Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Gamifying The Compliance Story

With all training, it is important to identify the desired outcome. With compliance training, the buy-in from senior management, from the trainers, and the employees is key. For some, it may be a "check the box" that it is done. This attitude can come from managers and push downward. But, what if it is true? Perhaps the compliance training is to meet an outmoded regulation. A third-party contract requires Acme's employees to train how to troubleshoot the XLT-4000. The paradox is that the machine was removed from the building 18 months ago and replaced with the 3PX-izler. To meet the contract, the training continues. Let the eye rolling begin. 

If you have experienced that frustration in your training development, consider combining that training with a much-needed module. Acme's employees may not need the required training on the XLT-4000 machine, but they do need fire-safety training on exiting a building via the stairwell, not the elevator. Things just got interesting! What if the XLT-4000 was on the third-floor and in the troubleshooting process of checking the cord, flames shot out of the electrical outlet. The curtains caught on fire and the windows shattered causing the flames to explode. Now get out of the building safely. Bet your check-the-box folks didn't expect that! They may never forget that training. And, you met compliance and saved lives. Pretty good life, right? You and Batman are like this (fingers crossed tightly). 

Guess what? 

You've just been gamified. 

Gamification doesn't need to be in-person to award prizes or online to provide leaderboards. It doesn't need an elaborate quest--um, storyline. Although it would be nice to develop (along with the magnificent budget), gamification can be quite simple. It's a story. It's a what-happens-next discussion. It is time immemorial. 

Have you ever thought why fairy tales have a rather grim side? The stories had to be palatable to many ages and interests. There wasn't a storyteller in every room. Moreover, in some stories, there had to be a very tough warning to children to behave. Enter, the big bad wolf, the snake, the witch. Our campfires may be the backlight of our smartphones, but we are all listening and participating in stories. 

Susan Wines
eLearning Specialist, Thomson Reuters

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Webinar Roundup – Easy, Customizable and Fun! eLearning Simplified by Raptivity

Team Raptivity recently conducted a much applauded webinar on making eLearning ‘Easy, Customizable and Fun’. The webinar was aimed at all instructional designers, course creators and trainers who are stuck with complex eLearning methodologies.

Let me share a glimpse of what happened through the session. Jamaica Glenn, the webinar host, and Raptivity Valued professional, opened the session with a very interesting depiction of how most of the courses are perceived by eLearners. Here’s how:

While it is easy to generalize that eLearning can be tricky for learners because of various factors involved, but the fact is that eLearning can be really hard for the creator too. It is not always easy to create something that could create an impact as good as a classroom session. Limited skill set, resource Crunch, time and money involved, etc. are just some of the reasons that hinder a course creator’s efforts. So, is there a way that could make eLearning easy, customizable and fun? Well, yes, make way for rapid interactivity, a term synonymous to Raptivity. The rapid interactivity approach involves using ready to use interactivity templates that fit your instructional goal. Raptivity, world’s favourite interactivity building tool, boasts of its rapid interactivity skills through its 190+; ready-to-use; highly interactive; eLearning templates.

The session then moved on to explain how Raptivity makes eLearning Easy (All you need to do is insert your content into a template without any programming), Customizable (Since it’s all about your content and your media, the interactions can fit your curriculum or corporate standards very easily), and Fun (Since you get to choose from a variety of templates to create interesting eLearning very quickly).

This was followed by a detailed demonstration of many Raptivity interaction samples and then a detailed product demo. 

If I have to summarize, I would say that the session helped the audience to:
· Explore Raptivity, the original interactivity building tool
· Understand how to create eLearning without any heavy duty programming, and without putting in long hours 
· Discover Raptivity’s flexibility and its ability to seamlessly fit into other tools
· Look at the variety of instructionally designed templates that Raptivity offers
· Glance through Raptivity’s newly launched Mac version

If you found this session roundup interesting, you may go through the entire webinar recording here: We would be happy to hear your feedback.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Interactivity and the Flipped Classroom

Flipped Classroom, as defined by Wikipedia, is an instructional strategy and a type of blended learning that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom. It moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom. In a flipped classroom, students watch online lectures, collaborate in online discussions, or carry out research at home and engage in concepts in the classroom with the guidance of a mentor. Lectures are created by the instructor(s) and posted online. The lectures typically contain course material in the form of text presentations, podcasts or videos. This model thrives on the concepts of active learning and high engagement.

The real value of this model comes from the fact that students can utilize the in-class time for participating in stimulating discussions and exercises, thus making it practically beneficial and more engaging. But this can only happen if students get their basic concepts in-place through the lecture that they have taken at home. So the key ingredient in making a flipped classroom work is to make the lectures more engaging and appealing and the in-class sessions more interactive and interesting. All of this is significant particularly because the students are required to view and understand the lecture material at home without any supervision and based on the level of interest and understanding acquired through the lecture, they participate in the in-classroom exercises. Thus, for the flipped model to work, adding interactivity to this both sides of this approach becomes a necessity.

While the learner is viewing a video, the lecturer could easily add a reinforcement exercise or a quick game to confirm whether the learner has understood the concept. This would make in-class sessions even more effective as the learner would have already understood the concept. Also, if these learning interactions are hosted on an LMS, the lecturer could track the scores of each of its student to assess the student’s knowledge, thus making in-class sessions more effective.

Considering that lecturers or professors are non-technical people, they need a tool which is rapid, Do-it-Yourself (DIY) and has variety of interactions to add newness to their courses every time they plan to do a flipped classroom. Raptivity fulfils all these requirements. The lecture material could have simple interactions like games, quizzes and learning aids as quick reinforcement exercises. At the same time, one can use interactions like explorative learning techniques to help students engage with the learning content and discover information at their own pace. Such interactions add an element of fun to the whole concept of flipped classrooms, thus making it easier for the instructors to engage students.

An effective flipped classroom requires careful preparation on part of the instructor. It’s important to use the right elements to make it work. Interactivity will surely get us one step closer towards the bigger goal.

Have you ever experienced Flipped Classrooms? Do you know of other effective ways that make them work. Share below!