Category: eLearning

Dealing with Frustration in 3 Clicks

dealing-with-frustration-in-3-clicks

What do – the three little pigs, 3 phase power, the 3 lions on the England football shirts, 3 men in a boat, the three musketeers, the 3 Amigos, the Holy Trinity of Christianity, the Trimurti of Hinduism, the Three Jewels of Buddhism, the Three Pure Ones of Taoism, and the Triple Goddess of Wicca have in common? – Easy enough! The number 3 of course! And then there is another 3 – the three –click rule.

For those who are not familiar with the three-click rule, ‘the three-click rule or three click rule is an unofficial web design rule concerning the design of website navigation. It suggests that a user of a website should be able to find any information with no more than three mouse clicks. It is based on the belief that users of a site will become frustrated and often leave if they cannot find the information within the three clicks.’(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-click_rule).

There has been a lot of debate over the efficacy of the 3-click rule and if users will actually leave a website or lose interest, if they do not find what they want within three clicks of a mouse. While studies have proved that there is no definite linkage between the number of clicks to get to desired information and the reason for leaving a website, one thing is for sure – there is an increased level of frustration directly proportionate to the number of clicks required.

We have all experienced this frustration at some point or the other when surfing the web – where too many clicks was not enough to get to the information we wanted. Whether it is filling up a long, meaningless, time-consuming form to get access to simple information, or clicking link after link… only to be told that access has been denied, or searching for words that confuse the web – like homonyms – it all leads to frustration.

The ultimate aim of any eLearning course is to promote successful learning – and that is not possible if the learner is frustrated to begin with. Content providers, learning solutions providers and instructional designers concentrate on making courses look attractive and providing required information. But if a learner has to delve deep into a website to access this information, chances are that you would be left with a mildly frustrated learner who is in no mood to use the information he has finally managed to obtain.

This is where technology plays an important role. Technology should be used to bring together all the elements of a course, and enable the content to be used in a more meaningful way that will NOT leave learners (I hate to use the word again) – frustrated.

In an organizational setting, there is already a certain amount of disgruntlement among employees regarding training. Strict timelines, pressure to perform, off-site assignments, lack of technological know-how (and therefore difficulty to use technology enabled training) – all lead to employee frustration.

Can the three click rule be used in eLearning?

A few years ago, LMS service providers offered training that was intense, thorough and extended. This worked very well because information was fairly stagnant and did not need comprehensive updating, people had the time for long training programs, training was extended over a long period of time, and employees spent most of the time in the workplace, allowing them to access training from work; and productivity started only after a long period of on-boarding.

Today, we have a very different scenario at the workplace: Knowledge changes at a very fast rate; technological advancements make life easier; 24 hours in a day seems like 24 minutes; there is an increased demand for just-in-time learning; many employees work out of remote locations or offsite, making it impossible for detailed IL training; the on-boarding period is short and employees are expected to start performing immediately after training or while training. Now, LMS service providers are faced with the problem of catering to a new type of client – the employee who requires immediate answers and quick solutions.

So does the three-click rule apply to eLearning? No, it does not. And the reason it is not applicable is that the learner now requires information in less time than it would take him to click his mouse thrice. Access to knowledge at three clicks was once the buzz; however, today it can be a cause for frustration to set in; because three clicks is not fast enough.

Can the three-click rule be bettered to reduce user frustration?

Yes, today it is possible to provide the learner with information in less than three clicks. LMS service providers now build their LMS around the latest technologies. They offer LMSes that are light, modern, up-to-date, and provide the learner with just-in-time learning whenever it’s required. Almost all the information that is required is available on a dashboard – and this information can be accessed in a click or with no click at all! Detailed knowledge that requires the learner to delve deeper is available within a couple of clicks. Employees have instant access to personalized training programs, chats, surveys, online digital libraries and much more.

L&D Departments can be sure of successful training and access to instant access when an LMS provides:

  • Clear site structure
  • Uncluttered screen
  • Clear instructions
  • Easy accessibility
  • Easy navigation
  • Logical placement of information and icons

As we move ahead the possibilities get better – no telling what’s in store for us in the future!

What do – the three little pigs, 3 phase power, the 3 lions on the England football shirts, 3 men in a boat, the three m...

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The New-Age LMS

 

 

new age learning management system lms

Last week, while doing some Google ‘research’ I accidentally stumbled upon a fabulous TED talk by a delightful educator – Sugata Mitra[1]. To those to whom this name is not familiar, Mitra was the guy who put computer screens with an internet connection in a wall in New Delhi and proved that children could not only learn how to use a computer but learn from it, without any outside help or intervention. He is currently conducting experiments in group learning that are radically different to the traditional learning methods used in schools.

The way education is organised today is a throwback to the start of the industrial revolution.
Industry needed workers who came in on time and applied themselves. These workers had rudimentary writing and arithmetic skills. Alvin Tofler in his excellent book The Third Wave[2] in his chapter The Covert Curriculum, documents how the introduction of organised education was a key factor in converting agrarian peasants into regimented workers and ensured the success of the Industrial Revolution.

This system of schooling that was introduced about three hundred years ago is still essentially in existence today. Yes, computers are used extensively in education today, but they are being added into a framework that has existed for three centuries! Mitra’s point is – if we were organizing education today, knowing the immense versatility of computers, it would be a very very different system than that in place today. For example, we would not make children cram lots of information into their heads that is readily available on the internet – would we?

Proving this point, a 2015 worldwide education study carried out by the OECD[3] headlines: “New approach needed to deliver on technology’s potential in schools. “Students, Computers and Learning: Making The Connection,” says that even countries which have invested heavily in information and communication technologies (ICT) for education have seen no noticeable improvement in their performances in PISA results for reading, mathematics or science”.

While watching the Mitra video clip, I was reminded of an article I had read recently regarding LMS and eLearning and suddenly the article became crystal clear to me. It is an article by Adam Weisblatt[4] and the content of the article is uncannily like the scenario that is painted in the education sphere.

According to the article, LMSs were developed and designed originally to log activities and report on schools and colleges throughout the land. It used to be a cumbersome piece of equipment, took a lot of effort to set up, and required continual work to keep it up to date so that reporting would be precise. It is designed to record on a hierarchical structure rather than simply record events, and as it is built for a range of scenarios – it has to fit the needs of all users and therefore most often is unable to fit the needs of individual learners.

eLearning is a very simple way of satisfying on-demand learning, and is also versatile and relatively easy to tweak for any particular end user. The mistake is being made (just like in education) of trying to fit eLearning into the LMS framework which means that the drawbacks of LMS (cumbersome, overcomplicated) are being associated with eLearning itself.

But as Weisblatt himself puts it: “The latest successor to SCORM, called xAPI (the API formerly known as Tin Can) begins to address some of these problems. It tracks transactions rather than hierarchies and it doesn’t require that you discover learning through the LMS so it can capture data more freely but this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

But is this just simply tinkering with the problem – as Weisblatt suggests, we really need to fully engage in de-constructing the LMS model and starting from scratch.

24×7 Learning has done just that. Since 2001, the company has been providing online learning solutions to global corporates through its LMS. Over the years the company tweaked the LMS as and when required to meet the ever-changing training needs of corporates. However, last year was different. The technical team rebuilt the LMS from scratch taking into account the changing L&D scenario, new developments in technology, and the needs of the learners themselves. This new LMS was christened as LearnTrak LMS. LearnTrak has been successfully used globally by clients across industries and job roles and has helped employees take up organizational training with great earnestness – and increased the completion rate of courses. It also boasts of several must-have features such as multiple language support, an offline course player, digital library, a quick launch page, blended learning and a very simple and easy user interface.

References:
[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk60sYrU2RU
[2] https://www.google.co.in/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=the%20third%20wave%20alvin%20toffler%20pdf
[3] http://www.oecd.org/education/new-approach-needed-to-deliver-on-technologys-potential-in-schools.htm
[4] https://weisblatt.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/deconstructing-the-learning-management-system/

    Last week, while doing some Google 'research' I accidentally stumbled upon a fabulous TED talk by a deligh...

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Keep It…

Keep it

I wonder what the heading of this article would signify to someone who does not know what this article is about. Would you switch off, or will the incompleteness of the topic/heading compel you to read on? Chances are that I have already lost a considerable number of readers. When it comes to eLearning – it’s just as easy to lose your learners, if your content is not attractive from the word ‘go’. Listed below are 7 basic principles to follow, to keep your learners engaged right to the end.

Keep It… Relevant
The topics that are covered in an eLearning course should be relevant to the course itself. Headings and subheadings should clearly describe what the learner can expect to read, gather and gain from the content. So much for my heading!

Keep It… Up-To-Date
Knowledge changes at the speed of light. Every day there is something new – new theories are invented and old theories are disproved. What was new yesterday is old news today. We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing, highly competitive world, where keeping abreast with the latest global developments and happenings is crucial to learning. Your content must be up-to-date at all times if you don’t want your learners to leave.

Keep It… Simple
When creating an eLearning course, use clear and simple language and stay away from jargon: While there are some industries that require the use of jargon – like the medical field which requires the use of medical terminology, not everybody appreciates jargon. Corporate jargon is one such example – where very few employees appreciate the use of words that make little or no sense.

Keep It… Light
Don’t saturate your learners with text. Stick to matter that is relevant and necessary. Do away with unnecessary sentences – like this one. Keep the content fresh. If you are going to use multimedia, don’t saturate your course with it.

Keep It Interesting
It’s not just the written matter, but the design itself. The proper use of colors (the color of the background and the use of an appropriate color combination), and fonts (the type and the size of fonts), and the appropriate use of images and other multimedia, go a long way in keeping your learner’s interest level, high.

Keep It Neat
Keep the screen clutter-free. A clean screen without distractions will keep concentration levels high for a longer period of time. What’s a distraction? Anything that takes the reader’s mind away from the study material and learning is termed a distraction – which brings me to the next principle.

Keep It Interactive
While interaction is good, too much interaction can be distracting. By interaction, I mean everything that you ask your learner to do – whether it is clicking a link to go to another page, watching a video, or using any other multimedia … add only what is necessary and only that which is going to provide knowledge.

Keep It Blended
Blended learning is a combination of online learning and face-to-face learning. Blended learning gives learners the best of both worlds – Online learning and ILT (instructor-led training). A blended course provides a holistic approach to learning.

Keep It Short
When you run out of relevant information to provide your learner, stop.

I wonder what the heading of this article would signify to someone who does not know what this article is about. Would y...

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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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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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