How to Best Utilise the 3 Types of Learning Interactivity?

Learning Interactivity Types

How to Best Utilise the 3 Types of Learning Interactivity?

Learning interactivity is a major factor influencing retention of information and knowledge development. Research unilaterally shows that active formats of learning generally result in the highest retention rates. However, developing active and engaging learning experiences is a major challenge for organisations looking to shift from classroom training to digitally enabled learning. In many cases, digital learning professionals and eLearning companies have unfortunately cut the corners. Instead of delivering interactivity across the whole spectrum, they have primarily focused on only one aspect of it. Hence, we decided to compile a short guide on effectively leveraging interactivity in learning.

For reference, here are the three types of learning interactivity.

  1. Learner-Content interactivity
  2. Learner-Instructor interactivity
  3. Learner-Learner Interactivity

And here’s what they mean and how to put them into practice.

1. Learner-Content Interactivity

First, the primary type of learning interactivity is between the learner and the content. This is the type of interactivity that much of the eLearning scene has focused on. Research shows that meaningful two-way interactions (e.g. knowledge checks, information overlays, quizzes) generally help to pace the learning and lift up retention levels. However, not all interactions are for the best. An artificial focus on collecting “clicks” may actually result in an adverse effect.

To capitalise on learning interactivity on the content level, organisations could consider tools like interactive video curators, rapid eLearning authoring tools and learning platforms with integrated content tools. However, you should refrain from designing interactions for the sake of interactions. Rather, they should form an integrated, relevant and meaningful part of the learning experience.

2. Learner-Instructor interactivity

One of the forgotten aspects of learning interactivity has been that between the learner and the instructor. When transforming classroom content into the digital space, the future role and importance of the instructor has been often forgotten. Often, that has been an attractive approach to organisations due to the immediate cost savings. However, we have learned that completely self-paced and independent learning does not necessarily produce the desired results.

Instead, organisations should aim to retain the role of the instructor. Often, that could be in the form of blended or flipped learning. And even if you’re looking to deliver learning 100% digitally, there’s still a place for the instructor. Why not have them facilitate the learning on your learning platforms and online portals? This gives your learners access to better support for their development. Furthermore, the instructor is able to assess the learning and intervene accordingly with additional sessions, discussions and knowledge checks.

3. Learner-Learner Interactivity

Finally, we arrive at the perhaps most neglected aspect of learning interactivity of the three: learner-learner interactions. According to social learning theories and scientific research, a major part of our learning experience as individuals happens with the helps of others. We learn through discussions, listening, observing, mimicking and reflecting on knowledge and behaviours as a group. In a classroom setting, this happens quite naturally. Learners engage with each others in discussions, do activities together and help each other succeed. However, these types of interactions have not been easily replicated in an online environment – until the recent years!

In recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of social learning platforms. Leveraging on the power and success of social media, these platforms put the focus back on the learners, enabling them to engage with each other regardless of instructor presence or schedules. Arguably, these platforms are one the most powerful developments in the digital learning industry for a while. Hence, we generally advice organisations looking into implementing new learning systems (LMS, LXP etc.) to really look into the social capabilities of the options available. However, even if you don’t have the resources to commit to these modern learning tools, that doesn’t mean you need to forget learner-learner interactivity altogether. You can always look into leveraging the social media tools your employees are already on and taking the discussions there.

Are you using all three levels of learning activity in a meaningful way? If you need to help in fitting these engagement enhancers to your learning mix, let us know. We are also happy to recommend you some of the best social learning tools on the market. 

 

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Benefits of Instructor-led Facilitation in Online Learning

Instructor-led facilitation in digital learning

Benefits of Instructor-led Facilitation in Online Learning

When transitioning from offline to online learning methods, organisations tend to overlook the role and value-add of the instructor. While the underlying reasons for digitalisation of learning are often related to scalability and flexibility, efficacy should not be forgotten. Generally, self-paced learning forms a major part of the online learning delivery. However, in many cases, the engagement rates and learning results leave a lot to be desired. Hence, we are seeing more and more blended learning and other hybrid approaches take form. In the interest of improving learning results while retaining scalability and flexibility, instructor-led facilitation is a great approach. Here are a few key benefits and ways of making the most out of instructor-led facilitation.

Instructor-led facilitation of discussions among learners

Just like in the classroom, a lot of the power of instructor lies in their ability to facilitate discussions among learners. As learning is fundamentally a social experience, discussions are very important. Not only do they seem to increase learning retention by a wide margin, but they also help learners to expose themselves to new thoughts. This consequently helps them to reflect and improve their cognition of the problem or topic at hand. Ultimately, this should result in increased social presence and more comprehensive understanding of the learning.

Thus, organisations should enable their trainers to become champions of instructor-led facilitation. Having access to different features of social learning platforms can help a lot in this regard. You may even adjust the mix of learning towards less content and more discussion. While this helps to avoid learners’ cognitive overload, it also helps to increase efficiency. Often in corporate learning, the problem is not the width but the depth. An approach like this helps in just that.

Delivering the right amount of ‘Push’ to keep learners engaged

While ‘pushing’ learning content may not usually be the best approach, a ‘push’ from a learning management perspective can prove valuable. From time to time, learners may drift away from the intended schedules and goals. In a sheep herder like fashion, one goal of instructor-led facilitation should be to bring these learners back to the fold. However, the approach should not be forceful. Rather, the facilitators should engage the learners and figure out why they’re not partaking in the optimal manner. Once you understand the root causes of why learning engagement is decreasing, you can adapt your delivery to solve those problems.

Digital platforms provide a lot of opportunities in delivering the discreet ‘push’. At large organisational scales, you can automate a fair bit of it, and even deploy artificial intelligence tools to aid. However, there’s value in the personal approach too, which should not be blindly dismissed.

Instructor-led facilitation as a medium of learning support

Finally, the third major benefit of an instructor-led facilitation approach is support. Like in traditional instructor-led settings, learners clearly benefit from the ability to ask questions. This means providing a platform for learners to engage with the instructor when having problems; not understanding content, goals or responsibilities. All learners are not comfortable in posing questions publicly. Furthermore, many learners may rather just leave it be, rather than going out of their way to ask the trainer. Hence, it’s important to provide a seamless and fluid way of teacher-student interaction. This way, you’ll ensure that learners don’t give up too easily.

Here are a few examples of learning support tools and mediums that may help you.

Do you need help in enabling social interactivity in your digital learning delivery? We can advise you on technological tools as well as methods of incorporating instructor-led facilitation in your online learning. Just contact us here

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Flipping Corporate Learning – Reinforcing Behaviours & Performance

Flipped learning approach for corporates

Reinforcing Behavioural Change And Performance Using Flipped Learning In A Corporate Context

 

This article was first published on eLearning Industry, and we have modified it slightly since. You can access the original article here

One of the main challenges in corporate L&D today is sustaining behavioural change and performance. Ultimately, most learning activities are done to facilitate some sort of change. Yet, when it comes to applying the knowledge and skills learned from a blend of learning activities, the learners often feel left alone. Thus, they haven’t got enough practice, exposure or opportunities to actually start behaving in a new way. A lot of these are attributable to the tendency in the corporate L&D space to focus too heavily on knowledge delivery. When undergoing the paradigm shift from knowledge-focus to a performance-focus, adopting flipped learning in a corporate context is a good approach.

What Is Flipped Learning In A Nutshell?

Flipped learning is an approach that the education world has been adopting for the past 10+ years with great success. Initially, the approach was developed on the notion that direct instruction does not work terribly well in a group setting, while activities and ‘homework’ seemed to produce more results with the social group context. Therefore, educators started experimenting with bringing direct instruction (‘lectures’) into the individual learning space, whereas they brought practice, discussion and reflection (‘homework’) back to the classroom.

Fast forward to the corporate world in 2018, where learning has largely taken a blended and increasingly digital approach. Many organisations have all the latest tools when it comes to Learning and Development. Yet, almost equally many are struggling in translating the learning to actual changes in behaviour and improved performance. In most cases, the fundamental problem is the way companies structure learning experiences. Generally, companies choose an overly knowledge and content–focused approach over more learner-centered design. What could be a potential solution? Try flipping the learning paradigm.

How to design flipped learning experiences in a corporate context?

The overarching goal of flipped learning in a corporate context would be to deliver knowledge in a scalable way at the point of need while maximising the behavioural and performance impact through the efficient use of the “expensive resources” (face-to-face). And here’s how you could get started with a flipped learning approach.

1. It’s important to take a two-fold approach to learning “content”

 You should start by identifying what types of instructional, knowledge-focused content you have. These may include videos, presentations, storyboards, webinar recordings, manuals, documents, and handbooks. You should curate these types of content into a self-paced digital learning experience where learners can consume the knowledge at their own pace. Ultimately, you may consider using digital means for delivering all knowledge-based content and baseline subject matter.

2. You need to re-define the role of the traditional classroom

Instead of delivering knowledge, face-to-face training activities should consist of deeper discussions, simulations, group activities and practice. Naturally, you should design the activities according to the behavioural goals you want to achieve with learning. If you’re doing sales training, the behavioural objective might be to adopt a new selling approach in hopes of increasing sales by X%. In such an example, the activities might consist of sales meeting simulations, group practice pitching, workshops, and personalised coaching. Similarly, for technical training, you should use the face-to-face time to get the learners’ hands dirty and let them experience tools and methods in practice.

3. You should always continue to facilitate learning after the “classroom” sessions

Due to resource constraints and requirements for scalability and efficiency, this is where it often pays for corporates to move back to digital platforms. You can use different digital learning tools for feedback, as well as engaging in instructor-led facilitation, collaboration, and social learning. Ultimately, it’s important to engage the learners over time to keep the learning on their minds, establishing that cognitive presence. Furthermore, you should also give the learners access to performance support; resources designed to help them succeed on their jobs.

Naturally, you can expand upon this cycle, depending on the training topics and success of the learning initiatives. The important thing is to create a risk-free environment for the learners to practice, engage and experience – especially during the face-to-face sessions.

What Are The Potential Benefits Of A Flipped Learning Approach In Corporate Context?

Ok, you’ve got this far. Now let’s look at why this would actually work in the corporate context. Here are a few benefits we are seeing with a flipped learning approach:

  1. The focus is on performance
    The face-to-face activities and post-session facilitation should be all about reinforcing behavioural change and providing tools for increasing performance, which is what ultimately matters. Thus, you’re wasting less time on nice-to-know things and knowledge-not-being-applied.
  2. Increasing the scalability and efficiency of “knowledge delivery”
    By transitioning the knowledge delivery component into digital formats, you can do more with less. Learners can take the first steps of the learning journey at their convenience.
  3. Increasing efficacy and efficiency of face-to-face learning
    You’re using the expensive face-to-face training hours to support real change through practical activities, not just delivering knowledge passively. You’ll be able to deliver greater impact with potentially fewer resources.
  4. Increased learner-centricity
    In a flipped learning approach, learners are able to consume and digest knowledge at their own pace. Furthermore, the new activity-based, face-to-face sessions provide better opportunities for more personalised learning support, as trainers are not wasting their time lecturing.
  5. Encouraging active learning
    A flipped learning approach generally encourages and facilitates a more active involvement and engagement of learners, which translates to improved learning results.

All in all, flipped learning is an approach that makes a lot of sense in today’s corporate L&D. Increase in knowledge alone has little ROI if it doesn’t translate into behaviour and performance. However, flipped learning provides a way of delivering activities to support the behavioural change while retaining efficiency thanks to the blended delivery.

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Future of Instructor-led Training in the Digital Era

Future of Instructor-led training

Future of Instructor-led Training in the Digital Era

Instructor-led training (ILT) has been a major medium of learning delivery in corporates for a long time. However, during its long history, instructor-led training and the methodologies used have not evolved all that much. As a result, ILT is struggling with problems of sustaining results, scalability and flexibility. Furthermore, ILT is having a hard time aligning with L&D trends such as personalisation and performance-centricity. Hence, we thought it might be useful to present some tips on leveraging technology to nurture a paradigm shift towards better ILT.

How can we produce better results with ILT?

The problem with ILT is that it tends to be rather transactional. Due to financial and time constraints, corporates cannot have trainers spend several sessions focusing on learners’ individual problems. Furthermore, the learning experience is not spaced over time. Hence, new knowledge is easily forgotten, and results remain poor. To produce better results, training needs to adopt a more blended approach, which also helps with the scalability and flexibility.

A good blended learning approach can be a mix of digital learning activities and instructor-led training. Digital elements such as refreshers, discussions, microlearning and evaluations can be used to support the learning over time. With a careful structuring of learning journeys, employees come to ILT sessions already tuned in to the topic. Hence, it’s much easier for the trainer to pick up the pace and create impact. Furthermore, trainer-led facilitation can continue even after the session.

Instructor-led training 2.0 – facilitating across platforms

To sustain a behavioural change in the learners – to produce real results – requires continuity. Behavioural change doesn’t happen overnight or with a single training activity. Therefore, it’s important that we keep the engagement going. Instructor-led facilitation is a natural way of doing this. Instead of losing more productivity to the classroom, trainers should equip themselves to meet the learners across platforms.

For instance, once the ILT session has gone by, trainers can move to social media tools. Ideally, your digital learning platform comes with a social learning feature of managing discussions. If not, don’t you worry! You don’t need expensive tools to facilitate. It’s highly likely that a vast majority of your learners are already using social media and communication tools (e.g. WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook). You should tap into that by having trainers facilitate further learning across those platforms – the employees are already there! Sure, it’s not quite as sophisticated as integrated social learning tools with powerful analytics capabilities. Yet, even small things can have big impact. The important thing is that trainers are making themselves available for performance support, the ‘Pull’ type of learning.

Personalising Instructor-led training

Finally, the personalisation problem of ILT is an area in which you can go a long way with proper technological support. In learning, one size doesn’t fit all, it never has. Yet, highly structured ILT activities are aiming to do just that.  Personalised learning is all about understanding the learners’ context: what is relevant? What helps them succeed in their daily jobs? What kind of experiences and backgrounds are the learners building on?

Advanced learning data capabilities and analytics help tremendously in this regard. Trainers can zoom in on each individuals’ skills development in real-time, not forgetting non-learning experiences. This way, trainers are able to deliver learning catering to each individual’s unique needs. This helps in sustaining the paradigm shift from knowledge to performance focused learning and ultimately, better results.

Are you using technology to support your organisation on its way to the future of instructor-led training? If you think you need help, you can always schedule a free consultation with us. 

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Flipped Learning for Corporates – Gaining Value, Efficiency & Effectiveness

Flipped learning corporate

Flipped Learning for Corporates – Gaining Value, Efficiency & Effectiveness

For the past ten years, the education world has undergone a shift away from traditional top-down approaches. One of the emerging methods of education delivery is flipped learning, also known as the flipped classroom. In the flipped learning approach, instructional content is delivered outside of the classroom, whereas activities shift to inside the classroom. Hence, whereas learners used to study theory at school and practice at home, they now do the opposite. They now consume digital resources, such as lectures, video and readings and participate in discussions on their own time. Thereafter, they come to the classroom session to collaborate, practice and apply the knowledge in a group setting.

How corporates can benefit from a flipped learning approach?

The flipped classroom approach has made its way to the corporate world as well. There’s a lot to gain for organisations who can effectively incorporate a flipped approach to their L&D:

1. Improved Learning Effectiveness

With a flipped learning approach, you’re exposing your employees to the instructional content and activities over a longer period of time, similar to blended learning. Furthermore, by injecting them with the theoretical knowledge beforehand, they come into face-to-face sessions more prepared. This enables your trainers to shift from lectures to workshops. The employees can focus on collaborating, practising and applying the knowledge in a risk-free environment. The more application opportunities you give them, the more likely it is that you’ll see behavioural change (Kirkpatrick level 3, anyone?). Furthermore, flipped learning automatically becomes more personalised, as trainers have more time to dedicate to individual employees.

2. Higher learning efficiency

Another great thing is that you’re also getting more bang for your buck. You’re saving real money by delivering the instructional content in digital formats. With flipped learning, you’re also saving the time of both the trainers and employees. Trainers no longer need to waste their time on curating and delivering the low-value add instructional content. The employees can spend more time being productive at their jobs, instead of sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture which they could do more efficiently online. Furthermore, as you enable opportunities and activities to practice, make mistakes, fail and familiarise, you help to ensure that the learning carries forward to your employees’ daily jobs. A greater impact with less resources – that’s efficiency!

3. Increased value-add to your learners

Perhaps the best thing about flipped learning is that it doesn’t only work to boost corporate efficiency and effectiveness. In fact, the method also delivers value-add to your learners. Many employees value the face-to-face aspect of training, but not for the sake of training itself. Rather, they probably value the networking, discussion, experience sharing and collaboration opportunities that happen face-to-face. Nothing to do with the instructional content delivery! By enabling a flipped learning approach and consequently more workshop-like facilitative classroom activities, you’re giving them just that. They can share best practices, learn from their peers and put things to practice. Your employees will also value the personalised attention that the trainer finally has time for. The trainer can provide performance support, coach and mentor them, instead of just instructing.

So, how should I get started with flipped learning?

To get started with flipped learning, a simple 3-step approach is a good first stepping stone.

  1. Identify the most critical activities, where your learners need simulative practice opportunities to support behavioural change – do these face-to-face, let your trainers become facilitators
  2. Identify the instructional content that you can deliver more efficiently through online, mobile or other self-paced formats – digitalise that.
  3. Develop learning into personalised journeys, supporting the digital instructional content with application-focused classroom activities – take advantage of social learning and continuous reinforcement of knowledge

Still not quite sure? We can help you to design effective flipped learning journeys, leveraging technology to get the most value out of face-to-face. Start by contacting us!

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Virtual Instructor-Led Training – 3 Value-add Cases

Virtual Instructor-led training

3 Value-add Cases for Virtual Instructor-Led Training

In the era of mobile and digital learning, teachers and trainers are becoming increasingly obsolete. With the help of modern technology, we are able to design engaging and interactive learning experiences. Results speak for themselves and often we find that there is fairly little value-add by the traditional trainer for ordinary topics. However, instructor-led training still has value. And by transitioning to virtual instructor-led training (VILT), we can often achieve even more value thanks to the added agility and flexibility. Here are 3 value-add cases for virtual instructor-led training.

1. Instructor-Led Technical Training with Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) technology has and will continue to have a tremendous effect on the way we teach and learn. In addition to providing fun experiences for e.g. onboarding, AR will likely provide the most value in technical training. With technology available already today, we can leverage AR for live virtual instructor-led training.

Lets consider a training for complex engineering jobs. Instead of moving experts across the globe, they can comfortably train these tasks from their home office. The trainee will be equipped with a wearable device similar to smart glasses. Meanwhile, the trainer on the other side of the world only needs a tablet computer. After connecting, the trainer is able to see what the trainee sees through his glasses. Furthermore, the trainer is able to influence the trainee’s scope of view by e.g. drawing and pointing to objects. These interactions appear on the trainee’s view as augmented reality objects, in real-time. The trainee can also open supporting resources such as videos, manuals and documents to his own view without having to let go of the task at hand. Naturally, the trainee’s headset is equipped with an integrated camera that records all the tasks completed automatically.

These kind of scenarios will likely be commonplace for technical trainings in just a few years’ time. The increased safety, agility and flexibility and the sheer cost savings of this way of training are too great to ignore.

Want to find out more about AR and its use cases in learning? Contact us

2. Learning Interventions and Support through VILT

As much as we can do with digital learning, sometimes we do need a face-to-face and human-to-human interaction. Perhaps a group of learners are not performing as expected or we encounter behaviour that requires rapid change. In these types of situations, it’s great to have a chance to have a live video call between the trainer and the learners. This way, the trainer can help clarify the topics at hand or provide the support the learners need to keep performing.

However, instead of guess-work and irrelevant interventions, it’s important to combine this with an analytical approach. By leveraging learning data and seamless tracking technologies, we ensure that the interventions are relevant. Furthermore, by employing proper analytics we ensure that the interventions are proactive rather than reactive. By solving both individual and group learning challenges before they arise, we can ensure minimum down-time and maximum efficiency.

3. Virtual Instructor-Led Training in Coaching and Mentoring

As with the learning interventions and support, coaching is also an area where digital can provide added agility and flexibility. Thanks to constant connectivity, coaching and mentoring can become on-demand. Whenever the mentee encounters a challenge, they can connect to their coach and mentor to get assistance. Instead of managing traditional appointments and daily schedules, a quick pulse check over the internet is often the more efficient alternative.

Similar to any other functions, the virtual coaches should use analytics as well. By pulling data from HRM systems, learning systems and performance tracking platforms, the coaches can get an unmatched view to the learners’ activities. This enables the coaches to recognise not only the learning problems, but also the business challenges their learners are facing. Hence, they are able to provide much more personalised and relevant advice and focus on what matters – the business.

 

Are you looking for new approaches or leveraging technology for Instructor-led training? We can help you craft an efficient approach. Just drop us a note here

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