Tags: Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS-SN, Learning Management System, MOOC
- Mixing up the questions form one test-taker to the next
This is done by using the “Random block of ___ questions” setting. To set this up for use, create or import your questions into your repository folders, creating a question bank. Then, when creating the test, select the many questions from the question bank you’d like the test to cover. In the test settings, select “Random block of ___ questions” setting and enter the number of questions you want on each test-taker’s test. (You can later select question you want on EACH test, no matter what the rest of the questions are, just FYI. This is especially good for the essay questions.) An example would be to have 100 possible questions in the question bank, then set the number of randomized questions to say, 40. Each test-taker will see 40 questions but each person’s test will be so randomized as to WHEN the question appears and WHICH 40 of the 100 appear, that it makes cheating much more difficult. See screenshot.
- Withholding answers until after all assignments are due
In most cases, the answers are withheld until all students have finished the test, ensuring they can’t share their answers or use this CAMEO method of cheating. In Edvance360, this is done by selecting “Students may review once all students have finished the test” option from the drop-down in the test settings. Additionally, the test-creator can choose to hide the test answers permanently by selecting “No” from the “Display Correct Answers to Students?” drop-down box. See screenshots.
Tags: online courses, Edvance360, discussion forums, Edvance360 LMS-SN
Over the years there has been controversy over the quality of online versus on-campus courses. However, the enrollment of online education continues to grow. According to Grade Level: Tracking Online Education in the United States approximately, 5.3 million students took at least one online course in fall 2013 which is up 3.7 percent from the previous fall. One of the “complaints” is the lack of interaction and human element in online courses. The advancement of technology has removed that hurdle for online education. Learning management systems (LMS) typically provide communication tools such as discussion forums, online chats, and video conferencing. Really, the focus should be on the course design because technology is available to facilitate the rest. Online courses and training can be boring or engaging, just like in person courses and training.
Discussion forums can be used to engage students and encourage interactions among the users. For example, students might be required to respond to the discussion post, include three sources to support their post, and respond to two users. The instructor can moderate the discussion as well as determine whether or not users are understanding the topic. Users are able to share their opinion, but also required to analyze and synthesize information. Discussion forums can be formal where the instructor moderates the discussion or informal where users share information. The online format is familiar to most users since they are accustomed to posting on social media and provides a voice for introverts that would not normally speak up in the traditional classroom setting. Discussion forums allows users to review the information as many times as needed and the debate can occur over the entire length of the course as users learn more and more about the topic. In the corporate setting discussion forums are a great collaboration tool for users that are in various locations. As time progresses the discussion forums can serve as a knowledge-base rather than one or two people holding all the information in email. As long as the moderator is interactive with users discussion forums can be an excellent tool for creating interaction.
Online Chats and Video Conferencing
Online chats and video conferencing provide real-time interaction. It can be difficult to schedule them so that is where discussion forums can be beneficial. However, chat logs and recordings of video conferences can be posted online for users that were not able to attend. In addition, multiple sessions can be scheduled to accommodate various time zones. Online chats and video conferencing provide synchronous tools that engage users that are more extroverted. Dividing people into groups can be helpful to make it easier to keep up with the conversation, but all sessions can be recorded and posted online for others to view. Video conferencing allows users to see body language and adds the “human” touch because you can see and interact with the person rather than just reading and responding to text.
Online courses and training allow users to learn at a time convenient to their schedule as well as accommodating various learning styles. Learning to use collaboration tools also benefits users at work. Discussion forums, online chats, and video conferencing collaboration tools that can be utilized to greatly enhance online courses and training. It is important to consider and utilize the various collaboration tools in course design. Users are continuously connect via their smartphones and tablets therefore this methodology should be incorporated into online courses and training to encourage engagement. Edvance360 LMS-SN provides these collaboration tools and much more to enhance your online courses and training.
Tags: corporate training, Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS-SN, video
The use of videos has increased tremendously over the past few years. According to Statista, there were approximately 192 million unique video views during May 2015. Videos are posted online to social media sites by users as well as by professionals to online new websites. So it is no surprise that videos are being used in online courses and training. It is important to develop a plan before recording videos for online courses and training. Below are five best practices for creating videos:
- Determine target audience
- Create script for videos
- Record brief video segments
- Build interaction into videos
- Ensure video is easily accessible
Determine Target Audience
Prior to recording videos determine the target audience so you can identify your goals. Identifying goals provides focus so you can effectively communicate with your target audience. For example, training employees on policies and procedures may vary by position. The video for managers is probably more detailed than the video for their subordinates.
Create Scripts for Videos
Typically, videos are more professional when reading from a script. Think Facebook versus news videos. Scripts are also beneficial if you plan on providing closed captions. Closed captions are important for 508 compliance and you can expand the audience for people who speak other languages through sub titles.
Record Brief Video Segments
People have limited time and attention spans, so be brief. It is best to record video segments of 5-10 minutes with a maximum of 20 minutes. The length will vary based on your topic.
Build interaction into Videos
The natural progression of creating videos is to use the PowerPoint presentations as the script. Rather than simply reading a script, you can create interaction by using a conversational approach and providing examples or using case studies. As you progress try creating SCORM files with divergent paths, quizzes, and hyperlinks.
Ensure Video is Easily Accessible
Recording high quality video is important, but the video must be accessible from mobile devices too. You also need to consider whether or not the video needs to be accessible offline. Most videos are presented via streaming so the file format does not matter. However, if the videos will be downloaded the file format is important. The mp4 format is probably best because it can be viewed on Apple and Windows computers as well as mobile devices.
Once you have created your videos the next step is posting the videos online. Consider using a learning management system (LMS) to host the videos and provide tools for monitoring and tracking usage. Edvance360 LMS-SN provides all the tools needed to deliver your corporate training program. Learn more.
Video Streaming Services
Screen Capture Software
Tags: corporate training, Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS-SN, Learning Management System
Gamification is not a new concept, but it has become a more popular trend recently. There have been articles published on Forbes and Huffington Post discussing the use of gamification in the workplace. The use of gamification is becoming a part of corporate culture for some companies. There are several different approaches to implementing gamification. Some companies utilize gamification as part of the recruiting process to assess candidates, while others use it to teach processes or for team building. According to a Gallup report: “nearly 70% of U.S. employees overall (and more than 70% of Millennials specifically) are not engaged employees, which the polling company defines as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.” Given that ADP estimates that the cost to a company of just one disengaged employee is more than $2,200 a year, it’s no wonder businesses are looking for ways to encourage employee engagement.” Engaging employees is an important aspect for retention. So, how can you use gamification at your company? Below are several examples from How Companies Can Improve Recruitment And Engagement With Gamification.
- U.S. Army uses gamification to teach recruits about their processes.
- Umbel, a big data startup, uses gamification in the interview process by having candidates program game scenarios.
- Cisco uses gamification for their social rewards program.
- Deloitte integrated gamification into their Leadership Academy.
- Logistics group at Walmart uses gamification to improve company culture and teach employees about safety.
- Google uses gamification for expense reports.
The article, The Pros and Cons of Implementing Gamification in the Workplace stated that: “Gamification is already being used in corporate settings to do just that. Using incentives like competition, achievement, status, altruism, community, and collaboration, businesses can see improvement in overall engagement using gamification in five key areas.”
- HR Compliance
- Ideation and Content Creation
- Leadership Development
Edvance360 LMS-SN provides a cloud-based platform for corporate training programs and incorporates gamification tools such as digital badges. Learn more.
Tags: corporate training, Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS-SN, online training
There are a myriad of online training learning management systems (LMS) with a variety of features and tools. It is important to assess your needs and conduct research during the selection process. However, the hardest part is developing engaging content. The article, 6 Tips For Creating Engaging Asynchronous Online Training Courses provides an overview on how to create engaging online training. In addition, we have added more ideas.
- Make it as interactive as possible: Use SCORM files. This allows you to use text, images, videos, and quizzes so users are interacting with the content rather than simply reading or watching. SCORM files can be creating with software like Articulate or Captivate.
- Keep it clear, concise, and easily digestible: Ensure content is mobile-friendly so users can watch from mobile devices. It is also important to segment videos into snippets five minutes or less in length. Use video streaming platform such as YouTube or Vimeo which is already mobile-friendly.
- Tie everything into real world benefits and applications: Use case studies based on actual events. The application of concepts is best displayed through real world scenarios. Discussion boards are an excellent tool for allowing users to share their experiences.
- Use message boards and online groups to spark discussion: Discussion boards are beneficial for several reasons, collaboration, interaction, knowledge-base, etc.
- Incorporate stories and examples that create a connection: Again, the use of real world scenarios is vital to the learning process. Use group projects to encourage collaboration and facilitate sharing of experiences and problem solving.
- Give them ample opportunity to assess and recap what they have learned: Create quizzes to assess learning. Use discussion boards to determine whether or not employees understand content and the application of it.
Tags: Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS-SN, Learning Management System, MOOC
In an April 2015 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Casey Fabris, breaks down the latest report regarding MOOCs. (For more information on MOOCs, Edvance360’s MOOC360 network, how MOOCs can benefit Edvance360 clients in particular, and how one organization achieves extremely high completion rates as compared to the myriad of other MOOC offerings by using Edvance360 social learning tools, visit our blog.)
The report seeks to answer the question: “Where is research on massive open online courses headed?” A good question, considering MOOCs might very well be one of the largest educational experiments in history, drawing in millions of students worldwide and growing.
Casey Fabris reports:
“The report is the work of the MOOC Research Initiative, funded with more than $800,000 in grant support by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The group put out a call for research submissions and used much of the grant money to fund 28 of them, which were then analyzed for the report.”
“When MOOCs emerged a few years ago, many in the academic world were sent into a frenzy. Pundits made sweeping statements about the courses, saying that they were the future of education or that colleges would become obsolete, said George Siemens, an author of the report who is also credited with helping to create what we now know as a MOOC.”
Which reminds me of the days when the same happened on both sides of the online learning debate when online learning was in its dubious infancy. Some on the pro-side made similar sweeping statements. Others made sweeping statements that online learning was inferior and would die a quick death. Ten years later, it seems to be here to stay.
“It’s almost like we went through this sort of shameful period where we forgot that we were researchers and we forgot that we were scientists and instead we were just making decisions and proclamations that weren’t at all scientific,” said Mr. Siemens, an academic-technology expert at the University of Texas at Arlington.”
“Hype and rhetoric, not research, were the driving forces behind MOOCs, he argued. When they came onto the scene, MOOCs were not analyzed in a scientific way, and if they had been, it would have been easy to see what might actually happen and to conclude that some of the early predictions were off base, Mr. Siemens said.”
“The goal of the MOOC Research Initiative was to take a step back and get a better understanding of MOOC research and literature. Though the public’s interest in MOOCs has dwindled, academic literature on the subject is on the rise. The researchers examined who was writing about MOOCs, what fields they represented, what type of research has been done, and the various themes in the research that has emerged, Mr. Siemens said.
I’m not sure what is meant by “public” here, nor where he’s getting the research behind the dwindling interest, but perhaps the better word here would be “leveling off” or “getting to real numbers” since the majority of those who signed up for a MOOC never completed them. With time, just like online learning, we believe the numbers will trend up again, but this time at a realistic not frenzied pace.
“Five key research themes were identified in the report: student engagement and learning success, MOOC design and curriculum, self-regulated learning and social learning, social-network analysis and networked learning, and motivation, attitude, and success criteria.”
“The report names student engagement as a prominent theme. Many students enrolled in MOOCs are nontraditional, so making sure that they are engaged and able to succeed in such a course is even more important. Figuring out how to maintain students’ interest during an online course when “a distraction is literally just a click away” is another important element, Mr. Siemens said.”
“Mr. Siemens said he hopes the report will help colleges to make smart decisions, based on research and evidence, about their digital campuses.”
So, basically, schools will have to find ever-evolving ways to engage and keep the attention of the students whether the student is sitting in class sleeping, taking an LMS-based online course, or a student in a MOOC. Nope. Not much new here after all.
To learn how Edvance360 LMS is currently being used by The Catholic Distance Learning Network, a department of the National Catholic Education Association, click here. Readers will learn how the social learning and collaboration tools benefit MOOCs – just like they benefit all other forms of learning – resulting in an average completion rate of 26%. Which is about 20% higher than the average MOOC not using Edvance360.
To try a MOOC out on our smaller MOOC network (we like to call them SMOOCs for fun), click here.
Note: The findings of the MOOC Research Initiative are just one section of a larger report called “Preparing for the Digital University: A Review of the History and Current State of Distance, Blended, and Online Learning,” which covers numerous aspects of the digital campus.
Tags: Edvance360 LMS-SN, Learning Management System, LMS
In an April 2015 article in Campus Technology, Tami Erwin has written an excellent article on how to increase buy-in for new technologies. She says:
“To build new technologies your frontline employees will use and trust — tools that will actually improve the customer experience — you need to ask for their feedback at every stage of development.”
As an example, Erwin talks about their recent development and introduction of two new technologies at their call centers. The first is Mobile Coach, an app that compiles service rep performance metrics in real-time so that call center supervisors can engage with their teams more quickly. The tablet-based tool gives the supervisor the ability to freely move about their team all day long, accessing all of their tools using the screen in their hand. They can see how their team members are performing while simultaneously and seamlessly providing real-time coaching.
The second technology is called Rep Guidance, a desktop solution for reps that helps foster more intelligent, better-informed conversations with customers, eliminating the very frustrating situation we’ve all been through: intending to reach one department but getting another by mistake. And having to repeat our problem to yet another representative. Rep Guidance helps our reps get our customers’ details right the very first time.
These sound GREAT! But she knew, from experience of technology implementations gone wrong, they needed to follow a winning strategy to ensure adoption.
“But we knew these tools wouldn’t work if they didn’t fit our customer service team’s needs. So to help develop these new tools, we recruited over 90 frontline call center supervisors and customer representatives to help our tech team shape Mobile Coach and Rep Guidance. We knew that they’d only use the tools — and get the most out of them — if they felt they could trust them.”
Aha. Trust is key. Earning and keeping trust is easier said than done. Here’s what she did:
“My team and I have learned that whenever you are introducing a new process or technology, there is trust to be gained and trust to be lost. We then had to focus our efforts on communicating the tool’s value to drive usage…engagement can be a proxy for trust. The employee’s voice is core to improving both. Inviting feedback is good, but having the end-user actually help build it takes engagement to another level.”
1. So, first have the end-user help build it.
2. Then, invite feedback.
3. Then communicate the tool’s value.
“These two tools aren’t static solutions; our reps are contributing to their improvement all the time. For instance, during a recent panel session, representatives suggested building in auto-launch functionality for account reviews. They felt this change would encourage them to use the feature and that they’d be able to complete an account review earlier in the contact. The team implemented the change and the results were spot-on with the recommendation. Sometimes the feedback can be something as simple as using colors vs. icons, or a bullet format vs. a long-form format for talking points. No matter how simple or how technical the recommendation, all feedback is being taken in and considered.”
4. Then do the steps all over again.
“We’re starting to see encouraging results. We’re finding that more real-time coaching is translating into lasting learning moments. Our representatives are learning how to identify customer signals faster and more accurately than before. For instance, during a pilot phase of Mobile Coach, we saw a 10 percent increase in close rate and a 10 percent increase in first call resolutions. Coaching sessions have nearly tripled from 1.5 conversations per rep per month to four. Reps also seem happy with these results. We surveyed 2,700 call center employees following the implementation of the new tools and 88% felt the technology was headed in the right direction.”
“The technology we use is good; but that’s just table stakes in our industry. Using the technology to generate meaningful insights and enabling our frontline to take action with those insights is what really makes the difference. And that isn’t possible without frontline feedback.”
So how does this translate to your LMS? First, understand that technology is a tool, not an end result. The end result is to improve something, employee retention, perhaps. Determine the end result.
Second, select a vendor/tool. The tool must have features you know you need, but the vendor must also an attitude toward development that is agile and understanding. You will have customizations. If you don’t, you’re not using all the tools. Experience in an industry is nice, but less important than a willingness (and ability) to adapt to your changing needs.
Third, get your frontline staff members’ buy-in. Ask them to see the full overview of the LMS features and all that is possible. Don’t just drip features out to them. Let them imagine how the tools as they currently exist might benefit their day-to-day jobs and beyond. Then, dream a little. Then dream a little more.
Fourth, implement the current tools and start working with your staff to envision how a change in a specific tool would make their lives easier or better, improve results, etc. Caution: Don’t ask for change from the vendor BEFORE you implement or you’ll waste time and money. Start the discussion with your staff after tool usage has experienced its first spike in usage.
Fifth, bring in the vendor to understand the need, the process, and your ideas. This is where innovation happens. At Edvance360, we love engaging with our customers in this way – it ensures we stay relevant and ever evolving.
Edvance360 LMS-SN partners with Elightenment Learning™, Providing Turn-key, Customizable Content for Corporate Training ProgramsJune 17, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Posted in E360 News & Events | Leave a comment
Tags: corporate training, Edvance360 LMS-SN, learning management stystem
(Virginia Beach, VA – June 2015) Edvance360, a leading provider of eLearning services and software solutions and a CODiE 2015 (and 2011) winner for Best Learning Management System, announced a partnership with Elightenment Learning, to provide a turn-key, comprehensive elearning package. This partnership brings together the best in learning management systems and quality courses from the Elightenment’s eCourse Library. For a simple, all-inclusive subscription fee, Edvance360 clients gain access to unlimited, interactive SCORM-compliant course modules easily downloaded into their Edvance360 system. Clients will get access to courses in:
- Human Resources
- Occupational Safety
- Project Management
- Sales and Marketing
- And more!
The eCourse Library is constantly updating and expanding topics, making it a valuable resource to any corporation. There is no limit to the number of courses accessed. Elightenment Learning shares the source files with clients, enabling them to customize the content as needed.
“This integration benefits our customers by making courses available in an affordable, easily importable way,” said Cathy Garland, Vice President of Marketing & Sales. “We are delighted to announce this partnership and look forward to seeing our clients take advantage of this opportunity to shore up their own internal, employee-facing training, update out-of-date material, and eradicate those pesky corporate employee problems such as low retention numbers, high onboarding costs, etc. And, really, Elightenment Learning’s offer to provide the actual source files of the content is unparalleled. It demonstrates their commitment to eLearning in the long run.”
“Elightenment Learning is proud to announce our integration with Edvance360’s award winning online learning management system,” said Michael Finney, Elightenment Learning’s Founder. “By leveraging our engaging courses, with the powerful system of the Edvance360 LMS, organizations can deploy courses quickly and efficiently throughout an organization. Companies can reduce development costs, while ensuring their students are receiving quality training.”
We invite you to consider joining Edvance360. We offer:
- Badges & Certificates– Edvance360 now offers a new and excited way to reward learners: badges. Badges, in addition to certificates, can build motivation and team morale as learners collect and display the badges they’ve earned in their learning path.
- Unparalleled Personal Support – Edvance360 is a demonstrated leader in its commitment to personalized support for its clients and we commit to a 95% or higher faculty usage rate at all of our client institutions.
- Affordable Pricing– Edvance360’s pricing is significantly lower than any of the other commercial vendors. Pricing is regularly 30%-50% below competitor prices.
- Forward-Thinking Commitment – Edvance360 was the first LMS to combine social networking and other Web 2.0 tools (Wikis, Blogs, RSS feeds, etc.) with the features of a Course Management System.
About Elightenment Learning
Elightenment Learning (LLC) provides both public and private sectors with Web-based eLearning solutions. During our 7 years in business, we have continued expanding and offering exceptional virtual learning through our professional education technology. In addition, we are educators ourselves, who understand how to best utilize innovative technology and design techniques to make eLearning understandable, easy to use, and affordable. We have programs to fit any budget. There is a point where art, technology, and learning converge. When the three do, amazing learning takes place. Not in a mediocre way, but with a disruption in the way we view the world around us. We want to wipe out boring training and we can help you do the same. With headquarters and incorporation in Kohler, Wisconsin, we provide learning solutions, and course design. For more information, contact us at 715.203.1265 or visit us on the web at www.elightenmentlearning.com.
Edvance360 is an Internet-based Learning Management System (LMS) and secure social network that enables institutions to implement a successful online learning program. Edvance360 equips schools, corporations, and organizations to host online courses, implement modular courses, and revitalize residential courses. Edvance360 was designed by educators for educators, with insight provided by many of the leading educational design experts.
Our clients enjoy a high return on their investment, personalized support, and customizable solutions. We do not believe a one-size-fits-all approach is beneficial to our clients, so we are committed to adapting Edvance360 to fit the needs of the rapidly changing world of education.
Edvance360 is headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with operations in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. For more information, please visit www.Edvance360.com or call 866-458-0360.
Edvance360 and the Edvance360 logo are trademarks of Edvance360 Corporation. All other company and product names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Cathy Garland, VP of Marketing & Sales