rather than upgrading it constantly. You need an all new LMS that is completely functional on the mobile devices. Most companies hesitate to change their usual LMS thinking it to be a rather hectic process. But, actually it can help you a whole lot in the long run. Making a wise and rational decision about the LMS at the right time helps you give LMS the importance it deserves, and also helps your company maintain the good talent and good business available.

Content Strategy

The second step is to have a content strategy that is mobile – centred. You need to create a plan that is holistic and outlines the list of contents that need to be taught using the mobile device. It must also define how this needs to be implemented. Governing the whole procedure, maintaining it for a long term, and constant revision of the content are other aspects that need to be taken in to account. So, you have 4 aspects to this – Plan, Design, Govern, and Maintain.

Responsive UI

Getting a responsive user interface is effective to get your user hooked on. You can easily create interest if you direct the course on actions that depend on the user. This way, the learners get a chance to become more active other than just sitting and receiving the training in a passive manner. Users may usually lose interest in a while, so make sure you keep them attentive and captured all through the process.

Blend in other formats

There are a number of different forms of learning. Mobile learning is not something that is absolute and can be used by itself. You need to effectively blend it with the different forms of learning available in front of you. Reinforcing the concepts is what makes your mobile learning strategy more effective. Give mobile learning the importance it needs, but fit it well in to your training schedule and make it an effective part of it.

Planning carefully and detailing the whole procedure is what helps you transfer your regular training procedures in to mobile learning more effectively. Make the most out of it.

 

Watch-Free-E-learning-Samples

 

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Blended Learning Solutions – A more effective form of learning

Blended Learning The training process is one that involves a number of different processes. A continuous learning process needs to be provided to the learners along with some reinforcement techniques to make sure it works out well. These learning solutions need to be designed using a well planned strategy if you want to get results that last really long. ELearning and ILTs are two very important learning techniques which have their own advantages and limitations as well. The biggest part here is to decide which one is better among the two.

Since a very long time practitioners have been debating on the topic to come out with a feasible solution. Different people have different views and claims for each type of learning process. The training requirements in today’s world have become extremely complex with the increasing complexity of business. As such, sticking to a single type of learning format will no longer work out. For maximum eLearning benefits, both the styles need to be combined in the correct manner to get a blended approach of learning. This is where the concept of blended learning comes up from. Different delivery methods are mixed together to create a learning experience which is more comprehensive. This is called blended learning. It is typically used for a mixture of ILTs and eLearning. In short, it is known as the mixture of the face to face instruction method with computer mediated instruction techniques.

Before deciding to implement blended learning, it is necessary to understand how the method works, and what its advantages are. When you use blended learning, it helps you mix all the different kinds of learning strategies, methods, and even the medium of delivery. This helps you ensure that all your objectives of learning are successfully met. A typical example can be that in which product training needs to be given to your employees. You can use a classroom session for this, or a series of different sessions including some self paced modules and hands on demo. You can try doing it with some simulation modules and then an online assessment. You have a variety of options in front of you. Different types of content can be matched to offer you the most effective learning solution for your specific requirement.

ILTs and eLearning, when integrated together, make a very strong learning process. eLearning is well known for all the benefits it can offer on any kind of level. But, it cannot fit perfectly in every situation. You need to add ILTs in it to complement the process. This makes your training process really effective and comprehensive, and also offers maximum results. You need to remember two points:

  • ELearning and ILTs need not be mutually exclusive.
  • Do not view both the processes in different silos.

ELearning solutions can be used as the backbone of your process, as it is cost effective and reaches out globally. You could just add a bit of ILTs here and there to integrate the system seamlessly with the eLearning process.

For a learning technique that is ideal, you need to mix both the learning processes and create a perfect blend.

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E-Learning Course Development Standards

banner Today e-learning is a large industry; it has variety of solutions, approaches, strategies etc. for unique learning needs of organizations and institutions. E-learning is a proved methodology for its learning effectiveness, cheaper cost and less time of development. Globally e-leaning courseware developers are mushrooming with claims of providing the best quality in the least costs.

As a Learning Manager or any authorized person who is responsible for training and development of resources must have enough knowledge of certain basic standards of e-learning course development. This will help you to understand your learning need better and assess vendors who can provide it.

In this discussion we have enlisted few important areas of consideration and will come-up with more things in future.

Following are the basic modals, strategies or standards of e-learning courseware development:

E-Learning Course Developmental Procedure

There are modals which helps you execute an e-learning project in a systematic process. Among different models, ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation) is considered as base and the most perfect modal for an e-learning course development. Dick & Carey Modal is another one used by e-learning developers.

Course Enabling Objectives

These are the complete sentences to describe what learners are expected to do or should be able to do after completion of the course. Benjamin Blooms and Rober F. Mager’s had significant contributions in preparation of instructional or enabling objectives.

Content Chunking

Cognitive educational theories are followed in content chunking. Content should be chunked for easy assimilation and retention.

Content Flow

Each and every chunk of content should have logical flow to help learner know, understand, apply and judge i.e. From Known to Unknown, General to Specific and Complex to Simple.

Content Sentences

The sentences should be succinct and in constructive or progressive structure. Every learner has learning pattern (as I mentioned in my previous discussion) as stepping pattern. So, as a good trainer or instructor, identify these learning patterns and encapsulate subject matter into sentences so that they create aha effect in learner’s brain.

Learner Interactions

Learners are best engaged if they are prompted to interact with the subject matter of the course. Interaction for the sake of interaction doesn’t help learner to experience effective learning; interaction should help learner to establish desired pattern of connections in brain. Assessments and navigation are not such interactions.

Formative Assessment

These are the best opportunities to practice learned concepts. These activities help learners to strengthen the connections established during the content presentation.

Summary

A quick and a brief recap to help leaner to practice recall and retain what has been learnt in the course.

Summative Assessment

This is for the course designer to get confirmation on achievement of enabling objectives.

                                                                       Cont…

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Why E-Learning? – A simple analysis

Elearning

E-Learning industry is witnessing tremendous growth in terms of revenue and application. It has become a synonym for many of the learning requirements in corporates, academics and government institutions. To provide most suitable learning solutions, industry experts exploring and inventing creative methods and approaches such as Custom Learning Solutions, Rapid Learning Solutions, Gamifications, Instructor Led Training programs and blend of these methods and approaches.

There are people who still want to get convinced with e-learning as an effective learning delivery platform or methodology. Let’s have an elaborative explanation of relevant factors and self-analysis of different learning platforms.

Before we start, one thing we must know that, e-learning is not the only method and as like as any other thing it is not 100% perfect. There are many other methodologies with different level of effectiveness but e-learning can be taken as better alternative considering current challenges and available means.

Let’s understand why e-learning is a current trend under following two headings:

I – Current Learning Demands

At macro level, we receive demand for learning solutions from following three areas:

  1. Academics – Inquiry is a driving factor in this sector, it drives academicians, teachers and students to understand the known world of knowledge and explore the unknown. To make this simple and move at advance stages of learning experiences, people look for different effective methodologies and platforms.
  2. Small and Large Businesses – Competition is a driving factor of this sector; to yield higher profits,companies look for effective training and learning avenues which help to serve better and produce at an optimum level.
  3. Households – Leading better life is a driving factor for households – People want to learn to take right decisions in areas like finance, health, relationships etc.

Note: Members of Academics, Businesses and Households are same but they demand learning solutions as per the expectations of the role they play in above described areas. There is an enormous increase of volume and complexities in learning content and its applications; people need help to make it simple in less time and cost.

II – Available Technology

When the wheel invented, it was an advance technology of that time and it enabled people to move things and people with easy. Today’s advance technology has affected human life in following three major areas:

  1. Time – The common benefit of using advance technology is ‘time’. Technology has reduced time significantly compare to do the same thing before.
  2. Cost – Most often technology is proved as a tool or technique to reduce cost of an activity comparing the same in past.
  3. Accessibility – Technology has increased human reach/access to more places, more people, more things and more knowledge.

Comparative Analysis of Different Learning Methodologies

We gained some idea about current demand of learning and available technology. This understanding helps us to assess different delivery platforms of learning.

There are following three major delivery platforms for learning:

  1. Informal – In this platform you won’t find any structured method to educate people/resources to achieve any desired change or outcome.
  2. Classroom – This platform is one of the oldest methods of education. It is about bringing learners and trainer under one roof and adopting all possible tools and techniques such as chalk boards, projectors, computers, books, field trips, lab sessions etc.Classrooms provide opportunity to blend several tools, techniques and methods to create an effective learning experience. Under this platform you schedule specific instructors and learners to come at one place on specified time. The two greatest advantages of this platform is human emotions/touch and learner engagement; teacher/trainer can use his facial expressions, hands and other bodily movements to make his teaching effective and learners can engage more.
  3. E-Learning – This is about delivering learning through various electronic platforms. With the advent of internet and mobile devices, these platform scan be used to deliver content any-where and any time. The technology allows learner to interact with learning content and receive feedback accordingly. The platform gives opportunity to blend different types of learning strategies effectively. Even the greatest advantages of classroom teaching i.e. human emotions (through classroom recordings sessions, webinars etc.,) and learner engagement (through assessments and other interactions with learning content) can be achieved effectively.

Analysis- Below chart allows you to assess each platform against key items of considerations or factors:

Elearning

Instructions: Rate each platform as Below Average, Average and Above Average using 1, 2, 3. Sum-up all the ratings to find the most effective platform. You can add more factors (key items) specific to your need.

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Apple’s ‘Bendgate’ – E-Learning is a better strategy to avoid product failures

E-learning

Oooooh it is bending, it is Iphone, it is Apple, Steve Jobs.

It happens with any designer, manufacturer, developer even it has happened with Steve Jobs too in 2010 with Iphone 4 the ‘Antenagate’. To the world at large Steve Jobs is known as a meticulous product manager but still Iphone 4 Antenagate is a reality. In general, people bother about product looks from outside; Steve Jobs was a person who also cares about inside looks. So it is not just about how meticulous you are, how skilled full developers and designers you have and what quality of material you use; it is also about how much you and your entire team is aware of possible product failures.

Case: Let’s discuss a case of an e-learning course to educate chemical and physical characteristics of raw materials used in the development of various products.

Course Requirements - Client asked to develop a course describing chemical and physical features of materials to be used in product development like plastic, silicon, metals etc. This helps new executive engineers to enhance and recall their knowledge on materials that company may use in present and future product developments. It is like training Java to new software developers who already learned it in their academics.

Course Purpose - To enable learners develop products with least possibility of hardware failures.

Learning Solution - Following are the key aspects of the course requirement:

    • Implementation of training every time new designers and engineers are recruited
    • Hiring expert trainers to provide quality training
    • Establishment of Infrastructure to conduct training programs
    • Allocating required Budget
    • Managing training programs at various locations around the globe

Considering above list of requirement, an e-learning course is proposed; following are the list of benefits:

    • The course was developed with the help of experienced instructional designer, visualizers, in-house contract based SMEs and client side engineers.
    • It is posted on company LMS from where it is implemented to learners distributed at various locations around the globe.
    • LMS helps to track and grade leaners as per their performances
    • Greater control on content and quality
    • Cost effective

Scope of the course: It was purely a technical course dealing two aspects of each raw material i.e. basic chemical and physical features and their performances as per the specified product design.

Example: Basic chemical and physical features of silicon are described with the help of appropriate images and simple plain content using interactive presentation strategies. In next stage, course explains best possible dimensions and strength configurations of the material to be maintained in products to be developed and achieve business objectives like cost, durability and performance.

Learning and Business Results - The e-learning course has helped learners to increase their understanding on materials and develop cheaper and better products. In result, hardware defects has been reduced significantly and helped to build brand as one of the best product makers.

Conclusion - It is very important to understand basic details of raw materials for all decision makers who are directly related with product development. E-learning is considered as the best strategic tool to educate or train resources and achieve better business results.

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Custom made training for the employee’s development

Employee Training Programs

Is custom made training emerging as an effective tool for the employee’s development?

In today’s time of stiff competition in business and services to be offered. It looks extremely important to keep the employees updated and equipped with the current trends to deal with the challenges more effectively. To keep them abreast with the current trends and challenges it becomes imperative that the employees are provided with custom made training which should be crisp and effective as to help them to contribute to the company in a more productive and varied ways.

The custom made training modules for employees will help the growth of the company and the professional growth of the employees too. At this time when value added services bring about tremendous results. Custom made training for employees is a great way to attract customers delight and satisfaction and in turns helping the business grow leaps and bounds. An intricate planning to design and implement the training with detailed understanding of the business and the areas of concern will make the custom made training very effective and fruitful.

The online custom made modules for the employees would create a vast impact on the employees training altogether. The two greatest benefits of custom made training would be time saving and cost effectiveness of the training modules. As these custom made modules will have the flexibility to utilize the material or training for development of the employees irrespective of the strength or the number of employees and the number of times the modules would be utilized. The other important advantage would be to add content depending upon the requirement and making the training modules more effective at different point in times as well depending upon the changes brought in terms of the vision and mission of the company.

Web based custom made online training has many advantages as it can give the employees the flexibility to learn at individuals pace and convenience of time as well. The other very important aspect is the availability of the training content suitable for employees working for different shifts and time zone as they can access the material whenever and whatever is convenient to them. The uniformity in the material also brings about the process of standardization as every employee goes through the same training module.

The effectiveness and utility of the custom made modules should be seen in certain perspectives as to make it more learners cantered and workable. The important dimensions which have to be mentioned are as follows:

  • Is the modules are easy to use
  • Is the training appropriate to engage the employees on a wider level
  • Is the content or module has been designed keeping in mind the rules and regulations of the company or in short mission and vision of the company
  • The proper and relevant utilization of the visual content
  • Are the computers available have the capability to utilize the online content fully
  • Is the bandwidth available for the multiple user

And to conclude, the future looks very bright for custom made online training and the development of employees. The online custom made training modules will definitely see better and wider response in the days to come.

We at Swift elearning are equipped to provide world class online custom made modules for different requirements and specifications. We have been catering to the needs of the clients on national and international levels and have been receiving positive and encouraging response.

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10 Benefits of Cloud Computing

According to National Institute of Standards and Technology, Cloud computing can be defined as “convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (for example networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.” Resource pooling feature of Cloud enables it to provide service to a large group of customers by using different physical and virtual resources that are dynamically urged in accordance with the growing requirement.

Cloud Computing growth

There are basically three types of Cloud Computing:

  • SaaS: Software as a Service
  • PaaS: Platform as a Service
  • IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service

Cloud Computing provides varied benefits to organizations, listed are ten of them:

  1. Flexibility:

    Cloud computing provides the feasibility ofany person across the globe to access the cloud with the simple requirement of Internet connection.

  2. Easy startup:

    Cloud computing can bevery easy to kick start and implement.

  3. Reduced costs:

    It cuts down the huge amount of money spent on licensing or purchase of software.

  4. Countless storage capacity:

    Organizations can increase their data storage capacity without the fear of server overload or software hassles.

  5. Response time:

    Cloud Computing provides a faster response time when compared to routine servers and hardware.

  6. Bandwidth:

    Cloud computing is the solution for an organization’sincreased bandwidthbecause of its remote servers.

  7. Data safety:

    Secure storage of information on data centers prevents data theft and saves data loss against natural calamities and accidents.

  8. Minimal training:

    Few people are required to work on cloud cutting down the requirement to train many people. It cuts down the need to learn about software and hardware.

  9. Security issues:

    Cloud computingperforms the server repairs and security checks thereby saves customer’s time and money.

  10. Eco friendly:

    By using the cloud servicesan organization would save around 30% of energy consumption when compared to organizations that use servers at workplace.

Cloud computing provides varied benefits to the organization in terms of savings or services thereby catalyzing change for the better!

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