Thursday, February 11, 2016

Learning Analytics: A great boost for creating Learner Centric eLearning


I am sure you already know about ‘analytics’. This term has been creating a lot of buzz for the past few years. It’s the process of collecting data, discovering meaningful patterns from it and transforming it into fact-based insights. Application of analytics is typically perceived as an aid for marketing and business decisions. Then does it have any relevance to eLearning? Well, yes. Analytics can be used not only for businesses but in many other fields that impact our daily lives including eLearning.

So what really is learning analytics?

 ‘Learning Analytics and Knowledge’, defines it as, “the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs.” [LAK2011]

Learning analytics is the ‘in-thing’ today due to growing popularity of ‘Technology Enabled Learning’ and a constant pursuit for aligning the learning experience with learners’ needs.

How does it work for eLearning?

When learners interact with an eLearning course, they leave behind digital traces of their activities. These activities are tracked and stored through the learning platform. This data could be about learner’s clicks, time spent on various pages and various other data points that are not directly evaluated as a part of learners’ progress. This type of data can be interpreted through learning analytics.

Is it useful?

Yes it is. Learning analytics techniques can help us understand how learners learn. This in turn can help in creating a ‘learner-centric’ learning experience and environment. This whole approach is not just limited to tracking learners’ scores, but making sense of their behavior and figuring out how to improve their success. You can find out learner preferences and problems and identify the scope to improve design and delivery of eLearning using learning analytics.

Are there any challenges?

Well, along with many exciting benefits there are challenges too. For example, the incapability of learning platforms to capture learning experiences, accurately and meaningfully is one big hindrance. Another important concern is finding the exact correlation between the data patterns and learner behavior. Managing data privacy, security and associated cost is also a challenge. Learner profiling could be another one.

All in all, learning analytics holds many opportunities and challenges for both educational and corporate eLearning worlds. Instructional designers and eLearning course creators can derive meaning from complex data and take relevant actions to create more effective learning experiences, by making judicious use of learning analytics.

Keep watching this space for more insights on learning analytics. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Microlearning - A Practitioner’s Guide: An Overview

In this fast-paced world, human tendency is to do everything as quick as possible. This applies to learning as well. Learning in a short time therefore becomes a critical question to ponder, for eLearning course creators and instructional designers. Microlearning replaces and relieves from the cognitive overload faced while learning. Moreover, it aligns well with the requirement of next gen learners of taking short learning modules on the go. Microlearning is a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts of 10 to 15 minutes.  

The benefits associated with Microlearning:
  • Learners in Content Driver Seat - Microlearning allows learners to feel in charge, giving them the opportunity to select applicable content.
  • Learners’ Time is Respected - Busy professionals find it easy to learn, process and apply new required information immediately.
  • Rapid Upgrading - Microlearning offers the ability to send out updates easily and quickly with less commitment of development time.
  • Employee Productivity - Microlearning gives learners focused training in a smaller time-frame.
  • Cost Containment - Microlearning lessons/objects, and associated technologies, including those called social media, come with no cost at all.
Level up with this evolving trend through ‘Microlearning: A Practioner’sGuide’. This eBook shares result of a global survey to gain insights into the perspective of learning professionals involved in the provision of learning- whether face-to-face or eLearning – to others.


The topics covered in this practitioner’s guide are:
  • Methods and technologies associated with Microlearning
  • Benefits, risks and challenges in delivering Microlearning
  • Tips for Microlearning success
  • Creating a Microlearning Lesson – A Practical Approach
  • Future Prospects of Microlearning
These features contribute in simplifying long-guided courses into short blasts of learning. The eBook will touch-base on the preferred ways through which Microlearning can make an impact.

Download this complimentary eBook and dive into the practical approach and tips to design and deliver Microlearning and much more.  

Have you ever created a Microlearning course? If yes, we would like to hear your learnings in the process.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Engagement Analytics – The New Frontier in Interactive Learning

The purpose of adding interactivity to eLearning has been two-fold, improved learner engagement and better learning outcomes. While we are able to gain basic insights on learner engagement, learning outcomes still deserve to be judged well. And, this very need demands further channelization of interactive learning analytics. How about retrieving data that could help in analyzing learner behavior and learning patterns? Alternatively, knowing which interactivity is working great and returning high-end results? Or, how about retrieving key statistics to know how engaged your learners are? Behold and make way for "Engagement Analytics" in eLearning.

Raptivity team paces ahead with the concept of Engagement Analytics to map user behavior and answer the above-mentioned questions. An amazing combination of ‘Data Analytics’ and ‘Interactive Learning’ packs as a firm base for this concept. Engagement Analytics will enable eLearning developers to get sophisticated insights into what’s working in their interactivity, and what’s not. Based on the valuable insights, they could tweak the interactive content to achieve desired learning outcomes. 

Engagement Analytics – The New Frontier in Interactive Learning Engagement Analytics, can help eLearning developers answer some serious questions such as
  • Are my learners visual or they prefer reading content?
  • Do my learners simply gloss over the content or thoroughly go through it?
  • Are my learners missing important content? Do I need to improve instructions to emphasize it further?
http://www.raptivity.com/engagement-analytics
Figure 1- Engagement Analytics 

Joe Ganci, one of the most acclaimed eLearning industry experts, comments, “The Learning and Training industry has finally started to realize the importance of capturing and analyzing learner data much more deeply than in the past. I'm happy to see Raptivity taking learner data analytics to the next level with Engagement Analytics. I see a great potential here to address some common pain points in online learning.”

Mapping learner behavior through analytics would help in efficient and engaging course design. It is all about performance improvement and better learning outcomes here on. To explore Engagement Analytics in-depth, visit www.raptivity.com/engagement-analytics.

Have you done a test drive of this interesting concept? We would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Sign Up now to learn more about the benefits of Engagement Analytics in eLearning. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Vision 2016 - An Interview with Desiree Pinder

http://www.raptivity.com/desireeToday's interview in the Vision 2016 series is with Desiree Pinder, Executive Director, Artisan E-Learning . She helps companies as diverse as government agencies, non-profits, medium-sized businesses, and Fortune 500 corporations, to get up and running with e-learning initiatives.

Below are excerpts from the interview:

What are some key eLearning trends that you think would surface, or pick pace, in 2016?
[Desiree] Courses that work seamlessly on all platforms (especially on mobile devices) is very important and a must have form and my clients.  In the past, I’ve seen very specific requests for iPad, but Android is becoming more important (to the point that clients are asking for both…ALL…now). 

Each year I give a presentation to my local ATD chapter where I try to “predict” trends.  This year was a bit of an anomaly. Instead of predicting, I shared my hope and dream. In the past couple of years, e-learning development tools are coming out with ways to help us make courses work more seamlessly on all platforms.  My hope and dream is that this trend will continue.  HTML5 makes my life easier, so I’m hoping we’ll see more options for HTML5/mobile publish.  We saw an increase in more of tools being available for making mobile publishing easier in 2015, and I hope that this trend continues in 2016.

Micro-learning is being talked about everywhere. How important or unimportant is it going to be in 2016?
[Desiree] I can see how this could be very beneficial to have shorter courses, but our clients aren’t asking for it…or say “no thank you” when we give it as an option when discussing what they want/need.  Many of the courses I develop fall in the 20-minute timeframe (or slightly less).  My clients want to get more information out than just a 5-minute clip would contain, and they are concerned that people won’t log in several times to get that information. 

On the other hand, all of our courses do allow someone to stop in the middle if they need to leave and come back and pick up exactly where they left off.

Interactive eLearning – how would that look like in 2016?
[Desiree] I have spent a lot of time at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as a tourist and a mother of a boy who is determined to be a rocket scientist. Their programs give me a great look into the future of what e-learning could be. They have robots, interactive training tools which use your body language to do whatever an astronaut would need to do to survive wherever she is. You want me to go on a space walk to save the world? No problem…I’ve done it!  :)

Along with this, I’m seeing virtual and augmented reality closer than ever before with the release of new technology using cell phones as the center of the VR and AR experience (such as SpaceVR and Samsung Gear VR 2015 Virtual Reality Headset).  Even Facebook has entered the scene with its purchase of Oculus Virtual-Reality Company.

While I am thrilled with the possibilities and interactivities I see from these learning experiences, I think this year will be a year of making mobile experiences better, building courses that are instructionally sound, have  engaging graphics, and maintain the same type of interactivity we have seen in the past years. However, I have no idea where all of this will take us in 2017 and beyond.  What I do know is that I’m watching this technology very closely, and I am poised to jump into the arena at the first chance I get!
 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Vision 2016 - An Interview with Anne Mills

Today's interview in the Vision 2016 series is with Anne Mills, Director/Developer, Learning Solutions. Anne is a graphic designer whose skills have enabled her to produce appealing learning objects and engaging online learning experiences. Anne has created a range of learning and training courses for clients as small as a hospitality college in India, to industry giants like the Linfox Group in Australia.

Below are excerpts from the interview:

What are some positive changes that you would like to see in the eLearning industry as a whole?
Our industry is often perceived as technical rather than offering personal development and creative learning solutions.  Hopefully, as more people see good examples and understand the potential of eLearning there will be growth in respect as well as deeper adoption.
Reaching greater numbers of traditional teaching and learning professionals, without them feeling threatened by the means to improve their delivery of information, would be a good positive change that we must all work towards.

Micro-learning is being talked about everywhere. How important or unimportant is it going to be in 2016?
Micro-learning is a current term that refers to what has been developing over some years.  As online learning has been produced, it has been noted that concise segments of information with interaction that are easily accessed and absorbed make for better learning and training.
Our principal at Learning Solutions, Caryl Oliver, pioneered mobile learning on PDAs in the early 2000s –technology as well as the student users meant that very small lessons were constructed.  Feedback from learners was incredibly positive and set us on a course of strongly recommending clients to use small bites of information that can be picked up easily and quickly by learners.
A positive buzz is healthy for our industry, and 2016 opens the possibility that many people currently outside or unaware of the huge potential for online learning will want to know more about it and begin to think about how it can be used in a multitude of situations.

What are some challenges that your domain anticipates in the context of eLearning development and delivery?
The main challenge that we have found at Learning Solutions is guiding clients to understand that taking their traditional information and simply uploading it on to a server is not eLearning.  This is not yet consigned to the past and remains a challenge.
The perception that eLearning is not comparable to professional training and education is also a challenge and time spent in overcoming this block detracts from developing the best eLearning content.
That eLearning can and should be fun is also a challenge for many traditional training deliverers as online content is competing with a whole cyberspace full of entertainments and distractions.

Stay tuned for the next interview!