D Guralnick - Eyes on UX 2009 Presentation on the E-Learning User Experience


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Here's the abstract from my conference session:

E-learning in the business world has the potential to be extremely effective and enjoyable, though that potential often goes unrealized. In this session, we will discuss learning-by-doing, scenario-based methods to create learning experiences that teach skills that will apply on-the-job and provide an enjoyable (and sometimes emotionally-moving) experience for the learner. I will show examples of e-learning experiences that have been considered successful, and discuss the design process used to create these experiences. Contrasts will be drawn between various online pedagogical methods which involve applications of educational theory and research to practical training problems in business.

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D Guralnick - Eyes on UX 2009 Presentation on the E-Learning User Experience

  1. 1. Creating a True “E-Learning User Experience” in Corporate Training David Guralnick, Ph.D. Kaleidoscope Learning & Teachers College, Columbia University New York, NY, USA [email_address] www.kaleidolearning.com
  2. 2. Context, Background, and Perspective <ul><li>My experience is primarily in designing e-learning—simulations, performance support systems, specialized authoring tools, and more— for corporate clients and non-profit organizations </li></ul><ul><li>I also teach at Columbia University in New York, teaching graduate students how to design e-learning products (primarily for training and performance-support purposes) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Corporate E-Learning Today: | What is the user experience usually like?
  4. 4. Common Responses to This Question <ul><li>There’s lots of text to read; courses generally consist of text and some graphics, the learner must read/view a screen and then click Next to move on. </li></ul><ul><li>There’s a test, usually in a multiple-choice and/or true/false format. </li></ul><ul><li>Courses are not at all enjoyable, you take them because your employer tells you that you must do so. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Right Design and Methods for the Goals <ul><li>The primary goal of corporate training should be improved job performance… </li></ul><ul><li>… which calls for a skill-based approach to training, allowing people to acquire and improve the skills they will need to use and apply on the job </li></ul><ul><li>Most corporate training today focuses on knowledge rather than skill…which prepares employees well for trivia contests but not for job performance </li></ul>
  6. 6. Creating an “E-Learning User Experience” <ul><li>Focus on skills, practice, transfer to the job—”situated learning” </li></ul><ul><li>Allow the course to be immersive and engaging on its own merits—make the real-life situations both realistic and interesting—rather than adding extraneous fluff in order to “add excitement” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Demonstration: Guest Service Training
  8. 8. Guest Service Training <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience : Guest-service desk employees at a large (1200-store) U.S. retailer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goals : Teach employees the customer service skills and knowledge of company policy so they are able to process returns and keep even the angriest customers relatively happy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodology : Learn-by-doing simulation, in which the learners practice handling video-based customers in a safe, simulated environment </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Demonstration
  10. 10. Summary of the Learner’s Experience <ul><li>8 scenarios total </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 2 hours of total training per person </li></ul><ul><li>Taken as part of their initial training course, also available as refresher training </li></ul>
  11. 11. Results <ul><ul><li>The anecdotal feedback from learners, once the course was rolled out, was that the course was very enjoyable—the situations were realistic and memorable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys of the client’s customers indicated an increase in customer satisfaction after the course was rolled out—though this was not a controlled experiment and other factors could have also contributed to the higher scores. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. CAMT (Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician) Training Course <ul><li>Audience : Maintenance technicians at apartment complexes throughout the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Goals : To teach techniques required to provide maintenance services to apartment buildings, and to provide certification. </li></ul>
  13. 13. CAMT (Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician) Training Course <ul><li>CAMT Training is a large training suite including seven courses, following a “blended learning” approach”: </li></ul><ul><li>Five courses covering highly-technical concepts such as repairs, which consist of hands-on classroom training followed by online practice scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Two “non-technical” courses covering concepts such as customer service and budgeting, which consist of online learning followed by online practice scenarios. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Each classroom course is approximately 15 hours. </li></ul><ul><li>The online portions total approximately 5 hours of training time. </li></ul>CAMT (Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician) Training Course
  15. 15. CAMT Training - Demo
  16. 16. Summary of CAMT Online <ul><li>35 scenarios total, 10 “soft skills” scenarios and 25 “diagnosis” scenarios, covering 7 major content areas </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback from end-users has been incredibly positive, from an audience that is not generally crazy about online learning. </li></ul><ul><li>This was a fairly low-budget project…but still involved a user experience that was well above the page-turning e-learning that our client had used previously. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Why These Courses Worked – Art + Science <ul><li>A holistic design approach, focusing on skills and job performance, and based around the learner’s goals—and using expertise from several areas </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is integrated into the engaging user experience </li></ul><ul><li>Creative design and writing, but anchored by rigorously-defined “teaching points” that needed to be addressed </li></ul><ul><li>Use of a learn-by-doing methodology that applies learning theory and research to practical problems, and creates experiences that seem relevant and realistic to the learner. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusion <ul><li>Corporate e-learning has tremendous potential but it goes mostly unrealized in today’s world… </li></ul><ul><li>The idea of what makes for a successful, engaging user experience in e-learning needs to be redefined and based around skills and performance goals. </li></ul><ul><li>A move to different methods, such as scenario-based learning, can help companies to deliver engaging, effective simulation-based e-learning – and a true e-learning user experience. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>David Guralnick, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>Kaleidoscope Learning </li></ul><ul><li>304 Park Avenue South </li></ul><ul><li>11 th Floor </li></ul><ul><li>New York, NY 10010 </li></ul><ul><li>www.kaleidolearning.com </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>