Monday, March 28, 2016

Learning Solutions 2016 Highlights

The Learning Solutions conference achieved another benchmark as a successful event this year. It was held in Orlando, Florida, from March 16 – 18 and the Raptivity team was excited to exhibit some of the latest happenings in the product.

The place was abuzz with eLearning industry peers who had come together to share best practices and learn from each other. The conference was packed with over 100 informative sessions, which provided great insights through case studies, best practices sharing and discussions around new developments in the eLearning domain.

Key highlights:
  • Our Raptivity team was all set to welcome conference attendees and provide them with product details and demo at the booth. Many visitors to our booth were aware of Raptivity because of our continued presence at this conference.
  • As always, it was great to connect with some of our customers! They had stories and experiences to share about how Raptivity is helping them add interactivities to their courses. Others who were introduced to Raptivity for the first time were super excited about being able to augment their learning content with interactivity, and commented that they couldn’t wait to go back and try it out! The level of excitement and appreciation shown by our customers and others gives us motivation to continue innovating and coming up with new features and product enhancements. 
  • I attended a few sessions that were quite engaging and informative. They threw light on some of the key topics (Interactivity, mLearning, offline learning, xAPI, etc.) that are being widely used today in the eLearning industry.
  • As for the latest buzz on Raptivity, without a doubt it was Engagement Analytics! Raptivity recently launched Engagement Analytics. There were quite a few people who were interested in knowing more about how Raptivity interactions can now be tracked using analytics, and were excited about its future potential.
Overall we had a great experience connecting with industry peers and customers. Raptivity is certainly looking to exhibit at the Learning Solutions Conference next year.

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the conference and see Raptivity first hand, you can check out some amazing samples on our website and even try out Raptivity’s collection of 190+ interaction templates. Start your 14 day free trial now!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Education Industry Experts Build Interactivity into eLearning - Their Experience

“My learners prefer using PDF - adding Raptivity interactions to PDF makes it an interactive PDF! Boosts learner engagement manifold,” says Dr. Karina Kasztelnik, Professor at Colorado State University. 

Recently, four leading experts from education industry came together to share their experience of working with Raptivity for creating learning interactions. In the webinar titled, “Innovative Applications of Raptivity in Education”, Caryl Oliver, Founding Director of International Association for Mobile Learning, Sherry Vafa, Assistant Professor at University of Houston, Mary Lasater, Assistant Professor at University of Houston and Dr. Karina Kasztelnik, Professor at Colorado State University encapsulated nuggets of experiences of using interactivity at its best. The industry veterans spoke at length how they have leveraged Raptivity in their learning environment to create compelling, enriching courseware. They shared how Raptivity has helped them deliver interactive learning content for their learners.

Here are the some of the highlights, in the words of the distinguished speakers:
  • Caryl Oliver has around 10 years of Raptivity Experience and she uses the STEEP (Social, Technical, Educational, Environmental, Psychological) model for creating interactivity using Raptivity. It helps in eradicating pages and pages of content and presents them into crisp points. Caryl also shared that there is no need of having too many slides of a PowerPoint presentation for learning content; instead, she recommends using a game based interactivity in educating the learner. Raptivity helped teachers in onboarding new practices that were a part of a new mandate in UK through Open Box Interactivity.
  • Mary Lasater uses Raptivity for creating PPR (Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities) Exam for vocabulary having 13 competencies. University of Houston received grants for purchasing and onboarding Raptivity. 
  • Sherry Vafa uses Raptivity because it can be easily integrated with course management system – Blackboard. Sherry developed a ‘Million Dollar Quiz’ for her students, which is a part of game based learning program. She particularly likes this game as it provides various customization possibilities. The interaction also has ‘Hint’ and ‘Support’ options to guide the learner in completing the game. Sherry says “Raptivity does not require programming background, and that’s the best part.”
  • Raptivity enabled Dr. Karina Kasztelnik to create online quizzes quickly. Dr. Karina requires only 10 to 15 minutes to develop a 40-question quiz instead of 2 hours. She finds the tool to be handy on campus as Raptivity creates HTML output that can be shared with students for a quick test. Dr. Karina shared a very interesting way she uses Raptivity for her learners – Her learners prefer using PDF and so she adds Raptivity interactions to PDF making it an interactive PDF!
These experiences certainly denote that Raptivity is a preferred tool across all levels of education right from K-12, higher education to leadership training.

I am sure you all would be interested to try Raptivity, isn’t it? As said, you do not need a programming background to explore Raptivity and it takes no more than few minutes to get started with Raptivity. So, what are you waiting for? Start your free trial now!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Art of Instructional Designing – PowerPoint Courses and Beyond

A person drawing E-learning concept

There is a forever need for corporate and educational online training to be effective and engaging, and the onus of the same generally lies with Instructional Designers.  As an Instructional Designer, you may be asked to create a new educational course from scratch based on the curriculum or create an eLearning course based on PowerPoint being used for Instructor Led Trainings.

However instructional designers need not limit themselves to just dumping the PowerPoint content into an eLearning or online format as part of their course creation. A deeper part of their job would ideally entail applying systematic instructional techniques while converting the PowerPoint to an eLearning course. It ensures that the course achieves its objectives of successful transfer of knowledge, skills and attitude. The PowerPoint can definitely form the base for building the course. It will need to be broken into small digestible chunks and sequenced logically. However, just delivering the content chunks may not suffice. So, what could be added to make these PowerPoint based courses more engaging and bring out true learning than just imparting knowledge?

Providing meaningful exercises and activities, asking learners challenging questions, making them think, and making them solve problems close to real world environment is essential to make learning happen. To achieve this, interactions need to be an integral part of an eLearning course. “Tell me-Show me-Let me” method can also be used for active learning. Reinforcing value points at regular intervals will help learners in progressing efficiently. It is also important to provide performance support tools such as job aids that will help learners to perform their jobs successfully after the course. Learners can further be supported and engaged through virtual communities.

Instructional Designers can follow the ADDIE model for developing an eLearning course. They can also apply various instructional design theories and principles while designing the instructions. Raptivity as an ID’s artillery comes handy in creating meaningful interactions for eLearning course. It helps in implementing instructional design theories and principles with its 190 plus fully customizable and time saving interactions. Raptivity lets IDs infuse learning concepts with zero programming efforts and simplify learning for a vast variety of users.

I would recommend you to try out Raptivity yourself using a 14 day Free Trial of Raptivity and experience its benefits.