Manage Blended Learning Easily With The eLearning Platform

Blended Learning

Our classrooms are expanding beyond the four walls. Learners and trainers are now looking for more avenues beyond the existing classroom training and eLearning methods. Blended learning is the new way to go. Blended learning is the type of learning method where we combine both virtual training and classroom training and design a highly effective and practical learning experience. A well designed and implemented blended learning course can help you in setting and achieving high learning goals.

There are many eLearning platforms that help learners and trainers to blend various learning methods. E-learning platforms such as Learning Management System (LMS) comes with different tools and widgets that help in accomplishing different tasks. It helps you bring both live classroom learning and virtual learning into a unique integrated environment. LMS as an eLearning platform helps you organise all kinds of learning activities effectively. They also help in organizing classroom training sessions and also store and analyse all training data. E-learning platform not only helps in managing the learning content, but also helps in proper documentation of the whole learning programme.

Here are the features of an eLearning platform.

  • Uploading Content: It provides you with tools to upload content
  • Classifying and Sharing the data: It helps you classify and share the data with different user groups
  • Creating Course Catalogues: You can create course catalogues and learning plans
  • Managing Training Activities: eLearning platform such as LMS helps you in managing the training activities
  • Planning & Scheduling: Planning and scheduling of the training programme has never been so easy with the help of these tools
  • Tracking: eLearning platform also tracks both, user and training data and helps companies with compliance requirements

Whatever be the learning plan that you have designed under the blended learning program, eLearning platform tools and features will help you in simplifying and streamlining the whole training process. The user database helps you create groups of learners and assign the role of teachers to specific individuals. The notification helps you promote your courses, share relevant documents and logistics, and send invites. For a 100% face to face training session, you can set out a calendar for the event, define a location for every session to be conducted, and also assign tools or equipment for the classes. Generating the training certificates and checking attendance are other added features. All this information is stored in a database, making it easily accessible. A single management tool helps you plan, organize, deliver, and even track all your learner’s activities for the blended learning process.

Blended learning helps you utilise the full power of LMS. Your training strategies get uplift, and become more effective and easily manageable. Using all the features above, it is much easier to set and achieve high learning goals for your blended learning plan.

How to Assess a Competent E-Learning Vendor or Service Provider?

eLearning Vendor

What To Check In An eLearning Vendor? E-Learning is a current trend in training and learning domain; it has become an obvious option for Learning Managers or Learning Officers. The four major advantages e-learning offers are;

  • easy development/update of learning content
  • anywhere-anytime implementation/access
  • effective learning results
  • effective cost

E-learning has plethora of options to provide for your unique leanings needs or requirements. The major challenge lies in selecting the right elearning vendor or service providers. This discussion will help you to assess capable e-learning vendor for all kinds of learning needs.

Learning Managers or Learning Officers has three important areas to assess in an elearning vendor or a service provider, they are:

LEARNING EFFECTIVENESS

This is the first and the most important among other two areas. A learning manager must assess a vendor company with respect to the capability of delivering effective learning solution. There is no use of other benefits if a vendor company is not competent enough to deliver effective learning.

Following are the key capabilities must be possessed by a competent e-learning course developer:

  • Analysis – A vendor company should be able to identity actual or real problem or learning need. They must talk to real/key stakeholder (the person who raised the learning need, not who is awarding the project). Best idea is to meet him personally and get answers to custom developed questionnaire as per your learning need; if physical meeting is not possible, at-least a call must be done between stakeholder and the analyst.Sample of questions to ask key stakeholder:

    Q: What is the actual performance expected from the resource/student.

    • This should be answered in detail; complete expected performance action should be described with corresponding verb, criteria and quality standard.

    Q: Where and how resources/students are failing to perform?

    • Answer to this question helps to identify the area or gap to fill.

    Q: Is the failure is common in all or larger group of resources/students?

    • This helps to understand or identify the relationship between performance failure and specific profile of resources/students (if any).

    Q: Other than learner profile, is there any circumstantial/infrastructural issue related with performance failure?

  • Design – Ideally, the person or Instructional Designer, who conducts the analysis phase, should design the required solution. If all the observations and responses are recorded and documented in proper procedure, then other instructional designer can devise an effective learning solution.Components of an effective learning solution design:
    • Scope – The subject matter/ the content includes texts, animations, images, audio etc. It also covers the expected level of performance.
    • Format – Which e-learning format is the most suitable? Such as Synchronous, Asynchronous, Blended etc.
    • Instructional Strategy – The instructional strategy is about how you create a learning environment/package (including Scope and Format) so that the learner understand and realizes the expected performance.Click here to request the best design for your e-learning requirement.
COMMUNICATION

This ability of a vendor company describes seriousness towards understanding client requirement and delivery of expected solutions. The communication component is to understand requirements and resolve issues. It is very important component to avoid work delay and review cycles. Click here to request a better communication procedure for e-learning course development projects.

COST

Though cost is not a real component in designing effective learning solution, but it does have major role in decision making to select real components such as what level of instructional design to adopt. In industry there are three levels of instructional design modals, they are:

  • Level 1 – A basic design with content and images on screen.
  • Level 2 – Content chunking, illustrations, moderate interaction, 2D animations and learning avatars.
  • Level 3 – Excellent content chunking (less text on screen, much in narration), extensive used of illustration, interactive slides, 2D animations and if required 3D animation. All components required to make learning effective.

Note: There is a direct relationship between the above levels and the cost.

It is suggestible to bargain the cost factor after an eLearning vendor is shortlisted for Training Effectiveness and Communication.Click here to receive the best price for your e-learning service requirements.

E-Learning Course Development Standards

eLearning development standards

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 development experts 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.

Things to Test in Multi-Platform E-Learning Course

E-Learning-Course

These days, you get computing devices in all different shapes and sizes. Along with computers and Mac, there are laptops, smartphones and tablets, which have slowly become the most popular devices. As such, testing of devices has become very essential for all purposes, including eLearning. One requires the same behaviour and performance across all different devices and operating systems. Your authoring tool is not able to provide you this, so you need to check it yourself. Here are a few methods to ensure that it is functioning as expected on the various devices:

  • Is the text readable?
    You could use a larger font size to make sure that the text is readable on devices of any resolution. Easing formatting, and auto-resizing text boxes are also useful.
  • Content Alignment
    Check the content on all devices, platforms, and browsers to show how the alignment varies and adjust it accordingly. This is because of the different HTML rendering engine and JavaScript interpretation for each of them, and you need to adjust your material accordingly.
  • Area for target areas for touch and select
    Touch and select controls may be quite difficult on smaller devices. So, make sure you leave enough space for user controls. Also, leave space between the different elements so that mistakes can be avoided.
  • Layer and group the navigation controls
    Take out the different navigation controls and group them logically. Layer them according to the frequency of usage. You can also enable or hide any elements based on the devices used.
  • Offer visual cues
    Provide visual cues to help the users understand the specific gestures used as interactivities in your course. They need to be clear and explicit to help guide them with the functionality.
  • Use device appropriate instructions
    The functionality and user interface would change depending on the device. So, use specific instructions for every device. As an example, on laptops and computers one needs to use any key, whereas on touch devices, you just need to tap. You could also use generic instructions that would be common all through.
  • Use suitable interactivity for all devices
    Make sure the interactivities work smoothly on all devices. You can also use additional features absed on the kind of device used.
  • The relationship and meaning between all parts of the course need to be maintained
    The layout needs to be checked to ensure proper sequence is maintained on every device. The location and the references must match, and also enough space must be left to make everything clear and distinct.
  • Course Performance
    The eLearning projects must perform well irrespective of the device or operating system. You need to control all memory lag issues and make sure no crashes occur.

It is not possible to have a standard device. So, you need to optimise your content for every device available. Use the above tips and ensure that your course runs smoothly no matter what device is used.

E-Learning Course Design in Storytelling Method

eLearning Course Development

E-Learning Has Gained Momentum

E-Learning is a reality in our time rather than a fleeting fad, because, human life has become pushy and fast. Virtually everybody is facing lack of time to attend the various chores of life and consequently, a good section has started to rely on online resources for solving their various requirements. This is all the more true in the educational and training domains; these days, many people go for online training courses, even for gaining technical knowledge.

Apply Handy Authoring Tools to Make Online Training Courses Effectual

E-Learning courses have already become par for the course in industrial training programs. Modern-day organizational managements show pleasant interest in making use of the effectiveness of e-Learning methods for managing the workforce efficiently. They try to implement various online training programs for bringing in employee engagement and employee retention. In brief, e-Learning system has gained high relevance in the present-day world. But unfortunately, some of the present-day e-Learning courses are designed in a mediocre manner, and this injects insipidness to the e-learning topics concerned. How to design effectual e-Learning courses is a relevant topic. Everyone who knows this sphere of action agrees that applying operative authoring tools is a practical way to counter the dormant and sluggish nature of online training courses. Expert eLearning courses designers have the opinion that storytelling is a best way to pull out the droning nature out of online training courses.

Advantages of Applying Storytelling Technique in Online Training Courses

Storytelling is a powerful method of online training and this will induce the readers to go deep into the subject concerned with great interest. Practically there are 4 key points to assert this assumption.

  • ELearning courses that are designed in a storytelling model will serve as a good media to have worthwhile interaction with the participants. This is because, creating and maintaining connections is one of the key human penchants, and storytelling is a sure shot to bring this mental involvement. When the participants of eLearning courses feel mentally attached to the course contents, then, it will be easier to impart the required information in proper and pragmatic manner.
  • People generally follow models, and if the eLearning course is designed in a storytelling manner, by applying effective authoring tools such as Articulate Elearning software, Captivate Elearning templates, and Templates Lectora and with some key character models, then for sure, the subject online training course will capture the attention of the participants. They will attend the course keenly, and will grab the gist effectively.
  • Human brain is structured in such a way that it has got the capacity to follow stories in a direct way and to act spontaneously in accordance with the thread of the story that is narrated. Hence, if eLearning courses are created in a practical way using sophisticated authoring tools such as Articulate Elearning software, Captivate Elearning templates, and Templates Lectora, the contents can be made in an appealing manner, which will be mentally pleasing to the eLearning course participants. Thus the course can be made effective to the core!
  • Storytelling method will add the entertainment aspect of the eLearning course concerned. This will certainly motivate the partakers to learn the topic discussed quickly.

Instructional Designers Must Create Effectual E-Learning Designs

Elearning

Instructional Designers

Instructional designers are the ones who create diverse styles of unique instructional courses that are meant for e-learning purposes. E-learning has become a reality in the present world, and the impact of the same can be witnessed in almost all principal arenas of human interests. The functional base of these e-learning processes is created by the instructional designers. They make use of the modern technological tools and formulate inventive instructional design to suit the varied requirements and the targeted audience. In our time, when the real relevance of e-learning and the constant development that occurs in the technological arena are taken into account, instructional designers have a significant role to play. However, the process of instructional design creation will have to be done with care, as the e-learning arena is a bit new to the general consumer. Instructional designers must apply practical sense while elearning course development; this is one of the existing instructional design challenges. The knowledge level of the targeted audience must be comprehended first, and only on that basis, novel instructional designs should be created.

Instructional Design Challenges

One of the present principal instructional design challenges as of now is pacing up the varied client interests. A quantum jump has come to pass in all developed societies, from the slow-paced social life to the aggressive fast-life due to the technological advancements. Because of this, the dependency on numerous technological gadgets has increased. E-learning has become a common matter in our time, and a vast section of the present generation relies on the handy nature of internet for performing their various day to day activities. For example, the handiness and the resourcefulness of e-learning courses are being applied in most of the modern-day class-rooms, apart from the industrial and commercial sectors.

E-learning method is found effective for class-room studies. Practically, this augments the student cooperation, as the younger generation loves to use the latest personal gadgets. Thus, the student involvement level is enhanced, and thus the value of education also gets a face-lift. Moreover, the interaction capacity of the students will also get amplified. Thus there is an overall enthusiasm in the educational sector for implementing diversified e-learning courses, and this increases the responsibility of instructional designers. To cope up with the current scenario, they have to create apt and innovative instructional design that will satisfy the related demands of the educational sector.

Almost the same involvement can be observed in the professional HRM sector. Many modern HRM executives have asserted and confirmed the influence and inventiveness of e-learning methods as far as Human Resource Management is concerned. They espouse e-learning methods. In the present HRM field, gamification has become par for the course.

BYOD in the class-room and Gamification in Human Resource Management have become almost common, and all related executives are trying to apply the effectiveness of technological inputs in their respective fields, as much as possible. In brief, instructional designers must know that they are the ones who are empowering the e-learning participants in various domains, and hence, must create easy to comprehend e-learning tools, by making use of the diversified modern technological inputs.

E-Learning E-Templates are current trend?

E-Templates

Rapid e-learning courseware development is a current trend; the demand and the keyword for ultra-rapid is in near future. It is difficult to guess the relationship between increase in e-learning demand and no. of developers; but one is for sure that the demand is for lesser time and cost with better quality are up. It is a challenge as well as a beauty of the game.

Today e-learning developers are mushrooming on an individual basis, in groups and as an organizational structures; but still it seems that the demand is unmet. Compare to groups and organizations, there is unprecedented increase in individual e-learning developers. This is a very good business opportunity for developed e-learning organizations; for them it is a business as well as support to the community.

E-Template is a new product stream introduced by e-learning organizations. This product is for rapid e-learning courseware developers.

Clients demand an e-learning solution, they doesn’t bother which tool you use, what process you follow and how you handle the development. We suggest you not to indulge into things which client doesn’t bother; get it done by some experts in cheaper cost and with better quality. E-Template is such thing you no need to design and develop; you just work on the learning strategy – make use of readymade e-templates to implement the strategy effectively.

So pull up your sleeves and be confident; e-templates are there to help you out to channelize your instructional strategy or content design into different styles of representations.

There are free templates on offer developed in following tools:

  • Articulate Storyline,
  • Adobe Captivate,
  • Lectora, etc.

In general templates are available for following types of content representations:

  • Charts and Graphs
  • Engaging interactions
  • Texts and Graphics
  • Gamifications
  • Assessments

Makes use of Etemplates to enhance your content presentation and save time.