Posts tagged e-learning
We are excited by the new Articulate Storyline, the new e-learning authoring tool – use it to build highly interactive courses! We feel this is a product worth talking about – and yes, at last, you may now try it out (30 days free trial)! As you may already know, WOW group is an authorised Articulate reseller. We were also proud Storyline beta testers and have now been certified to put this new software on the market.
What makes Storyline so good? I personally feel it’s all those years of e-learning expertise that the Articulate team share. It’s evidently been distilled into Storyline.
My favourite feature? What an unfair question! If I were to pick one and only one, it’s variables and triggers. You may use them to define conditions in your course and alter it’s behavior based on these. No small matter this is. Yes, it may be addressed to the more experienced, resourceful course creators, but once you get the grasp of it, sky is the limit.
Visit the official Storyline website for detailed features. You will appreciate built-in screen recording, layers, states, and pre-packaged characters that animate and liven up your courses. You will love publishing for iOS, HTML5 and, of course, Flash. You will enjoy the freedom in building and incorporating assessments and quizzes into your courses.
Write to us, should you wish to discuss more about Storyline itself, the Articulate Platinum Membership Plan and the added-value services (e.g. training and support) that are on offer by WOW group.
Olive picking. It’s around December every year. In the Kalamata region, the annual olive oil production exceeds 25,000 tons. Our family trees produce around one ton – enough for our extended family and our friends. For me, a citizen of the world, all this represents an escape – and yet, through my involvement, I am continuously inspired in my work.
Often, the most elementary of experiences lead us to extraordinary conclusions.
Just yesterday, my father and I were driving to a remote olive grove in order to check the state of our trees and plan ahead for the picking. The narrow, winding road extends through hundreds and hundreds of olive trees. There is no tarmac here and one finds several crossings on the way. Needless to say, one may easily get lost. This is the case for me too, who, in the past years, I have always been sitting on the passenger’s seat. This year, I realised that in order to learn the way, I had to take the steering wheel.
And so it happened. I drove following my knowledgeable passenger’s instructions, took these twists and turns, tackled the destroyed road surface, identified my own landmarks so that next time, on my own, I would reach my destination fast and safely. At last, nearing at the age of 40(!), I am now an even more useful instrument in my family’s efforts to produce that blessed olive oil.
Why is this simple story important?
“Trial & error”, “learning by our mistakes”, “On-the-Job-Training”, “role-play” are all learning techniques that share methodological elements with my olive-oil driving experience. I learnt the way to my olive trees by actively participating in the decision making process: is it left, is it right or do I keep on going straight?
In my case, I had the luxury to spend resources in order to learn: my father’s time, my vehicle, my own time and effort. In our business environment, it is seldom the case that we may devote real resources for training purposes, while properly managing cost and risk involved.
In this respect e-games (serious or fun) are an indispensable tool. Simulating every day processes in a virtual environment eliminates both cost and risk in exploiting real resources. Imagine a virtual cockpit, an oil-platform, a surgery room, a stock exchange floor and the simulation benefits are striking. Now imagine performing simpler tasks while playing a game on your computer: a sales pitch over the phone or face-to-face; an accountant closing books; a customer support call; evacuating a building safely. All these are individual steps in the ladder to success and, yes, simulations and e-games may prove a cornerstone in accelerating your way there.
WOW group builds games for learning (classroom and e-learning) and marketing (online and social media). Quite often, one game may serve both purposes. Contact us to discuss your business under a new gaming perspective!
Invest in e-learning to reduce business risks!
Sounds right to you too?
In this post I discuss how e-learning practices can help you set up a virtual business environment for your organisation. I follow simply argumentation to illustrate how this helps you manage business risks and reduce their adverse effect.
Let me start by a case from the aviation industry. I presume you are familiar by the intensive simulation training that pilots undertake throughout their career. And why do they do that? Well, simulation training at the level offered today, ensures completeness and exceptionally high degree of realism. Each pilot follows training under multiple scenarios that would be impossible to experience under normal service. This training involves all aspects of flying down to crisis and disaster scenarios that one would never wish to experience! This is mission critical training for the aviation industry, since, in the public mind, it links directly to human life safety on board.
You may also be aware of the very high cost of the technology involved in flight simnulation – but hey, that’s nothing compared to the cost of flying and considering the benefit of reducing the overall business risks associated with a potential disaster.
So, in ralation to a plane pilot, what do all of us, working our daily job, have in common? I will argue that we have a job that is mission critical within our organisation. Should we fail in our daily tasks, the overall chain of processes depending upon our performance may jeopardize the mission of our organisation.
- Are you a project manager handling your project wrong? Will you exceed budget? Is your project overdue?
- Are you picking oranges? Is the crop over-ripe, never to reach the consumer in good shape?
- Are you a nurse, failing to observer high hygiene standards?
- Are you a customer servise agent, lacking interpersonal skills?
- … and so on…
In order to ensure mission success, people need to be well trained and well informed. They need experience, which is hard gained. As in the aviation case, training goes a long way, in every day business, towards ensuring quality and achieving success. And nowadays we talk about blended learning, combining regular instructor-led training, with e-learning, coaching and other activities, as suits each case best.
Here, we will focus on the e-learning component. Within a virtual business environment, e-learning content is all about living the experience! Trainees, who, most often are employees, are given simulated scenarios around their daily business. Role play and decision making engage the learner to think and deal with situations from the plain ordinary to the extraordinary.
We call it Gameware, it’s serious and it’s fun!
Along with coaching activities, Gameware aims at learning through our decisions and our mistakes. In this case, mistakes do not cost anything – they have no impact in real business – and that’s the beauty of it. Now, adding some linear, lecture mode e-learning – for instance webinar style – completes our arsenal of e-learning tools. Regular assessments add to common practices, often leading to certifications.
In this respect, Gameware is the core element of the Virtual Business Environment. Other elements you already now: an LMS to manage, at least, content delivery and tracking, a sound reporting tool and feedback for optimised human capital development planning.
What follows is examples of real e-learning courseware that, in various cases, has been part of a virtual business environment.
To start with, here is an example on customer service. Yes, this is a tyre shop, and the player is asked to handle customer requests – two of them – and answer the phone in between. There are just three control buttons:
- Make eye contact
- Verbally greet and …
- … Smile
The aim of the interaction is to remember to act promptly, courteously and with positive attitude to all customers, even to those on the other side of the phone line. At the end, feedback is given to the trainee in terms of the Potential Lifetime Revenue metric. Poor performance may even lead to negative PLR, in which case the potential customer not only will not return but will also prevent other from coming to our business.
Such interactions will be complemented by regular page-narrated content, which is intended to build solid soft skills background.
In another case, looking at the healthcare sector, avatars – yes, kind of like those from Hollywood! – are used to render the experience much more lively. The nurse trainee is handling a grumpy patient and again role play enhances learning effectiveness.
I our next case, the mission is about applied radiological response techniques in a medical research facility and has three distinct phases:
- approach a witness, who is clearly disturbed, and obtain information from him relating to which radioactive substance is stored in this facility.
- select the gear and equipment wear and hold
- seek the radioactive substance.
Decisions made in the game have an affect in subsequent steps.
So what happens if the player makes the wrong choice during his game, receives poor or no information from the witness or selects the wrong gear to enter the facility? It’s simple, the player cannot complete mission and fails. By repeating the activity, the player learns by his mistakes and is less likely to fall into errors in real action.
All cases mentioned above focus on mission critical parameters, some more, some less.
Within the Virtual Business Environment, Gameware is used to play multiple, real-life scenarios and prepare trainees for real-life events. What’s more, inside this safe environment, Gameware can be used to experience any crisis scenario, with no concern for false judgment by the learner. In fact, this is the ideal place to play, experiment and learn by own mistakes. With sound reporting, trainee decisions can be used for identifying knowledge and skill gaps and act with appropriate measures.
The overall aim is to minimize error and subsequently business risk.