Mobile Learning Solutions

Custom Mobile Learning Solutions For Your Company  

In this article I will outline how custom mobile learning solutions can be used for primary learning (formal training) and informal learning (performance support intervention and social learning) to provide the required performance gain you seek.

The Forgetting Curve

Most of us are familiar with the “Forgetting Curve” that defines the exponential nature of forgetting. As you see from this diagram featuring the “Forgetting Curve”, we forget 80% of what we learned in 30 days!

 

EID_Innovative_eLearning_image_02

It is evident from here that it is not enough to have formal training that happens for a short period of time during the year and is expected to lead the learner from learning to application at work and a behavioral change. Instead, the adopted learning strategy must look beyond formal training and identify approaches to create “learning as a continuum”.

How To Offset The “Forgetting Curve”? Is There A “Recall And Retention” Approach To Offset This?

There are multiple approaches that can be used to offset the “Forgetting Curve”. One of them is to have on-going smaller bytes of learning instead of one large chunk. If these bytes could be delivered in interesting and engaging formats and made available to learners within their work-flow, they will work effectively in helping learn, recall, and retain. Over a period of time, this would lead to the required application at work and the anticipated behavioral change.

Custom mobile learning solutions are a great fit to move from discrete learning events (typically associated with formal training) to learning paths or learning pathways that have additional measures to help learners:

  1. Recall.
  2. Retain.
  3. Reinforce.
  4. Apply.

What Benefits Do Mobile Learning Solutions Provide?

As we know, instead of one big training program, if there are smaller chunks of learning over a period of time we are likely to retain better. While this can certainly be achieved with traditional eLearning approaches as well, mobile learning solutions have a significant edge in achieving this.

Let me begin with a list of the key advantages of custom mobile learning solutions from one my earlier articles, What Are The Benefits Of mLearning? Featuring 5 Killer Examples:

  1. Flexibility to learners.
    At the top of the benefits list is the flexibility mLearning or mobile learning offers. This includes:

    • Flexibility and choice of device to access learning “anytime, anywhere”.
    • Flexibility of learning with more varied formats (videos, podcasts, and so on).
  2. Better completion rates and higher retention.
    The bite-sized or micro-learning approach makes it easier for learners to initiate, complete, and retain learning better.
  3. Collaborative learning.
    Collaborative learning is a great way to engage with peers to share learning experiences and be part of communities of specific practices.
  4. Higher engagement.
    The experiences are more immersive and statistics reveal that more learners complete the courses through mLearning than traditional eLearning.
  5. Multi-device support.
    With multi-device support the same course is available on varied devices ranging from PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
  6. Performance support.
    Mobile learning or mLearning is becoming the preferred approach to provide performance support intervention as mobile devices are an intrinsic part of the learners’ work-flow. Performance support facilitates an easy access to information while at work and increases the probability of usage and retrieval.
  7. Learning path.
    Mobile devices can also be used to update learners on their “learning path” thereby facilitating “learning as a continuum”. With more people depending on phone-based organizers, integrating links in organizers to commence/resume the courses saves time for learners.

Can You Leverage On The Power Of Custom Mobile Learning Solutions For Your Company To Enhance Your Learning Strategy?

My personal experience in working with several organizations globally is that learners very quickly opt for tablets or smartphones for learning. (As highlighted earlier, studies show that more learners complete the courses when they have an option for Tablets or Smartphones). How do we ensure that we leverage on this higher learner engagement for a more effective learning? This is where custom mobile learning solutions find the right fit.

Let me outline how we handle this. We draw inspiration from Dr. Conrad Gottfredson and Bob Mosher’s Five Distinct Moments of Need©. These moments of learning are:

  1. When learning for the first time.
  2. When wanting to learn more.
  3. When trying to apply/remember.
  4. When something goes wrong.
  5. When something changes.

You can use this framework to extend the formal training (for learning needs 1 and 2) and just-in-time Performance Support Tools (for learning needs 3-5). More specifically, looking at the nature of the learning need, you can integrate social learning programs.

What Are The Significant Gains For Organizations If They Opt For Custom Mobile Learning Solutions?

Let’s take a look at a typical Learning and Performance Ecosystem and see what custom mobile learning solutions are possible for your company:

EI Design Learning and Performance Ecosystems1

You can use custom mobile learning solutions to achieve performance gain. The application could be for:

  1. Formal Learning.
    Custom mobile learning courses that are available on tablets and smartphones (similarly, you can offer mobile apps for primary learning).
  2. Performance Support Tools (PSTs).
    That is Performance Support Tools in varied forms like mobile apps, interactive PDFs/eBooks, expert videos, webinars/recorded webinars, whiteboard animations, and webcast/podcasts.
  3. Social Learning.
    That is social learning for collaborative learning, sharing, content curation, and so on.

You can use creative Instructional Design to meet the learner-centricity objective with innovative learning designs delivered on tablets and smartphones (while retaining the flexibility of offering them on PCs and laptops).

Custom mobile learning solutions provide sticky learning through many approaches.

Here are my Top 6:

  • Gamification.
    A gamified interaction to identify time-wasters that would in-turn help team members with effective planning was designed to deploy on smart phones.

 

  • Decision-making – branching scenarios.
    An interactive exercise demonstrating a conflict scenario at workplace where the learners could relate him/herself in the situation and make decisions. This mobile-friendly engaging interaction was designed to ensure sticky learning.
  • Story-based. 
    An instance of story-based approach from our multi-device compatible Instructional Design courses.
  • Scenario-based. 
    Learners get a chance to walk through and interact with a series of scenarios in this multi-device course to identify and mitigate conflict situations at work place.

Scenario-based

  • Guided exploration.
    An exploratory navigation through instances where learners can choose among a set of options and evaluate what is right and wrong.

Guided_exploration

  • Interactive videos. 
    Engaging videos designed for mobile devices that carry the learners through real life situations. The videos are paused at points letting the learners interact and check their understanding.

Over the last 4+ years, we have crafted custom mobile learning solutions of over 400 hours for both formal and informal learning (Performance Support Tools). We have crafted learning strategies that work for both individual learners as well as for collaborative (social) learning. If you have any questions on how you can successfully integrate custom mobile learning solutions for your company, do reach out to me.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

What’s an App?

Tablet PC Statistics

What’s an App?

At the most basic level, an ‘App’ is simply an application, much like Microsoft® Word, Internet Explorer®, Skype™ or Google Earth™. It’s a piece of software that does something – whether that’s for business, communication, entertainment, or just plain satisfying your curiosity. In recent years, the term ‘App’ has been coined to primarily refer to applications that run on the web (i.e. inside your web browser), or more usually on a mobile device – such as a mobile phone or a tablet computer.

The rise of smartphones (a mobile phone that is more like a small computer) over the last couple of years has meant that there are now thousands of apps available, from simple note-taking apps, to news readers, to games. More recently, tablet computers have seen a boost thanks to the release of the Apple iPad at the beginning of 2010. The major advantage of these is a bigger screen, opening up many more possibilities for app developers and publishers.

Smartphones have been around for a while now, so I’m going to concentrate mostly on tablet PCs for the rest of the post.

Android, Apple, Samsung, HTC – Who’s who?

There are many different people entering the tablet PC market – there’s the Apple iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the HTC Flyer, the Motorola Xoom, the LG G-Slate, and many others launching in the near future.

To understand the difference between all of these, the first step is to make a distinction between the operating system that runs on a tablet PC, and the hardware that it runs on.

In terms of operating system, the two big contenders at the moment are Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. As Apple also make the iPad, having just recently launched the iPad 2, both of these run their own iOS system. Google’s Android system is a lot more open, meaning that other manufacturers are able to use it in on their devices, a few of which were mentioned above. While this variety is good, it also means there is a wide range of screen sizes and performances which must be taken into account when creating an app.

So which is best?

The tablet pc market is still very young, so it is too early to tell who the ‘winner’ is yet – if indeed there will be one at all. As Apple was the first into the market, they understandably have the current biggest market share, but Android is fast encroaching. What we do know is that the tablet pc market is only going to get bigger over the next few years.

How many apps are there?

App StatisticsSome baffling statistics surround the app marketplace – you may want to skip this section if too many zeros make your eyes hurt! For starters, there are currently over 360,000 active apps in the Apple App Store, and nearly a further 300,000 in the Android Market – that’s a lot of apps, and both are still growing. With nearly 700 new apps being added to the Apple App Store each day and nearly 1,000 being added to the Android Marketplace.

Interestingly, while games account for a big chunk of these – about 16% across both platforms – books come in a close 2nd with about 14% of the market.

The numbers for downloads are even bigger. In January, Apple announced they had hit 10 billion downloads, while Android has an estimated 3.7 billion.

While these numbers are for smartphones as well as tablet pcs, they do go to show that apps are very popular.

How do I purchase an App?

Once you have your tablet pc, it is easy to purchase an app and install it on your device. On the iPad you can use Apple’s App Store directly from the device, or hook it up to your computer and download it through iTunes.

The experience on Android is very similar – you can access the Android Market directly from the device, or go to the Market website from your computer which will magically push the app to your device – no cables needed.

One interesting development is that Amazon have, this week (Tuesday 22nd March) released their own Appstore for Android. This means that you can know purchase apps through Amazon, and install them on your device using their own Amazon Appstore App. This is currently only available in the US, but should be coming over to the UK in the near future.

How much do they cost?

Apps come in a wide variety of prices, from free all the way up to $1,000! The free apps make up the largest portion – with 33% being free in the Apple App Store, and a whopping 63% in the Android Market.

For paid apps, the average price across all apps is $2.43 in the Apple App Store and over 50% of paid apps in the Android Market only cost $1. That said, the cost varies quite a lot depending on the category – book apps averaging closer to $5 in the App Store.

This article is by IEDesign check out the Mobile & Web Apps page for more information.

How m-Learning is Changing the Future of e-Learning

IDC predicted that 40 percent of the world’s population, or 2.7 billion people, would have access to the Internet by 2015—up from 2 billion in 2010.

Learners and educators have much to gain from m-Learning. Lesson plans are no longer based around textbook exercises or “Next” button driven online courses. Instead, mobile learning breaks you free from your desk! You can access resources anywhere, anytime. With apps like CourseMill® Mobile, learners can even download courses and files to your phone for offline study as well. Conveniently accessible m-Learning materials provide ideal performance support, just-in-time learning and lead to innovations like augmented reality.

Augmented Reality and m-Learning

It might sound like something out of the Matrix or Star Trek, but augmented reality technology can make learning more interactive and enriching. What exactly is it? The simple definition is: a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. For a real-world example, let’s look at the 2014 IKEA catalog and its accompanying app.

After launching the IKEA Catalog app, you use your smartphone or tablet camera to zoom in on an orange cross at the bottom right of certain product pages. An icon then appears on the device display, allowing you to access the augmented reality features. You close the catalog and place it wherever you’re considering new furniture in your room.

The app uses the size of this physical, real-world IKEA catalog to come up with the approximate dimensions of the virtual furniture that is about to appear on screen. You can rotate, reposition and manipulate that image until you think the furniture or decor looks just right, before confirming the selection from a scrollable list. Finally, a virtual version of the new sofa, desk or bookcase with your room in the background is shown onscreen—allowing you to visualize how your new furniture will work and make sure it will fit in your room!

Picking out furniture isn’t quite the same as taking an e-Learning course, but imagine the possibilities for learning! You could put triggers (images that activate media when scanned by an augmented reality-enabled device) all around your work space so that when employees scan them, they can quickly access information about that object or space. For example:

  • Doctors in training could use their mobile phones to view videos demonstrating the proper usage of different surgical tools or overlay a digital image of a patient’s X-rays onto a mannequin for added realism.
  • Mechanics in training could use augmented reality to watch video of a repair process for any part of a vehicle just by pointing their phone at that part.
  • Scientists in a lab could quickly learn safety procedures and protocols for working with the different equipment.

From augmented reality to anywhere, anytime learning, m-Learning is the wave of the future.

Are you ready to develop mobile-friendly learning?

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

The Educators Road Map For The Next Generation of Work

This road map for the next generation of work is for the up and coming generation to make sure they start on the right foot.

What happens when the tools & technologies we use every day become mainstream parts of the business world?
What happens when we stop leading separate “consumer” & “professional” lives when it comes to technology stacks?

The result is a dramatic change in the products we use at work and as a result an upending of the canon of management practices that define how work is done.

New tools are appearing that radically alter the traditional definitions of productivity and work. Businesses failing to embrace these changes will find their employees simply working around IT at levels we have not seen even during the earliest days of the PC. Too many enterprises are either flat-out resisting these shifts or hoping for a “transition”—disruption is taking place, not only to every business, but within every business.

The Educators Work Culture

Continuous productivity is an era that fosters a seamless integration between consumer and business platforms. Continuous productivity manifests itself as an environment where the evolving tools and culture make it possible to innovate more and faster than ever, with significantly improved execution. Together our industry is shaping a new way to learn, work, and live with the power of software and mobile computing—an era of continuous productivity.

Continuous productivity is possible

Continuous productivity shifts our efforts from the start/stop world of episodic work and work products to one that builds on the technologies that start to answer what happens when:

  • A generation of new employees has access to the collective knowledge of an entire profession, experts, or enterprise.
  • Collaboration takes place across organisation and company boundaries with everyone connected by a social fibre rather than the organisations hierarchy.
  • Data, knowledge, analysis, and opinion are equally available to every member of a team in formats that are digital, sharable, and structured.
  • People have the ability to time slice, context switch, and proactively deal with situations as they arise, shifting from a start/stop environment to one that is continuous.

Join The Educators Pioneering projects

The vast majority of organisations are struggling right now with how to face these challenges. Beside the ones who try to ignore this shift, majority of the organisations are trying to use this new technology to run their old system. You are welcome to join The Eductors as an individual and develop your teaching environment or join any of our current and futur group projects.

How Different is the way we work:

The availability of the information and communications tools has allowed us to move  from a hierarchical access model of the past to a much more collaborative and sharing-first approach. Every member have access to the raw “feeds” that could be material to their role. Teams become the focus of collaborative work, empowered by the data to inform their decisions. The increasing use of “crowds” and product usage telemetry able to guide improved our services, based not on sampling and forecasting but on what amounts to a census of real-world usage.

The following table contrasts the way we work (continuous productivity) and the current norms.

Traditional way
Continuous Productivity
Process Exploration
Hierarchy, top down or middle out Network, bottom up
Internal committees Internal and external teams, crowds
Strategy-centric Execution-centric
Presenting packaged and produced ideas, documents Sharing ideas and perspectives continuously, service
Data based on snapshots at intervals, viewed statically Data always real-time, viewed dynamically
Process-centric Rhythm-centric
Exact answers Approximation and iteration
More users More usage

The cultural changes encouraged and enabled by continuous productivity include:

  • Innovate more and faster. The bottom line is that by compressing the time between meaningful interactions between members of a team, we will go from problem to solution faster. Whether solving a problem with an existing product or service or thinking up a new one, the continuous nature of communication speeds up the velocity and quality of work.
  • Flatten hierarchy. Equal access to tools and information, a continuous multi-way dialog, and the ease and bringing together relevant parties regardless of place in the organisation flattens the hierarchy, this is the key.
  • Improve execution. Execution improves because members of teams have access to the interactions and data in real-time. Gone are the days of “game of telephone” where information needed to “cascade” through an organization only to be reinterpreted or even filtered by each level of an organization.
  • Respond to changes using telemetry / data. With the advent of continuous real-world usage telemetry, the debate and dialog move from the problems to the solution. You don’t spend energy arguing over the problem, but debating the merits of various solutions.
  • Strengthen organization and partnerships. Organisations that communicate openly and transparently leave much less room for politics and hidden agendas. The transparency afforded by tools might introduce some rough and tumble in the early days as new “norms” are created but over time the ability to collaborate will only improve given the shared context and information base everyone works from.
  • Focus on the destination, not the journey. The real-time sharing of information forces organizations to operate in real-time. Problems are in the here and now and demand solutions in the present. The benefit of this “pressure” is that a focus on the internal systems, the steps along the way, or intermediate results is, out of necessity, de-emphasised.

Follow the following article for further reading.

 

  1. Road Map For The Next Generation of Work – Paradigm shift (1)
  2. Road Map For The Next Generation of Work – Theory & Technology (2)
  3. Road Map For The Next Generation of Work – Examples and Checklist (3)

 

 

What is the Tin Can API?

The Tin Can API

The Tin Can API (sometimes known as the Experience API or xAPI) is a brand new specification for learning technology that makes it possible to collect data about the wide range of experiences a person has (online and offline). This API captures data in a consistent format about a person or group’s activities from many technologies. Very different systems are able to securely communicate by capturing and sharing this stream of activities using Tin Can’s simple vocabulary.

Previous specifications were difficult and had limitations (see Tin Can vs SCORM), but the Tin Can API is simple and flexible. It lifts many of the older restrictions. Mobile learning, simulations, virtual worlds, serious games, real-world activities, experiential learning, social learning, offline learning, and collaborative learning are just some of the things that can now be recognized and communicated well with the Tin Can API.

It’s important to know that we don’t own the Tin Can API. ADL is the steward of the specification. We just know this space so well that ADL asked us to help develop it. The Tin Can API is community-driven, and free to implement.

How does the Tin Can API work?

  • People learn from interactions with other people, content, and beyond. These actions can happen anywhere and signal an event where learning could occur. All of these can be recorded with the Tin Can API.
  • When an activity needs to be recorded, the application sends secure statements in the form of “Noun, verb, object” or “I did this” to a Learning Record Store (LRS.)
  • Learning Record Stores record all of the statements made. An LRS can share these statements with other LRSs. An LRS can exist on its own, or inside an LMS.

The freedoms of the Tin Can API

  • Statement freedom: the structure of “statements” using nouns, verbs and objects lets you record almost any activity. Think: “I did this.”
  • History freedom: the Tin Can API allows LRSs to talk to each other. LRSs can share data and transcripts with one another, and your experiences can follow you from one LRS (or organization) to another. Learners can even have their own “personal data lockers” with their personal learning information inside them.

  • Device freedom: any enabled device can send Tin Can API statements (mobile phones, simulations, games, a CPR dummy, the list goes on). A constant network connection isn’t necessary — occasional connectivity is fine.
  • Workflow freedom: tracking learning events doesn’t have to start or end in an LMS, it can start wherever the learner is and on whatever device they choose to use. Your content isn’t tied to an LMS.

tin can apiI want to dive deeper

If you want to realize the full implications of the Tin Can API, check out “The Layers of the Tin Can Onion” by Mike Rustici. You can also download the full Tin Can API specification here.

Tin Can API for Moodle users

  1. Launch externally Tin Can API activities from 
  2. Launch externally Tin Can API activities from Moodle and track on any LRS. Compatible with Storyline, Captivate and others! Maintained by: Picture of Andrew Downes Andrew Downes
  3. Implement Experience API (Tin Can) – Moodle  Experience API (formally called Tin Can) is the new version of SCORM – the commercial Rustici SCORM plugin for Moodle supports Tin Can 

The Tin Can API and Rustici Software

ADL, the keepers of SCORM, issued a BAA asking for ideas for the next generation of SCORM. We applied, and they asked us to research what the next-generation e-learning specification could/should look like.

Mobile Apps Will Transform All Business Processes

Mobile Apps will transform all business processes. Over the next two years most companies will be using mobile apps (developed in house or bought off the shelf) to help them with such things as supply chain management, logistics, purchasing, maintenance, training, services, or sales support.  Let’s face it, two years is a short amount of time considering there’s such a low percent of mobile apps for business functions today.

So, what does all this mean for your business?

It means that mobile apps designed by businesses for their internal use and competitive advantage will explode over the next two years. Therefore, all business leaders need to ask themselves: “Two years from now, do I want to be one of the companies that is not developing mobile apps to transform business processes?” Once you see the hard trends driving this software revolution, it would be hard to answer “no.”

Remember, a hard trend will happen; a soft trend might happen. The hard trend is that businesses will be developing mobile apps customized for their company for various functions. The soft trend is whether your company will be one of them.

Here’s something else to consider: The number of smart phones and tablets in all sizes of companies has obviously exploded in the last couple of years, and this hard trend is picking up speed. At the same time, the cost of being able to deploy business intelligence in every function is dropping off a cliff just as the capability of our smart devices, of our wireless and wired networks, and of both private and public clouds grows.

So with costs decreasing and capabilities increasing, the time to act is now. The question is, “How?”

The key is to assess whether you have the in-house capabilities to develop mobile apps. Some companies do, and some companies don’t. It depends on the size of the business and your IT department. However, a lot of young people do have the capabilities needed. Therefore, I would suggest that you hire or “rent a kid.” In other words, if you don’t already employ some talented young people who have both the interest and knowledge to develop mobile apps, it’s time to bring some in. They have a lot of present and future value to offer, but they do not know your needs and business requirements.

So you need to have the core competency of developing your own mobile apps for business processes that can give businesses a competitive advantage.  The companies that transform their business processes using mobility will achieve new levels of success. The time for business process transformation is now.

Article by:Daniel Burrus Daniel Burrus is considered one of the World’s Leading Futurists on Global Trends and Innovation, a top LinkedIn Global INfluencer, and is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research