Reminder: Last chance to register for Using Templates to Create your own eLearning Webinar

If you are registered for tomorrow’s free webinar, “Using Templates to Create your own eLearning”, fantastic – we will see you online then! If you haven’t yet registered, it’s happening at 12 noon BST and is a must for anyone interested in, or are responsible for delivering learning and training.

Hosted by Aurion’s Client Services Director, Gavin Woods, we will present an expert guide on using templates to help create your own eLearnng and give an insight into the best practices as well as some of the tricks of the trade.

During the free online event you will learn:

  • Types of eLearning templates
  • Importance of a content style guide
  • Instructional design techniques to designing courses
  • Best practices to use
  • How to make the most of resources available

Register now to join this informative session and share your views and ask questions by submitting them real-time during the webinar or on twitter using hashtag #DesignBuildDeliver

We look forward to seeing you all online tomorrow.

For more information and to register, visit http://www.aurionlearning.com/community/events/webinar-essentials-for-using-templates-to-build-your-own-elearning.aspx

15 E-Learning Statistics You Need To Know For 2015

It’s the beginning of a new year and 2015 looks set to be an exciting one for E-Learning! Just before Christmas, we brought you 10 Key E-Learning Trends for 2015 and today we’ve compiled for you a handy infographic with the fifteen E-Learning statistics you need to know for 2015.

The digital learning scene changes and expands so fast, it can be hard to keep up sometimes. We hope our statistics will help give you an idea of the power of E-Learning and the traits of leading learning organisations!

Infographic contained text from the blog article below.This infographic is available to download here.

  1. The number of types of learning technologies available has doubled in the last five years.
  2. 42% of leading learning companies say online learning has led to an increase in revenue and 56% say it has improved productivity.
  3. 81% of learners are responsible for managing their own personal development and 82% like to learn at their own pace.
  4. Organisations where L&D teams align their KPIs with senior management are 13 times more likely to report increased revenue and 50% more likely to see positive changes in staff behaviour.
  5. 91% of L&D leaders think learning technology should enable a quicker response to changing business conditions and organisational change.
  6. 3/5 organisations cannot implement a technology enabled learning strategy due to lack of skills.
  7. Only 49% of organisations have the Instructional Design skills they need. Only 28% have L&D staff confident in using new media in learning design. Only 31% have staff capable of developing digital content in-house.
  8. In 2015, 98% of organisations are predicted to use E-Learning courses as part of their learning strategy.
  9. By 2016, 83% of organisations are predicted to use video as part of their digital learning.
  10. In 2015, 50% of organisations are predicted to use games and complex simulations as part of their E-Learning.
  11. Currently, 74% of people use mobile devices for E-Learning, this will rise to 81% by 2016.
  12. By 2019, 50% of all classes will be delivered online.
  13. 42% of the public sector use MOOCs to achieve L&D goals.
  14. Leading learning companies are 33% more likely to use more varied and interesting media in their E-Learning design, twice as likely to encourage knowledge sharing and twice as likely to create knowledge repositories.
  15. The compound annual growth rate of the worldwide self-paced E-Learning market is 4.4% and is set to be worth $53 billion by 2018.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

Learning is Evolving: 10 Key E-Learning Trends for 2015

Image of a tablet computer, surrounded by educational icons and accompanied by the title "10 Key E-Learning Trends for 2015"

It’s that time of the year again, and no, we don’t mean office parties or writing our letters to Santa – I’m sure you are super organised and have that fun task completed already! It’s at this time of the year, when we take stock on what’s likely to be occurring for the coming year ahead and predict what the 10 biggest E-Learning trends of 2015 will be.

We think it’s pretty fair to assume that E-Learning is no longer a new concept!

The development of effective instructional design and online pedagogical practice as well as time and cost savings means that digital learning is here to stay. In fact, research company Global Industry Analysts estimate that the market value for E-Learning will reach a colossal $107 Billion in 2015.

So what’s in store for the coming year then? Some of the ‘trends’ you will find popping up also feature from previous years, so technically they may not be a new trend, but we’ve kept them on our list as some of them have been slow to adopt and still hold a solid presence and form the topic of many a conservation by the water cooler.

So, in no particular order, the top 10 E-Learning trends for 2015 are:

 

1. Mobile learning

Making it onto our list year again! Market Research firm Ambient Insight in their 2012-2017 Worldwide Mobile Learning Market Report predicted the five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the mLearning market to be 18.2% and estimated global revenues would be at $12.2 billion by 2017. A mobile consumer report by Google and Ipsos MediaCT found that 80% of users won’t leave home without their smartphone. This level of market penetration coupled with a global digitisation effort reinforcing the indispensibility of mobile devices necessitates the consideration of mobile learning in every L&D strategy.

 

2. The use of video

With the increase in popularity of mLearning and the startling statistic from Google and Ipsos MediaCT that 67% of smartphone users watch video, and 14% use video at least once a day, it comes as no surprise that the use of video in E-Learning is on the rise. Accompanied with an influx in the use of digital storytelling as an educational tool, videos are a fun approach to creating bite-sized and engaging E-Learning modules.

 

3. Tin Can API

Following on from an incredible year in 2014, Tin Can API is likely to continue to grow in popularity and adoption in 2015. Tin Can is a Learning Record Store (LRS) capable of tracking a learner’s progress as they engage in traditional, formal learning as well as informal, social learning. Tin Can is set to overtake SCORM as the go-to industry standard LRS.

 

4. Big data

Most L&D departments are required to quantitatively prove the worth of their learning strategies to stakeholders with accurate statistics and in-depth information. As well as demonstrating the effectiveness of digital learning, the increased adoption of big data will allow E-Learning administrators to personalise learning content, provide timely motivation and test the effectiveness of various learning theories and strategies.

 

5. Gamification

In the Ambient Insight 2013-2018 North America Mobile Edugame Market Report, it was estimated that with a CAGR of 12.5%, the revenue for game-based mobile learning products in North America alone will be $410.27 million by 2018. Growth in the use of game mechanics is fuelled by the expectations of digital age students to be entertained and have content delivered in interesting and attention-grabbing ways.

 

6. Augmented Reality

In the fast-paced world of technology, it can be easy to overlook the repercussions of individual technological advances. Augmented Reality’s (AR) ability to effortlessly overlay the real surroundings of a learner with virtual images that can be interacted with enables us to create E-Learning that is more interactive, engaging and entertaining than ever before. The emergence of affordable and therefore widely adoptable AR devices such as the Oculus Rift means that 2015 could be a landmark year for learning using AR.

 

7. In-house content authoring

Technical advances, cost savings and a wider selection of rapid authoring tools means that L&D practitioners at all levels of technical capability can create their own E-Learning content. An indicator of the growing potential of authoring tools lies in the release of Articulate Storyline 2 and the increased functionality that comes along with it. If you want to build in-house capability and take advantage of serious cost savings, read our recent blog ‘What are Authoring Tools and which one is right for me?

 

8. LMS

With organisations increasingly keen to monitor both formal and social learning, Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are set to be a big trend for 2015. Forecasts show that Learning Management Systems will grow at a rate of 25% for the next 5 years, reaching $7.8 billion in 2018.

 

9. Learning as a lifestyle

The L&D sector as a whole is shifting from thinking about organising individual learning events to creating learning campaigns. In 2015, organisations will be looking for new ways to connect with their learners through social, informal and creative methods that transform learning into a lifestyle rather than a compartmentalised activity.

 

10. Leadership training

In their Global Leadership Forecast for 2014-2015, talent management consultancy Development Dimensions International earmarked learning without practical application or relevance to the job as one of the main barriers to leadership development. With many business looking to invest a large proportion of their L&D budget in leadership, 2015 has the potential to be a year when online leadership training comes to full maturity.

 

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

Selecting the right Learning Management System for your organisation

Image of a computer fashioned as a shop window with the blog title, "Selecting the right Learning Management System for your organisation"

With organisations increasingly keen to monitor both formal and social learning, Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are set to be a big trend for 2015.

In a market saturated with over 600 learning management solutions, (yes, that many!) choosing the right LMS for your organisation can be a daunting task but will reap huge benefits in terms of money savings, time efficiency and the ability to deliver innovative and effective learning campaigns.

In this latest post, we’ll help point you in the right direction.

What is an LMS and why do you need one?

An LMS is a software application which will allow you to manage all aspects of your online learning; including administration, tracking learner progress and the delivery of learning content. A good LMS will make the organisational, technical and administrative tasks associated with delivering online learning into a simple, manageable process.

In his presentation: 7 Questions you must ask before purchasing an LMS, Business Development Manager at Aurion Learning, Gavin Woods outlined the seven key questions you should ask to avoid LMS disappointment:

  1. Is it easy to implement?
  2. Is it easy to customise and configure?
  3. Is it secure?
  4. Is in-depth reporting available?
  5. Does it have strong functionality?
  6. Is it scalable?
  7. Do I want to work with this vendor?

See the full presentation here.

In 2015, there are five industry wide trends that we predict will affect LMS choice and that you’ll want to take into consideration as you future proof your E-Learning:

  1. The widespread adoption of big data in E-Learning
  2. The emergence of Tin Can API
  3. An increase in self-directed, informal learning
  4. A further rise in mobile learning
  5. The integration of learning management and talent management

Ultimately, the aim is to find an LMS which is robust, functional and future proof, as well as being within your budget. Each organisation will have different requirements in terms of technical and functional requirements.

Before approaching any vendors, we recommend sitting down with representatives from across your organisation and discussing what you need to have and what you would like to have.

It’s likely that your LMS will be used by more than just your learning and development team, so remember to include colleagues working in management, human resources, marketing and anyone else who will use the LMS on a regular basis.

With so much LMS choice available, it can be hard to select the right one for your organisational needs. At team Aurion, we’ve selected three LMS solutions that we regularly recommend to a wide range of organisations and outlined which learner needs they meet most effectively:

NetDimensions Learning

Described by Brandon Hall as “bulletproof”, this LMS is notorious for its technical dependability and is ideal for high information or compliance based industries.

With inbuilt talent management integration, it benefits both the human resources and training department by tracking and recording learner progress as well as potentially reporting workplace performance. NetDimensions Learning is used all over the world and its translation and localisation capabilities make it ideal for organisations operating in several countries or using numerous languages. Customer service is reportedly helpful and quick.

LearnUpon

Recently named by independent reporter Learning Light as one of its top 8 learning management systems, LearnUpon is famed for being a simple, easy to set up LMS where administrators can quickly upload and share learning content.

With a transparent payment plan and ability to create new learning content at a fast pace, it is a favourite amongst training providers. As a cloud based LMS, it is highly competitive in terms of data security, accessibility and customisation.

Moodle

For many in the academic world, the word Moodle is synonymous with E-Learning. This open source, highly scalable LMS is seen by many as the unquestionable forerunner in the race for best LMS.

Also voted by Learning Light as one of the top 8 LMSs, it stands out from the crowd because of the cost benefits it offers, its consistent development and innovation and the community of developers who continually create new features and ways of delivering digital learning. It is great for creating mobile learning and is compatible with Tin Can API.

Although it is free, you will need to partner with someone who knows how to use it and will help you to keep abreast with the constant changes associated with a Moodle LMS deployment.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

 

What are authoring tools and which one is right for me?

Image containing title of the blog and a person using an authoring tool

Authoring tools are software applications used to create E-Learning programmes and content. There is a massive selection of authoring tools available on the E-Learning market and we aim to highlight some of our favourite products and outline considerations you should take into account when deciding which authoring tool is right for your E-Learning needs.

There are many types of authoring tools available:

Nine logos for various authoring tools. Including Articulate tools, Composica, gomo, Snap! and more.

 

These can be divided into three main groups of authoring tools:

1. Standalone tools

Watch our short video: The Pros and Cons of Storyline

Tools that do not require any other software to be installed.

 

2. PowerPoint based plug-ins

Watch our short video: The Pros and Cons of Snap!

Tools which extend the functionality of PowerPoint.

 

3. Online tools

Watch our short video: The Pros and Cons of Composica

Web-browser based tools, platform independent.

 

A good authoring tool allows E-Learning creators to use rich media; audio, flash animations, videos and games and to build interactions around the rich media.

Generally content created by authoring tools can be published for use on websites, CDs or Learning Management Systems for consumption by your learners at a time and place that suits them best.

At our recent masterclass series, we gave an overview of the benefits of building internal capability by developing your own E-Learning using authoring tools. You can view and download the presentation here. We’ll also have the recoding of this presentation online soon. During this session, Gavin Woods, our Business Development Manager gave an overview of:

An overview of Articulate Studio. Why? +Based on familiar tools (PowerPoint), + Easy to use, + Good for beginners. Why not? - Some limits on functionality, - Plug-in architecture creates some issues.

 

An Overview of Articulate Storyline: Why? + Most powerful authoring environment, + Unlimited authoring capability, + Work remotely (desktop based). Why not? -Steeper learning curve, - Needs some training, - Appropriate licensing can be an issue.

 

An Overview of Adobe Captivate: Why? + Broad range of features, + Part of a wider Adobe E-Learning Suite, + You may have a license already. Why not? - Not as user friendly, - Weaker set of interactions, - Some minor issues with uploading images.

 

Overview of Camtasia. Used for: Screencasting, Talk to cam, Slides plus video, Slides plus voice over.

In a non-rapid environment (think E-Learning companies developing in Flash) there are at least three people in the development team plus the subject matter expert (SME) and the client. In a rapid environment, there is normally just the DIY E-Learning developer along with the SME. It is very often the case though the DIY E-Learning developer is also the SME, Instructional Designer and client all rolled into one. It’s lovely up to a point…but is also feels pretty lonely. As time and resources are often limited, it’s imperative that you are selecting the right authoring tool.

What factors are important when choosing an authoring tool?

  • Multi-device publishing;
  • The ability to incorporate rich media;
  • The ease of creation of interactivity;
  • Cost;
  • Compatibility; and
  • Skill level in-house.

It’s important to select an authoring tool that allows you to create engaging, aesthetically pleasing and interactive E-Learning content without requiring the technical know-how of a computer genius.

At Aurion, depending on our client’s specific E-Learning project requirements, we select the right authoring tool that best fits the brief. Articulate Storyline has the most powerful authoring environment and now that Articulate have launched a new, improved version; Articulate Storyline 2, it’s worth taking a closer look at this formidable tool.

Our team of E-Learning designers love the features of Articulate Storyline 1 because it is effortless to use, has a strong tracking and reporting functionality, simple integration of interactivity and rich media and content means that it is immediately publishable across a wide range of devices.

So what’s different about Storyline 2?

Whilst maintaining a similar look and feel, Storyline 2 offers the same functionality as Storyline 1 and more. On a practical note, the introduction of auto recovery means that you needn’t worry that you’ll lose any of your hard work if you experience technical difficulties with your device. The new dockable panel functionality enables you to work effectively across multiple screens and the fact it is no longer necessary to compress videos ensures that you can maintain high quality graphics and animations.

Both appearance and interactivity in Storyline 2 are better than ever before with the new motion paths, animation painter and a range of new transitions and animations. Our favourite new feature is the slider interactions which allow learners to play around with data and discover causal relationships in a highly visual and interactive format.

Storyline 2 allows you to both import questions and attribute negative scores, thus allowing you to change how tests are created and assessed.

If we’ve managed to tempt you to give Storyline 2 a go, you can try it out for free here.

Although we’re big fans of Articulate Storyline and have used it as a solution for a wide range of E-Learning needs, we know that there is no one size fits all in digital learning. For more advice on choosing the right authoring tool for you, we recommend watching our webinar: Choosing the Right Tools to Create Your Own E-Learning.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

 

8 Ideas for Exceptional E-Learning Interactivity

An image of a man's mind with a light bulb in the middle and ideas flowing from it, accompanied by the title, "8 Ideas for Exceptional E-Learning Interactivity"

Interactivity is what differentiates dull and drab E-Learning from learning that provokes questions, draws in learners and captures information in a memorable way. If you want to create E-Learning that strikes a chord with learners and transforms learning from being a chore into something enjoyable, we’ve gathered eight ideas for exceptional E-Learning interactivity:

1.    Gamify your learning content

The gamification of learning is a trend that is on the rise. By introducing game mechanics to your E-Learning content, you can increase learner engagement and motivation.

2.    Tell a story

Storytelling has been a learning style long before the introduction of technology. By sharing either illustrative or real life stories with learners, it’s possible to relate your E-Learning to everyday life as well as entertain learners. You can create and share your own digital story for free using our own storytelling tool storee.

3.    Pose questions that require more than yes or no answers

Although they make great tools for assessing knowledge and understanding, it can be tempting for learners to race through multiple choice questionnaires. By incorporating open ended questions learners will receive the opportunity to consider what they have learnt and put it into their own words.

4.    Create discussion spaces for learners to interact

The emergence and widespread adoption of social media means that people are generally more willing to connect and search for meaning using online communities. Social learning offers learners the opportunity to extend learning outside the walls of the classroom and your E-Learning module.

5.    Include beautiful multimedia

Modern, well designed pictures, videos, interactive charts and quizzes will suggest to learners that the content you’re teaching them is up-to-date and topical.

6.    Translate your E-Learning into real world exercises

To successfully motivate learners, it’s vital to link the new information you’re providing them with to their day-to-day life. Real world exercises will prompt learners to consider the legitimacy and relevancy of your E-Learning.

7.    Build problem based scenarios as part of your assessments

Problem based scenarios present a perfect opportunity to encourage learners to grapple with difficult issues and to raise questions about the application of their new knowledge.

8.    Personalise modules by including learners’ names

Small gestures can go a long way. By using learners’ names and other personalised information you can put learners at ease and make them feel like the content was created uniquely for them.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

Want to be top in the class when creating assessments?

Want to be top in the class when creating assessments?

There are few words that provoke as strong of a reaction amongst young and old alike as when an instructor says, “I’m going to test you on that.” However, the way that many students and instructors view assessments is flawed. By identifying these flaws, you can stand to take the stress out of assessments for you and your students.

There are two main types of assessments:

1. Formative Assessments

The aim of a formative assessment is to monitor student learning. It allows instructors to identify knowledge gaps and amend their teaching accordingly. Formative assessments benefit students because they are able to identify their weaknesses and compensate accordingly. By nature they don’t create pressure or stress for students or instructors as they are merely a way of measuring and communicating understanding.

2. Summative Assessments

Often taking place at the end of a period of learning or a learning event, summative assessments measure student learning against a specific benchmark. There is often pressure on both students and instructors as the result is generally a pass or fail.

Assessments are a fantastic way of evaluating competency and understanding so we’ve made a list of five principles to remember next time you’re including assessments in your E-Learning course:

1. Assessments are just another teaching tool.

Regular assessments throughout an extended period of learning act as a diagnostic or problem-shooting measure. To fully utilise this function, it is essential that students understand that the goal is not to appear as if they have learnt and understood. Instead, the assessment is a conversation between student and teacher allowing them to identify areas that need more work and attention.

2. Summative assessment results should be measured against previously decided and specific learning goals.

By setting specific goals defining what learners should know by the end of a period of learning and seeing how these compare to actual results, it’s possible to begin to identify shortcomings and rectify teaching practice for the next time.

3. Regular assessments with good feedback ensure learners’ engagement and success.

As the expert in your subject, your job is to connect your learners with the issues and talking points that will fascinate and intrigue them. Regular assessments encourage learners to dig deep and grapple with these issues themselves. By allowing students to take a back seat role in your class, there is a high chance of them becoming complacent and allowing you to do all of the work. Assessments can help to overcome this.

4. Remind your students that assessments are their best friend.

Learners need to understand that assessments are for their own good and there is therefore no point in hacks, shortcuts or cheating. Learners can attempt to perform and try to make it appear that they know more things than they really do. Last minute cramming for exams rarely equals long term knowledge retention. Typically, the more rushed we are when we take on knowledge is linked to how fast we forget it. By communicating with learners and letting them know that failure is sometimes a good thing, you can change the way they view assessments and learning generally.

5. Assessments should measure knowledge put into action.

Competency is not the amount of information students have in their heads but how they put that information into practice. By allowing learners to demonstrate their newfound abilities, they will be instilled with a sense of achievement.

What do you think is important when creating assessments for your digital learning campaign? We would love to hear what you think! To read more blogs like this, follow @aurionlearning on Twitter.

Best Practice UX Design for E-Learning

UX Design for E-Learning

By incorporating best practice UX design into your E-Learning, you can maximise information retention, learner engagement and learner enjoyment.

UX design specialists tend to know how people use technology but not necessarily how people learn. There are elements of UX design we’ll cover in this blog that are universal and some that apply specifically to E-Learning.

Why is UX design important?

Because of the clever way Apple’s user interfaces are designed, even a toddler who can’t yet read can pick up an iPad, find the game they want to play or take a photo. Apple do things in a way that just makes sense. From the way things are packed and unfold to how their products and software are designed, they create products which simplify processes for the end user and have their enjoyment in mind. That’s why they had a revenue of over 170 billion dollars in 2013. User experience matters.

We all want to create an E-Learning experience that is seamless and intuitive.

By applying our UX design for E-Learning tips, you can simplify processes and delight learners. They won’t have to ask questions about navigation and will be able to do what they want to do, when they want to do it.

To illustrate the importance of UX design in E-Learning, we will use the example of the Sensory Engagement Programme which we developed in partnership with four of the largest support and advocacy organisations for people with sight and hearing loss across the whole of Ireland. The resource aims to raise awareness among service providers of what it is like to be blind, partially sighted, deaf or hard of hearing and using every day services.

As the best designed user experiences are usually the easiest, it was imperative that the user experience on this project was as seamless as possible.

How do people read online?

The introductory page to the Sensory Engagement Programme.

The introductory page to the Sensory Engagement Programme.

  • Researchers from the Nielsen Norman Group undertook research tracking the eye movements of over 300 website users and discovered that people tend to read webpages in an F shape. The findings make an interesting read and the full report is available to download here.
  • In the above image, you can see the welcome page from the Sensory Engagement Programme. As you can see, we have taken the knowledge that online learners read in an F shape into consideration when laying out our content. This means that users are more likely to read the content and will understand what to expect from the rest of the E-Learning resource.
  • The commoditisation of written content in the digital age means that readers scan and spend less time reading than ever before. This means that content needs to make sense immediately, without further explanation. Clear headings, bullet points and concise, meaningful content will ensure that learners will read what you have to say.

UX Design and Flow

An example page from the Sensory Engagement Programme.

An example page from the Sensory Engagement Programme.

Have you considered what happens when learners don’t have a flow or pattern to follow? They simply stop reading.

When designing an E-Learning webpage, the following components are essential for a user interface that simplifies the learning process:

1)    A flow

2)    A call to action

3)    Very little text or else very scannable text

4)    Images that contribute to the information being presented

As you can see from this screenshot of the Sensory Engagement Programme mentioned earlier, we were able to create a flow by minimising the written content on the page and placing a focus on the video. By making the video and the call to action to watch it so prominent, it ensures that learners will prioritise this. The second most prominent flow happening on the page is the flow across the four tabs at the top which allow users to navigate their way through the E-Learning resource.

What happens when it all goes wrong?

As the folks at Icon Finder said, “A User Interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.”

Great UX design is not an additional bonus for an E-Learning programme. Without it, learners will get lost, frustrated, distracted and switch off.

When beginning to develop an E-Learning resource, we suggest sitting around a table with the web developers, designers and instructional designers involved. It’s important for everyone to understand what makes up the key learning content, the layout of content and plan how together you will be able to create an intuitive learner experience.

By incorporating wireframes and storyboarding into your development process and taking UX design into consideration, you can ensure from the get-go that the end user of your E-Learning programme has an experience that will achieve desired learning outcomes and keep them coming back for more.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

What makes a successful MOOC?

A number of multi-coloured hands reaching up to education icons.

MOOCs are the modern day marmite of the digital learning scene. We want to steer clear of all of the clichés that have already been postulated and stick to what we know best. We hope you’ll find our practical, realistic advice on delivering a successful MOOC beneficial as you make plans for your own online learning.

We think MOOCs are fantastic because they offer dramatic cost savings, a standardised level of training across large organisations and can allow people all over the world access to the leading academics in a subject.

There are three things intrinsic to a MOOC’s success:

  1. High levels of interactivity
  2. Best practice pedagogy
  3. Appropriate technology

Interactivity

Interactivity is essential in all forms and styles of learning. Learners grow and develop whenever content is delivered in a way that makes it memorable.

To inspire knowledge retention and stimulate thought amongst MOOC users, consider the following ideas:

  • Storytelling is being used across a broad spectrum of organisations because it captures the heart behind a lesson and delivers it in an entertaining way.
  • Problem-based learning can easily grab a learner’s imagination. Rather than completing a series of monotonous tick-box quizzes, learners are posed with real life problems faced by other individuals or organisations.
  • Gamification allows learners to apply knowledge and be rewarded as they progress.
  • Social learning allows a group of learners to come together to solve problems as well as give and receive encouragement. The creation of assignments to be posted on social forums creates conversation and stimulates thought amongst learners.
  • Progress tracking and instructor involvement encourages students by showing them how far they’ve come and allowing them to ask questions and receive advice when they get stuck.

Pedagogy

MOOCs present an opportunity to turn learning on its head. It is possible to design learning content in line with how the brain actually learns.

MOOCs are in a position to apply contemporary pedagogical principles and break free from the traditional and often ineffective styles of teaching that have crept their way into many organisations. By monitoring learner activity using big data, administrators can even test the effectiveness of different teaching styles.

In order to be truly successful, it is important that MOOCs do not simply copy dated models of learning from the past but are used as a forum to design new, better ways of learning. We face new challenges than ever before and require a new approach to learning.

Technology

If you’re able to successfully create a MOOC for your organisation, make sure you don’t fall at the last hurdle. When choosing an E-Learning provider, be sure to ask all of the right questions from the beginning. You’ll need to know what browsers will be able to support your E-Learning content, whether mobile devices will be supported, if the systems technology is up-to-date and whether it will require regular updates.

It’s really important to choose the right technology to support your learning goals so make a list of all the technical specifications you require before you begin to search for an E-Learning provider and you won’t have any regrets later.

Organisations all over the world are choosing to develop MOOCs because they offer possibilities and opportunities to engage with learners on a greater scale than ever before. MOOCs won’t work for everyone but if you have a restricted budget, a large learner audience to reach and are ready to adapt your learning content to make it more accessible, then a MOOC might just perfect for you.

Have you recently developed a MOOC? Please comment below and let us know what worked and didn’t work for you. Feel free to share this blog with others who you think may benefit from it. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

New to E-Learning? Where to get started

Infographic containing the E-Learning advice from the blog below.

This infographic is available to download here.

1. Learning strategy
Define your aims and identify issues that need to be resolved.

2. Set quantitative goals for progress and definitions of success
Make a list of measurable outcomes you could expect to see as a result

3. Identify a solution that fits both the goals and the audience
Keep in mind the age and background of users, their level of technology adoption and what sort of devices they will be using to access learning content

4. Get buy-in
Communicate issues, goals and expectations to stakeholders. Make sure they understand the value of a new E-Learning programme

5. Ask internal subject matter experts to summarise content
Identify the experts within your organisation and ask them to share their expertise with you.

6. Assess the technical requirements
Check out our Jargon Buster handbook for E-Learning newbies.

7. Instructional design
Apply best practice pedagogical principles. Think rich, concise content, heaps of interactivity and beautiful multimedia.

8. Begin to design and develop
Keep in mind accessibility and usability when choosing fonts and colours.

9. Pilot
Ask an internal group of stakeholders to test and review your learning campaign.

10. Amend where necessary
Take on board the feedback given by your pilot group and decide which changes are necessary. Small, incremental change will help to ensure that the baby isn’t thrown out with the bath water.

11. Collect data on learner progress
Check out our blog: Big Data: Big Results for E-Learning?

12. Assess the success of your E-Learning
Check out our blog: How to work out if your E-Learning programme is a success and what to do if it isn’t.

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