Water management

Water is a vital component of agricultural production. It is essential to maximise both yield and quality. Water has to be applied in the right amounts at the right time in order to achieve the right crop result. At the same time, the application of water should avoid waste of a valuable resource and be in sympathy with the environment as a whole. Understanding, measuring and assessing how water flows around the farm, and recognising how farming practices affect flows, will help farmers to manage water efficiently and reduce pollution risks.

Measures to improve land and water productivity may include:

  • Making more rainwater available to crops when most needed (capture water -rainwater harvesting, soil and water conservation-, and using it -deficit irrigation; supplementary irrigation etc.);
  • on-farm water management to minimize water losses by evaporation;
  • use of improved crop varieties;
  • use of improved cropping systems and agronomics, such as conservation tillage;
  • development of financial frameworks to provide incentives for the adoption of best practices and new technology;
  • use of low quality water in non-conventional (not for direct human consumption) applications such as forestry;
  • Evaluation of rainfall patterns to determine quantity and quality available for agriculture use and rethinking crop scheduling.

Increased land and water productivity in rainfed systems will imply technologies and practices but also need to be supported by capacity building, financing, marketing systems and adequate policies and institutional changes.

High yielding crops

High yielding crops

Recruitment and Selection

We have a new course in Recruitment and Selection, it is designed for those working in HR industry in UK and have to comply with the UK law.

This Recruitment and Selection course describes in detail the process HR professionals and managers go through as they define and prepare job specifications and selection process. This course outlines the processes involved in the planning and conducting of professional interviews, plus the vetting and the selection process, with a close look at the laws and regulations related to the employment industry.

Key Topics: 

  • Introduction to Human Resource Planning
  • Recruitment procedure
  • Selection criteria
  • Employee vetting and documentation
  • Job offers procedure
  • Contact of employment
  • Disciplinary procedures
  • Dismissal and termination of the contract
  • Employment Legislation
  • Content: Video, Notes, Articles, and Assignments

Duration: 60 hours
Level: 4
Credit: 3
Price: £175.00
 

HR Related Job:

Developing Video Based Learning

How To Create Engaging Video Based Learning

We have all heard of the catchphrase more than often; visuals speak 1000 words, so videos speak a million or a trillion of words. As learning experts have also rightly pointed out, it’s better to show than to tell the learners. It has been proven by most of the researchers that visually demonstrating a new skill or behavior can be an important component of multi-modal instruction.

As humans, we all like or even love videos. It is estimated there are over 6 billion hours of video that are viewed on YouTube every month, and that is almost an hour for every person on earth.

Though this type of learning is not new, with the advancement of YouTube it has become increasingly popular. In addition, video based learning caters to different learning styles and suits different types of content.

Here are some tips that you can use as an Instructional Designer to create engaging video based learning:

  1. State clear objectives.
    First and foremost, you must have a clear goal in your mind in order to produce a video. In order to do this, you need to have clearly defined objectives for the videos. Setting clear goals is helpful to design the videos effectively, as you will have clear focus and will be able to meet the learning goals.
  2. Keep them short.
    The length of a video is the most important aspect to keep the learners engaged via the videos. You must ensure that the videos are not long; instead, ensure that they are short nuggets. Thus, if you have a lengthy module, you must try to break it up into bite-sized snippets that may range from 1-2 minutes. You need to ensure that the videos that you develop are easily digestible by the learners. Include more visuals than text: You must also ensure that you include more visuals in a video than just plain text. This is from my personal experience, where I feel that a video must not look like a replica of a PowerPoint and include more images; and when I say images, they should appear realistic.
  3. Include voice over in the video.
    This is another important aspect for video based learning, as there is a difference between a video based learning and a classroom training. In a video based learning the learners are left all by themselves, so the text or visuals you include in a video needs a supporting text via audio. In addition, it is also helpful to prepare an audio script for the audio that will accompany the video.
  4. Incorporate captions.
    There are various benefits of adding captions to a video and one of most obvious reason is to allow the learners who have a hearing disability to view the video with ease. Studies show that transcripts increase engagement and that captions increase the completion rate of video from 40% to 80%. There are various video-editing tools that allow you to add captions in your video such as Camtasia Studio. Incorporating captions in a video is also important for the learners who have English as a second language and have some difficulty in understanding what is being spoken, as they can get the captions translated.
  5. Record your screen.
    In case you are developing a video for an application, then it would be good to include a simulation. You can do this by recording the screen to show the things that you may not be able to do it via text or audio only. For example, consider a situation where you want to display to a learner how to save a file in MS Word. So, over here, a simulation or recording would prove to be much helpful, as it would make learning much more enjoyable and memorable. There are various tools that allow you to record your screen, such as Camtasia or Screenr.

These tips can allow you to create enriching and engaging videos, as video is the most powerful tool used for learning. So, the next time you are planning to create video based learning, you must ensure to remember these guidelines.

Reference:

Here is an excellent infographic to show the importance of video based learning: INFOGRAPHIC: Victory Through Video.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

How To Develop An eLearning Project

Questions To Ask When Developing An eLearning Project

Here are the 20 questions you need to ask when taking a brief from an eLearning project sponsor:

About The Need

1. What goal is this intervention intended to support?
It’s vital to identify the real underlying purpose of the proposed intervention. In the workplace, learning is usually just a means to an end.

2. At which people is this intervention aimed?
This question establishes the scope of the intervention in terms of target population.

3. What does this target population need to be doing in the future that it may not be doing now if this goal is to be achieved?
This question places the emphasis on performance not on learning, which is vital if you are to design a solution that is focused on changing behavior and not on developing knowledge.

4. Why are they not doing this now? Have they ever done it?
You want to establish as soon as possible whether there really is a learning gap and what other factors could be impacting on performance.

If there really is a learning gap, proceed with the following questions:

About The Learning Requirement

5. What absolutely must learners know in order to meet the performance requirements?
The emphasis here is on the “absolutely must”. Many learning interventions end up as knowledge dumps and cause a great deal of unnecessary pain for the learner. You want to know what the minimum is that people need to know (retain in memory in the long-term) to get started applying the new behaviors.

6. To what additional information must they have access in order to meet the performance requirements?
This complements the previous question because there is likely to be a lot more information to which people need ready access than they need to actually remember. Think resources rather than courses where possible.

7. What “big ideas” (key principles) do they need to understand and buy into in order to meet the performance requirements?
Many learning interventions have at their heart one or more big ideas that cannot simply be presented and applied; the learner needs to buy into them at an emotional level. This includes all compliance courses, which have at their heart a big idea – data security, keeping healthy and safe, protecting customers, etc.

8. What skills do they need to acquire and/or put into practice in order to meet the performance requirements?
If skills are needed then you will have to build in lots of opportunities for practice with informed feedback. Typically we underestimate the time needed to develop skills and devote too much time to instilling knowledge.

About The Learners

9. What prior knowledge, skills, and experience does the target population have with regard to the subject of this intervention?
This is a particularly important question because novices will need much more structure and support than those who are more experienced.

10. What interest is the population likely to have in this learning? How motivated are they likely to be?
If motivation is high, you will be able to get straight on with your intervention. If it’s low, you’ll have a job to do to build enthusiasm.

11. What hopes and fears is this population likely to have with regard to this learning?
Performance cannot be your only focus because learners are human beings with aspirations and anxieties to which you must pay attention.

12. What expectations does this population have in terms of how they learn?
Different organizations, countries, and generations have different learning cultures. You do not have to pander to these if you feel that doing this might get in the way of a successful outcome but you do need to know what you’re up against.

13. What basic skills does this population have/not have that are relevant to this learning (numeracy, literacy, language, computer literacy, etc.)?
These skills are obviously important because they may be pre-requisites or you may have to adapt the design to cope.

14. What other information about this population will help to inform the design?
There will undoubtedly be more you need to know, depending on the nature of the problem. Just don’t waste a lot of time figuring out learning styles; at least not until there’s a reliable model you can trust.

About The Logistics

15. What is the size of the target population?
How is it distributed geographically? These questions will have a big impact on how you deliver your solution.

16. What budget is available to support this intervention (take into account all costs including those incurred by learners)?
Budget is important, but it may not affect the nature of your solution as much as you might think; there are plenty of ways of getting a job done without Hollywood budgets.

17. By when must this intervention be completed? When can it start? For how long can learners be made available for learning?
Time is critical because it will place constraints on many aspects of your solution. But if you cannot respond to tight time constraints you will not be providing a useful service.

18. What human resources do you have available for analysis, design, development, facilitation, marketing, support, etc.? What software and other tools are available to these people?
These questions establish your firepower, who, and what you have supporting you as you proceed with your solution.

19. What equipment is available to the target population to support the intervention?
This matters because it will determine your options in terms of technology-based solutions.

20. What systems and facilities are available to support delivery?
This question might bring out information about Learning Management Systems and other platforms, as well as facilities such as meeting rooms.

Training & Productivity

How Online Training Increases Productivity

The National Center on the Education Quality of the Workforce found in a study of 3.100 United States workplaces that a 10 percent hike in workforce education level resulted in an 8.6 percent gain in total productivity.

According to the American Management Association, programs that focus on future career development or improved work skills are effective in retaining employees and in heightening their creativity. They also increase their productivity.

The Association for Talent Development (ASTD) surveyed firms to discover that companies with the highest productivity levels invested almost twice as much in training each employee as companies with more mediocre performance levels.

Traditional forms of employee training were expensive and difficult to deliver if a company had extensive properties located far from each other. The advent of online courses has changed the ease and availability of training employees and brought it within the limits of most budgets.

A strong argument can be made to suggest that companies embrace online learning as an effective means of heightening their productivity.

There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. It reaches out to employees who, for various reasons, were often excluded from traditional training venues. That includes the single parent who wants to learn but must leave work promptly at the end of a shift to deal with family obligations and the physically impaired worker who requires specific learning supports that are available on the computer.
  2. Online training can be delivered more generously to all employees since courses generally cost less than bringing in an expert trainer or sending employees off-site to learn new skills and knowledge.
  3. Online courses can be developed with a high degree of customization to deliver precisely the needed skills of employees in specific situations.
  4. They allow for more flexibility. Employees can study during breaks in their workday or late at night or early in the morning from their homes. It is easier to find the time to study.

Companies can create their own courses by developing specific content and delivering it easily through computers and tablets. The material can be easily updated and given to multiple users at once or delivered individually one at a time.

One of the most comprehensive looks into the link between training and productivity was published by researchers Muhammad Mulmuna and Dr. Rashad Yazdanifard in the Global Institute for Research and Education.

They noted that not only does training increase productivity in organizations, but it also enhances employees’ resourcefulness and provides them with an opportunity to learn their jobs and perform them more effectively. It has a beneficial impact on their decision making skills, their ability to function within a team, to solve problems, and to have enhanced interpersonal relations, all of which also contribute to the growth of the organizations for which they work.

Do you believe online training increases productivity? Share with us your opinions and personal experiences. 

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Digital Learning Styles

Digital Learning Styles

Distance education is rapidly growing and demands constant adaptation by everyone involved, including educators. However, with the increasing diversity in student populations and rapidly changing technology, defining and supporting learning styles for all students is becoming more challenging.

Educators are faced with significant questions:

  • Are there differences in the ways that online students learn that are influenced by their familiarity, comfort and skill level with technology (digital literacy)?
  • Are there different digital learning styles?
  • Is there a digital generation gap in online education?

Along with the traditional learning styles (visual, auditory, tactile), online educators should consider digital learning styles (students familiarity and skill levels with the technology). Exploring digital diversity by birth cohorts from baby boomers (1945-1964), Generation X (1964-1980), to millennials (1980-2000) and digital natives (2000 onwards), can help shed light on learning styles of online students. One defining characteristic is the level of technology that permeates each generation and, in the latter cases, significantly shapes their social world and primary communication tools.

All of these populations are represented in online classrooms (although most digital natives are still in K-12 and are advising their parents, teachers, and older siblings on the newest technology trends). This diversity of digital learning styles prompts the necessity to understand and adapt our classroom, tools and teaching style in order to create a learning environment that challenges and empowers all students.

Baby boomers grew up in the time of the first Barbie dolls, Jimi Hendrix, Woodstock, and television sets in living rooms. They got their music from vinyl records. The technological revolution of the 1960s, inspired by the Cold War, propelled the U.S. into the Space Race, thus prompting incredible technological advances in computers. Although the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 was to facilitate computers in schools, it would be several more decades before students would see this happen. The classroom expectations of most baby boomers still contain elements of a traditional classroom and they’re more likely to resist change and new Web 2.0 tools.

Generation X was influenced by Nirvana, Alice in Chains and MTV. Their music was transported directly to their ears via the Sony Walkman and compact cassettes. Star Wars debuted and kids could get a light saber with a McDonald’s Happy Meal. With the advent of the 8-inch floppy disk, Windows Operating System, LCD and the Ethernet, this generation ushered in the computer age into the classroom.

Millennials wanted the Cabbage Patch Kid or Transformer for Christmas, but now listen to Taylor Swift through their personal playlists on their iPhones. With the introduction of DVDs as a new storage medium, these students experienced a remarkable expansion of technology in classrooms. As these kids matured with computers and the Internet (but not necessarily widespread in the classroom) the world (virtual and real) was at their fingertips. To millennials, technology means staying socially connected.

Some later-born millennials and most kids born after 1980, according to Marc Prensky, are digital natives, the first generation to grow up in an environment saturated by technology and connected to the world through the Internet. They master the art of selfies at age two and, at age seven, conquer the highest level of Wii-U MarioKart 8 within days of opening it on Christmas morning. Their classrooms have Internet-connected smart boards, computers/laptops/tablets, and lessons that integrate technology across the curriculum. Life is lived in a mobile technology environment that includes Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Skype.

With these technology backgrounds in mind, we are moving from a culture of a brick-and-mortar learning environment to a culture of a virtual learning environment. This therefore begs several questions. Is it possible to facilitate learning in online classrooms that are composed of so many technologically prepared students (and teachers)?

To avoid a digital generation gap in online education, institutions and instructors must stay abreast of new technology and prudently use it to effectively support learning outcomes and facilitate a learning community that supports each other’s individual learning styles.

First, online instructors must  be willing to embrace all types of Web 2.0 tools and incorporate those that facilitate learning in their virtual classrooms. However, the caveat is that the tools in use should enhance the learning experience.

Secondly, students should be surveyed for their level of digital literacy, background and previous coursework with the technology. This informs the instructors of each student’s digital learning style and technology skill level. These data can be gathered with the first welcome email sent before class begins.

Third, when students encounter problems, meet them at the problem with the assistance and tools that help them move forward and re-engage with the course content or lessons. And finally, utilize open discussion forums that allow all participants to ask questions and support each other.

For example, in my human ecology class, learning activities require students to manipulate data and create several tables using Microsoft Excel. In the first of these activities, the spreadsheet is pre-populated with a template for data entry and the formulas that automatically create the table. It also includes an example of the finished product. However there are still students that struggle with this and even erase it to create their own interpretation of the instructions. Therefore, I have several additional spreadsheets with different levels of completion that I can share with struggling students. However, once completed most struggling students report feeling great success at doing their first Excel graph!

All parties involved in virtual education must embrace different learning styles (digital and otherwise) and support each other to adapt to this rapidly changing world of online learning. We can let technology divide us or we can rise to the challenge and help each other make these ever-growing resources work for us as we embrace technology in online education.

 

Mary Nortonby Mary Norton

Ways To Motivate Students

  1. Create useful and relevant learning experiences based on the age group and interests of your learners
    Emphasis on: practical knowledge, immediate relevancy
  2. Facilitate exploration
    Emphasis on: curiosity, opportunity to construct knowledge use of all sorts of materials, references, infographics, short videos, …
  3. Build community and integrate social media
    Emphasis on:  collaboration, commenting and sharing,  facilitate group discussions and exchanging knowledge, …
  4. A voice behind the video is not enough
    Add a personal touch. Your course needs to have a face. Make yourself available to people.
  5. Challenge through games
    Use different problem solving exercises and case studies. Make your learners look for and find solutions.
  6. Use humor
    Humour would work great even with the most demotivated learners on your course.
  7. Chunk information
    Chunking is essential, as it helps people remember and assimilate information. Small bits are easier to process.
  8. Add suspense
    Don’t give out everything your course is about in the beginning.
  9. Accommodate individual interests and career goals
    Empower learners to work on these goals and individualize the training to suit their needs.
  10. Stimulate your learners
    Encourage them to think by either providing them with brain teasers, or by asking thought-provoking questions.
  11. Let learning occur through mistakes
    According to a German proverb “you will become clever through your mistakes“, and for sure “practice makes perfect“.
  12. Make it visually-compelling
    Did you know that 83% of learning occurs visually?
  13. Get Emotional
    If you don’t sound inspiring, if your materials are not exciting, how will you motivate your learners? Get them emotionally involved too – come up with controversial statements, tap on memories, add real-life stories.
  14. Get examples relevant to the learners’  environment
    Your learners may not always remember to associate what is learned with its application at the workplace.
  15. Be respectful to them 
  16. Ask for feedback
    It is motivating to know that your opinion contributes to the course.
  17. Present the benefits of undertaking the course
    I don’t know why I didn’t start with this one. Sometimes outlining the benefits is all it takes.

The Future Of Learning

Experiential Learning Is The Future Of Learning

More than a hundred years ago, Hermann Ebbinghaus formulated the learning curve, which describes the relationship between memory and time.

In a nutshell, it says that, during a lecture, if your absorption rate is at 100 percent on day one, there is a 50-80 percent loss of learning from the second day onward, which is reduced to a retention rate of just 2-3 percent at the end of thirty days.

This theory is even more relevant in today’s world where attention spans have come down and learning sometimes is reduced to 140 characters!

How then can ‘Experiential Learning’ help overcome this situation?

We believe there are eight reasons why experiential learning is the future of learning.

  1. Accelerates Learning
  2. Provides a Safe Learning Environment
  3. Bridges the Gap Between Theory and Practice
  4. Produces Demonstrable Mindset Changes
  5. Increases Engagement Levels
  6. Delivers Exceptional Return on Investment (RoI)
  7. Provides Accurate Assessment Results
  8. Enables Personalised Learning

This post was first published on eLearning Industry. For full article go to 8 Reasons Why Experiential Learning Is The Future Of Learning

Course Designers Package

In 2013 we introduced a free comprehensive guide on how to take your course online to help both the digitisation and structuring of knowledge for our readers. The Educators’ initiative for 2014 is to promote the preservation of knowledge (in diverse digital formats) and structuring of the knowledge as a teaching tool. In 2014 we are extending our existing service with more direct collaboration with this extensive package:

Training programmes (Course Designers Package):

  • Teachers Starter Pack
  • Moodle Course Design Pack
  • Help with Curriculum Design
  • Course Validation & Certification
  • Help with Internet Marking
  • Virtual Class Room

Our workshops and online programs are built round the simple principles of providing high quality, practical and pragmatic solutions that enable you to deliver a significant improvements in terms of quality, efficiency and performance to your current activity.  

If you have an in-depth knowledge and understanding on your specialised subject and are ready to learn new technology, then we are interested to hear from you.

A passion to help others together with exemplary facilitation and presentation skills is essential. We will be your partner and provide both technical and marketing help.

Make a request now it takes less than a minute!

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IT Trends Effecting Online Training

Here is the list of IT trends effecting online training and education. Most of you involved in elearning have embraced the first six points of this article. I suggest you pay more attention to the items 7 to 12. The following is the summary of the article by DANIEL BURRUS.

No matter what industry you’re in, your company can’t survive without technology. From smart phones and tablets to mobile apps and cloud-based technology, there’s a plethora of technological advancements to not only keep track of, but also to profit from.

To stay competitive, every organisation needs to anticipate the most significant technology trends that are shaping their business and changing their customer, and then develop innovative ways to use them to their advantage, both inside and outside of their organisation. Remember, if it can be done, it will be done. If you don’t use these technologies to create a competitive advantage, someone else will.

Over the next five short years the following game-changing technologies will transform how we sell, market, communicate, collaborate, educate, train, innovate, and much more.

1. Big Data Gets Bigger and Becomes a Service. 

Big Data is a term to describe the technologies and techniques used to capture and utilize the exponentially increasing streams of datawith the goal ofbringing enterprise-wide visibility and insights to make rapid critical decisions. Companies are learning the hard way that Big Bad Data can get you into trouble fast, so there is a new push to focus on the quality of the data as it is being captured.

  • High Speed Analytics using advanced cloud services will increasingly be used as a complement to existing information management systems and programs to tame the massive data explosion. This new level of data integration and analytics will require many new skills and cross-functional buy-in in order to break down the many data and organizational silos that still exist. The rapid increase in data makes this a fast-growing hard trend that cannot be ignored.
  • Big Data as-a-Service (BDaaS) will emerge this year as cloud providers offer midsize and smaller organizations access to much larger streams of relevant data they could not tap into otherwise.

2. Cloud Computing Gets Personal and Advanced Cloud Services will be increasingly embraced by business of all sizes, as this represents a major shift in how organizations obtain and maintain software, hardware, and computing capacity. As consumers, we first experienced public clouds (think about when you use Google Docs or Apple’s iCloud). Then we saw more private clouds giving companies the security and limited access they needed, as well as hybrid clouds that provided both, giving customers and consumers access to specific areas of a company’s cloud. Companies of all sizes are using the cloud to cut costs in IT, human resources, and sales management functions. As individuals increasingly use personal mobile clouds, we will see a shift to services and less of a focus on the devices we use to access our services. This shift will also help us address the three limiting factors of mobility: battery life, memory, and processors.

3. On Demand Services will increasingly be offered to companies needing to rapidly deploy new services. Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) is increasingly joining Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), creating what some have called “IT as a service.” The rapid growth of Collaboration-as-a-Service (CaaS)Security-as-a-Service (SaaS)Networking as-a-Service (NaaS), and many more are all giving birth to Everything as-a-Service (XaaS).  As a result, IT departments in all industries will be increasingly freed to focus on enabling business process transformation, which will allow organizations to maximize their return on their technology investments.

4. Virtualisation of Storage, Desktops, Applications, and Networking will see continued acceptance and growth by both large and small businesses as virtualisation security improves. In addition to storage, we will continue to see the virtualisation of processing power, allowing mobile devices to access supercomputer capabilities and apply it to processes such as purchasing and logistics, to name a few.

5. Consumerisation of IT increases, as consumers become the driving source for innovation and technology, which is fueled by rapid advances in processing power, storage, and bandwidth. Smart companies have recognized that this is a hard trend that will continue and have stopped fighting consumerization. Instead, they are turning it into a competitive advantage by consumerizing their applications, such as recommending safe and secure third party hardware and apps. Encouraging employees to share productivity enhancing consumer technology will become a wise strategy.

6. Wear Your Own Device (WYOD) will take off this year as wearable technology goes mainstream with big players launching smart watches, smart glasses, and more, creating new problems as well as opportunities for organizations of all sizes. Over the past few years, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) caught many IT departments by surprise; it’s now time to get in front of this this predictable hard trend and turn it into an advantage.

Are you ready to take your course online follow our free step by step advise on this site, and for those interested to design their course on Moodle platform we offer a free online course.

7. Gameification of Training and Education will acceleratea fast-moving hard trend ofusing advanced simulations and skill-based learning systems that are self-diagnostic, interactive, game-like, and competitive, all focused on giving the user an immersive experience thanks to a photo-realistic 3D interface. Some will develop software using these gaming techniques to work on existing hardware systems such as both old and new versions of Xbox and PlayStation. A social component that includes sharing will drive success.

8. Online Learning and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) have been embraced by highly recognized and traditional educational institutions, putting them in a position to challenge all educational systems by making Location and Tuition far less of a barrier to receiving the information, training, and knowledge people need to know in order to succeed in a rapidly changing world. This hard trend, combined with Gameification systems, will change the face of global education.

9. eBooks, eNewspapers, eMagazines and Interactive Multimedia eTextbooks are finallypassing the tipping pointdue to the abundance of smart phones and tablets that provide a full color experience, and publishers providing apps that give a better-than-paper experience by including cut, copy, paste, print, and multimedia capabilities. Interactive eTextbooks will finally take off thanks to easy-to-use software such as Apple’s iBook Author and other competing tools, freeing new publishers to create compelling and engaging content, and freeing students from a static, expensive, and literally heavy experience.

10. Social Business Applications take on a new level of urgency as organizations shift from an Information Age “informing”model to a Communication Age “communicating and engaging” model. Social Software for business will reach a new level of adoption with applications to enhance relationships, collaboration, networking, social validation, and more. Social Searchand Social Analytics will increasingly be used by marketers and researchers, not to mention Wall Street, to tap into millions of daily tweets and Facebook conversations, providing real-time analysis of many key consumer metrics.

11. Smart Phones & Tablets Get Smarter with the rapid advances in processing power, storage, and bandwidth. Smart phones have already become our primary personal computer, and the Mobile Web hasbecomea must-have capability. An Enterprise Mobility Strategy Becomes Mandatory for all size organizations as we see mobile data, mobile media, mobile sales, mobile marketing, mobile commerce, mobile finance, mobile payments, mobile health, and many more explode. The vast majority of mobile phones sold globally will have a browser, making the smart phone our primary computer that is with us 24/7 and signaling a profound shift in global computing. This new level of mobility and connectivity by many millions around the world will allow any size business to transform how they market, sell, communicate, collaborate, educate, train, and innovate using mobility.

12. Mobile Apps for Business Processes such as purchasing, supply chain, logistics, distribution, service, sales, maintenance, and more will grow rapidly. There will be an increasing focus on Business App Stores within companies giving users access to personalized information they need on their mobile devices anytime and anywhere.

Posted by: Daniel BurrusDaniel Burrus

Metacognitive And Learning

Strategies For Instructional Design

 Do you know how to learn? Many people don’t. Specifically, they don’t know how to look inward to examine how they learn and to judge what is effective.

That’s where metacognitive strategies come in. They are techniques that help people become more successful learners. Shouldn’t this be a crucial goal of instructional design?

Improved metacognition can facilitate both formal and informal learning. It can improve the performance of new tasks on the job and help teams problem solve more effectively.

Here are some things instructional designers should know about metacognition.

What is metacognition?

  1. Metacognition is often referred to as “thinking about thinking.” But that’s just a quick definition. Metacognition is a regulatory system that helps a person understand and control his or her own cognitive performance.
  2. Metacognition allows people to take charge of their own learning. It involves awareness of how they learn, an evaluation of their learning needs, generating strategies to meet these needs and then implementing the strategies. (Hacker, 2009)
  3. Learners often show an increase in self-confidence when they build metacognitive skills. Self-efficacy improves motivation as well as learning success.
  4. Metacognitive skills are generally learned during a later stage of development. Metacognitive strategies can often (but not always) be stated by the individual who is using them.
  5. For all age groups, metacognitive knowledge is crucial for efficient independent learning because it fosters forethought and self-reflection.

The Two Processes of Metacognition

Fortunately, many theorists organize the skills of metacognition into two components. This makes it easier to understand and remember.

  1. According to theory, metacognition consists of two complementary processes: 1) the knowledge of cognition and 2) the regulation of cognition.
  2. Knowledge of cognition has three components: knowledge of the factors that influence one’s own performance; knowing different types of strategies to use for learning; knowing what strategy to use for a specific learning situation.
  3. Regulation of cognition involves: setting goals and planning; monitoring and controlling learning; and evaluating one’s own regulation (assessing results and strategies used).

Click here For The Educators Open Invitation 

to take your course online on a commercial or non-commercial basis.

Metacognition and Expertise

  1. Many experts cannot explain the skills they use to elicit expert performance. (Perhaps this is due to the automatic functioning of the expert.)
  2. Metacognitive strategies often separate an expert from a novice. For example, experts are able to plan effectively on a global level at the start of a task—a novice won’t see the big picture.
  3. Some adults with expertise in one domain can transfer their metacognitive skills to learn more rapidly in another domain.
  4. On the other hand, some adults do not spontaneously transfer metacognitive skills to new settings and thus, will need help doing so.

Examples of Metacognition Skills You May Use

Successful learners typically use metacognitive strategies whenever they learn. But they may fail to use the best strategy for each type of learning situation. Here are some metacognitive strategies that will sound familiar to you:

  1. Knowing the limits of your own memory for a particular task and creating a means of external support.
  2. Self-monitoring your learning strategy, such as concept mapping, and then adapting the strategy if it isn’t effective.
  3. Noticing whether you comprehend something you just read and then modifying your approach if you did not comprehend it.
  4. Choosing to skim subheadings of unimportant information to get to the information you need.
  5. Repeatedly rehearsing a skill in order to gain proficiency.
  6. Periodically doing self-tests to see how well you learned something.

Metacognitive and learning Strategies

Metacognitive strategies facilitate learning how to learn. You can incorporate these, as appropriate, into eLearning courses, social learning experiences, pre- and post-training activities and other formal or informal learning experiences.

  1. Ask Questions. During formal courses and in post-training activities, ask questions that allow learners to reflect on their own learning processes and strategies. In collaborative learning, ask them to reflect on the role they play when problem solving in teams.
  2. Foster Self-reflection. Emphasize the importance of personal reflection during and after learning experiences. Encourage learners to critically analyze their own assumptions and how this may have influenced their learning.
  3. Encourage Self-questioning. Foster independent learning by asking learners to generate their own questions and answer them to enhance comprehension. The questions can be related to meeting their personal goals
  4. Teach Strategies Directly. Teach appropriate metacognitive strategies as a part of a training course.
  5. Promote Autonomous Learning. When learners have some domain knowledge, encourage participation in challenging learning experiences. They will then be forced to construct their own metacognitive strategies.
  6. Provide Access to Mentors. Many people learn best by interacting with peers who are slightly more advanced. Promote experiences where novices can observe the proficient use of a skill and then gain access to the metacognitive strategies of their mentors.
  7. Solve Problems with a Team: Cooperative problem solving can enhance metacognitive strategies by discussing possible approaches with team members and learning from each other.
  8. Think Aloud. Teach learners how to think aloud and report their thoughts while performing a difficult task. A knowledgeable partner can then point out errors in thinking or the individual can use this approach for increased self-awareness during learning.
  9. Self-explanation. Self-explanation in writing or speaking can help learners improve their comprehension of a difficult subject.
  10. Provide Opportunities for Making Errors. When learners are given the opportunity to make errors while in training, such as during simulations, it stimulates reflection on the causes of their errors.

In summary, metacognition is a set of skills that enable learners to become aware of how they learn and to evaluate and adapt these skills to become increasingly effective at learning. In a world that demands lifelong learning, providing people with new and improved metacognitive strategies is a gift that can last forever.