Archives for: October 2015

Bespoke Customized Courses

 

Bespoke Customized Courses

Prior to the American Civil War, ready-made clothing existed but its variety was very limited. Most clothing was handmade by tailors or by individuals – or their family members at home.

At the outset of the Civil War, most uniforms were custom-made in workers’ homes under contract. As the war continued, however, manufacturers started to build factories that could quickly and efficiently meet the growing demands of the military. Mass production of uniforms necessitated the development of standard sizes. Measurements taken of the soldiers revealed that certain sets of measurements tended to recur with predictable regularity. After the war, these military measurements were used to create the first commercial sizing scales, and ready-made clothes for men and women became almost universally accepted.

Then came the bespoke or made-to-order suits. Up until recently, the bespoke or made-to-measure suit was the preserve of the very rich or top business people who could afford the luxury of getting their suits made from scratch – for that classy finish. But now, with the advent of computerized cutting and sewing machines, and overseas manufacturing, it is affordable and making a comeback.

A somewhat similar situation has evolved in the eLearning industry. Initially, because of the work involved, course content was designed to fit the needs of an entire industry/sector. But now, with the advent of ever-increasing computing power, improved graphic technologies and the realization that no two organizations are alike and therefore no two organizational training needs can be alike, both made-to-measure and bespoke course content are developed at affordable costs.

To a lot of people, bespoke and made to measure are one and the same thing, but there is a very important distinction between them:

Made-to-measure: In clothing terms, this entails making a garment from a set pattern and material, and alterations made to suit the individual’s measurements. This garment fits pretty well but does not cater well for all types of individual measurements.

In eLearning terms, this means taking an existing course and customizing it a bit to suit the needs of a particular firm or organization. It goes some way toward addressing the unique requirements of a customer, but does not work for everyone.

Bespoke: In clothing terms, the pattern itself is made specifically for the individual, so that there are no restrictions on style, material, or measurements. And the individual has complete control over the finished garment. This garment fits like a glove, is comfortable, and looks well no matter what size or shape the individual might be.

In eLearning terms, course content is developed completely from scratch, with the user having complete control over every single aspect of the course – how it looks, how it feels, and how it fits with an organization’s unique requirements.

Here at 24×7 Learning, we create bespoke Customized Courses under the expertise of our Custom Content Development (CCD) team that consists of highly specialized individuals who have several years of experience in building courses entirely from scratch to completely fit an organization’s needs – like a glove.

People often relate high costs and time consumption to bespoke Customized Courses, but you will be pleasantly surprised at how affordable a course specifically built by 24×7 Learning is, and we deliver on time – every time, while taking into account every single learning need of your learners. Very affordable also when you bear in mind that we do not charge a license fee for our Bespoke Customized courses – when we build it – it is yours – for good!

  Prior to the American Civil War, ready-made clothing existed but its variety was very limited. Most clothing was...

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Learning on Smartphones

Learning on Smartphones

When mobile devices are talked about, the devices that come to mind are basically anything other than the once omnipresent personal computer (PC). Laptop, netbook, tablet, and mobile phone are all grouped together under the term ‘mobile’.

The reason why these mobile devices, particularly tablets, have taken the online world by storm is not hard to understand. They are portable and can be used anywhere – in a coffee shop, in a taxi, in the classroom, visiting clients and even in bed! All they need is an internet connection, and the user can work, and be available, anywhere, at any time.

The personal computer was a wonderful tool for eLearning, but it was a device without a touchscreen, used a mouse for navigation, and was a static device. When eLearning content transferred to mobile devices, it required a revamp of content to take advantage not just of the touchscreen, but also of the shorter periods of time users spent learning. While at one time learners were happy to sit at a PC and complete a full training lesson, learners’ attention spans are decreasing rapidly- making the mobile device more feasible as it allows learners to come back to learning as often as required.

Now that smartphones have become available at an affordable price, eLearning is starting a big shift to their use as a learning device. Yet another change to content will have to take place, but this change has to be fundamentally different to the earlier changes that were made during the shift from the PC to the tablet, and demands a complete rethink of how learning is presented.

Because of the small screen size, the content used for tablets will not work, and the following needs to be considered:

  • Just changing existing content to HTML5 will not work; it needs to be rebuilt from scratch
  • Complicated graphics with lots of text will not work on Smartphones
  • Graphics will have to very simple and uncluttered to be effective
  • Text will have to be kept to a minimum
  • Text must have large fonts and be well spaced
  • The use of narrations must be considered
  • Learning must be broken down into small, easily digestible chunks of information
  • Users traditionally use a smartphone in portrait mode – most current graphics are in landscape
  • Avoid content that makes the user zoom or change from portrait to landscape
  • It will be crucial to use SMS, eMail and social media in a learning context

Providing content for a smartphone needs a lot – an awful lot – of development to get it right and to make it attractive to learners. But perhaps the biggest hurdle to be overcome is that smartphone users are constantly interrupted by chat, SMS, eMail, calls, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and coping with such breaks in concentration may well prove to be the real problem to be solved.

In a 2012 survey in the US, PC Magazine found that 31% of Americans had tablets[1], whereas 38% had smartphones[2], but moving forward to 2015, it is estimated that smartphone usage will reach 58%, whereas tablet sales have been dropping in the intervening period, with Apple reporting decreased sales every quarter[3]. There are several reasons for this – static tablet pricing and lower and lower prices for smartphones, increasing screen size, and easier portability are thought to account for the trend away from tablets to smartphones.
A recent report by 24×7 Learning titled “Workplace Learning – 2015, Understanding the Learner”, states that 89% of respondents of a survey the report was based on said they liked the idea of learning on a smartphone[4], whereas employers seemed to be slow to recognize this trend.

What does all this mean for the eLearning industry?

  • Smartphone learning is not a future development; it seems that learners are ready and willing to learn on their Smartphones
  • Industries seem to be behind in providing what their learners really want
  • The future of mobile learning is on smartphones, as almost everyone will have one
  • Companies who fail to develop cogent eLearning content for smartphones will slide down the competitive ladder

If we think of it like this – smartphone use is becoming almost universal, and smartphone users get their news, weather, music, social chat, sports results, books, financial information and movies there, it should be no surprise that they want their learning on their smartphones as well.

References:

[1] http://in.pcmag.com/tablets/84552/news/survey-31-percent-of-us-internet-users-own-tablets
[2] http://www.statista.com/statistics/201182/forecast-of-smartphone-users-in-the-us/
[3] http://www.howtogeek.com/199483/tablets-arent-killing-laptops-but-smartphones-are-killing-tablets/
[4] http://www.24x7learning.com/reports/

When mobile devices are talked about, the devices that come to mind are basically anything other than the once omniprese...

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eLearning for the Healthcare Industry

eLearning for the Healthcare Industry

If you look at healthcare today, it’s all about disease. The critic, the cynic, and the average Jane & John Doe will vehemently state that it’s not about wellness any more, and the Healthcare industry is deteriorating.

The Healthcare Industry is a booming industry – it is also one of the biggest industries in the world – in terms of people power. Two factors that influence the exponential growth within this industry are: (1) the increase in chronic disease, and (2) the aging factor. These two factors alone have led to a rise in hospitals and a flurry of increased medical services.

The Problem: The increase in chronic disease and the aging factor have led to the despairing scenario of“more sickness and not enough care”. In an attempt to meet the ever-increasing numbers and needs of the sick, and to combat the problem of “ignorance” in the face of technology-enabled solutions in the Healthcare industry, we have seen a drastic deterioration in the services provided by this otherwise powerful and dynamic industry. There is a need for added services and more healthcare workers – but, this comes at an added cost, and today’s Healthcare Industry is not just bigger but it is also more expensive.

The Need: The need of the hour is a quick, easy, and cost-effective healthcare solution that will address the need for:

  • Better care from healthcare professionals
  • Increased services that will improve the quality of patient life

There is a need for a solution that:

  • Will enable healthcare workers to be better and more humane health service providers
  • Will provide healthcare workers with knowledge on the latest drugs, diseases, services, procedures, etc.

The solution: eLearning or online learning.

Online learning is not about frivolously downloading an online training course from the internet to learn how to administer first aid. Several decades ago, this would have been online learning’s limitations. However, today, technology has led to an upsurge in eLearning. From being a $35.6 billion industry in 2011, it is all set to become a $51.5 billion industry by 2016.

The Healthcare industry is an utterly labor-intensive industry. Health workers require long training periods that are inclusive of both theory and practical training. Acute shortage of workers means that those who are available need to work extra hours. Long hours in turn mean limited time to undergo training. eLearning today is synonymous with the term “any time, any where learning,” and actually allows healthcare workers to learn that way to upskill and upscale their knowledge bank.

This simple, anytime-anywhere learning can also drastically reduce the risk of healthcare workers getting entangled in a medical malpractice lawsuit (incidentally, ‘medical errors’ is known to be the third leading cause for death in America).

Back in 2013, Forbes published an article that described Healthcare as turning into an industry focused on compliance, regulation rather than patient care. The article stated that The Health Care Compliance Association alone has over a dozen different workshops on the myriad of government rules and regulations and offers a “compliance certificate board” or CCB.” – Another use for online learning. Online training on regulation compliance in the healthcare industry allows healthcare professionals to be compliant with the new and changing rules at all times, giving them more time to concentrate on patient care.

Today’s online courses include simulations, medical animations, and mobile learning solutions wherein healthcare workers can access medical knowledge on drugs, procedures, diseases and more on their mobile phones.

Blended learning – another term that is synonymous with eLearning allows for both online as well as ILT (instructor-led training). This method of learning cuts down training costs while training unlimited number of learners, as well as provides learners with the best of two training methodologies (online and instructor led training).

Users of eLearning also have access to a digital library. Depending on the service providers, the library would normally include hundreds of photorealistic 3D stock images of human anatomy, organs, medical environments, anatomical systems, medical equipment, and cellular structures for download. These images may be available just for preview or downloadable.

eLearning is a one-stop solution for continued learning and access to medical records and medical data sought bythe staff of hospitals, pharmaceutical and medical device and diagnostic companies, universities, medical clinics, elderly healthcare agencies, and government healthcare agencies.

While the advantages of online learning or eLearning in the Healthcare industry are many, what stands out is the fact that eLearning is an idiosyncratic, cost effective, user-friendly method of training. And all of its collective qualities lead to better services and better care.

American politician and the junior United States Senator,Bernie Sanders once said, “The goal of real healthcare reform must be high-quality, universal coverage in a cost-effective way.” This is exactly what eLearning is about. This is exactly what eLearning has given to the Healthcare industry.

If you look at healthcare today, it’s all about disease. The critic, the cynic, and the average Jane & John Doe will...

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