Adaptive learning is not a blue-sky technology

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate adaptive learning course authoringGiven some of the hype-driven media coverage, you might be forgiven for thinking that adaptive learning is one of those blue-sky, might-come-soon technologies you need a masters in machine learning to understand.

But you’d be wrong. Adaptive learning is a right-here, right-now technology. True, at the very high end, there are some heavyweight AI-driven systems (with correspondingly heavyweight price-tags) in the space. But the ability to create content that adapts to the learner’s needs is becoming increasingly mainstream. In fact, you can do it yourself.

That’s right: you don’t even need to get your development partner to build it for you. With an authoring tool like CourseBuilder 8, in-house development teams can create learner-adaptive content of considerable sophistication right now.

The benefits of adaptive learning are easy to understand. Sven Ove Sjølyst , our very own CourseBuilder guru, lists them in this slideshare, and shows how you can use CourseBuilder’s powerful ‘branching’ capability to personalise learning to the individual learner.

Based on a pre-test, several different types of adaptivity can be built into a course:

  1. Role-specific – learners get only the learning appropriate to their role or level
  2. Scaffolding based on level – learners are presented with a selection of learning from different levels, based on their role
  3. Scaffolding based on results – a bad fail on a quiz within the learning that might indicate significant knowledge gaps, will cause different screens to be presented of lower level knowledge
  4. Free play – the learner decide the order, accessing content in their own time and in the order they prefer to do it
  5. JIT – content can be presented ‘just-in-time’ according to need at that specific moment, and fully searchable

This last type of adaptability is especially appropriate for learning accessed on a mobile device. CourseBuilder 8 supports mobile learning, but also learning across all devices, including desktop and tablet as well, for a true omnichannel experience.

To find out more about how you can create adaptive learning with CourseBuilder – or to book a free demo – drop us a line on learning@lumesse.com.

 


What motivates self-directed learners?

By Richenda Sabine

Graphic of carrot on a stick to illustrate motivating self-directed learnersWhat motivates you? Is it money, purpose, or something else? According to Maslow (Hierarchy of Needs) our basic needs of security, identity and stimulation have to be met before we progress to self-actualisation (growing and developing to reach our individual potential).

Consider this in the context of learning. Without motivation, learning is rarely effective, so how do you motivate learners in the first place?

The answer, it turns out, is that they can largely do it for themselves.

Daniel Pink, in his book ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us‘, dismisses the carrot-and-stick approach and tells us to forget everything we think about motivating people. He believes that the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today’s world is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and the world.

This view is borne out In the organisational context of today by the phenomenon of the self-directed learner, which has been well documented in research from learning benchmarking experts Towards Maturity, telling us that:

  • 88% learn more by finding things out for themselves, rather than through F2F training
  • 87% know what they need to learn in order to do their job
  • 74% know how to access what they need for learning

The research also shows a worrying disconnect with what some learning managers think about their learners, indicating that it is more than ever important to understand what motivates the self-directed learner.

There are two types of motivation:

  • Intrinsic – internally generated and comes from personal enjoyment or from a sense of obligation
  • Extrinsic – generated externally from objects, other people and the environment

The burning question in the world of workplace learning is how to keep these two types of motivation aligned, and not in contradiction with each other, so that self-directed learners stay engaged and motivated.

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5 reasons why learning needs to get the omnichannel

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate Retail in LearningOops, here comes a buzzword. And surely we need another one of those like we need a hole in the head. But there’s a serious idea behind this one – the omnichannel – an idea that was born in the world of retail, but which has important implications for learning and communications across all business sectors.

Omnichannel has become a thing in retail because major shopping brands have seen changes in customer behaviour – around the huge proliferation of smartphone use and the convergence of physical and virtual spaces – that are seriously disrupting their markets.

According to Google, 82% of smartphone users turn to their phones inside a store when making purchase decisions. And that process of decision making is highly likely to blend visits to a store with visits to a website. A process of research that starts on smartphone might end up with purchase in a shop around the corner – or vice versa. And it might also involve use of a tablet and a desktop PC along the way.

Infographic giving statistics for consumer use of the omnichannel in purchase decisions

This is where shoppers live now, in the omnichannel, moving seamlessly between physical spaces in the real world and spaces accessed virtually, through a screen. It’s where we all live.

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