Monthly Archives: August 2015

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Best Practices for eLearning Recall and Retention

By | eLearning Solutions | No Comments

The word “test” usually strikes fear into the hearts of learners, replete with anxiety and sweaty palms. That’s because in most cases, tests are used as a way for learners to prove to administrators that they’ve mastered the material: If a learner fails, it means he’s done something wrong. But if you’re using tests to highlight who’s mastered the material and who’s falling behind, you’re doing it all wrong.

Tests aren’t meant to be for the benefit of the administrator, but for the learners themselves. In fact, utilizing testing properly can actually improve knowledge retention. A study published in a 2011 issue of Science found that learners retained about 50 percent more of the information they were tested on when compared to students who used methods such as repeated studying.

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Startup San Diego [Infographic]

By | eLearning Solutions | One Comment

The west coast is the best coast. That classic saying sure holds true for the success of startup companies. Forbes even recently named San Diego the number one city for startups. We dived into research to find out all the stats on everything from VC Funding to successful exits. Check out the infographic to see why San Diego startups are really bringing the heat.

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Why the Classroom is the Keystone of the 70:20:10 Model

By | eLearning Solutions | No Comments

School might be out for summer, but that doesn’t mean organizations should ditch the classroom way of life. When most organizations’ training structure revolves around the 70:20:10 gold standard of experiential, social, and formal learning instituted by the Center for Creative Leadership back in the 90’s, it’s important to not get too caught up in the latest delivery methods and eLearning fads.

It’s true that the CLL model encourages organizations to think beyond typical training and promote a blended approach to instruction, but it doesn’t negate the importance of classroom-based learning. By understanding how the classroom plays into even modern training applications, you won’t forget to blend some face-to-face time into your other training strategies.

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Zirtual Reality: A Zirtual Employee’s (Short) Trip Back to the Workforce

By | eLearning Solutions | No Comments

Welcome Courtney to ELM!

Not with a bang but a whimper: That’s how things ended at Zirtual last Monday, when the virtual assisting service closed its doors without fanfare–or warning. Four hundred employees were immediately laid off without notice. The company was being acquired by Startups.co, the unceremonious email said after 24 hours of shutting it doors. Effective immediately, Zirtual was shutting its doors. And just like that, 400 talented professionals–some of whom had been at Zirtual for years–were hitting the pavement and looking for employment.

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3 Ways Learner Mood Affects Your Entire Organization

By | eLearning Solutions | No Comments

No, you’re not reading the inside of a fortune cookie: We really believe that happiness makes all the difference in your work. And we’re not just talking about individual warm fuzzy feelings, but how mood can affect an entire workplace.

Happiness is a sometimes-forgotten barometer of organizational health. When crunching numbers, analyzing ROI, and analyzing employee efficiency, stopping to wonder, “Is my team happy?” comes as an afterthought–if it’s a thought at all.

But happiness doesn’t just make for a more pleasant working environment. It can improve communication between colleagues, increase capacity for learning, and permeate nearly every aspect of your company’s culture. If employees aren’t happy, they might not be meeting their full potential at work. Learn why happiness makes all the difference, and what it takes to get learners and employees to smile.

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Real Mobile Learning: Are Smartphone Printers Worth the Investment?

By | eLearning Solutions | No Comments

Asking learners to BYOD–bring their own devices–not only saves money, but time. When learners are already acquainted with the technology they’ll use to access information, it reduces prep time so everyone can jump straight into learning. But while most of your learners will have access to their own smartphones and tablets, mobile printers might be a different story. Despite their high availability and range of design, your learners probably won’t have one in their briefcases.

In most cases, it’s probably up to the organization to provide learners with mobile printing devices. Knowing what’s out there and how they can contribute to custom eLearning can help you decide whether or not they’re a worthy mobile learning investment.

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Hold the Phone: Why Mobile Learning Limitations are NBD

By | eLearning Solutions, Learning Lab Experts Series | No Comments

Mobile learning naysayers are more than happy to point out that smartphones–while great for playing Candy Crush and uploading pictures to Instagram–simply aren’t cut out for eLearning. The screens are too small; the battery life is too short; and overall, desktop wins when it comes to in-depth eLearning modules.

But the limitations surrounding mobile learning aren’t that big of a deal. As long as your organization isn’t giving mobile learning the desktop treatment, there’s no reason that smartphone and tablet-based eLearning shouldn’t be part of a healthy and effective training strategy. The next time someone tries to take some of the wind out of your mobile learning sails, remind them that the few drawbacks are well worth the positive effects of just-in-time learning.

“Battery life is too short…”

While it’s true that mobile learning is subject to a user’s battery life, it’s unlikely that a mobile learning application would be open and utilized so long that it would effectively drain a day’s worth of cellphone battery. In most cases, users would pull out their phones, find the necessary information, and then put their phones away.

If the mobile learning module does require extended periods of viewing, such as a video or animation, media should be kept short and sweet (think less than five minutes) to ensure that mobile learning is as quick as it is accessible.

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DIY Virtual Reality: World of Warcraft Thinks Inside the Box at Comic-Con 2015

By | Gamification | No Comments

World of Warcraft has a branding problem: When the majority of your audience is basement-dwelling game-aholics, it can be hard to appeal to a wider audience. But with the 2016 release of the World of Warcraft movie, big names and big budgets have been thrown around to make a flick that hardcore gamers can appreciate. At the same time, WoW needed to find a way to turn the general public into fanboys and this year’s Comic-Con.

The WoW solution was to give diehard fans and curious looky-loos a chance to experience WoW through virtual reality simulations. By finding a way to produce inexpensive VR machines, WoW was able to hand out 50,000 units to Comic-Con goers, officially turning WoW naysayers into true believers.

Virtual reality might sound like the way of the future, but it’s slowly making its way into mainstream entertainment and education. In fact, adding VR to customer education and employee training might be more feasible than you think; especially if you follow WoW’s lead.

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CFO vs. CEO: Why Investing in Employee Talent Management is Worth it

By | Learning Trends | No Comments

A common bit of CEO humor goes something like this: A CEO tells the CFO that they need to increase employee investment. “What happens if we spend the money to train them and they leave,” the CFO cries. “What happens if we don’t train them and they stay?” says the CEO.

Unfortunately, most organizations share the same concerns as the CFO: Talent management costs money and can have unpredictable results, so it’s best to scrap the idea altogether, right? But while it’s true that better-trained employees might search for greener pastures, they can also become major assets for the right organization. As one of the most underrated factors of employee training, talent management has the potential to increase profitability and competition in a fickle employment landscape.

Asking the Wrong Questions

What some organizations recognize as talent development might be more akin to cracking the whip than supporting a new wave of leaders. It comes down to the questions managers ask, and too often the questions asked are “Is the job done?” or “Are you meeting your deadlines,” or even, “Are you meeting my expectations?” When pelted with these types of questions, employees soon learn that managers only expect the minimum requirements to be fulfilled.

Of course, that attitude likely comes from the top down. Managers ensure employees are simply fulfilling basic requirements because they’ve learned that it’s what their supervisors want, and their supervisors have learned the attitude from organization executives: Do this and you won’t get fired. Eventually, the organization culture revolves around ticking off the necessary boxes before heading home, with little employee share in the company’s success.

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Why Your Training Strategy Probably Needs an Attitude Adjustment

By | Learning Trends | No Comments

If you’re taking on the paternal role for workplace training and notice that employees are more sullen teens than willing participants, you have a serious problem. Often, the issue with training initiatives isn’t only centered around the content, the delivery system, or even the strategy: It’s the attitude behind the training.

When a training program is just another task to check off the list, it has less of a chance to really make a difference. Putting that training program online for easy access might sound like the solution, but transitioning from traditional training to eLearning isn’t a matter of just uploading content. Instead, a fundamental adjustment in the way your organization thinks about learning and development must occur for the changes to really take hold.

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