Microlearning - The next big thing in Digital Marketing


James wanted to invest his surplus income to grow his wealth. But he was unsure where to invest his hard earned money. He came across a video in Facebook that introduced various Investment tools and at the end of the video there was a link that lead to a video gallery of a Finance company’s website which had videos on various Investment options. James later did an analysis of the top performing investment tools based on the learning gained through the videos. Finally he invested in one of the Mutual funds managed by this company. This was despite the fact that none of the videos mentioned the products offered by the company. James didn’t stop with that, he also started discussing a lot with his friends about finance and savings which made him a go to guy for financial advice amongst his friends.

Of course James is fictional, but this is very true in today’s scenario where the consumers are engulfed in Internet and social media. This is a classic example of what consumer education can lead to.

Why Consumer Education?

A business should always take a proactive approach and see that a customer learns about their business or industry. A solid customer education policy shows the customers that the business cares about them and hence keeps them informed not just about their product, but the industry as well. This creates loyal customers and should be a key part of your business strategy. You need to provide information that will attract and help your prospects in solving their problems and to enable them make better decisions.

How Marketing can benefit from Customer Education?

Education Based Marketing gives customers what they want - advice and knowledge without requiring anything in return. You are establishing yourself as an authority and your prospective customers will see you as a reliable source of knowledge.

Suppose you offer information to your consumers through E Learning courses for free, you can then follow up with invites to events you hold, direct them to your website to download a free report or e-book, a complimentary phone consultation, a no obligation meeting, etc. By offering free information, advice and even informative tangibles such as white papers, to a potential customer, you will establish yourself as a trusted authority in your space, and customers will think of you when they need help or when something changes in their current situation.

Research has shown that customers who find the right educational assets are 29 times more likely to buy compared to ads alone.

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is a method that uses small moments of learning to drive job performance and employee development. It is appropriate when the learner needs help doing something specific or reference a snippet of content to make a decision. Microlearning events are short, though there is no defined duration and focuses on a narrow topic, concept or idea. Microlearning content can be in the form of a presentation, game, video, quiz, e book, image or any other format from which someone learns.

Why Microlearning for Consumer Education?

Today people google for any information they require on the go. If you can build a fantastically comprehensive webpage that shows your consumers exactly how to do a particular thing with descriptions and associated graphic instructions included, then it would be 10 times better than anything else out there on google. So, eventually you would be found in more and more search results of google and in turn move your website above your competitors in google searches. This will eventually lead to increase in traffic to your website.

But remember that the most effective consumer education approaches align strong brand strategies with the best adult learning technologies and principles that allow learners to pull exactly the right information at their point of need.

Fortunately, Instructional Design offers exactly the same through Microlearning. Extraordinary results can be achieved by using Instructional Design that delivers interactive Elearning experiences combined with subtle branding. Moreover, Instructional design and marketing can merge to create valuable consumer education that reflects the brand value of the organisation.

How can we help you?

Wondering how to kickstart your Consumer Education initiative to boost your Marketing Goals? At myCoach we constantly work with our clients to achieve their marketing goals through Consumer Education, helping them build the most Influential Brand Awareness content in their industry. If you want to upgrade your marketing strategy by harnessing the power of Microlearning, then feel free to contact us for a 15 Minute free consultation with our Instructional Designers. This consultation will be a no Obligation meeting as a part of our Consumer Education Initiative.

Why is Moodle the best LMS for Elearning


MODULAR OBJECT-ORIENTED DYNAMIC LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, Wait! Don’t go away yet. We are not discussing something new here, it is nothing but the expansion of our well-known friend Moodle. As the name goes Moodle is as comprehensive as its expansion, yet as simple as its acronym. It has been 1.5 decades since Moodle was launched in 2002 and still stands relevant even after 16 years, thanks to the constant support from Moodle partners and the most relentless contribution from the extensive Moodle community.

The versatility and affordable scalability offered by Moodle is seldom matched by any proprietary LMS which is not surprising given the flexibility of Moodle’s core architecture. Let us quickly delve deep and see what makes Moodle the best and most preferred E Learning Platform for Enterprise Learning.

Customisation and Flexibility

Moodle’s Flexibility allows new plugins to interact with every functional layer of its core with ease and hence new features can be added to the existing system easily. The flexibility and effectiveness of this continually evolving LMS is what has attracted 130+ million dedicated users and more than half a billion enrolments to it. Over 1000 plugins have been developed by the Moodle developers, learners and managers to make the learning platform more engaging, collaborative and fun.

Reliability

Moodle has been upgraded constantly over the years by the Moodle developers, Moodle partners and Moodle community. The strong funding to this open source project ensures new features are added as and when required based on the evolving needs of the learning and training community.

Community Support

Moodle’s dedicated users provide continual support to the community, which has made Moodle the best choice for LMS. Moodle is supported by a global community of educators and professionals are who are extremely passionate about improving the online learning experience it provides. The open source code is constantly being updated by actual Moodle users who understand what learners need for better user experience. Requirement of new features or queries regarding plugins can be discussed in forums administered by Moodle developers.

Analytics

Moodle Analytics allow you to track compliance, course completions, and competencies which is valuable when considering employees for promotions or succession planning in general. Apart from basic tracking, Moodle analytics offers description of learning engagement and progress, Diagnosis of learning engagement and progress and prediction of learning progress. With a set of student engagement indicators, it is possible to provide Proactive notifications to administrators who can easily communicate to learners identified by the model, or jump to the outline report for that student for more detail about student activity.

Integration

Moodle easily integrates with, and complements, your existing education and workplace software solutions such as G-Suite, Microsoft Office, Student Information and library Systems, Salesforce and more. It can also get integrated with the organisation’s workflow portals like Performance management portals, HRMS portals etc., to share data across the platforms and in turn eliminate manual interventions.

Communication

Moodle users can receive automatic alerts on new courses, deadlines, forum posts and also send private messages to one another. Using relevant plugins the MIS process can be automated as per required frequency of reports, receivers of the report, format of the reports etc.,

Mobile App

Moodle has its official mobile app which can be used to browse the courses, even when offline, receive instant notifications of messages and other events, track learning progress, and much more. The mobile app is also customisable like the desktop version.

Affordable

Do you know that in certain cases Moodle can be 10 times cheaper than a Proprietary LMS? Moodle as such is not free but is extremely affordable. The source code is free for download and can be set up in any PC easily. Once a domain is registered you can swiftly go online with your courses available for users with internet access or it can be made available with LAN access. But the speed of access will depend on the server as number of users and speed is determined by the capability of the server used to host Moodle. Also customisation of Moodle will require programming knowledge of PHP and if you do not possess this knowledge it is advisable to use the help of a technical consultant to take care of the same based on your specific needs. So eventually the cost involved is towards server and customisation which is fairly cheaper compared to the costs involved with any other commercial LMS. Moodle can be hosted in cloud also to further reduce recurring costs.

Wondering how to kickstart your own LMS? At myCoach, we constantly work with our clients to achieve their learning goals through Consultation and Deployment of Learning Platforms. If you want help then feel free to contact us for a 15 Minute no obligation consultation with our LMS experts, absolutely free.

Learning Tools


An Elearning set up is only as good as the Learning/Teaching tools it deploys. The list of learning tools is ever-growing and new tools are always being launched and even those that have been on the scene for a while, sometimes don’t garner enough attention to make it onto our radar, often getting overshadowed by more high-profile tools.

Though Content development is still the top priority for most L&D departments a subtle shift towards resource development (from purely course development) in the workplace has also paved way for new tools to emerge in order to fill the gap.

Of course Authoring tools are in huge demand but it is the asset development tools that are becoming increasingly popular which is largely dominated by the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, e.g.  Photoshop, Illustrator etc., One cannot ignore the emerging interactive content development tools like H5P and HiHaHo in today’s HTML5 heavy world. Organisations are beginning to see the importance of personal and continuous learning at work, which has placed Indeed and Degreed in limelight in the recent past.

Here we have compiled a list of tools under various categories which can be used to learn and teach. Please note that though most of the tools offer restricted free versions or trial versions to try out, the tools marked as Free are either free-for-lifetime or Opensource.

Authoring Tools

  • Adapt (Free)
  • Adobe Capivate
  • Articulate
  • Branch Track
  • Camtasia
  • Easy Generator
  • Edpuzzle (Free)
  • Evolve Authoring
  • HiHaHo
  • isEasy
  • iSpring
  • Lectora
  • Powtoon
  • Sway (Free)
  • TedEd (Free)
  • Vyond
  • Quizlet

Learning Platforms / Learning Management Systems

  • Axonify
  • aNewSpring
  • Blackboard
  • Canvas
  • Curatr
  • D2l
  • Degreed
  • Edmodo (Free)
  • Google Classroom (Free)
  • Mahara (Free)
  • Me:time
  • Moodle (Free)
  • Pebblepad
  • Schoology
  • Thinkific
  • Totara Learn

Presentation Tools

  • Apple Keynote
  • Google Slides (Free)
  • Haikudeck
  • Libreoffice (Free)
  • Microsoft Powerpoint
  • Prezzi
  • Slideshare (Free)
  • Sway (Free)
  • Voicethread

Graphic Tools

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Spark (Free)
  • Canva
  • Easel.ly
  • Gimp (Free)
  • Infogram
  • Omnigraffle
  • Pictochart

Video/Animation Tools

  • Adobe Aftereffects
  • Adobe Premier Pro
  • Genial.ly
  • H5P (Free)
  • HiHaHo
  • Kaltura
  • Knovia
  • Moovly
  • Powtoon
  • TedEd (Free)
  • Thinglink (Free)
  • Vimeo
  • Vyond
  • Wevideo

Webinar / Virtual Classroom

  • Adobe Connect
  • Appear.in
  • Bigbluebutton
  • Bluejeans
  • Cisco Webex
  • Flipgrid
  • Google Hangouts and Meet (Free)
  • Gotomeeting
  • Teamviewer
  • Zoom

Wondering how to kickstart your own E Learning project using various tools? Fret not! At myCoach, we constantly work with our clients to achieve their learning goals through Consultation and Deployment of Learning Solutions. If you want help then feel free to contact us for a 15 Minute no obligation consultation with our LMS experts, absolutely free.

‘Just in Time’ (JIT) Learning boosts Learning Effectiveness


Prologue

Just think of your last flight travel. Many of you would have done it yesterday or even today.

Can you recall the content of the training intervention you were subjected to in the flight?

You are probably wondering what training? Press the rewind button again until just before your flight took off. Yeah, you got it, Pre Flight Safety Demonstration. That is a short training you undergo every time you board a flight, a classic example of Microlearning.

Now back to the question, Do you remember the content? Of course not. But wait, you would have heard that Microlearning is supposed to be effective right? But why didn’t you remember it?

Now imagine an announcement from the pilot – “Passengers please brace yourself, we have a technical glitch and may land anytime and anywhere. I request the crew to give a quick safety demonstration” – Wouldn’t you listen to every word of it? In fact, you will get all your doubts clarified by asking as many questions as you can. This level of engagement and change of mindset is due to ‘Just in Time’ effect. Anything relevant is digested easily by our brain and irrelevant information is discarded easily. Is this ringing some bells? Is your learning content relevant to your learners?

Challenge

We as learning professionals are frequently challenged with learning engagement level of our organisations. We may deploy top learning management systems, trending learning content, state-of-the-art technology support and highly rated facilitators but if the content to be delivered is not relevant to the learner, then all these learning assets will go down the drain, except for meeting compliance requirement.

It has been a number of times that they have been relentlessly seeking relevant learning interventions that could help them do their jobs better, and we keep delivering what we are convenient with. Time to change isn’t it?

What is Just in Time Learning?

JIT learning assets are mostly short, concise and highly specific – Instructional Design directed towards a single learning objective. This allows employees to be trained just before they are required to actually make use of the information in their jobs. For example, interviewing candidates could be a regular task of a Manager in any organisation and for new managers, this could be a daunting task. A JIT learning asset that can be accessed through a mobile phone can be handy which learner can refer to, minutes before handling interviews. Consider another example where there are certain prerequisites before entering a ballast tank for servicing the same. You cannot expect the service engineer to access mobile phone inside the factory due to restrictions but a learning kiosk can be placed near the ballast tank which delivers the safety requirements and the ballast tank can be accessed only when the learning is completed. There are many such scenarios where JIT can be your Superhero who saves the learning universe.

People become “Fast and Furious” when they need to learn—when they encounter specific skill or knowledge gaps that prevent them from completing a task or achieving a desired tangible result. Thanks to advances in learning technology and instructional pedagogy, companies can create a repository of information that can be accessed easily by employees, allowing them to learn new skills on the move.

How can you shift gears towards JIT learning?

JIT learning requires a new approach when it comes to Instructional design. In considering the knowledge being transferred, the instructional designer must also take the context and timing into account, in order to ensure that the training is integrated and distributed optimally. Some approaches that can help achieve JIT in your organisation are listed below.

  • Content libraries
  • Instant messaging
  • Simulation tools
  • Instant Job Aids
  • Mobile Learning
  • Short Videos
  • Interactive Videos
  • Whiteboard Animations
  • Kinetic Text Animations
  • Interactive PDF
  • Infographics
  • Flipbooks
  • Search Engine based learning portals

Final Thoughts

Every organisation is unique with their own learning goals to achieve. However, the following questions will be helpful to gear towards JIT learning:

  • When will such knowledge or skill be used?
  • What will impact the learner to perform a task?
  • Can the training be seamlessly integrated into the work?
  • How do we ensure that the learning asset is accessible?
  • Can our material be transformed into JIT learning assets?
  • Do we have the necessary skills to create JIT learning assets?

If you are up for the challenge of enhancing your learning content to meet the JIT Guidelines then seek answers to these questions based on your organisation’s Business goals. Remember the cliché – “Where there is a will, there is a way”.

3 Technologies that will disrupt the Learning Ecosystem



Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road - Stewart Brand

A close look at the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies – 2018 by Gartner clearly indicates three emerging technologies relevant to Learning and Development.

  • Conversational AI Platforms
  • Augmented Reality
  • Mixed Reality

Conversational AI Platforms

There is so much buzz about the need for learning initiatives to be relevant to the learner today which has outstretched the demand for ‘Just in Time’ learning. Imagine a learning system that is void of actual learning courses and just answers the questions of the learners in real time like a coach would do. For easy visualisation, let me suggest you recall what JARVIS does in the movie ‘Ironman’ or what FRIDAY does in the movie Captain America – Civil war. Especially the scene in Captain America – Civil War, in which FRIDAY analyses Captain’s fighting style and provides countermeasures to Ironman in real time. Such a Learning system would be a dream come true not only to Learning Managers but to parents of so many kids in schools and colleges. This dream may come true with Conversational AI platforms.

Conversational AI platforms use speech synthesis, speech recognition, multi-faceted machine learning, neural networks and natural language understanding to deliver multi-turn conversations between the AI assistant and the learner to achieve this dream. And what more, such AI platforms will keep learning from the conversations of the learners and would recognise the pattern of the learner to advise better or in worst case guide them towards the right learning resource. As suggested in the Gartner’s hype cycle this technology has a long way to go (up to 10 years) to reach maturity.

As learning leaders, we should think of equipping ourselves to embrace this technology as this would revolutionize the learning technology domain. As the research continues and more players populate this field, the methodologies to apply this technology in learning environments will also increase. For example, Instructional designers would still play a vital role in defining the learning content but their approach would have evolved to suit the needs of these technological advancements.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Do you own a car with a parking assistant embedded in it? Or have you travelled in a car with such a feature? Then you have already experienced augmented reality because the car parking assistants use augmented reality to map Digital imagery with the real world. Alternatively, have you ever played the Pokémon Go game? In fact, this game proved to be a great source of introduction to the Augmented Reality technology to the masses as very few had hands-on experience with this technology before the launch of the game. If you haven’t experienced augmented reality yet, just download this game and try it for once.

Augmented Reality overlays digital information on the physical world. It allows the user to witness the real world, with virtual objects superimposed, hence supplementing the real world. In other words, the information provided by Augmented Reality is added to our perception of the real world. Now, let me quickly jump to the relevance of this technology to Learning and Development.

AR entails a revolution in the presentation of information and cultivation of knowledge. AR can be used merely to present information, update knowledge or teach a skill. For instance, when a smartphone is focused on a piece of large equipment, the AR application adds some information to the view of the edifice. On one side it can display the name and specifications of the equipment and on the other side text or video about the application of the machine. In this case, AR is just another medium to provide information and the learner has to internalise the learning to convert it into knowledge. In another instance when the smartphone is mounted on a headband and pointed towards the equipment, the learner can interact with the various controls of the equipment by touching the superimposed imagery on them, and the response of the equipment can be shown by superimposing the real world scene with a video. In this case, through repeated actions of trial and error, the learner adds the operation of the equipment to his skill inventory. This could be a game changer for the Production industry, especially with the advent of Industry 4.0.

Mixed Reality (MR)

I am sure everyone has experienced VR at least once in your lifetime. VR uses digital environments to fully immerse users in a virtual world so that he cannot see the real world around him. It uses specifically designed headgears with or without audio support. For those who wonder why Virtual Reality (VR) is not in the list, let me inform you that VR is no more an emerging technology and is part of a matured technology category. But, it plays a vital role in Mixed Reality.

We earlier mentioned that AR offers an extension to our perception of the real world and VR is all about a virtual world. What if we harness the potential of both these technologies at the same instance? This is where Mixed Reality (MR) comes into play which blends the physical and digital worlds in which users may interact with digital and real-world objects while maintaining a presence in the physical world. I couldn’t find a better example than the movie Avatar, especially the scene in which we are shown a map what seems to be an augmented version of the Na’vi’s tree and the region surrounding it. The Colonel interacts with the environment by touching the tree, zooming inside the tree etc., Right now that is not what exactly is available at our disposal but a similar experience can be created with the help of some sensory devices.

For instance, imagine I wear an MR headgear and point it at large equipment which has various interactive controls on all 4 sides. I will be presented with an immersive virtual world superimposed on the real world and with a slight movement of my head I will be able to access the other side of the equipment if I need to interact with those controls, without actually moving to the other side of the equipment. So I do not have to physically move to the other side of the equipment but still be exposed to it and will be able to interact with the various superimposed imagery on that side of the equipment. What if the same concept is scaled to the whole plant that spreads across acres, I would be able to train my staff easily with fewer resources and in a short span of time. All I have to do is evolve my instructional design to complement this technology.

Final Thoughts

There are other technologies will impact the learning domain like artificial general intelligence (which is in the far future) and Virtual assistants (already in existence) and there will be many more coming up as humans evolve. But the concept of Information, knowledge transfer and upskilling will remain the same and these concepts will adapt to use these technological advancements to the best use. We wish more and more disruptive technologies get adopted by us in order to challenge ourselves and keep us resourceful.