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What is a MOOC and why should you be using them?

A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course – courses are aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web.  By ‘open’, it means available for anyone to take, and free!  MOOCs are an affordable way to learn a new skill, (or become more proficient at one) to advance your career or for personal knowledge.

 

Free you say? But who funds them?

Traditionally MOOCs were developed by universities for use by their students.  While that remains true today, other course publishers have entered the market…global technology and education companies such as Google, AT&T, Microsoft and Lynda.com.  One of the keys with free MOOCs is that they are usually free to learn, but if you require a certificate of completion, there is a fee. So, you can learn about project management, but if you want a course to count towards a PMI certification, you pay a fee.

Start your search with both non-profit and for-profit organizations like edx.com, Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, to name a few.

 

Are you using MOOCS yet?

There are more than 5,000,000 MOOC students across the globe as of 2016, and that number is growing.  In fact, 36% of people NOT using MOOCs plan to start.  So, what does that mean for you?

Why not get ahead of the curve and impress your learners by checking out some MOOCs to see if any of them could help your organization. 

  1. Determine what you believe your organization needs, (needs analysis) – we can help!
  2. Research the MOOC organization pages for suitable courses.  Don’t get too excited and pick them all, carefully select ones that could help your workforce.
  3. Identify what content or objectives you still require for your audience(s).  
  4. Create top-up learning modules that pick up where the MOOC left off, with content specific to your organization.  They will now be shorter, thanks to your brilliant use of MOOCs! 

 

Dive into MOOCs and let us help you with the top-up modules that speak to your learners specifically. 

We’ll show you how to use both to create a learning path that’s easy and fun for your learners to complete!

 

Source: E-Learning Infographics 

The Results are In!

LinkedIn Learning with Lynda.com Content has released their 2018 Workplace Learning Report.  This is the result of a survey of over 4,000 professionals on ALL ends of the spectrum; employees, managers, executives, and of course, those responsible for talent development.  It’s our job, as learning professionals, to unpack, dissect and draw conclusions that will help us serve our clients and partners better.

There are two key areas we found that directed the report:

  1. Most Pressing Questions; and
  2. Top Workplace Learning Trends. 

 

What was our #1 Aha moment?

From the Most Pressing Questions, came this:

“Why do employees demand learning and development resources, but don’t make the time to learn?” 

What? How can this be true when the survey ALSO revealed that 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career?    The struggle is real.

 

According to survey data, the modern organization needs to reduce the friction and meet learners at their level.  That is:

  • offer opportunities that align with what employees want and need; and
  • engage with them through platforms they already use.

 

Need help figuring out how to do this? Alliance Learning can make sure you offer a thirsty person a glass of water, not a firehose.  And how NOT to make them walk a mile to get it.  Simple, effective, and easy to reach training that employees will use, and benefit from.  And make the most effective use of your training budget. 

Ask us how!

 

 See the full report or stay tuned for more insights right here.

What is ‘Subscription Learning’?

It's 3:00pm and you have been stuck inside a stuffy classroom ALL day. How much learning do you think you are doing at this point?

 

We have all been there - taken a course and it’s almost the minute you leave you forget everything you have learned. You are not alone, it’s more common than you think!

Training professionals struggle with this when they are developing their content. It is a challenge to try and create the perfect training session that will be interactive, keep the interest of the learners and more importantly, they will leave with new information that they found useful! 

What is the forgetting curve?

German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus studied student information retention. His discovery: information is exponentially forgotten from the time learners consume it. He developed what is called the forgetting curve – it demonstrates how memory retention declines over time, how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it. If the topic at hand is not appealing to learners then how can we expect them to sit there listen, understand, and retain what they are learning.

If your sessions are ‘too long’ or ‘boring’ or the learner believes that there is no real significant value, we know it will just be a waste of time not only for the learner but the instructor as well. 

The easy answer: replace classroom learning with e-learning.

But is that enough? It is a good start for sure but if it is not done properly it can have the same effect as classroom learning. Our suggestion to you is to try treating your learners as “subscribers” and spread learning over time. 

The idea of Subscription Learning comes from Will Thalheimer, a learning expert, researcher, instructional designer. Thalheimer describes subscription as “an intermittent stream of learning-related interactions to those who are subscribed”. He describes these ‘learning-related interactions’ as nuggets. He says they should be short, something that you can present in no more than five minutes. 

The idea is for the learner to subscribe to these nuggets, which Thalheimer calls threads. Think of them as tips, something that you sign up for and each week you get a new tip. Throughout that week, you practice the tip that was learned, incorporating into your daily tasks. The following week you learn a new tip, repeating the same method. 

The concept of subscription learning is that over a pre-determined amount of time, these short learning events will become natural, second nature. 

At Alliance Learning we are incorporating this method into our online courses.

We don’t want our learners to sit in front of a computer for hours at a time, trying to stay focused to ensure they don’t miss anything. The last thing we want is for our courses to be overwhelming – to the point that your mind is just full of information, you lose it! 

Our courses are short and only focus at the topic at hand. And you want to know what the best part is – if you stop half way through, you can pick up right where you left off! We are working on creating content that everyone will enjoy, skills that anyone can take with them no matter what industry you are in. 

We have lots in the works so stick with us, because things are just about to get exciting!

 

Have you started to incorporate AR into your training programs?

Augmented Reality (AR) is so great for follow-up/on-the-job training. At first it might be difficult for some to see the benefits and just look at it and think it's cool, but then can't make the leap into 'how do I get this started for our workplace'. Start with something simple and easy, nothing fancy, but something work related. This way they can test it out and get the feel for it. Then you could have a follow up disucssion to see what they thought and start brainstorming ideas on how it can rbe useful to the workplace. When people can see it working for something in their reality, they'll want to see more of it.

The project film for 'Layered': The Future of Augmented Reality

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Source: Zappar 

Is your organization embracing a learning culture?

Can you think of a moment where someone or something had an influence on your career? It might have been advice given to you or maybe it was something you learned from a course that you took.  It wasn’t planned and you might have not even realized the impact it had on you at the time. Whatever it was, it changed your behaviour and it was a turning point. It gave you the motivation, that extra push, to get you to where you are today.

In the learning industry, we like to call those teachable moments.

The workplace is changing, it is developing. What was once this Monday to Friday, working 9 to 5, sitting behind a desk is no longer the norm. It is flexible, digital and organizations are embracing this learning culture, putting an emphasis on professional development and team building. Alliance Learning is a part of that; we are helping organizations with their learning strategies.

We want to be a part of your change.

Our instructional designers build courses that connect with learners so that the content has an influence, it sticks with them. We love learning and we love seeing the impact it can have not only on someone’s career but on the organization as a whole.