8 Tips To Create Online Training Courses For Stressed Employees

Your employees are already pressed for time. They are dealing with tight deadlines, piles of paperwork, and personal obligations. As such, they don’t need high-pressure online training courses to make things worse. In this article, I’ll share 8 tips to create online training courses for stressed employees.

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How To Create Online Training Courses For Stressed Employees

Stress can wreak havoc on the human mind. Especially in large doses. It decreases knowledge retention and distracts us from the task at-hand. Thus, it’s the nemesis of online training. The good news is that you can create online training courses that take some weight off your employees’ shoulders and ease their worried minds. Here are 8 top tips to develop online training for stressed employees.

1. Give Employees An Online Training Road Map Beforehand

Stressed employees don’t like surprises. Especially in regards to online training. They need to know what lies ahead and what’s expected of them. You can put their mind at ease by providing an online training road map in advance. This should feature the online training courses, activities, and assessments they must complete, as well as important milestones and delivery dates. In fact, make it even easier for them by integrating an online training checklist. They can keep track of their own progress and see what’s up next.

2. Incorporate Online Group Collaboration Activities

There are a number of reasons why online group collaboration activities are essential. First and foremost, it caters to our need for social interaction. It also allows employees to get feedback from their peers and share their personal experiences. They have the opportunity to participate in online discussions, ask questions, and address their concerns. Encourage them to join your corporate eLearning forum or social media group. Or develop online group projects that allow them to collectively problem-solve and build their teamwork skills.

3. Provide Frequent Breaks

Stress prevents employees from absorbing information effectively. As such, you need to provide regular breaks so that they can unwind and assimilate the data. They also have the chance to let off some steam by playing a serious game or joining an online discussion. In fact, you might consider shorter bursts of online training interspersed with breaks. For example, a 5-minute online training simulation followed by an intermission.

4. Offer Self-Paced Online Training Paths

Personal learning paths enhance the benefits of your online training course and make the experience more relevant. This is ideal for employees who are already stressed and overwhelmed. They have the opportunity to pursue goals that will help them in the workplace and bridge personal performance gaps. Every employee participates in online training activities that cater to their needs, without having to keep up with their peers. Conduct pre-assessments and surveys to learn as much as you can about your employees. Then use your data to create customized online training plans. For example, allow them to pick from a list of interactive online training activities and assessments. Encourage them to set their own goals and milestones. Empower your employees to take charge of their online training and go at their own pace.

5. Add Touches Of Humor

Inject a little humor into your online training to lighten the mood. Stressed employees are more likely to engage and active participate if your online training is enjoyable. Include interesting eLearning characters with funny, relatable personalities. Break up dry or dull subject matter with relevant jokes. Take a conversational tone that resonates with employees on a personal level. The secret is forming a meaningful connection so that the key takeaways stick in their long-term memory.

6. Calm Their Minds With Music

Music has the power to evoke emotion and calm the nerves. Especially if you opt for classical or ambient melodies that blend into the background. Just make sure that it doesn’t distract your employees from the primary objectives. For example, heavy metal music may not the best option for your compliance online training course. There are a variety of royalty free music sites where you can find free or affordable tracks. Use music sparingly to achieve the desired effect and not overshadow the subject matter. For instance, a classical music piece becomes a subtle backdrop for your emotionally-compelling story.

7. Create A Supportive Learning Culture

Employees need round-the-clock support. Particularly when stress is part of the equation. Online forums, blogs, FAQs, and social media groups provide them with constant access to support resources. They can reach out to peers, interact with instructors, and get answers to pressing questions. The backbone of successful online training programs is a supportive and communicative learning culture. Be completely transparent about expectations and responsibilities. Emphasize the importance of ongoing online training, as well as the benefits it brings. Ultimately, your employees should feel that your organization cares about their personal development.

8. Provide “Just-In-Time” Online Resources

Your employees are racing the clock and don’t have time to complete a full-length online training course. The question is: how do you give them the information they require anywhere, anytime? Just-in-time online training resources focus on specific tasks or topics. They are bite-sized activities or modules that provide targeted knowledge and skill development. For example, a 2-minute online tutorial that features every step in the process, or a quick podcast that explores a particular compliance topic. Stressed employees don’t have to add a half hour online training course to their already busy schedule. They can simply access your microlearning online repository to get the job done.

Your employees work hard to increase profits and give your customers the service they deserve. Reward their efforts with personalized online training experiences that ease their stress and cater to their needs. One last tip I’d like to leave you with is to keep your employees in the loop. Sometimes they just need to know that their voices are heard and their opinions actually matter. Solicit their feedback and then use it to continually improve your online training course.

By Christopher Pappas

Education And The Future Of eLearning

This article is all about current trends and news of electronic education a.k.a. eLearning. The primary question, which arises from this trend, is “How effective is this advanced learning over the good old education system?”. Let us discuss about the job prospects and the future of eLearning.

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Looking Into The Future Of eLearning  

When you take the free will out of education, that turns it into schooling.” – John Taylor Gatto

eLearning is all about using electronic technologies for educational curriculum outside the boundaries of traditional classroom and, of course, it is gaining popularity especially among the younger generation over the past decade. Nowadays, obtaining a degree or a certificate for a course opted has become very easy. You don’t need to actually sit and take a lecture at the MIT; instead, all you need is an internet connection to access any lecture of your favorite professor online. The broad-band of eLearning varies from distant education, learning online, computerized electronic learning, and many others which makes it more appealing to the public. But what about the future of eLearning?

4 Current eLearning Trends

The eLearning industry is getting revolutionized by current up gradation of cyber and technological industry. 2016 and coming years can be considered as the renaissance period of the eLearning industry with constant evolution of its components. Listed below are the few trends being the hot topic of educational system of the future:

1. Gamification.

Learning through gaming has been popularized in the recent years. The key objective behind gamification of education is that it is fun and more appealing to the general. Studies have shown video games boost hand-eye coordination and enhance general IQ and brainpower.

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Games increases a person’s ability to switch between tasks and incept multiple ideas at the same time for problem solution. Serious games often contains points, badges, and leaderboards driving learners to attain best ASAP for accomplishing levels that are key lessons or topics.

2. Cloud-Based Systems.

Most of the learning management systems are switching over to cloud-based systems. Often managers of large industries use cloud-based corporate training.

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Cloud-based systems increase the trend of eLearning reducing appreciable training cost online.

3. Big Data.

It is the Big Data produced during learning content interaction by learners. It gives advantages in realm of eLearning to both learners and developers.

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The data is collected via Content Management Systems (CMSs), Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and other media like social networking sites, which enables learners to interact with learning programs.

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4. Wearable Technologies.

Oculus Rift, Apple Watch, Moto 360, and Google Glass are few of the brainstorming innovations which are flourishing in the eLearning industry.

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The learner interacts with the subject in a multi dynamic way. The concept behind such technology is to make the learner immerse within learning subjects with 3D and real-time simulation of eLearning games. Thus, virtual reality will create a deluge over conventional educational system.

Future Prospects Of eLearners

The conventional education system gives an idea of an environment where the Teacher is the supreme authority and students are their subjects. However, most of the adults who need to enhance their educational backgrounds find the campus experience difficult.

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Often people look forward to educate themselves further, but retrieve back giving up the idea. eLearning provides great future aspects to those people, offering the following features:

1. Economic.

Opting for educational courses might be expensive, while eLearning provides affordable and free online based certificate and degree courses, distant education, and learning contents.

2. Dream Institution.

eLearning provides an opportunity to avail classes from distant educational institutions of their dream online overseas. The most prominent example is the MITx courses.

3. Subjects And Assistance.

The learner gets the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of subjects and courses. They get to study as per their preferred time and flexibility, get academic assistance or assignment help online, they can give their exams online, etc.

4. Time Management.

The learner can practically take the courses at a convenient time with customized options of their choice. Time management is essential for candidates with existing jobs who find it quite difficult to take out time for studying.

Job Prospects For eLearners

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” – Albert Einstein

eLearning has been proved efficient across various industries, ranging from engineering to pharmaceuticals.

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There are good prospects for eLearners in career development. Nowadays most of industries and workplaces accept online certificate courses as a benchmark to asses candidates’ expertise on a subject. eLearners can simply sit at home and get most out of everything ranging from studying online, searching jobs online, getting their resumes or CVs done online.

The certificates published by prestigious institutions like MIT, National University of Singapore, and Hong Kong Universities are very well accepted by almost all the industries.

Vogue Of eLearning

1. Learning Through eLearning.

Often skills required for the 21st century are good communication skills. eLearning provides a variety of applications and courses to improve one’s communication skills. Teamwork ability, digital literacy, and ability to learn independently are other skills required for good career development. eLearning has provided people to sit at home and gain those knowledge and skills.

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The Norwegian government launched a Competence Network of Norwegian Business and Industry (NKN). This plan included training Norwegian citizens to develop an entrepreneurship visionary among them, thus changing a whole nation.

2. Working From Home.

eLearning has made possible for people to sit home, learn and work from home. The Royal Bank of Scotland has trained its employees through media like CD-ROM. The media contained more than 100 hours of materials defining the job roles and competencies of their employees, which resulted a 700% massive return on its investment. ICL also faced a shortage of skills at massive levels.

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They set an eLearning tool of a modular six-month program consisting online methods to train ICL’s 4000 engineers and developers to the MCSD and MCSE standards within 33 months. This was done without affecting productivity over the period!

 

References:

  • Moore, J. L., Dickson-Deane, C., & Galyen, K. (2011). eLearning, Online Learning, And Distance Learning Environments: Are They The Same?. The Internet and Higher Education, 14(2), 129-135
  • Noesgaard, S. S., & Ørngreen, R. (2015). The Effectiveness Of eLearning: An Explorative And Integrative Review Of The Definitions, Methodologies, And Factors That Promote eLearning Effectiveness. Electronic Journal of eLearning, 13(4), 278-290

 

Mobile Learning At Work: Get An Edge In Today’s Workforce

The rise of the smartphone hasn’t just changed the way we communicate and enjoy entertainment, but it now serves as one of the most convenient platforms for learning. Mobile learning is the latest way we can support eLearning experiences, with a range of benefits for today’s workforce. Here are some of the top advantages of using mobile learning at work.
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Get An Edge In Today’s Workforce With Mobile Learning At Work

With the growing mobile device market penetration and the increasing need for digital learning, mobile learning has recently seen exponential growth. Both academic and corporate industries are certainly utilizing this modern format of learning, but those looking for an edge in the workforce may find it particularly useful. Whether you’re on the hunt for a new job or wanting to get ahead in your current position, mobile learning at work is one of the smartest ways to do so. Digital learning “on the go” means you have more and freedom to learn as you please…and experts have shown that you can actually retain the information easier when it’s served in this bite-sized format.

Mobile Learning For The Job Seeker

Unlike traditional learning methods, mobile learning can be enrolled in and accessed virtually within minutes. For the job seeker, having this edge over competitors means you can stay up to date with training and stay informed on whatever may be relevant to your potential employer.

Here’s a case in point:

Say you’ve just found an advertisement for your dream job and the employer mentions the importance of knowing a particular software (one that you have limited knowledge in). This could be the deal breaker that clinches the position for you, and you definitely don’t want to let it slide that easily!

With mobile learning, however, you can enroll in a course within a matter of minutes and get trained in just a few days – setting you apart from your competition.

Even if you don’t get that particular job, you’ve just added another skill to your resume that suits the line of work you’re interested in. Now there will never be a need to fall behind your competitors just because you didn’t have the correct training, and you can confidently discuss your new skill during your interview as well!

How Mobile Learning At Work Can Get You Ahead 

Mobile learning is the perfect platform for those who are already employed and looking to get the most they can out of their current position. Whether the training is being offered by your employer themselves or you take it upon yourself to do some up-skilling with a mobile learning module, there tons of benefits to this particular style of training.

With mobile learning, you can learn virtually anywhere you go so that you’re mentally at your sharpest when it’s time to study. Not only will this help you to retain information better, but it also gives you flexibility that you simply can’t get with other methods of training.

By showing your employer that you’re self-motivated and have the initiative to take on additional training to succeed, you’ll be placing yourself in a good standing when compared to others who only take on the training that’s offered to them. In fact, many times an employer will be more than happy to take on the cost of your mLearning modules, provided you can show them how it will make you a more valuable worker. It’s really a win/win for you both.

The Importance Of Mobile Learning For Your Employees

For employers, mobile learning really is a no-brainer. When considering how you will train your staff, there are several ways that mobile learning is the better option for employees of all ages and backgrounds.

1. It Addresses All Learning Styles.

Traditional corporate training may not suit everyone’s learning styles, causing some staff to shy away from getting involved in the first place. A solid mobile learning plan ensures that a range of learning styles are covered with lectures, podcasts, videos, text, and social collaboration so that everyone’s unique requirements are catered to.

2. Making The Most Of Your Employees’ Downtime.

One of the key benefits of mobile learning at work is its convenience, giving your staff access to training literally any time of the day and from anywhere on earth. Rather than spending their downtime socializing or surfing the web, your staff can take in bite-sized portions of learning in their down-time. Studies have even shown that over 50% of employees have participated in mLearning while lying in bed, somewhere you would never have been able to engage them previously.

3. Ensures Your Staff Stay On Top Of Technology Trends.

A workplace that keeps its employees in the past will have a hard time making a difference in the real world – thus the importance of staying on top of trends in technology. By giving your staff access to mobile learning, you’re building on their technological skills and ensuring they don’t fall behind with upcoming trends.

4. The Flexibility Promotes Motivation.

Rather than having a scheduled training session on a specific day and time, mobile learning allows your staff to study at their own pace. When they’re actively engaged at a time of their choosing, they’re far more likely to retain information and stay motivated.

How To Get Started With Mobile Learning 

Since it’s predicted that by 2018 70% of professionals will do some form of work from their mobile devices, there’s never been a better time to invest in this technology. The first step is to consider your current skill set and areas where you might like to improve and then do your research on which course might suit you best.

For those who are already employed, having a chat with your supervisor about potential mLearning ventures at your workplace will not only show initiative on your part but also help to keep your entire workplace on top of current industry trends and skills.

With so many benefits to both companies and their staff, mobile learning at work is the smartest way to utilize the growing trend of smartphones and the eagerness for digital learning. By getting ahead in this movement, you’re guaranteeing yourself an edge in the workforce and you’re also giving yourself a huge stepping stone in your career at the same time.

 

 

By Scott Cooper

Distance Learning: 10 Ways To Keep Oneself Productive And Focused

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How To Keep Oneself Productive And Focused In Distance Learning 

eLearners often find it difficult to stay focused and motivated while undergoing eLearning and distance learning courses. Here are 10 ways in which learners can build productivity and focus while engaging themselves in the eLearning process.

1. Make A Schedule And Stick To It

Making schedules and sticking to them is a great way to keep oneself on track and remain dedicated throughout the duration of the distance learning course. The learner may employ technology to manage time. Online calendars like Google Calendar, smart notes like Evernote, and time-tracking apps like Toggl can be used by the tech-savvy eLearners of today to help themselves stay productive and focused.

2. Set Deadlines

Setting deadlines is one of the simplest ways to avoid distractions and focus on the work at hand. Learners engaged in distance learning courses can use this technique to motivate themselves and overcome procrastination. Since setting smaller, more realistic deadlines is known to be more effective, the learner may set deadlines topic selection, completing research, writing the first draft, making corrections, etc. This simple strategy can go a long way in helping one stay dedicated.

3. Chart And Monitor Your Performance At Regular Intervals

Knowing exactly where one is will help one stay focused on the work at hand. Regular evaluations of one’s progress on online assignments or courseworks while pursuing the distance learning course helps one keep an eye on the goals and lay off procrastination. It also helps learners push themselves to their maximum limits and boost their productivity. A learner may monitor one’s progress by setting up progress goals and monitoring whether the goals are being met or not. To make sure one is on the right path, one can seek consultation from Elite Assignment online. This may be done biweekly or monthly, depending on the learner.

4. Interact More With Other Learners

Not being engaged in a classroom environment may make learners feel isolated and lonely. These feelings of loneliness and isolation can create massive hindrance for the learners in the entire eLearning process. In order to avoid these, learners must regularly engage themselves in conversations with other learners. These interactions with other learners will reduce their boredom and induce the feeling that they are not alone in their struggles. Quality interactions may also harbor a sense of support and love among learners and help them stay motivated (Bekele, 2010, p.118). Platforms like Skype or Facebook may be used to facilitate such interactions.

5. Make Good Use Of Online Tools

One of the major problems that eLearners or distance learners may face is the lack of consistent supervision. In order to overcome this and the problems that stem from this, learners may make quality use of online tools. The internet has a number of quality online tools, virtual libraries, and other materials that can greatly aid eLearners. Using sites like StayFocused is a great way to help oneself in the distance learning process.

6. Employ Attention-Increasing Techniques That Work For You

eLearners or distance learners who often have a hard time focusing on the course at hand and staying motivated must try to identify the specific attention-increasing techniques that work for them. Exercising during study breaks work for some, while highlighting the notes, doodling, or meditating may work for others. Some people may draw motivation by rewarding themselves at the completion of deadlines or goals. Dividing the entire course work into small, achievable portions is a very useful attention-increasing technique (elearningindustry.com, 2016). These techniques are highly individualistic. Identifying and incorporating those attention-increasing techniques while studying will help the learners stay motivated and focused.

7. Always Keep “The Big Picture” In Mind

It is easy to be lost and distracted during the duration of one’s engagement in the entire process of eLearning. The feeling of isolation and a lack of consistent motivation may make the learner go off-track. However, the learners must try to keep the big picture in mind in times like these. They must remember that undertaking these courses would make them more skilled and knowledgeable, which would improve their career prospects and future earnings. Keeping the big picture in mind is a great method of staying motivated and inspired.

8. Connect And Associate Learning To Life

Connecting and associating the things learnt to one’s everyday life or work will make one see the information learnt as meaningful. This creation of “meaningfulness” would automatically make one more curious and interested in the stuff learnt. It is human tendency to be interested in the things that we find meaningful and useful. Applying the information learnt in everyday life, discussing it with other people, or helping someone else learn the same can help in the creation of “association” between online learning and real life, as well as the consequent “‘meaningfulness”. This is a very useful technique to help the learners stay inspired and motivated during the duration of eLearning or distance learning.

9. Engage In Study Groups

Study groups are a great way to remain dedicated and focused in the course one is engaged in. These groups have a common subject of study, and they may either function as an online group or as a real group. Working together not only infuses inspiration and dedication in the learners involved, but also helps them understand things better. The learners may take turns to explain the bits and portions that they may have understood better than the rest of the people in the group. Provisions like answering questions of fellow group members and attempting to clarify their doubts eventually benefit all members.

10. Make These Simple Lifestyle Changes

Simple lifestyle changes like avoiding late nights or not skipping breakfast can go a long way in helping one stay dedicated and motivated. Waking up early, eating a healthy breakfast, exercising for a couple of minutes daily, staying hydrated, and getting proper sleep are some crucial lifestyle changes that learners must employ for staying consistently motivated (Aceonlineschools.com, 2016).

 

References:

 

By Emily Connor

7 Top Tips For Mature eLearners

Your kids are finishing school, and need you less and less. Therefore, you finally have the time to pursue that career you always dreamed about. Here are 7 tips for mature eLearners who have decided to pursue their passion, turn their hobby into a career, or fulfill their academic aspirations.

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Mature eLearners: 7 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Online Courses

So many questions must be entering your mind. The main one probably being “if I study online, will I be able to study properly and apply the same level of commitment that pupils do when they attend a classroom?”. Often, online learning suits mainly mature “second chance” or career change students, clearly indicating that some pupils find this method of learning preferable to full-time attendance on-campus. And, indeed, for many mature eLearners , it is their only possible route as they often work full time, have children, care for parents, or have other factors preventing engagement with full time education. Others simply prefer the freedom and flexibility afforded by online education.

Online education can provide an enriching experience for those who prefer to study in this way. We know that the skills you gain studying online can shape your future career. It’s exciting. You will learn how to thrive on self-motivation as studying on your own is a similar experience to working on your own and being self-employed. You will understand a lot more about your inner abilities, some of which you never even knew you had.

In this article, I’ll share our 7 top tips that will help mature eLearners get the most out of their online course, as well as achieve success and a fulfilling career afterwards.

1. Before You Start

Do your homework. Shop around, so to speak. Let’s assume the idea that, after your online course, you would like to pursue the career of interior designer. Most clients when choosing a professional interior designer tend to opt for somebody who has completed a formal education program, so make sure you pick the right one.

Check credentials: Does the provider have high standards? Also reputation counts of course. Overall satisfaction and excellent retention and achievement records all add up to a great organization. Friends referrals also work well; students are often encouraged to leave positive feedback for others to view and take advice from.

2. Home Discipline

It helps to stay focused. Wherever possible try to set up daily times when you know you will concentrate on your course, tasks, homework, reading, researching, and studying. If at all possible, create a corner in your house that’s your dedicated “study” area. Decide what time you will start and how many hours per week you will dedicate to this, and try to stick to it. Coffee breaks are allowed of course.

3. Flexibility

In many online programs you are not required to attend classes any point throughout the course. You study at your own pace and timing, from anywhere in the world. You can also check out timings that will suit your lifestyle, such as those that do not stick to set terms or semesters deadlines. That way you can choose when to start and when to expect a finish date.

4. Work Experience

Did your online degree course offer any work experience or career guidance? Find out if they are able to provide you with advice about work placements (very often from previous students who have set up their own businesses following graduation) or relevant trade institutions they are affiliated with.

5. Reward Yourself

Take each step as it comes. Don’t be too bold: Set yourself realistic goals and achievements. Once completed, make sure you reward yourself your favorite treat. A day out with the kids? A spa day? A small holiday somewhere? This will make distant goals seem more real and attainable.

6. Full Support To International Students

If you decide to opt for an international course provider, ask yourself: Does your course provider offer support to you as an international student? Every student is different and every student needs a bespoke, individual support. If you have to juggle family commitments, either as a career or a parent with kids, there will be some challenges to consider, even before you start your studies.

Reputable course providers offer a Student Support Team –or similar service– that work side-by-side with students to help plan each own individual study program tailored to individual circumstances. This also helps with recording each own’s progress and providing crucial understanding, guidance, and motivation.

Some organizations also provide unlimited access to tutors either via email or phone. Inquiry about those details before you decide. With the digital age, watch out for useful virtual learning apps that provide you with access to all the course information, along with links, news, and advice. You may want to see what kind of online student forum is available: Nobody wants to feel alone, even if it’s out of office hours, and no matter which country you live in.

7. The Outside World

Think carefully about the kind of job you may would like to enter once you’ve graduated. To be successful in the exciting world of interior design for example, you will need to be successful in finding clients and understanding their needs; you also must have excellent interpersonal skills. It’s not just the clients you are dealing with, you will need to liaise with other professionals to design and construct interior spaces (e.g.: architects, engineers, and contractors: Basically anyone involved with design projects).

Make sure your online course provider will offer you tips and advice about techniques, trends, and innovations within the industry on a regular basis. Attending relevant trade or exhibition are also useful for networking or research reasons.

Good luck!

 

By Anthony Rayworth

6 Tips To Create Great eLearning Quiz Questions

How do you make great eLearning quiz questions and keep them both useful and entertaining? Check out these guidelines and surprise your audience.

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How To Create Effective eLearning Quiz Questions

How do you know your learners are retaining knowledge in appropriate volumes and timeframes? That’s right: You throw in assessments, and see if the students “catch your drift”. Obviously, there is a boring way to assess performance through brick-and-mortar tests, but there’s also an engaging way – through online quizzes. This seems easy as pie to Instructional Designers, yet there are certain techniques that will help you pick the right form and content for quizzing. Some handy tips for effective eLearning quiz questions in this article!

1. Keep It Short And Simple

We could use many eloquent metaphors, yet it all boils down to the same: Keep your message –or question– clear and succinct. The more concisely you formulate the questions, the better.

In particular, avoid scientific or industry-specific jargon and use plain wording. Your students are just learning, they haven’t picked up the buzzwords yet. Try formulating the essence of your query in a single sentence, and employ prompts and the traditional five “W”s. Mind your tenses and phrasing, and omit redundant information unless it’s absolutely key to the context. Don’t make your learners decipher quizzes instead of mining for the right data in their “brain palaces”.

2. Have A Concrete Goal In Mind

What’s the learning objective your quiz drives at? Is it to get a simple factual answer, or trigger some complex logical chain for better recall and retention? Questions should be aligned with eLearning goals and reinforce course integrity. Focus on real-life application of delivered content and the ideas behind the questions. In all frankness, knowledge for the sake of knowledge has never made sense. Stick to your course plan and don’t ask for insights outside the agreed agenda unless specified as “extracurricular” or a stretch goal. Never include stumpers in your quiz. After all, you’re here to educate, not trick students into facing material beyond their learning pace.

3. Include Easy Answer Choices, Or Don’t…

Depending on your objectives, you may choose to provide several answer options with varying levels of transparency and simplicity. You can overcharge an answer set with nuances or highlight the right choice by “blunting” the remaining options. Both scenarios will work in a specified setting –just mind the audience, course progress status, and complexity– and, well, your learners’ sense of humor. Also, it’s not a crime to pack the question with fewer yet more granular choices.

4. Mix Question Types

By neglecting the kaleidoscope of question types and sticking to a single option, you are missing out on a wealth of perspectives and assessment techniques. Some Instructional Designers go the extra mile and incorporate scenario-based quizzes and games into their courses. This is a whole world of learning opportunities, but gamification is a different kettle of fish. As for more traditional types, consider fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, drag-and-drop, open response, and a bunch of others. Every questioning technique has a unique purpose for both the trainer and the trainee, so try to harmoniously match the ends with the means.

Make sure to provide clear guidelines and navigation so the learner always knows what to do. Pick several options or one option, maybe provide an open response. Provide sufficient comments and descriptions. Avoid unformatted answers for easier processing and consistency.

5. Assign Weights To Your Questions

For better assessment, assign different weights to your eLearning quiz questions. You may have various question types in a single quiz. In that case, answers may not be equally valuable and consistent with the real performance picture. For instance, in multiple-choice questions, the weight could be lower than in open response questions. This does not necessarily make your questions better per se, but correct weights facilitate grading and assessment, whether you do it half-manually or use advanced quiz makers for optimal results.

6. Provide Feedback According To Learners’ Choices

The right answer is not always the top choice, so you may want to include feedback on the answers or provide ad-hoc commentary to the audience. That’s how you deliver valuable insights and stay focused on the key learning objectives. When designing questions, try to explain in a concise manner why this or that choice is wrong – or right. As before, keep it simple and don’t bloat the quiz with superfluous details. Avoid cognitive overload and distractions, and make yourself clear.

In Conclusion

Writing good eLearning quiz questions is key to success in both assessment and knowledge retention. Interim quiz results prepare students for achieving their course goals and give them an idea where they have to make a push. Quizzes also help Instructional Designers take performance snapshots, change their strategies on the fly and, ultimately, contribute to better eLearning. Analyze patterns and think where you can improve; listen to your audience – and they’ll always be on your side.

 

By Scott Winstead

7 Ways To Incorporate Geolocation In Online Training

Geolocation brings personalized online training content to your audience, no matter where they are in the world. But how can you use this modern technology in your next online training course? In this article, you will find 7 innovative ways to use geolocation in your online training course design.

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How To Incorporate Geolocation In Online Training

Geolocation allows you to assign specific learning resources to physical locations. From language and activities to targeted online training materials, you can deliver personalized online training content to every member of your audience. Many apps and sites are already using geolocation to provide a personalized viewing experience. For example, online shops use the latitude and longitude to display relevant products and services. Here are just 7 ways to incorporate geolocation in online training.

1. Personalized Online Training Content For Global Corporate Learners

Many online training courses cater to corporate learners from around the world. That’s the beauty of technology. Everyone has the opportunity to develop their skills and expand their knowledge, regardless of where they live. But not everyone understands the same language or has the same cultural backgrounds. This is when geolocation comes into the picture. You have the power to deliver specific online training content and different versions of your online training course based on the corporate learner’s location. For example, individuals accessing your online training course from Dubai will see different images and text than those in New York. Some eLearning authoring tools now include geolocation features that allow you to design region-specific corporate eLearning templates. The template automatically adjusts based on the corporate learner’s point of access.

2. Location-Based Serious Games

This approach blends geolocation with augmented reality to create an immersive serious game. Corporate learners must travel to specific locations to progress to the next level, collect rewards, or interact with objects. The system or app superimposes virtual items into real world settings. For example, corporate learners must locate all of the hidden objects to assemble a piece of machinery. If you want to omit the augmented reality component, you can simply unlock certain aspects of the serious game in various locations. For instance, employees must make their way to the sales floor to access the online training simulation. Upon completion, they receive a badge and clues that point them to the next stage.

3. New Hire Interactive Tours

Starting a new job can be challenging. But you can take your newest team members on a virtual tour to break the ice. Their mobile devices becomes a virtual guide that shows them every department and work station. For example, when they step into the backroom the app automatically opens a compliance online training module that covers safety protocols. It can even introduce them to the warehouse staff so they can get to know their co-workers. Just make certain that someone is on hand to answer any questions they may have during the tour. Or that you have an FAQ integrated into the app for further reference.

4. Real Time Online Training Course News And Notifications

Just as you can personalize online training content by location, you can also customize your mobile updates and notifications. As an example, inform your corporate learners in Asia that your next webinar is going to be rescheduled. Or sharing that you just uploaded a new online training course for your HR employees in the home office. Corporate learners only receive news and reminders that are relevant to them. More importantly, they don’t receive general notifications that interrupt their day and have nothing to do with their online training.

5. Schedule A Virtual Field Trip

This is one of the most exciting and immersive applications for geolocation in online training. You have the power to transport your corporate learners anywhere in the world with the help of online resources. Many people now use geolocation to tag videos and images, which makes them easily accessible. Corporate learners can simply search for the destination and view indexed footage that was recorded on-site. For instance, someone living in Paris, France recorded their stroll down the Champs-Élysées. Corporate learners have the opportunity to see the sights without leaving home. They’re also able to learn about the history, culture, and landmarks in the process.

6. Just-In-Time Online Training Support

Microlearning online repositories are ideal for “moment of need” online training. However, there are times when employees simply don’t have the time to sort through the list. They need to complete a task or help the customer to make an informed buying decision now. Geolocation features can provide them with specific online training resources based on their department, and even position. The system automatically detects where the employee is in the facility and only shows them relevant online training activities and multimedia. For example, your customer service staff is able to access online tutorials about your return policy, while your stockroom staff can view tutorials about operating heavy machinery. In addition, you have the opportunity to offer just-in-time online training updates at a moment’s notice. For instance, your sales team needs to know about a price change so that they can inform customers. You spread the word quickly and avoid undercharging for the item.

7. Encourage Corporate Learners To Use The Geolocation Feature

Mobile device users have the ability to turn off geolocation features, which means that certain corporate learners may not even be aware of online training course updates or receive customized online training content. As such, you should encourage corporate learners to switch it on before accessing the online training platform. They always have the option to turn it off after they’ve completed the online training activities if they are concerned about privacy. In addition, you should verify that your eLearning authoring tools and Learning Management Systems support geolocation before you develop your online training content. Some tools even feature templates and themes that allow you to create location-based online training content.

Geolocation may not be ideal for every online training course, but if you have room in your corporate eLearnning budget and need more interactivity and customization, it’s definitely worth considering. Would any of these online training activities enhance the benefits of your online training design? If so, you may want to bring them up during your next client or team meeting.

Geolocation has also a great impact on eLearning localization as it makes it even more cost efficient and effective. Read the article 6 eLearning Localization Pitfalls To Avoid to learn how to avoid some of the most common mistakes of eLearning localization.

By Christopher Pappas

 

7 Best Practices For Developing Personalized eLearning Courses

Online learners are looking for ways to overcome common challenges and achieve specific goals. They need relevant and relatable eLearning courses that help them in their everyday lives. In other words, eLearning courses that are personal and practical. In this article, I’ll share the 7 best practices for developing personalized eLearning for your online learners.

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How To Create Personalized eLearning Courses

The term “personalization” often pops up in eLearning articles, forums, and guides. But what does it really mean? In the truest sense, personalized eLearning involves eLearning activities, assessments, and content that meets the online learner’s individual needs. It allows them to reach their goals and solve everyday problems without having to keep pace with their peers. Here are the 7 best practices to follow when developing personalized eLearning experiences.

1. Create Learner-Centered Goals And Objectives

Online learners must be able to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. This comes in the form of learning goals that are relevant in their lives. It’s essential to survey, interview, and assess your online learners beforehand to integrate their objectives into your eLearning course design. Your organization should already have the learning objectives in place. But you must also take the needs of your online learners into consideration. They need to achieve their desired outcomes, as well. Otherwise, they won’t have the motivation or drive to actively participate in the eLearning process.

2. Assess Online Learners To Identify Knowledge Gaps

Identifying knowledge and skill gaps is yet another reason for online learner pre-assessments. You’ll only be able to give them the information and skill development they need once you gauge their current understanding. In addition to multiple choice and other quantitative eLearning assessments, you can use branching scenarios and simulations to verify their level of experience. This also allows you to determine how well they know the topic and if they’re able to apply it in the real world. These qualitative eLearning assessment methods give online learners the opportunity to put the information into context, and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses. Then they can access the eLearning materials and supplemental resources to bridge knowledge gaps.

3. Offer Timely Personalized eLearning Feedback

There are two reactions to a mistake. The first is completely overlooking it and pretending it never happened. The second is acknowledging it and then learning from it. The problem with the first scenario is that you commit inaccurate information to memory. You never let your brain know that it’s false, so it accepts it as the truth. However, immediate eLearning feedback has the power to prevent the knowledge retention process, in a good way. Feedback stops the brain in its tracks and gives it the correct details. As a result, online learners absorb and assimilate the information they need to achieve their learning objectives. So, offer your online learners personalized feedback as soon as possible to get them on the right track.

4. Let Online Learners Choose Their Own eLearning Activities And Multimedia

One of the cornerstones of personalization is offering learner-centered eLearning activities, eLearning assessments, and multimedia. Online learners should have the opportunity to choose the eLearning materials that help them reach their goals. They are also looking for eLearning activities and modules that cater to their learning behaviors and personal preferences. As an example, one online learner may need to focus on their communication skills and they prefer more visual eLearning activities. Their learning tools-of-choice would be online presentations, eLearning video-demos, and task timelines. On the other hand, someone else is trying to build another vital skill set and fares better with audio eLearning content. This individual might seek outeLearning podcasts and webinars that center on their skill gap. Instead of incorporating a linear navigation map, offer online learners a clickable guide that features diverse eLearning activities and multimedia.

5. Set Manageable Milestones

Motivation is a major challenge for personalized eLearning, especially inasynchronous eLearning courses. Online learners have the ability to pursue their own goals and objectives. But their drive and determination can start to wane if long term tasks are involved. For example, a more complicated goal that involves multiple steps or takes several weeks to accomplish. eLearning professionals have the power to remedy the situation by creating more manageable milestones. Develop a personalized timeline that online learners can use to stay on track and monitor their progress. This also allows them to set secondary, short-term goals and manage their time more effectively.

6. Incorporate Online Resource Libraries For Asynchronous eLearning

Speaking of asynchronous eLearning, online resource libraries are ideal for self-paced eLearning instruction, as online learners have the chance to access the eLearning materials round-the-clock. They can also target specific skills or topics to improve their comprehension. For instance, an eLearning video-demo when they are unable to complete a task at work. Again, be sure to incorporate a good mix of online resources so that you cater to different learning behaviors and preferences. You can even take it a step further by inviting online learners to submit links or create their own online resources. For example, developing an online presentation to share with their peers so that they can solicit their feedback.

7. Provide Ongoing Online Support

Personalized eLearning experiences must have a solid online support strategy to act as a framework. This involves online FAQs, forums, social media groups, and direct contact methods, such as email and instant messaging. Online learners should have the power to interact with their peers and online instructors on a regular basis. This allows them to address their concerns and ask pressing questions in a timely manner. For instance, clarify a topic they are currently studying or ask for tips to improve their performance. If they don’t have access to reliable online support, they may become frustrated and disengage from the online learning community. As a result, they won’t get the full benefit from your personalized eLearning course.

Personalized eLearning does away with the “one size fits all” approach to meet the individual needs of your online learners. They have the opportunity to pursue their goals and actively engage in eLearning that is relevant to their lives. As a result, every member of your audience gets something unique and useful from your eLearning course design.

Variables provide yet another way to personalize your eLearning course. Read the article 6 Tips To Use eLearning Course Variables To Create Personalized eLearning to discover some useful top tips to help you use eLearning course variables in your eLearning course design.

 

By Christopher Pappas

 

8 Signs Your Mobile Device May Be Compromised Without Your Knowledge

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Are You Holding Hands With A Zombie?

If you’ve ever experienced a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, click fraud, phishing, malware installation, or spam emails, it is likely these unwanted intrusions came from a computer on the internet known as a “zombie machine.”

Not sure if these apply to you? Download our new ebook on the 15 most dangerous threats to mobile security.

Zombie machines are ordinary networked computers that have been infected with malicious software that causes them to spew material to any computer online that’s not well-protected by the latest trusted security software. A collection of zombie machines, controlled at one source, is known as a “botnet.” Usually owners of “zombie” computers don’t even know that their computer has been infected. Botnets provide a cover for those online who are truly out to harm you.

Interestingly, many people don’t think of their mobile phones as a computer, and therefore don’t worry too much about whether their device has been turned into a zombie machine. But an “iPhone 6 has 58 times the speed and 64 times the storage of the 1989 CRAY-2 supercomputer,” so it is time to stop thinking of your mobile phone as anything less than a powerful computer.

According to Check Point’s ZoneAlarm blog, signs that any computer, including mobile phones and tablets, are being used as a zombie machine include:

  1. Slow performance
  2. Unexplained error messages
  3. Frequent crashes
  4. Unrecognized messages
  5. Long time to start up or shut down
  6. Unexpected loss of storage space
  7. Web browser closes unexpectedly
  8. Access to security websites is blocked

In doing the research for this blog post, I went looking for articles and apps on the detection of mobile zombie machines, and came up with very little. There are two apps in Google Play that may be useful: Virus Tracker, which checks its database of more than 2 billion records to see whether your IP address is listed in known botnets, and Device Monitor, which “warns about connections to end-points that are reported within malware/central-clearing-house databases.” ComputerWeekly.com lists four behavior patterns – signature-based, anomaly-based, DNS-based and mining-based – that may be used for botnet detection on any computing devices. The post suggests some additional detection software that may be useful.

If you think that your computer/mobile device has been compromised and is now a zombie machine, you should immediately scan it with several different anti-virus and anti-malware programs. A second program may pick up a virus or malware that the first one missed. Then, run a rootkit detection program, and set your firewall to the highest security level. If that doesn’t work, you may have to wipe your hard drive and start with fresh copies of your operating system and apps.

Maintaining security is an ongoing task that includes being vigilant, not opening attachments and links that you don’t know or trust, and using the most-up-to-date security software. As well, the computing industry needs to design and develop better methods for botnet detection and removal of zombie software.

By Gary Woodill