Mobile Learning Infographic - Benefits and Features

Mobile Learning Infographic – Benefits and Features

Mobile Learning Infographic - Benefits and Features

Mobile Learning Infographic – Benefits and Features

A few months ago we explored Mobile Learning and whether or not it is viable, today we provide an infographic of the benefits and features of Mobile Learning at a glance. Mobile Learning is a newer component of the blended learning mix and is constantly evolving into something more robust. Today, it truly is a viable feature for any learning development program, as it can adequately supplement a nomadic workforce as well as motivate workers to complete assignments in a timely manner.

Mobile Learning Infographic - Benefits and Features

Text of Infographic:

Why is Mobile Learning so Effective? Mobile Learning Infographic

 

Convenience

All the required learning and compliance training at the tip of your workforce’s fingertips.

Duration

Short and concise courses; allow for broader participation and motivate users.

Focus

Effective mobile learnings highlight specific learning objectives. This type of focus allows for greater overall comprehension and delivery.

Microlearning

Brief focused learning modules can be created to further the knowledge obtained via additional mediums.

Distribution

Instantly and globally make available learnings that will immediately impact your program.

Content Evolution

With the growth of the platforms themselves, we experience greater content capabilities. Modern, more dynamic content allows for a greater utilization of media and ultimately superior effectiveness.

Summary

Mobile learning is really gaining a foothold in the industry and is continuing to become a vital component of a well-rounded blended learning environment. With continuous growth on the distant horizon and traits and features such as these, it is hard to imagine it showing any signs of slowing. If your organization currently excludes mobile learnings and you are interested in its value going forward; be sure to tune into the Gyrus Systems Blog, as we will continue to explore this captivating topic.

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Mobile Learning - Is it Finally Viable?

Mobile Learning – Is it Finally Viable?

Mobile Learning - Is it Finally Viable?

Mobile Learning – Is it Finally Viable?

Mobile Learning has been a cool shining beacon in the learning industry for quite a while now. So much so, we here at Gyrus tend to talk about it… a lot. But with new technologies, sometimes you have to stop and ask yourself, is it just being used for the sake of the media itself, or is it actually adding to my blended learning portfolio? If you have read my recent posts, you may already know where I stand on the matter, however, I would like to expand on my previous pro-mobile learning sentiments.

Why Mobile learning is actually worth its grain of salt

 

Convenience

Mobile learning reaches the most difficult demographic in all of the learning industry. Who might that be? Mobile learning approaches the traveler, by establishing channels that have never before existed. This rings of significant importance for businesses that are completely structured around a mobilized workforce, as training offerings of the past have seemed like a distant and unachievable possibility. With the only resolution to this issue being to schedule yearly training meetings/events, or requiring intensive eLearnings where the floating personnel  is not only taken away from their work, but they are often participating with varied levels of attention and an abundance of distractions. But now, everything that is required for proper learning and accreditation is right there at your fingertips, just a few screen clicks away from impacting organizational wisdom, verifying departmentalized compliance, and actually engaging these hard to reach people.

Evolution of the Content

We as learning professionals already know that eLearning being ported to mobile for the sake of technological availability is not in itself an efficient utilization. Instead, effective content is and must be designed specifically for use on our handheld devices and tablets. More and more instructional designers and content providers are specializing in this medium and as the technology around them gets better Mobile Learning itself will continue to improve. As it is now, there in an abundance of quality mobile content on the market, with enough customization to suit your organizational needs. That being said, be sure to continue monitoring industry trends as this content will continue progress with the inclusion of mixed media, as well as utilizing new ways in which we interact with these mobile devices in general (Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and maximization of specific phone capabilities such as the long press and onboard motion controls come to mind as immediate examples in this category).

Building Intrinsic Course Motivation

Why should I want to participate in this learning exercise? One of the key features of Mobile Learning is the briefness of the media. Due to competing elements on the phone and how much time people on the go have in between events, the content is forced to be concise. Brief, engaging and sometimes gamified content are strides ahead of where they were just a few years ago. Currently, the motivational aspect of mobile content is more than enough to provide a significant learning experience for your workforce. Combine this sentiment with the inclusion of social platforms, and you have all the makings for a solid learning alternative that can take a fledgling program and produce something that is incredibly viable and sustainable.

Established Context

Learning and Development must first address what they wish their personnel get out of their mobile learning programs. The intent of the mobile learning exercise is very important to establish prior to the implementation of a mobile program and inclusion into a blended learning environment. Mobile learning can be used in a variety of ways, it can be used as a sole source of information directly to a learner, it can accommodate the message of a long-standing eLearning or Instructor lead training, or it can be used simply to certify an employee who has undergone necessary training in their required field. Contextually, we are at the point where learners are the focal point of the process. Content exists in all the pre-mentioned categories, and if applied correctly and displayed in captivating enough manners, can advance the output of your learning program leaps and bounds beyond what was previously achievable.  

Microlearning

It would be careless to exclude this category from the overall list of Mobile Learning, as it currently stands. Perhaps the newest topic on this list, but is already offering immense benefits to the field. A quick definition of microlearning is that of a brief (less than 5 minutes) learning component with a focus on a very particular learning object (specifically a skill, behavior, or compliance piece). These are currently best executed in a mobile environment, as they’re quick to develop and complete, as well as their hyper focus on a specific topic allowing for the greatest utilization of Mobile Learning practices and features. If you are looking to dip your toes in the Mobile Learning waters, in order to evaluate the potential benefits, it could be done very effectively through the inclusion of microlearning in your overall blended offerings.  

In short, Mobile learning is really starting to gain a foothold in the industry and a vital part of a well-rounded blended learning environment. Be sure to keep up-to-date with impending industry trends as they could immediately impact not just the effectiveness of your program, but also the methodology. Please consider joining me as I further investigate this fun and unique space, as well as leave feedback if you have another impactful argument which I may have missed.

 

 

The Future of the LMS

The Future of the LMS

The Future of the LMS

The Future of the LMS – Where Are We Going?

Throughout the course of history, some very brilliant minds have endeavored the obscure task of forecasting the future of technology. As we embark hundreds of years down the road from some of these grand musings and green field possibilities, it is important to look back and evaluate what we as humans have actually accomplished. Most of these science fiction professionals have taken various swings and unfortunately missed the mark horribly. With the exception of some authors who were able to write so brilliantly that they were able to shape the future, just through the power of their influence. I do not claim to be that influential (or for that matter brilliant), so I will abstain from a grand speculation as to where the industry will be in 2116; instead, I will look at the not so distant horizon. We currently live in a time where almost anything is possible. If you shop around the internet, you can have a hover board in your possession by no later than two days from now, in some locations, it can be in your hands in under 30 minutes and it could have even been delivered by a drone. Cars are beginning to drive themselves, and augmented reality and viable virtual reality is beginning to make its way into our lives. The future is bright and full of potential technical advancement, included somewhere within that progression is a small segment for Learning Management Systems and how they are already trending towards something completely different.

In the Learning and Development world training has migrated from solely instructional and self-taught. To completely accessible without time requirement, electronic, as well as mobile learning platforms. The LMS is vital in organizing these different types of learnings, as well as shaping the way in which you interact with training and development content.

What’s New with the LMS?

The LMS market over the last 10 years has seen an incredible uptick in innovations. From the way in which materials and content are written, all the way to the manner in which they are being hosted. A shift has occurred seemingly overnight in the way we learn on the job. The following are some of the reasons why coupled with exploratory prose as to where these endeavors could take us in the very near future:

Social Learning  

In the not so distant past, the concept of social learning was but a dream in the eyes of LMS providers. A simple question of “How can we get our department to motivate one another? As well as find a way to get our entire workforce to have a similar knowledge base? Without huddling everyone up in a room and taking away more time from our organizational directive.” As such the LMS evolved, giving employees the opportunity to work together on modules, evaluate courses they are taking, and directly interact with each other in learning options. These are all a huge step forward, but, we have only begun to delve into the possibilities of social learning. Companies are now starting to realize the interrelations of social media platforms and the ability to carry over some of the training and development to after hours, as well as using public badging as a reward, allowing for employees to proudly display some of their accomplishments externally. Live documents have made an appearance in some realms allowing for people to not only share an assignment, but make changes on the same verbiage from across the world, while interacting, providing positive feedback, and communicating department intentions across a variety of mediums. Included in these mediums are the most profound areas of immediate future development; including live video communications of recent lessons learned, and Twitter-like company hosted microblogs allowing for instant collaboration on experienced issues and a uniform platform to encounter future issues of that type.   

Gamification

The concept of “funifying” learnings is here and an integral part of a modern learning approach. Walking the floor at an ATD conference is a real eye opener as to what the current market possibilities are. That being said, the platforms in which these games are being built are constantly evolving, giving designers better graphical capabilities, smoother operations, and in general more robust offerings. Gamifying learnings is an incredibly unique approach that demands the attention of a user when executed appropriately, the learning output can be on par with just about any other manner of knowledge transfer in existence.   

E-Learnings  

E-learnings are here, and they have been here a while. It seems that even agency based Marketing firms are jumping on the developmental platform, and that is a very good thing. Content is king, good content can be the make or break foundation of a great Learning and Development program. Gone are the ways of sending your employees off to week long boot camps, instead blended learning environments are becoming the norm. E-learnings have transitioned quite well into our daily lives. Exhibiting themselves as simply as short videos explaining a single rudimentary function, to enthralling multimedia expressions of complex business theory exercises. But, where can they go from here? E-learnings at this moment of time are one of the most exciting aspects of the Learning Industry. College courses have been developed in practical application and people in the space, in general, are buzzing with all the possible innovations they can come up with, constantly looking around the corner at what their next possible media for delivery could be and how that will affect the learner. Some recent ideas that are currently exciting developers are the inclusion of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality environments. Making the Learner feel like they are completely immersed in the learning environment. Knowledge is everywhere and the future of how we obtain it is quite bright.   

Mobile Content

Mobile eLearning content is possibly some of the most under-utilized in the field. M-Learning is here and getting better every day. For the business professional on the go, spending 100+ days on the road, there is now the ability to stay up to date on product changes and advancements that have never existed before. Learnings are being built for a variety of platforms, and with the inclusion of tablets and smartphones, we can truly begin to get more out of our workforce in segments of downtime. As smartphones and tablets constantly evolve, the abilities of the content can as well, causing for a bright future of smarter on-the-go instructional design, and app creation which can make apps as quickly as the educational program at your organization requires.

Microlearning

Along with M-learning comes the potential for the newcomer on this list. Microlearning is a relatively new practice with enormous potential. Reducing long form learnings to hammer the same message across again and again, down to a segment less than five minutes, is not only practical but a highly efficient usage of LMS technology. As the art of creating microlearnings becomes more and more defined, so does the potential for advancement of this concept within the learning industry. Imagine a course of a single large eLearning, supplemented by a succession of a few well-crafted and poignant microlearning exercises on an employee’s phone as they are embarking on a long cab ride away from a trade show. Microlearnings are already more accessible than previous iterations of learning due to their brief nature, and could be a real game-changer when it comes to aiding in the timely completion of course materials.

Analytics

From the beginning of the LMS industry, it has always been important to monitor the success of Training and Development campaigns. This has sort of culminated in programs calculating their ROI based on program certifications and sticking with those figures over time. However, as the industry and technology advanced so did the methodology and availability of great data. The ability exists now to measure every facet of a user’s learning experience, a conglomeration of the sum of the learning program, and the effectiveness of each and every component of the program. From a statistical perspective, we have more information now than we know what to do with. Program managers pick their favorite metrics and apply them to their weekly updates and for the most part, we in the industry are missing out on the incredible potential in this field of metrics. In the near future, a “Money Ball” –esque revolution will completely change the manner of which we approach training. Easier to understand filters and practical algorithms will invigorate program leads and allow for a new measure of program, course, class, and single learning component effectiveness, leading to a general shift towards stronger organizational based metrics.  

In summary, the immediate future of the Learning Management Systems industry is full of innovation. With a potential to completely change the way in which our organizations learn, it is best to keep your ear to the ground to figure out what is coming. So, it is imperative you join us as we continue to explore upcoming market trends and possible new technological breakthroughs here at the Gyrus blog.

The Concept of Microlearning

The Concept of Microlearning

The Concept of Microlearning

The Concept of Microlearning

At Gyrus, we believe it is our duty to identify, discuss, and communicate our thoughts on upcoming industry trends. Today, we will evaluate microlearning and the potential it carries in reference to bolstering a learning program. To start the microlearning discussion we must first define what it is. Microlearning is a brief (less than 5 minute) learning component with a focus on a very particular learning object (specifically a skill, behavior, or compliance piece). This could be applicable to topics that do not need the granularity of a full course, or can be used as a supplement to learning exercises throughout a student’s learning within an organization. The concept of Microlearning is not that new. However, with the migration of learnings to more accessible on the go mobile learning (mLearning) platforms such as phones and tablets, their need becomes a bit more noticeable.

Picture if you will an eLearning that takes an hour of your employees’ time. Users have to watch it, then they have to answer some questions, then they have to click a couple things. But the topic of the learning is something exceedingly simple that is only being conveyed to the user for a compliance issue. In the business world the old adage “Time is money” still rings true through today. Now, imagine you can achieve the same certification results in under 5 minutes, using a learning that is not only engaging but entirely focused. The shorter learning will not only be better for the organization as a whole, but it will also allow for a higher completion percentage and adheres to our multi-focused daily life. Where our multitasking is so engrained in a workflow that we cannot allow more than 5 minutes on any given task before needing to refocus on a bigger picture.

Wait, it appeals to shortened attention spans and works great with our hustling staff who is constantly on the go? Why aren’t we doing this already? What’s the catch? Microlearning is not designed to be the end all be all form of learning that people may wish for it to be. It has been slowly established and vetted as a credible offering, with some adverse perceptions causing for a slow adoption. It is, however, a means to augment your current offerings, as well as further the reach of content which may be underutilized or unnecessarily complex. Because they’re so brief, microlearnings are quick to make, implement, and can be a real game changer for your training courses if implemented correctly.

So how can we ensure great microlearnings?

In order to address the need for a microlearning, refer to the following: As referenced throughout this post, one must evaluate the learning needs they wish to address with the microlearning. Is it something that lacks the complexity to warrant an entire eLearning? Can a student master the content in a single sitting? Are you yourself as an instructional designer capable of ripping out the fluff and unnecessary components in order to optimize the microlearning?

Microlearnings need to be concise in order to be effective. The moment the content becomes tainted with alternative concepts or distractions from the general topic, the effectiveness deteriorates sort of like a sidebar conversation you would have with one of your co-workers without the benefit of an immediate follow-up communication to serve as a reminder. As such, microlearnings must also be repeatable. When you implement a microlearning into your learning environment, ensure that the user is required to take it in an acceptable window that will focus them on the skills, compliance, or potential behavior that you are attempting to introduce.

In order to capitalize on the short attention span of your learners, the content must be created in a platform that will be accessible for mLearning. You may have the greatest microlearning in the world, but if it is required to solely be taken on a laptop or desktop, it will quickly be muddled in a sea of tabs and alternative work related processes.

How do I know if my microlearnings are working?

Because they’re so short and the topics are so specific, this would be a great time to survey a small portion of your user base. Those familiar with the previous cumbersome courses will beam a ray of positivity to the training. You will also most noticeably recognize a higher completion rate over a shorter period of time because it is a lot easier to make time for something as brief as a microlearning. As the formation of a microlearning is so new and a relatively inexact science, be sure to enlist feedback on how to possibly make the learnings more potent. As well as ways to convey a clearer message on the chosen subjects you are planning to implement.

If you are already implementing microlearnings in your course curriculum and training, be sure to reach out and tell us how they’re doing. We’d love to hear from you on your success stories, and ways in which we can further promote this interesting new(ish) concept. Also, any feedback on our social media pages would be much appreciated, as to whether you would wish us to further explore this exciting topic.

What Pokémon Go Means to the Learning Industry

What Pokémon Go Means to the Learning Industry

What Pokémon Go Means to the Learning Industry

What Pokémon Go Means to the Learning Industry

Pokémon Go is a phenomenon which is quickly taking over our cell phones. It has already surpassed Candy Crush as the biggest mobile game in US History (Mac Rumors). People are so engrossed in the game that they are watching their phone as opposed to their surroundings, and placing themselves in serious jeopardy; all for the reward of “catching ‘em all” before their friends. I personally am out of poké balls and am unable to join in on the fun at current moment… perhaps I’ll take a lunch time walk down to the nearest poké stop. However, my inability to participate aside, Pokémon Go is a very good application of Augmented Reality, and with the user base growing at such an alarming rate, it has caused many organizations to take pause and evaluate what seems to be endless opportunities in not only the game and its facets but in the delivery method itself.

Augmented Reality

As per Merriam-Webster, “Augmented Reality is an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (as a smartphone camera).” Companies have been trying to figure out ways to use augmented reality for years, typically its most effective application has been allowing people to see where storefronts are located from a user’s frame of reference. These pre-existing applications though cool were unable to break the walls down and collect a universal adoption of the technology. Pokémon Go, on the other hand, came in like a wrecking ball and tore down the walls inhibiting acceptance. Now that everyone is experiencing it, and appreciating what it has to offer, it now becomes a race to incorporate it into product offerings. So, how can this apply to the corporate learning environment?

Gamification

Pokémon Go is an incredible study on gamification. With the application’s GPS interface to Google Maps, landmarks are chosen as places for increased activity. Not only does this get a user out of the house away from their televisions, but it also makes them be active and run around cityscapes. It can dual in purpose as a means to view landmarks that have been long forgotten, as well as force social interaction that hadn’t previously existed. The game as it exists right now can be used as a Human Resources tool to endorse a healthy workplace, sessions of play could be organized once a week causing people to go outside together and communicate about who gets to catch what, which has turned into a positive interaction on college campuses across the United States.

Pokémon Go is great as it is, however, the possibilities of new and more enthralling mLearnings are a real game changer for the learning industry. If your training arsenal consists of Instructor led training and elearnings and your user base is not as receptive to the teachings as they used to be, another option now exists. Imagine a company onboarding using Augmented Reality as a scavenger hunt around your facility. People can take a self-guided tour around your facilities and will think that their new employer is hip for developing such an environment for them. The real kicker is that based on the awards you structure in the environment there is a very high probability that users will remember a significant portion of their adventure, what the saw, where they were, and how they got there. On nicer days, games could be structured outside the facility to aid in employee morale, and eventually, we may get cool practical apps or glasses that can project emails and vital information right in front of us like in sci-fi movies of the past. Lending to even further advancements in mLearnings engagement and potential.  

User Engagement

People are obsessed with Pokémon Go, so much so that local restaurants, sporting venues, and other commercial entities are organizing get-togethers of players in order to capitalize on the wonder. People are fascinated with this new world layered on top of the one they have already been living in. I myself have been charmed by the application and find myself turning it on at night time just to see what’s around me as I’m sitting on the couch. As such, it is safe to say a well-executed mobile learning in augmented reality could captivate learners to levels we have yet to see, and it is up to instructional design developers to get us there.  

Social

Social Feeds have aided in the Pokémon growth enormously. People post on social media their locations and what they are finding. Organizations are posting that they are Pokémon friendly and that if people engage with them on social media on their findings, they’ll send out promo items that will aid in their future conquests. It’s all sort of been a lot of excitement. With the increase of social settings in the learning world, gamified augmented reality applications could be further promoted internally via department social networks, adding another level of collaboration and interaction that would be completely new to our learning realm.

In conclusion, embrace this new era of technology and what we can experience in our daily lives. There are incredible possibilities surrounding augmented reality and us as an industry should be exciting about the potential it holds. If you haven’t done so already, download Pokémon Go and try it out for yourself. You may be surprised at the inspiration you draw from it and most importantly, have fun. Also, please join me as I continue to look at new technologies or possibilities in the learning realm.

Bibliography

'Pokémon Go' Now Considered 'The Biggest Mobile Game in U.S. History' (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2016, from http://www.macrumors.com/2016/07/13/pokemon-go-biggest-mobile-game/

Augmented Reality Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/augmented reality

LMS, learning management system, gyrus systems, gyrus, mobile, ease of use, interface, replacement, optimal learning environment,

Four Reasons to Replace Your Outdated LMS

Four Reasons to Replace Your Outdated LMS

 LMS, learning management system, gyrus systems, gyrus, mobile, ease of use, interface, replacement, optimal learning environment, integration, intuitive design, reporting, analytics

A Learning Management System (LMS) provides a strategic solution for planning, delivering, managing, and reporting on various learning/training events and activities within an organization. Organizations across industries depend on learning management systems for handling their day to day training activities, compliance training, eLearning, etc. Due to the importance of LMS, it may go without saying that an outdated or poorly featured system can hinder an entire organizational learning process.​

LMS' User Interface Is Non-Intuitive:

Are your users frustrated with the way their LMS interacts with them? Does your administrator need to refer to the systems training guide multiple times in order to perform or complete a simple task? No one likes to use cumbersome systems or websites; if these processes are too time intensive, they may never be fully completed (or at least completed with an abundance of shortcuts). If your LMS falls into the situation where users struggle to use the system, it may lead to clutter, inability to search for necessary courses or vast mistakes in content placement. It is important for your LMS to have a simple and viable interface so that users are able to complete their tasks with ease.

LMS Lacks Integration with Other Systems:

Most companies already have an HRIS (Human Resource Information System) or an HRMS (Human Resource Management System), if your LMS cannot integrate with them, your system could be riddled with issues such as information discrepancies, dual data entry, or incomplete user records.  LMS integration with HRIS is crucial for succession planning and promotion; having immediate employee information regarding skills, job, and training, current and automatically synced to the system can lead to a better functioning organization.

LMS is Non-Compatible with Mobile:

An LMS built only for desktop computers is a big no-no, especially in an era where it seems every person is glued to their smartphone. In fact, In the US, 91% of the population is connected to fast 3G/4G via smartphone, not capitalizing on that would be a mistake. Your users should have the ability to access their LMS from mobile devices, which will give them the flexibility to interact with their LMS on the go, and further the reach of your organization’s educational content. Mobile LMS is the most convenient method to reach busy professionals and keep them engaged in their learning process today.

LMS is Missing Valuable Reporting and Analytics:

Can your LMS tell you how many users completed a particular certification exam on their first attempt? Does it provide simple/understandable metrics to inform how your organization is progressing to achieve its talent development and compliance goals? The best part of using an LMS from an administrative perspective is access to real insights and analytics of your organization’s complete learning programs and processes. An LMS without robust reporting and analytics capabilities can be a complete disaster for your organization.

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