7 Simple ideas for making eLearning work in your face to face environment

eLearning IdeasIf you ever felt you wanted to incorporate or test-drive eLearning in your training organisation but held back through concerns over its applicability in a face-to-face environment then this article is for you.

We’ll examine 7 simple, practical and low cost ideas to test drive eLearning. This articles will take you through the principles, tools and 7 useful content examples to guide you through practical and useful eLearning. When combined with face-to-face training and assessment you can have a powerful set of blended learning options that will:

  • Give your students an all-round richer experience
  • Provide you with a new set of powerful marketing tools
  • Eliminate some of your admin/training costs and overheads
  • Get your organisation kick started with eLearning
  • Give you a potentially worldwide student base

What are the basic components of a blended learning solution?

To start off we need an Learning Management System (LMS) + Student management System (SMS) + a Content Authoring Tool (CAT)

If you can get access to a Training Management System (TMS) that combines LMS and SMS so much the better. Not simply because it offers both in the one package, though that is useful, but more importantly you wont have to enter data into 2 separate systems.

Where can you find these tools?

  1. Obtain a trial version of Bluegem TMS by contacting and advising the support team (Call 1300 456 899) to book a 30-day trial. Click here to request an online demo.
  2. Download a 30 day trial of Articulate Storyline 2 from Articulate.com. Click here to apply and download the 30 day trial.
  3. Make sure to also bookmark online help and user manuals for both products. It is strongly advised that you book a demo of the Bluegem TMS to fast track your learning.
  4. (optional) Signup for a trial of GoTo Meeting or GoTo Training to facilitate a virtual classroom environment. Click her for the GoTo Meeting trial

Its outside the scope of this article to provide how-to information for either product but essentially the steps are similar for each of the 7 examples:

  1. Create your course content in Articulate Storyline 2 (some examples: https://community.articulate.com/e-learning-examples)
  2. Using Articulate Storyline 2 – Publish your course to either SCORM 2004 or Tin Can API (xApi)
  3. Create a blended modular course in Bluegem: (you need to get a login account from support: click to access the eLearning User Manual)

The Bluegem Trial can help you in several ways. Here are just few:

  1. Built in LMS to store and present your eLearning content
  2. Built in online multi-choice and free-text assessments
  3. Online enrolment process
  4. Online credit card payments
  5. Student Portal
  6. Library with student access to download training resources and upload assignments
  7. Ability to create and schedule online, virtual classroom and Face to face courses in an integrated and blended environment
  8. All courses whether face-to-face, online or both (blended) can be reported for AVETMISS and RAPT

Bluegem and Articulate Storyline 2 together make an amazing team that you can test drive free for 30 days.

Example 1: Design a Trailer for your Face 2 Face Course

If a 120 minute movie can have a trailer to promote it and give movie goers a sense of what the the movie is about, then so too can your course. The benefits to your organisations and your students are significant. The likelihood of the student making a mistake and booking into the wrong course is much lower, and in the process you’ve developed a powerful sales and marketing tool that can work for your 24/7.

Steps to Accomplish:

  1. Design your course trailer in power point, unless you feel brave enough to jump straight into Storyline. But you can import power Point presentations into Storyline and that makes a perfect way to get started. Just like a movie trailer, try to catch the highlights of the course and make them clear and interesting for the student. If possible use images, video and sound. The more interactive you can make your power point slides the better.
  2. Import your Power Point into Storyline 2, using the front splash screen that opens when you launch Articulate Storyline, you can immediately import a Power Point Presentation.
  3. Use Storyline to build quizzes and to enhance interactivity and movement.
  4. Publish the final product to SCORM 2004 or Tin Can API for delivery in an LMS.
  5. Create the modular course in Bluegem and upload your published course trailer as MODULE 1 of a multi module course. You can now add conventional Face-to-face modules and assessments or you could add additional eLearning modules and online assessments. The point is to integrate your course trailer into the overall course.

Example 2: Design a Workplace Induction Course

During training, many of your students may not yet have experienced what it would be like to work in the job they are training for. What could be more convenient than giving them that initial sense of a real work place than getting them to go online in their own time and experience what it’s like to be inducted into a typical company. They can take the induction course at their own convenient location and in their own time. Again that silent 24/7 ally is working for you and making life easy and convenient for your students.

The steps are the same as above, except this time you’ll want to think about making the experience as real for them as possible. Video snippets of staff leading inductions and asking questions would be useful. If you didn’t do it in the last example, try adding a Quizz here for the student.

Example 3: Pre and Post Course Reading and Assessment work

Often, you require students to undertake pre-course learning or assessment that you might send to them via email. Emails can be notoriously difficult to track; then the student has to download and generally print the document, complete it hopefully in an electronic format and email it back. In the case of reading material. Often there’s no feedback mechanism to tell you if and when they read the pre course work.

With an eLearning course, not only can you provide the content to the student with minimal effort and inconvenience for both parties, but your can also track whether the student has opened and engaged with the material for any length of time. You have the ability to add an online quiz to further assess things like comprehension and understanding of the material. This is doing more with less effort and achieving better outcomes.

Example 4: Professional Development Courses

If you don’t already offer PD courses in your organisation then this avenue instantly provides an additional and profitable income stream to your business. If you already offer PD courses the traditional way this could significantly reduce your delivery costs. The TMS allows all your past students to remain connected to your organisation as Alumni. In many regulated industries Professional Development (PD) courses and activities are mandatory in order to maintain registration. In others it jut makes good sense to have a policy of continuous improvement and learning.

Bluegem allows you to set up a Category of learning, call it Professional Development, create a mix of face-to-face or online courses / workshops / activities that reward students with PD points.

The steps and methodology are the same as for other activities but the difference is the type of online training and the fact that for many organisations this offers a new and very cost effective income stream to the business. For others it streamlines and improves the bottom line for a service you may already be offering.

Example 5: Going for a Job Interview

Many learners first consideration on completion of training is to find a job, or to improve their position in their existing job. Your organisation no doubt has experience and insights that are valuable to students in that position. If you could packages that collective knowledge into an online course that would equip learners with those skills you would be providing a great service which could be chargeable as a optional extra for your course.

The steps and methodology are similar to other examples provided earlier.

Example 6: Interactive Standard Operating Procedures for your organisation.

One of the biggest problems with maintaining documents and procedures that instruct people on how to efficiently and compliantly run your training organisation is the swamp of either paper or electronic files. Finding information is often difficult as is maintaining it and notifying stakeholders of changes.

But what if you were to treat your in-house documents and procedures as an online course library. When a new Admin comes on board you could have him / her automatically enrolled in a set of courses relevant to their role and career path. In a typical training organisation these could be RTO Administrator, Compliance Officer, Trainer, Assessor, Course Coordinator, Training Manager, Instructional Designer, Scheduler, etc… So having an organisational course library not only teaches each profession the baseline skills and competencies that your organisation requires, but also integrates your procedures, business rules, industry compliance and career pathways into their in-house training.

Compared to an in-house-online-academy, integrating all of these benefits into static documents is difficult, labour intensive and far more difficult to track and administer.

Fortunately Bluegem allows for your people to have professional training and student roles at the same time. And you can separate these types of courses using categories access rights so they are always available to your staff, but not to your client learners.

Example 7: Live or pre-recorded Intervention strategies

eLearning can be combined with free-text assessments and virtual classroom technologies, like GoTo Training to implement the best of both worlds, convenience of online learning at disparate locations and collaborative real-time discussion, mentoring and assessment.

The free-text assessment tool in Bluegem includes:

  • full workflow collaboration between learner and trainer / assessor / mentor until both parties are satisfied that the desired outcomes have been achieved (or not).
  • learner can attach documents, photos or video as desired or as instructed in the assessment
  • learner can control when an assignment is released for marking (published)
  • trainer has a separate view for marking and commenting the assessment / assignment
  • trainer / assessor can provide instructions, comments and feedback as well as simple or complex marking results

Any or all of these tools together can be used to effect an intervention strategy that is cost-effective, convenient and efficient for all parties.

Contact Bluegem to get a demo, book a trial and find out more.

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