An enormous amount of eLearning is ineffective: this despite us spending $200 BILLION every year on it. It’s not hard to see why, either. The bulk of the eLearning industry is split into Learning Management Systems (which distribute content and measure the results) and course authoring companies which use authoring tools to create courseware and sell it to clients. The issue lies with the latter: the bulk of the learning content goes to multiple client subscribers and therefore needs to be created of a one-size-fits-all basis. Unless bespoke courseware is commissioned for a company, the potential for personalised learning is severely diminished. What’s more, even if commissioned content is created for a company, it will be targeted at team-size groups (at best) and it won’t be easy to update. What the learner (too often) gets is old learning material that’s only partially relevant. It’s no wonder that eLearning is so ineffective and that course completion rates usually lie under 20%.
How do you move to Personalized Learning?
– Agile learning. By using an LMS with an integrated, template-driven, rapid authoring tool, your organisation can create and update its own learning. Instead of learners suffering through a 1985 case study that may have happened before they were born, citing a court verdict that was on the news the night before will make for much more relatable and engaging content. Templates allow you to personalise learning by doing all the hard work for you: there’s no need to start with a blank page. Simply upload your knowledge content plus questions and answers and you’ve suddenly got a fully-functional microlesson. It takes minutes to produce or update and can be done quickly in-house without sending away to a third party.
– Microlearning. A broad eLearning course is the opposite of personalised learning. With typical eLearning, there will be very few people to whom the content is fully relevant and its delivery won’t be in a manner that can be deemed personal. Microlearning lessons, however, are highly-topical and typically describe new practices, products and procedures for individuals or groups that need to know about particular information. The improved relevance increases engagement. The brief nature of the lesson reduces mental barriers to engaging with it too.
– Mobile Learning. Employees regard computers as work tools. These are, subsequently, not the ideal platforms for expecting workers to open up and absorb knowledge from. However, it’s fair to assume that all employees own a smartphone which they engage with at a personal level (whenever they’ve got a chance). By delivering training direct to their phones, they’re more likely to engage with it. They can also perform the training in their own time, anywhere they happen to be and at their own pace. This last point is particularly important with respect to personalised learning: expecting groups to absorb training at the same time in the same location when everybody learns at different rates, is a recipe for getting fast learners bored and leaving slow learners confused.
– Peer Learning. When colleagues teach colleagues learning outcomes improve. Nobody knows their job better than those who do it just like nobody knows their clients better than the salespeople who interact with them. By getting these people to deliver training, learners can better relate to the teacher and context. Peer learning is enabled by microlearning and agile learning because creating courses is so simple to do. With some learning apps, potential-teachers can use mobile phones to simply upload a quick training video and distribute it to other learners (either on their own or with minimal assistance).
– Spaced Repetition. Spaced Repetition means revising content at increasing intervals until knowledge is embedded. By using a dedicated Spaced Repetition app or feature (like Brain Boost), this can be tailored for personalised learning. Apps can remember which specific answers a learner got wrong and focus on those when reinforcing the messaging. It’s perfect for personalised learning but requires the usage of the correct spaced repetition schedule.
Want to implement personalised learning?
Whether you want to overhaul your existing learning program or augment your existing one, EdApp offers all of the above features. If you’re interested, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also try EdApp’s Mobile LMS and authoring tool for free by signing up here or in the box below.