ILT Trainers– Are you leaving something on the table?

The way learning is delivered directly impacts performance and retention. Traditionally, it has been done through classroom-based, Instructor-led training (ILT) sessions which efficiently met relevant learning objectives. However, with rapid advancements in technology, increased geographic reach of organizations, changed learner profiles because of inclusion of millennials in the workforce and tech-savvy learners, there is a huge scope for ILT to be made more effective.  ILT will work best if it is part of a blended learning program that supplements ILT with eLearning, making it a more cost-effective, and hence, justified proposition.

The blended learning approach could follow the below format.

  • An introductory eLearning aid can be used to apprise learners of the basic concepts of the topic-in-picture. This would ensure that all learners are on the same page when it comes to the basics of the topic.
  • Pre-ILT practice sessions can then be used to gauge learner understanding of the topic so that the instructor could build on it during the actual session.
  • When the ILT is delivered, it could be used to build upon the topic knowledge and to clarify any doubts that the learners may have. The classroom time can also be used to discuss relevant case studies on the topic.
  • And then an eLearning assessment comes in to test learner understanding and knowledge. eLearning could also be used to nudge training concepts from time to time and act as a good refresher to the classroom sessions.

There are several benefits of the blended learning approach versus when you use only ILT. Let’s talk about some prominent ones.

Aids Self-Paced Learning

A study on “Interactive Multimedia-Based E-Learning: A Study of Effectiveness”[1] stated, “In a traditional classroom setting, learning is instructor-centered and is a sequential process. The instructor controls content and learning pace. Most students do not question or ask for repetition in the class even if they do not understand instructors. In addition, they do not have an opportunity to listen repeatedly to what instructors explained. An interactive multimedia e-learning environment enables learner-centered activities and provides necessary learner–content interaction.” eLearning puts the learners in control of the content, making it easier for everyone to learn at their own pace.

Cost-Effective and Easily Scalable

With increasing geographic scale and reach of organizations, training needs to be delivered to employees at multiple locations. But at the same time, travel budgets are continuously constrained. eLearning can be delivered anytime and at anyplace, thus making it easier to keep travel costs and time in control. It also gives an opportunity to trainers to scale up their training bandwidth and scope in a matter of seconds. Trainers could simply complement eLearning with synchronous online learning sessions or virtual ILT.

Performance Evaluation

ILT is linked with too many missed opportunities to evaluate everything right from training objectives to learner performance and satisfaction. Whereas eLearning ensures that you get to measure and evaluate learner performance and its impact on business, with the help of rich analytics. With learner experience design posed as the next big revolution for learning, performance analytics and evaluation will anyway need to be at the core of enterprise learning.

Supports Reinforcement

Traditional training, once delivered, is easily forgotten, because there is no system in place for regular reinforcement and retention. However, with eLearning, regular refreshers and reinforcement nuggets can be delivered based on learner performance or the likelihood of learner forgetting information after a certain time.

Needless to say, eLearning is not here to replace SMEs and trainers. They will still be the ones driving the whole game. eLearning can give them an opportunity to take their work a level higher, along with probably an added revenue source when their hands are full. Something as simple as a video of them teaching a particular concept in the classroom, coupled with eLearning could do the magic!

Are you a trainer looking to develop blended learning modules?  Reach out to us at info@harbingerlearning.com to discuss your requirements.

 

 

 

[1] (1) Zhang, D. (2005). Interactive Multimedia Based E-Learning: A Study of Effectiveness. The
American Journal of Distance Education (AJDE). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Mahwah,
NJ. 19(3), 149-162.

Five signs that indicate the need for a modernization initiative

Five Signs That Indicate ‘It is Time to Consider Modernization’

The modern day corporate worker’s profile is changing. Not just millennial, Gen Z seems to be getting into the workforce as well. These segments of the target audience have a very positive outlook on the value of eLearning but the way they want to consume content is very different from how it happened in the past.

If you too are sensing this profile shift, then probably it is time to take a stock of the situation and look for some additional signs listed ahead.

  1. Need for Standardized Content

Your content is the most valuable asset your company has. If you have a large volume of legacy content sitting idle, or if your employees or customers are facing issues in courses because of the content being stuck in old formats, then it definitely indicates the need for change. Furthermore, if you can’t make important edits to your courses because the content is in legacy format or created using different tools, then you know modernization is the right way to proceed. It will help you to upgrade your content in accordance with the latest tools and technologies. Modernization can also help you convert your content to one standardized format which is widely accessible and future-ready – for instance, a format like HTML5, which standardizes everything and in-turn brings efficiencies for future.

 

  1. New Tool Adoption

An organization, when it uses a tool for a long period of time, develops a significant level of comfort with it, and it becomes difficult to get out of that zone. But with the rapid advancements in technology, many new tools evolve into the market. These tools generally possess better capabilities than the one(s) already being used. For example, there are several tools in the market that allow creation of content in interactive video format instead of tools using simple text and images. When you use such a tool, the learning experience can change for good.

 

So if you, as the content owner, come across many such new technologies and tools but cannot take the plunge due to comfort issues, it is time to consider modernization. Modernization can smoothly facilitate new tool adoption process.

 

  1. Learning in Employee Preferred Formats

An infographic by ‘Bersin by Delloite’ states that 67% of the modern day workers learn on mobile devices, only 42% learn at their office desk, rest access learning at their convenience, interestingly 27% of people learn on the way to and from work. Apart from the statistics and preferences listed above, each of these learners has different learning styles. Meeting these expectations through different learning formats is quite difficult as that would imply much more content production. Then how do we handle this situation? Modernization practice can help put together a solution which can use artificial intelligence, natural language processing and voice-enabled technologies to make the same content available in various formats.

  1. Complying with Regulations and Industry Standards

With the recent enforcement of new regulations that demand support for accessibility and standards-compliance, accessible content is now a must-have. If you are looking at re-using any of your non WCAG 2.0 compliant legacy courses, you need to modernize them. But just taking an old course and trying to make it compliant is not sufficient. It may technically get some of the compliance checkboxes ticked, but it doesn’t ensure 100% accessibility. For instance, your compliance checklist might not take care of font readability and color choices. Unless you are confident that someone with special abilities can fully make use of your content, it is just a battle half won.

 

To ensure that differently-abled learners find value in your courses, it is important to redesign them. A well thought out modernization approach that aims at making your legacy content fully accessible by making use of automation, is your best bet here.

 

  1. Accelerated Time-to-Market with New Product Offerings and Upgrades

If you are looking to do something new for your customers with a faster time-to-market, there are two things you could consider – launch newer products or take old products and refurbish them with newer design and experience. At the speed with which technology is changing, it is critical that your product (course) design is resilient yet flexible. A well-defined modernization approach helps you achieve the same. And when coupled with automation, it can help you roll out newer courses or newer versions of old courses out in the market rapidly. This helps strengthen your course catalog portfolio.

If you are reading any of the above signs, then the time is just right to contemplate a modernization initiative to cater to your organization’s and customers’ evolving learning needs. In case you would like to have a discussion on this, or if you are looking for an experienced and reliable partner who can help design your modernization roadmap, write to us at info@harbingerlearning.com.

My Experience at The Colossal – #SHRM2018 in The Windy City

 

The Stage was Set

SHRM 2018 annual conference & exposition was the largest in terms of attendance and footfall in its 70 year history. Reports claim that the turnout was anywhere between 20,000 – 25,000 attendees. The massive setting was apt for this grand event with the venue being the McCormick place in Chicago, the largest convention center in North America. The city stayed true to its nick name the windy city with gutsy winds blowing throughout the area but the good part was that it was pretty sunny and warm atleast for a major portion of the four day event.

The Energy, Enthusiasm and the Spotlight

The venue was abuzz with activities throughout its entire duration and the level of enthusiasm and energy was at its peak. The sheer number of people attending this event is a great indicator that there is a continued spotlight on the Human Resources (HR) function. Movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and events like Starbucks Diversity Training Day have played their role in ensuring this.

I personally had the opportunity to speak to quite a few training providers and understand their digital solutions around compliance training. There seems to be a lot of focus and emphasis on making sure that the new age compliance digital learning is not just a check box, it is instead designed to create a culture of learning instead of training. It also ensures a continued reinforcement of the learning through multiple innovative ways and delivery models.

Some other prominent things to watch out for in the coming days would be:

  • Focus on building workplace culture with civility at the forefront and openness to diverse perspectives
  • Human Resources’ contribution to workforce development essentials, meeting the shortage of skilled workforce to fulfill the needs created by industrial revolution 4.0
  • Managing employee relations in the times of gig economy

 

The Famed Chicago Style Hot Dog

Before I end this blog, I have to mention this, when you are in Chicago you have to try the famous Chicago style hot dog also known as “dragged through the garden” due to the numerous toppings. There was ample supply of the same at the venue, so it kept people full and satiated.  And yes, I did learn that when you are in Chicago you don’t put the red ketchup on your hot dogs.

Overall it was a great event, lot of learning and great networking opportunities. I am now eagerly looking forward to SHRM 2019. Did you participate in this year’s event? How was your experience? Share through comments below.

Legacy Content Modernization Journey – Getting the Right Start

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The time is always right to do what is right

You must be wondering how these words from Martin Luther King Jr. are relevant to our discussion today. Well, with Flash officially slated for sunset in 2020, should you really wait on the sidelines and hope to jump on the last bus that would take you out of this situation? I think the answer would be no from majority of us. This is an important business decision, and all perspectives need to be analyzed before taking it, but the time to take this decision is now. In this blog, let’s explore various situations playing on your mind while making the right choice about modernization.

The first thing would be to identify the courses that need to go through the modernization process. Your organization may have a huge library of flash courses and not every course needs to be modernized. The decision on retiring or retaining a course needs to be framed on the basis of the following factors:

  1. Relevance of the course content today
  2. Current market requirement for each course
  3. User enrollment analysis for each course
  4. Feedback given by users after taking the course

Most of these factors will eventually boil down to adding to the bottom line. If a course performs adversely on the above parameters, consider retiring it.

Once the course inventory is shortlisted, the other piece of puzzle is to decide who is going to do this job. Is it your internal development team, should you bring in a third party vendor or should it be a combination of both? Some guiding factors that would help you make this decision are:

  1. What is more important for your existing internal teams, working on new product development and servicing existing customers or modernizing legacy courses?
  2. Do you have the relevant skill-set in your in-house team for this job?
  3. Are you willing to ramp up your internal team temporarily for this task?
  4. Should you bring in a third-party supplier with the appropriate skill-set to help you with modernization?
  5. If you intend to bring in a third-party supplier, what should be criteria to bring them onboard? Of course a supplier housing a team with the right technical skill-set is the one you should shortlist, but you also need to give some emphasis on what values this supplier brings on the table. Do you want to onboard just a vendor or you need a partner who is with you in this important business decision? Read this blog – “You need a partner not a vendor”, that shares information on the ideal behaviors to notice while partner selection.

Well, the fact is that you might get lucky in hopping on the last bus when it comes to planning the modernization project, but is it worth the risk? The time is now to make the right decision, so it is ideal to plan things right away. To know more about some of these guiding factors, drop us a line at info@harbingerlearning.com. We would be happy to share our experiences with you.

Five Reasons Why You Should Go Digital for Compliance Training

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In the modern-day workplace learning, there is nothing trickier than dealing with sensitive subject matter. This subject matter could range from topics like sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination, cultural competence, to, information breach and security. These topics come under the compliance training mandate in most industries.

Traditional classroom sessions are often insufficient to deal with such topics, and do not necessarily convey the required information in the best possible way. Digital learning has an edge over classroom sessions when it comes to presenting sensitive topics as a compliance mandate. Here is why:

  • Standardized Format

It is very important that sensitive compliance training matter conveys exactly what it is intended to, to all learners alike. Traditional training largely misses this significant requirement. Since traditional training involves different instructors, the style and essence of the delivered content varies depending on the instructor. It could even be hampered by an instructor’s mood and surrounding factors.

Digital learning removes all the above mentioned roadblocks. The content is built in a way the management intends to, and is delivered alike to all learners. This standardized content and delivery ensures the absence of any personal bias that an instructor might induce in a classroom session.

  • More Controlled

There are instances when an organization consults specific subject matter experts to develop/make amends to the training content. Such situations demand compliance training programs to be easily customizable and in control of the organization. In traditional classroom sessions, it is up to the instructor to make note and accept the amendments coming from the subject matter experts.

Digital learning ensures that the amendments are in place before the content reaches the learners. Things are more in-control of the organization and easily customizable when it comes to digital learning.

  • Cost Effective

Certain industries like aviation and healthcare demand that compliance training content be updated very frequently, based on the changing industry regulations. In traditional training, these updates are an expensive affair since an instructor needs to be hired frequently to make changes to the content. It could also have some repercussions in terms of timely delivery since an instructor might not be available when you need them.

If digital learning is used, then the organization’s in-house team or their digital training supplier can easily make updates to the content as and when required, without incurring additional costs. You also do away with any kind of time dependencies since all can be done at the organization have will.

  • Quantitative Evaluation

In traditional learning, it is difficult to gauge the accurate knowledge levels of employees. You can have scored assessments in place after the classroom sessions, but only those might not give the actual idea of what the employee has learnt. These assessments are not even capable of giving immediate feedback to learners, when required.

Digital learning ensures that assessments and evaluation of learner’s knowledge levels is more quantitative.  Since you can track data through a Learning Management System (LMS), you have the accurate insights into every employee’s knowledge levels and can guide them further accordingly. You could even reinforce content and provide immediate feedback whenever required.

  • More Flexible

Traditional learning is quite rigid in terms of delivery. It is quite overwhelming for a learner to sit through long hours of a compliance training course, delivered by an instructor over couple of days.

But the same course, when delivered digitally, gives learners the flexibility and freedom to complete it at their own pace. The learners feel more in-control of the learning, and can also revisit the course whenever required.

 

Now that you know how sensitive topics can be broached more effectively through digital learning, you may want to make way for it in your organization.  Employ the right mix of classroom sessions and digital learning in your training. This would help your employees feel both comfortable and confident in their understanding of the rules. We shall shortly do a blog incorporating tips on effectively delivering sensitive subject matter through digital learning. Stay tuned!