In an age where continued learning is widely becoming a mutual goal for both employers and employees, it is vital for a company to supply learners with a structured eLearning environment. Part of what conveys a stable structure of the learning environment is the ability to optimize the learning time and learning efficiency.
Workers, in general, work hard and are consistently busy people leading busy lives. Taking time to learn something new, either concerning their work or for self-improvement, may also be consuming time where the worker could be actively accomplishing a key task.
LEARNING FOR THE HUSTLERS – THE NEW INDUSTRY STANDARD.
In today’s business world, many working people have adopted the “hustler” mentality.
Multitasking between a multitude of job assignments in conjunction with the digital distractions used by companies, it paints a realistic picture of the difficulties facing employees of every corporate level to be able to concentrate on any unique project for an extended period.
Electronic tools such as e-mail, voicemail, instant messages, video conferences, texts and corporate cell phone accessibility; have been shown to increase the difficulty to provide more project focus time. Supporting this fact, studies show that in a typical 8-hour work day, approximately ninety minutes per day can be lost merely by employees checking corporate e-mail.
Moreover, 40% of employees feel unable to spare time for traditional educational development programs. To sum up, another fact uncovered in the studies, only 1% of a typical work-week is considered the maximum time busy employees can spare for focused training and development. 1% of a forty-hour work-week translates to only 25 minutes per week allocated to additional education.
With only 25 minutes per week of allocated training time available to learn, how can a training developer maximize educational training time?
eLearning professionals and online trainers can use the following techniques to maximize student learning time and efficiency (in other words, help learners know all the required information in the least amount of time):
1) Focused Material: One Goal for Each Module or Lesson Plan
Your corporate body has a master goal for your organization’s eLearning development. However, each module should have its own singular purpose developed as well.
The reasoning behind this theory relates to having one singular and simple goal, which the learner can acknowledge having achieved by the finish of the module. When a training regiment is designed in this fashion, it portrays an easy-to-learn process and provides a maximum advantage to the learner retaining the information about the subject matter.
2) Frequent Evaluations
Research has acknowledged that most students prefer not to be tested at the end of the course. On the contrary, the preference of the majority of learners requires assessment after a section of learning material, with immediate access to testing results and their course progress.
Under the most effective learning methods, neurological studies have provided proof that frequent testing helps learners to recall recently learned information and helps the mind speed up the transitional process of transferring the new knowledge from the working memory (short-term memory) to the long-term memory.
This advantage translates into a student’s ability to remember the information even significant time periods later.
3) Training Optimized for Mobile + Video: Accessibility to the Student
Expectations are changing in the learning world. As personal devices change and evolve, so do the ways instructors can relay information to a student. By designing eLearning courses to operate with smartphones and tablets, training departments increase the student’s ability to connect with and absorb learning materials.
Corporate training advisors are excited about the newest trend in eLearning because the organizational training goals become more achievable. Mobile learning (mLearning) is the latest trend in the instructional marketplace, which is gaining significant traction with instructors and students alike.
Instructors consider the trend to be the best benefit to students in many years, because not only does it provide a “go-anywhere/learn-anytime” system, but it also taps into an additional learning avenue for students.
That avenue being the audio-visual system which opens the learner to multiple stimuli, and also provides a platform for responsiveness from the student – promoting memory transition.
Students consider the trend to be to their benefit for similar reasons. But, also because they can access the learning regimen in their spare time or at times when they are looking to fill a timeslot where they can add some productivity.
mLearning is sure to flourish with the following tips and tricks:
- Responsive design – Optimizing for mobile requires a responsive design, which ensures your learning content is easily resized for all mobile devices, from smartphones to mobile tablets, to portable laptops and desktop. Screen size does not matter in a responsive design because the design ensures optimal visibility on every screen size.
- Video content training is a valuable addition to your mLearning for both portability and learning abilities – Short videos of two to four minutes in length are a valuable addition embedded into your learning materials. The short time periods ensure the content can be fit-in to the student’s mobile activities and spare moments. Because of the ease of understanding video content can provide, students can get a “quick understanding” of the core lesson points which allow them to skim the remainder of the module as needed.
4) MicroLearning: Direct Primary Information Passing or Supplemental Information Passing
Gone are the days when all employees will sit for hours on end listening passively to training sessions. Today, people learn non-linearly and actively, on the go, in short bursts when they can find time, and across a variety of devices.
Micolearning’s quick format allows learners to take advantage of short breaks throughout their day instead of interrupting it for long hours at a time. They can focus on something for 5-15 minutes and then move on to more important issues. It’s more realistic to request the completion of a bite-size 10-minute lesson per week then a 3-hour course from your employees.
"8 out of 10 L&D professionals favor microlearning because their learners prefer it". More Micro-Learning Stats & Benefits in this article.
There are two distinct ways MicroLearning can be effective for students to gain the knowledge of the training course.
- Direct Primary Information Passing – practical MicroLearning modules added to the primary message of the training provides immediate information and helps the student gain further knowledge. These segments can be used to assist in-class training or eLearning videos. Because eLearning offers the ability for the student to review and return to the information as many times as the student may require, it provides the best avenue for retention of the learning material.
- Supplemental Information Passing – offering additional information in the form of quizzes, cheat or check sheets, and flashcards can provide the ultimate learning advantage for students. Videos and other course elements which are supported by quizzes, flashcards and other forms of MicroLearning materials have been shown to provide an additional avenue for the best retention of the information included in the training.
Read more: Start Thinking Micro Moments
If you want to start applying the principles of Micro Learning to your eLearning design take into consideration these valuable implementation tips.
5)Focus: Know and Tap into Your Student’s Engagement Points and Motivation
Engagement from your learners and the motivation gained from that engagement should be a solid goal for every eLearning course developer.
By analyzing and identifying “why” your learners are taking a training course, you can tailor your content to those needs, which in turn can provide the desired motivation and ultimately the engagement from the student.
Motivation and engagement can come from many different venues. Whether your learners are newly hired employees in your instruction to understand company policies and procedures or working through corporate compliance training or learning new corporate support software; any scenario can gain motivation and engagement on behalf of the student, by merely ascertaining the motives for the practice and tailoring the content to those motives.
For larger information exchange learning sessions, it is a solid recommendation to resize the information into smaller MicroLearning packets. No matter the learning project, the focus should always center on the engagement of the learner, regardless of the length of information required for completion.
It is for this reason of engagement and motivation, the most popular TED Talks (technology, entertainment, design presentations) range in length from 15 to 20 minutes, but seldom more than 30 minutes in length.
6) Aligned Learning: Solution Based “Needs” Learning
As a rule, when someone has a “moment of need” they are open to receiving help, seeking guidance or entering into a training course to achieve their goal. This moment of need is known as a motivational window, which is a prime time to introduce a workplace learning opportunity.
Unfortunately, many corporate learning experiences are still delivered through live instruction and are, therefore, challenging to facilitate at a moment’s notice and is also not cost-effective given to a live audience of only one or two learners at a time.
Real-world live facilitation of “needs learning” is impossible because, by the time the employee receives the “help” they were seeking, the moment has passed, and the employee may be in a new motivational needs situation. Unable to break this cycle through standard learning delivery, corporations seek to provide instruction in new ways, which are available whenever the need may arise.
If the corporation were to employ a database of solution-based eLearning modules available on-demand to the employee populous, the corporation could see a substantial rise in the continued educational opportunities being used to the advantage of both the employee and the corporate body as a whole.
Success-focused corporations worldwide are seeking to provide more and better learning opportunities for employees to be motivated to take part. In the changing landscape of learning platforms, convenience is the task to be conquered.
For a corporation to achieve this convenience, the Millennial Generation (the majority of today’s workforce) must be encouraged to participate in the learning opportunities available. Studies have shown that the Millennial Generation is open to and looking for the kinds of continued education addressed in this article.
With the majority of today’s workforce onboard with learning platforms of focused modules, frequent evaluations, mLearning, MicroLearning, and aligned learning - geared to motivational windows – there is a definite reason to believe that the rest of the workforce won’t be too far behind the front runners of acceptance.
By providing some or all of the above learning platforms and instructional possibilities, to the current workforce, a corporation can ensure a winning combination that comes with the success of their employee continued education.