Tips and Tricks to Unlocking the Potential of eLearning in the Workplace with host Andrew Hughes and guest Alex Salas

When we talk eLearning, we are often considering moving beyond PDFs, MS Word, and Powerpoint. But implementing eLearning in your training program isn’t just about a shift in tools and platform, it’s also about the fundamental question of how you are answering business needs. And just as important, the context within which you are launching your eLearning is a critical component of its success.

So listen in on Andrew Hughes and Alex Salas as they discuss their own “Tips and Tricks to Unlocking the Potential of eLearning”. This is an excellent episode from two highly experienced instructional designers that have worked on eLearning projects big, small and everywhere in-between.

Learning Analytics Data Privacy, Tracking and What’s Ahead featuring Guest Duncan Welder and Host Andrew Hughes

Learning Analytics Data Privacy, Tracking and What’s Ahead featuring Guest Duncan Welder and Host Andrew Hughes

Duncan Welder is a long time instructional designer and LMS implementation specialist with a passion for tracking data. As the Director of Client Services at RISC Inc he focuses on using learning analytics to find solutions for customers and clients.

Duncan and Andrew talk about the similarities of their background and common experiences they share “coming up” in the L&D space at the same time.

They also discuss:

  • Making sure you have a great relationship with IT
  • Trends, adaptation, and the current state of and future of xAPI
  • The Learning Record Store (LRS) as the central hub of L&D
  • Data Privacy and Data Tracking
  • and much more.

Virtual Reality Employee Training: Is Your Workforce Ready?

Remember the Nintendo Virtual Boy? We do! Epic failure, right? Still, Nintendo and Sega’s pioneering values set the ground for the development of VR as we see it today. For over forty years, virtual reality has been used by the entertainment, medical, armed forces, aviation, and automobile industries for training purposes. In the mid-2010s, virtual experiences gained traction in the educational world and are now being used for virtual reality employee training.

We can all agree that technology is great but not all employees are created equal and thus are not equally tech-savvy. So, how can you figure out whether your employees are ready, willing, and able to dive into an immersive virtual experience? The first and the best thing you can do is survey the audience, which is typically employees at your company. They’ll be able to tell you how comfortable they are with learning new skills and knowledge through the use of VR.

Why Choose VR Technology?

Virtual reality is the most immersive of all learning technologies. This is because the user gets completely enveloped in an alternate ‘universe’. They view this new environment with the help of a headset or head-mounted device (HMD). The device incorporates head tracking, which means that anywhere you look there is something to see and explore. VR can be used to:

  • Make training fun and inventive
  • Remove the fear of failure for your employees
  • Create real-life scenarios while removing the need to leave the office
  • Emulate learning-by-doing
  • Improve knowledge retention
  • Allow ‘at-your-own-pace’ learning

Considering the high proportion of millennial workers filling up the corporation ranks today, using VR in employee training makes a lot of sense. This generation of employees are essentially born with mobile devices in their hands and are very tech-savvy. So you’ll likely be successful in introducing this innovative learning method into your company culture.

Check the Data

If you surveyed your workforce about the possible inclusion of VR technology for learning purposes, you likely have some resulting data. Look at the numbers, the comments, and suggestions that employees are offering. Analyzing the information you receive from your staff will enable you to take an educated decision.

Virtual Training Integration in the Workplace

To find the right VR technology for your business model you’ll need to consider what the training course goals might be. Aligning your business goals with employee needs will help you narrow down your choices. Next, think about what type of experience you want to offer. What is the end-goal or desired learning outcomes? Are you looking to build a simulation that mimics real-life situations or provide an in-depth product knowledge training session? Answering these questions will further chisel out what VR platform fits your needs.

Once you have chosen the VR tech, see how you can incorporate it into your company’s employee training culture. VR can complement existing classroom-style and e-Learning modules. It can be very useful for all kinds of topics such as:

  • Learning to use heavy machinery
  • New trainee onboarding
  • Solving customer service issues
  • Preparing items for customers
  • Learning to use a customized ordering system

You can use VR as a simulation, a game, and anything in between. The only downside is that virtual reality training requires on-site presence and, of course, acquiring the VR system. Still, after the initial investment, VR can be personalized for different departments and various learning needs.

The most appealing aspect of virtual reality employee training is the fun factor. People naturally enjoy learning through play. So, finding the right balance between providing valuable information and entertainment is crucial. A well-built simulation will offer job-relevant knowledge, in-game rewards, social interaction, and the proper level of challenge so that players don’t get bored or feel overwhelmed.

Beware of VR Downsides

As futuristic as this technology might seem, it is still in its incipient stages. While most people enjoy the experience, some can feel adverse effects such as motion sickness. Plus, others are reluctant to shut out their surroundings in order to enter an environment they’re not familiar with. Keeping learning sessions short can minimize motion sickness and help learners conquer their fear.

We’ve also mentioned the cost. Upfront, VR technology can require a significant investment, but the long-term benefits to company growth are undeniable. It is important to consider all the advantages will be gained and how they will impact your return on investment.

In any case, be sure to do your homework before deciding to jump on the virtual boat. Professional services are readily available to help reconcile your budget, business goals, and employee needs. Contact Designing Digitally to learn more about custom virtual reality training today.

Using Video to Improve Learning Outcomes featuring Andrew Hughes & Matt Pierce

Using Video to Improve Learning Outcomes featuring Andrew Hughes & Matt Pierce

In this episode, Andrew Hughes of Designing Digitally talks with Matthew Pierce of Techsmith about how video can improve learning outcomes. They also discuss mentorship, leadership, and go into Matt’s backstory about his journey to becoming a learning and video ambassador for some of the world’s leading visual communication software tools, Camtasia and Snagit.

If you’re a current TLDC member, you can access to the entire transcript of this episode, as well as the audience chat HERE.

Using Video to Improve Learning Outcomes

by Andrew Hughes and Matt Pierce | TLDCast Podcast

Stats that Prove the Power of eLearning in Corporate Training

These days a lot of individuals and companies are relying on eLearning to gain a competitive advantage. This is because eLearning is revolutionizing how people learn, their mentalities about continuing education, and how employers can create a learning and development culture that benefits both the company and taskforce.

Elearning makes great use of new technologies by combining hardware, software, and educational theories. The results are higher employee engagement, increased productivity and knowledge retention rates, increased job satisfaction, and high cost-effectiveness for the business. Elearning’s success is largely due to the wide variety of delivery methods: online (through various platforms), computer-based (on the learner’s computer), and mobile (phones, tablets, e-readers).

The eLearning industry has grown exponentially starting with the year 2000. By 2017, employee training grew by 900% due to eLearning. Companies all over the world are implementing new methods of training, continuously reaching away from traditional classroom settings. Because there are more and more cases that sociologists and data analysts can look at, eLearning stats are correctly depicting how the corporate training world is changing. Here are some facts and stats about the eLearning industry today, and how it’s transforming the approach and outlook of teachers and learners.

  1. Elearning Saves Time and Costs

Current statistics for eLearning show that employees save between 40% and 60% more time when using an eLearning platform. Learners save travel time, bypass classroom formalities, cut-down on distractions, and are able to access the desired learning module on-the-go. This also eliminates associated costs for travel and instructor accommodations.

  1. Elearning Increases Business Revenue

A good business owner knows that business revenue can be increased in many ways. Investing in eLearning is a big step you can make towards increasing revenue. Online learning stats are showing that for $1/per employee invested in corporate training, you get $30 back. This happens because online learning allows employees to learn key concepts fast, and apply them in their job immediately.

According to the Association for Talent Development, 2500 companies reported that running eLearning training programs showed a revenue increase per employee of 218%, while their profit margins saw a 24% increase.

  1. Employee Knowledge Retention is Higher with Elearning

According to the Research Institute of America, learner knowledge retention oscillates between 25% and 60% when engaged in an eLearning application. This is a huge improvement from classroom-based retention rates that only yielded between 8% and 10% results. The fact that employees can choose their own learning path is a big factor in improved knowledge retention. They don’t feel pressured to learn, as in-class might induce. They feel less inclined to focus on competition and more on deepening their understanding. And, they can go back and relearn any concept when needed.

  1. Employees Learn More with Elearning

Interestingly, less time spent in training actually allows employees to learn more. Employees learn 5 times more because they are able to engage and enjoy learning whenever and wherever they want. The high mobility factor that eLearning provides is the main driver for faster on-the-job results.

  1. Employees Are More Engaged with Elearning

Elearning technologies help companies increase employee engagement within the workplace by 18%. If employees find the eCourses engaging, their learning curve is more efficient, thus forming a more focused and productive workplace.

  1. Elearning often Utilizes Microlearning

One of the major reasons eLearning is so well-liked by companies and employees alike is due to the use of micromodules. Learning high-value concepts delivered in bite-sized chunks helps fast-track employee understanding and on-the-job application. Microlearning increases learner efficiency by 17% and 94% of eLearners prefer this method specifically because it integrates well with daily job tasks.

  1. eLearning Is Growing Fast

As mentioned, in the last 17 years or so, the eLearning industry as adopted by companies has grown by 900%. This is an incredible advancement by anyone’s standards. Both employees and employees are feeling the impact of eLearning and the resulting benefits.

What is Driving eLearning Growth?

The speedy emergence of new technologies is definitely adding momentum to eLearning industry growth. Certain platforms and delivery methods are proving to be more efficient than others:

AI/ML

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are two of the fastest-growing element embraced by the eLearning industry. AI and ML are helping companies customize their employee training courses. This is a huge advantage, as employees are enabled to follow their own learning curve and not have to learn the same uninspiring content geared towards the general public.

VR/AR

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are also making great strides in infiltrating corporate training programs. These learning delivery methods immerse the learner in true to life environments while taking away the risks associated with on-the-job learning.

Mobile Performance

The technical performance of handheld devices is steadily climbing. Thus, learners prefer using these devices for acquiring new skills and knowledge, browse for answers or references, and complete their online training.

Video-Based Learning

Video learning is bursting at the seams with studies showing that 75% of employees prefer this delivery over reading information. Video-based courses have a high engagement rate, can hold learner focus for longer and is easily-digestible.

Personalized Learning Paths

If you’re looking to incorporate eLearning into your employee learning strategy, then personalized learning paths will get you there faster. Giving users the option to choose their own way through the learning content empowers them to customize their experience. This has a direct impact on job productivity and satisfaction.

Conclusion

Elearning stats don’t lie! The online training industry is growing and discovering new ways of delivering better content, thanks to the data analysis made possible through technological advancements. Getting in on this trend is essential to the growth of any business looking to stay ahead of their competitors.

If you are in need of engaging eLearning that will produce impressive results for your employees, contact Designing Digitally today to get started! eLearning White Paper: Elearning in Corporate Training Report: Top Benefits, Trends, & Predictions

Converting eLearning Courses from Flash to HTML5

The same thing that happened to the cassette, the Walkman, the CD, and the old school mobile phone, is happening to Adobe Flash.Flash is becoming obsolete and Adobe is taking it out of use.Now is the time to think about converting your eLearning training courses from Flash to HTML5.

What is Flash?

This multimedia software platform, formerly known as Macromedia Flash and Shockwave Flash, has been used to create internet, desktop, and mobile applications, as well as animations and mobile games.Flash can capture PC inputs(mouse, keyboard, microphone, camera).It stopped being useful
for newer generations of mobile phones simply because of its slow loading times.

What is HTML5?

HTML5 is a solution stack.It is a complete software platform that doesn ‘t require other software for running applications. It is used to run complex web applications and cross-platform mobile applications. HTML5 offers backward-compatibility and is often preferred by developers because of its enhanced functionality.

Reduce the Costs of Conversion

Any transition to a newer ‘model’
comes with a cost.So, how do you reduce costs while transferring your eLearning training courses from Flash to HTML5?

Rework Course Designs

Take a look at your instructional designs and ask the following questions:

  • Are they usable?
  • Can users relate to the course design?
  • Is the design of your course still considered modern?
  • Are the learning requirements still valid?

If the answer to all of the above questions is yes, then all you need to do is convert the Flash course to HTML5 using the conversion of your choice.Otherwise, you might need to invest a bit of money for a successful course refresh.

Reuse Graphic Assets

The same process as above can be used to figure out whether or not you can reuse your graphic design elements.Ask yourself or your designer some hard questions.See
if you can reuse certain elements and what new elements need to be created or rebranded.

Use Audio Extraction Programs

This one is simple!If you do not have the original audio files, more often than not you’ll be able to extract the audio from your old Flash course. This will save you quite a few pennies since recording the whole course all over again can be very expensive.

Use Video Recording Software

Recording the video portions of your training course will definitely save you a lot of money in the long run. If the quality of your Flash-based video is high, then you’ll want to use a video recording software to extract the best parts of the course for later integration with HTML5.

Steps to Convert from Flash to HTML5

Provided your Flash – based courses are in really good shape, there are a few steps you can follow to migrate the courses to HTML5:

Gather Course Materials

You’ll first need to take stock of what materials you have. An .flv or .swf extension indicates that a file is Flash-based. Refer back to your initial instructional design files. You’ll be able to source video and audio files, animations, graphics, and other useful content that you can include in your new HTML5 course.

Evaluate and Categorize Content

Next, you ‘ll need to evaluate the materials and categorize them based on the resources available. You might have courses that were directly developed in Flash, that require a Flash player, or that contain Flash components. Based on this, you will need to group the content without source files, with pertinent content, useful convertible components, and courses that need a complete do-over, together.

This will help you figure out which courses can be retired, redesigned, or can be converted immediately.

Create a Plan

Your course of action will differ depending on each category and its requirements.For courses that are missing source files, the process can be longer.You ‘ll most likely need to remake these courses from scratch with HTML5.

The files that contain relevant information can be republished with newer versions of the authoring tool they were first published with.This will give you the opportunity to choose an authoring tool that allows HTML5 output.

If you have courses with Flash – based elements that you need to keep, finding the right development software is crucial.Similarly, courses that might need a complete redesign will benefit from a new instructional design analysis.

Use Different Strategies Depending on Each Course

Now that you have your categories and the relevant plan for conversion, you ‘ll need to treat each course based on its conversion requirements. If you have simple, low-interaction courses with missing source files, your best bet is to record them in MP4 format. You’ll use these laterwhile building the course in HTML.A similar treatment might be needed
for courses that need a redesign.Still, these courses might call for a more complex instructional design strategy since you might need to include various learning delivery methods, such as microlearning or computer-based learning.

Using the right authoring tool is crucial, as this will allow you to retain Flash elements
while outputting to HTML5.

Conclusion

Converting eLearning courses from Flash to HTML5 doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Make a checklist of the steps and be sure to do the proper planning beforehand. If you need more insights, check out our other useful blog posts. Otherwise, delegate the work to a professional company that can quickly convert the courses for you.

Read Also: Knowing When to Update Your Current Online Training