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Posts Tagged ‘instructor-led training’

Turbo Charge Scheduled Events in Your Learning Management System by Using Tags

July 31, 2013 4 comments

Richard Nantel, Vice President, Enterprise Learning Solutions, Blatant Media | Absorb LMS

Instructor-led sessions, either in physical or virtual classrooms, play a big part of many organizations’ learning strategies. To support such initiatives, the best learning management systems (LMS) are equally adept at managing scheduled instructor-led events as they are at managing self-paced learning.

If your organization delivers a large number of scheduled events, it might be tough for learners to keep track of what’s available and what might fit into their daily schedules. The ability to tag instructor-led sessions with keywords can be an elegant way to present learners with a manageable list of upcoming events so that learners can quickly assess whether they’d like to attend.

When people think of tags, they automatically think of topic keywords. A course on, say, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), might be tagged with the topic keywords HealthFirst Aid; and CPR.

Topic tags added to a course in Absorb LMS

Since this course will be delivered as a scheduled instructor-led event, you can make it significantly easier for learners to find the session in their learning portal by adding a keyword to define the date range in which the session will be taking place, as well as a keyword specifying the name of the instructor delivering the session.

Absorb LMS: Adding date and instructor tags to a course

NOTE: Peter Safar is credited to be the inventor of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). He passed away in 2003 but it seems appropriate that he be revived symbolically in this Blog post to teach this important topic.

A learner clicking the August 2013 tag or searching for that keyword will be presented with all the scheduled events taking place in August 2013.

AbsorbLMS-Date Tag Clicked

Similarly, clicking the name of the instructor will present the learner with all the scheduled sessions being delivered by that instructor. If your organization has an in-house public speaking rock star with a reputation for delivering good content, your learners will appreciate a quick way to view all the speaker’s scheduled sessions.

Making this tagging technique even more powerful is the ability to e-mail to learners the search string that generates the list of upcoming sessions:

Dear learner,

Click the link below to get a list of all the sessions we have scheduled for the month of August:

http://learning.mydomain.com/#/search/courses/August%202013

We hope you find these resources helpful.

Signed,

—Your loving learning enabler

To maximize enrolment and attendance, it’s critical that learners be able to quickly find instructor-led sessions and other scheduled events in their learning portal. Tagging scheduled events with date ranges and names of speakers can make it a breeze for learners to find sessions of interest that fit their schedules.

The Most Important Learning Management System Features to Support Instructor-Led Courses

June 20, 2013 5 comments

Richard Nantel, Vice President, Enterprise Learning Solutions, Blatant Media | Absorb LMS

In many organizations, workplace learning consists of getting people into a room to listen to an instructor. If the workforce is distributed, the room used may be virtual instead of physical, and the donuts served may be imaginary instead of real.

When these organizations become fed up with the effort of trying to manage their learning initiatives using pen and paper, spreadsheets, and various stone-age tools, they acquire a learning management system. The smartest of these organizations don’t then abandon instructor-led learning, but rather aim to provide learners with quality content in many different formats and learning modalities:

Absorb LMS Curriculum showing the choice of different learning modalities

In evaluating learning management systems, you should consider the ability of the LMS to support instructor-led events even if you presently think you’ll only be serving self-paced courses to your learners. Your needs over time may change. (Just ask anyone who’s ever paid to have a tattoo removed.)

Here’s a list of LMS features required to manage instructor-led events:

  • Instructor-led courses can take place in a physical or virtual classroom
  • Instructor-led courses can issue certificates as well as educational units, credits, or points
  • Instructor-led courses can be configured to have prerequisites
  • Instructor-led courses can be part of a blended learning curriculum
  • Instructor-led courses can have multiple sessions
  • Instructor-led courses can have sessions that automatically repeat daily, weekly, etc.
  • Instructor-led courses can have sessions that start and end on specific dates

Absorb LMS-Scheduling of an instructor-led session

  • Enrolment into instructor-led sessions can be restricted to specific groups of learners based on any criteria (location, business function, role, etc.)
  • Instructor-led course sessions can be configured to require approval from an administrator or instructor before a learner is fully enrolled
  • The system manages venues, including maximum seating for each room
  • The system manages wait lists
  • Learners on a wait list are automatically notified if a seat becomes available

Absorb LMS- ILT Enrollment

  • The system is smart enough to uncover conflicts, where an instructor or venue is booked for two different events at the same time
  • The system provides a way for learners and instructors to add course sessions to their personal calendars (Outlook, etc.)
  • The system provides a calendar-view of sessions to learners, instructors, and administrators
  • Resources such as study guides and other supporting materials can be attached to instructor-led courses
  • The system can provide instructors with teaching materials associated with their classes
  • The system provides an easy way for instructors to take attendance, ideally using a mobile device such as a phone or tablet
  • Learner performance in an instructor-led course can be graded by an instructor
  • Students are automatically notified if a change is made to the scheduling of an instructor-led courses
  • The system provides learners with clear e-mail communication regarding enrolment, session reminders, and course completion
  • Instructor-led courses can be branded with images so that they appear distinct from other learning content in the system
  • The system has an easy way to provide learners with course evaluation surveys (Kirkpatrick level 1) once they’ve completed an instructor-led course

Have I missed anything? Please add them to the comments section of this post.

More Learning and Development Myths

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Richard Nantel, Vice President, Enterprise Learning Solutions, Blatant Media | Absorb LMS

As a follow up to my post of last December titled “The Biggest Myths in Learning and Development,” I asked the following  question within various LinkedIn discussion groups:

What other learning and development beliefs do we hold to be true but probably aren’t?

Here are some of the replies:

Universities are embracing e-learning to extend their audiences to people who cannnot afford to attend their institutions. — Jean-Marc R.

L&D facilitators need to be subject matter experts on what they deliver. It’s their job. — Ray O.

We must evaluate all learning activities and show ROI.  — Ray O.

By sending people off to training, we will get them back in a more productive condition. — Anders B.

Train for knowledge, coach for performance. — Hannah T.

Most organizations that have embraced online learning have no idea what, if anything, their workforce is learning. — James M.

Organizations understand the learning & development needs of their people and organization! — Barry H.

Management training is directly linked to attitude and behavioural change and tangible results. — Graham W.

Training improves on-the-job performance. — Leon N.

Well-trained staff are essential for superior workplace performance. — Leon N.

Effective training is the result of good training courses. — Leon N.

Fascinating submissions, everyone. Thank you.

The Biggest Myths in Learning and Development

December 22, 2011 10 comments

Richard Nantel, Vice President, Enterprise Learning Solutions, Blatant Media | Absorb LMSIn the early 1960s, philosopher Abraham Kaplan and psychologist Abraham Maslow independently described the idea that being in possession of  an instrument affects our perception. The idea, now commonly called the Law of the Instrument, is illustrated in the phrase  “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” 

It’s important to be aware of this law because it gives us a glimpse into how our perception of the world is shaped by our experiences and environments.

So what does all this have to do with learning and development?

My introduction to using computers for learning stems back 25 years to a course I took in university titled “Computers in Music.” I was immediately hooked and began creating simple computer programs to teach music theory. This led to a lifelong career in learning technology as a content developer, entrepreneur, consultant, analyst, and now technology provider. Having worked in the area of learning technology for so long has created certain assumptions. These are the learning and development myths to which I’ve subscribed that are currently being debunked from speaking with organizations daily.

If you’re reading this blog, you may be a learning professional with interests in online learning. You too, may believe the following learning and development myths:

  • MYTH ONE: Most organizations provide some type of training to their workforce

False. A large percentage of organizations I speak with provide no formal training. People join the firm and figure out what needs to be done by shadowing people and asking a lot of questions—likely by e-mail—CC-ing as many people as possible. Consequently, the number one learning tool for new employees is the company staff directory. “I see there’s a guy in the IT department named Mitch. He may know how I should do this task.”

Often, organizations I speak with are trying to address the challenges associated with this approach. It isn’t that they’re anti social or informal learning, it’s just that they’re trying to make the process easier for everyone. They also want to make sure people learn the right stuff instead of old bad habits that have been passed on over the years though we’ve-always-done-it-this-way mentoring.

  • MYTH TWO: Organizations that do provide training have embraced online learning

False. Of the organizations that do provide training to their workforce, a huge number—large and small—are still tackle learning and development the way organizations did decades ago: exclusively by having learners physically participate in face-to-face, classroom-based sessions, either on site or in another location.

If your organization has no formal learning and development initiatives, or if training still takes place exclusively in a classroom with an instructor, you should feel no shame. You’re not alone. Gurus and pundits may have us believing that the biggest challenges facing organizations today is how to migrate online learning to new devices or software platforms. The reality is that most organizations are just looking at how to get started in online learning in a way that produces good outcomes, painlessly.