Social networking sites have the inherent feature that makes interaction, communication and collaboration easy. They are being significantly featured in discussions, centered around the use of technology to support learning. With the rise of social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and so on, they have added a new dimension to formal learning. They enable learners and instructors to connect with one another in an online environment. These platforms encourage individuals to engage in ongoing meaningful dialogues sharing experiences with others.
Social networking sites have revolutionized the way employees learn and exchange information at the workplace. These sites can provide a wide range of applications and opportunities to create their own forums and groups which can be valuable to employees in an organization. Jane Hart mentions in her blog Learning in the Social Workplace that there are two ways by which organizations are considering the implementation of social media within a formal learning context. They are top down and bottom up approaches.
Top down approach: With a top down approach, organizations are focusing on how to get more and more people involved in discussions with the use of social media and share their knowledge and experiences. This approach is used when an organization wants to consciously facilitate social learning and collaboration among its employees.
Bottom up approach: This approach is useful for encouraging and supporting those individuals who want to be connected with others, and are eager to learn and work together as a team. This system works well when the individual and the team have a specific goal or purpose that steers a particular discussion.
However, social media can also be effectively used after workshop sessions. Trainers can leverage micro blogging sites or social media sites so that it would be easier for them to receive immediate feedback on their training or workshop sessions. It also helps them to maintain relationship with learners and attendees. It also helps to support the creation of knowledge repositories that can be used by individuals in their jobs or for clarifying client queries.
Social media can be mostly useful for the organizations when:
- Employee are geographically isolated
- On-the-job development is needed
- Cross functional group effort is needed
- Knowledge needs to be shared quickly
Some companies such as Martell Home Builders, Zappos, Giantnerd, Ford Motor and so on are implementing social learning through social media to encourage peer-to-peer and collaborative learning as a supplement to formal learning.
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In eLearning, assessments are usually in a way of click and go, which will not impact the learner more. How to design an assessment which engages learner? Using some design approaches we can make assessments more effective and engage to the learner like scenarios, case studies, interactivities like drag and drop, roll over etc. Assessments designed using games in background can be more engaging to the learner like cricket, football, golf etc. Games in assessments make the learner to show much interest and it helps in reinforcing when applying on job.
Under a good administration, the Nile gains on the desert. Under a bad one, the desert gains on the Nile. – Napoleon Bonaparte
Avatars enhance the quality of learner engagement by grabbing and retaining his attention. They go a long way in motivating your people in the online learning environment. However, if we want to use avatars/ characters effectively in our eLearning courses, we must understand what avatars are, why they are useful and how they can be used in eLearning.
Learning affects all aspects of our existence, every day. The process of learning new things or refreshing existing knowledge keeps our minds up to date and also improves the quality of our life. So, it is very important to retain what we have learned as it helps us to be effective in yielding desired outcomes. Generally, most of us have the tendency to forget most of the things.
Instructional designers usually come from different educational backgrounds, and most of them do not have a degree in instructional design. So, what does it take to become a good instructional designer and design effective eLearning courses?
All instructional designers wish to create excellent eLearning courses that capture the imagination of their learners. But, what does it take to design a top-notch online course? How can you make a course that leaves learners spellbound? Well, you need to focus on 4 critical aspects to create a first-rate eLearning course. Let us see what they are.
The effectiveness of classroom training and eLearning is often debated. It is common knowledge that classroom training and eLearning are used extensively to deliver training. But, which of these media is more effective? Well, training in a classroom enables real-time interaction with the instructor. On the hand, the online training medium is highly flexible and learners can access courses anytime, anywhere. Which of the two is more effective?
In his article, Facing Down The Biggest Challenges In Manufacturing Today, Tom Bonine, President, National Metal Fabricators lists down the following as the most important problems dogging the American manufacturing Industry.
In eLearning courses, two types of assessments are used – formative and summative. Formative assessments are conducted after completing each topic. On the other hand, a summative assessment is conducted at the end of the course. In formative assessments, feedback is given after each question is answered. The goal of a formative assessment is to reinforce the learning. Whereas, the goal of summative assessments is to evaluate the learner. A summative assessment is similar to a final exam where feedback is not provided and results are shown at the end of the course. This info-graphic shares some information about formative and summative assessments, used in eLearning courses.
All eLearning professionals, when developing eLearning deliverables, must ensure that their training material achieves the most encouraging results. Therefore to achieve better training outcomes, we must always keep the following 3 things in mind.
Assessments in eLearning courses play a vital role. Assessments help the learner understand the level of knowledge he has gained from an eLearning course. At the same time, they help the trainer evaluate whether the learning objectives of the eLearning course have been met or not.
We all remember our school days. Don’t we? We still cherish the happy moments spent with our friends during those days. But, there were a few times where we faced difficulties with certain subjects. The formulae in mathematics, complicated equations in physics and chemistry and important dates and years in history was no less than a “haunting movie”. But, thanks to our teachers who would try out all possibilities to make these difficult subjects interesting, we could learn them effectively. The same is the case with instructional designers. They need to act as teachers and make eLearning interesting, so that learners are engaged effectively.
India ranks on the top of the outsourcing destinations for Information Technology, according to a study by the consulting firm AT Kearney. Six Indian cities, including Hyderabad, ranked in the top 6 of this list.
Preparing the audio script for an eLearning course is a very important task which must be done carefully, as a small mistake in it may lead to a lot of rework. If we take care of a few things before sending the script for recording, we can avoid mistakes.
How are eLearning courses made effective? The answer – through effective instructional and visual design. The most significant part of eLearning course development is the design phase.
Do you believe that you can get better results by including games in your online courses?
Companies across the world have following the trend of globalization for new market opportunities. This led to the expansion of their workforce exponentially. Now, a big question arises as to how quickly can you train this workforce, so as to make them ready for the job. In this regard, cost-efficient training methods like eLearning could help companies meet training challenges in the age of globalization. Let us see how eLearning can help reduce training costs.
A picture paints a thousand words and is very effective in communicating what often can’t be said through words. A picture can also break the monotony of words and present a breath of fresh air. Right from childhood, all of us are fascinated by pictures, their vivid hues and the depth of emotions they evoke.
What is content in the context of an eLearning course? It is the training material that is made available for developing an eLearning course. This is collected by instructional designers from various sources. Some of the content is provided by the subject matter experts, other materials may be shared by line managers or training managers. The content is usually developed by multiple authors and therefore lacks consistency in the way it is presented. After all, each author has his/her own style of writing and expressing thoughts.
It is common knowledge that an interactive eLearning course engages the learner very effectively. But, how can you make an excellent course that captures the imagination of your learners? Well, you can create wonderful learning experiences using videos.
It is well-known that the ultimate goal of an online learning course is to bring a measurable change in the performance or behavior of the learner. Therefore, as instructional designers, it is our job to make effective elearning courses that impart first-rate training.
There are many instructional design strategies which engage the learner in an online learning environment such as scenarios, case studies, interactivities, etc. Now-a-days most organizations want to gamify their courses to create better learning experiences.
There are many instructional principles and models that guide us in creating an effective learning process. One such model is Gagne’s instructional principles. These principles keep learners glued to eLearning courses. Here are a few of these principles.
Most of the eLearning experts concur that learning requires learner’s engagement. The aim of any instructional designer is to engage the learner in an online learning environment. How to create learner’s engagement in eLearning courses? In this blog I would like to share some ideas and approaches to engage learner in eLearning courses.
According to Edward Tufte, “Graphical excellence is that which gives to the viewer the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time, with the least ink, in the smallest space”.