Simulation-based Learning: 3 Reasons Why It Works

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Simulation-based learning has been around for such a long time now that it has become commonplace. Several industries are using it:

  • Aviation – Pilots in training use flight simulators to get familiar with plane controls and practice flying in different weather and landing conditions.
  • Math – Mathematicians and economists are using simulations to study probabilities and statistics in a theoretical event.
  • Manufacturing – Such plants now have simulation tools to plan, design, and train automated processes and manufacturing systems.
  • Medical – Med students are using simulations to practice surgeries, crisis interventions, and administer prescriptions.

In the eLearning industry, the pandemic only accelerated simulation-based learning. Here are some real-life examples that can help you understand.

1. Recently, the University of South Australia conducted several simulated activities in-person when the campuses reopened. Several simulated scenarios (computed tomography sim, vacbag manufacture, tattooing, personal protective equipment, etc.) enabled the university to achieve all clinical placement learning outcomes.

2. Glendale Community College in California has developed a tax simulation game for a microeconomics principles course. It teaches students to explain the link between a tax system and income distribution, identify the distributional effects of different taxes, and justify the chosen tax incidence. Students can set federal, state, and local taxes.

3. BBC developed an interesting simulation on the refugee experience mirroring the Syrian refugee crisis triggered in 2015 to help students understand the experience of the refugees and the dilemmas they faced while fleeing to Europe.

What is simulated learning anyways?

Let’s get deep into what is a simulated learning experience. You can think of simulation as a novel teaching method that tests your knowledge and skill levels by placing you in immersive problem-solving scenarios. In a simulation, usually, the instructor defines the parameters, with the end-goal being to create a safe environment for hands-on learning experiences.

Simulated training is being used in several industries to teach learners the skills needed in the real world, as we saw from the examples above. A simulation is considered effective if it answers your question, “If I do this, what happens?”

In a simulation you can test out different scenarios to see what works through a trial-and-error approach, giving you the knowledge and confidence to apply your new skills in the real world. And today, with the help of video recordings and advanced analytics, the instructor can analyze training sessions, identify errors, and discuss alternative approaches with learners.

Why simulated learning works?

Three solid reasons why it works.

1. Practical learning: How many times have you all heard this in school – “Practical is always better than theory.” And there is merit to that. Simulations can give you practical experience in the real world and prepare you well. As a med student, you can learn to perform operations and understand human anatomy better through 3-D simulations. Or, if you’re a business school student, you can learn about building better products, market, sell and service them. Bottom line, you can focus on crisis resource management and develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes in a safe and secure environment.

2. Instant feedback and a great retention aid: Learning-based simulations offer real-time and prompt feedback. You can get constructive and instant feedback, which helps you improve your skills. You can also try new, alternative skills or methods to improve old methods and test new tools. Plus, simulations make learning fun for you. Think of how much you retain from watching a fun video on machine learning algorithms rather than reading a long pdf file filled with numbers and graphs. Simulation-based learning programs equip you to better understand the actions you can take in a situation, which validates the results of training and makes it effective.

3. Collaborative skills: Perhaps, another most significant benefit of simulation-based learning is developing your collaborative skills in a fun way. In a simulated environment, you are introduced to several real-life scenarios, which would need you to collaborate with other members of your team. You also get insights into your own behavior.

The future of simulation-based learning

With Virtual Reality simulators becoming more accessible, less expensive, and increasingly realistic, simulation-based learning are the go-to mode for bridging the gap between structured training and real-life experiences.

Today learners are digital technology natives, so their expectation is that training will challenge them, immerse them into a personalized learning journey. Simulation-based learning helps meet that learner expectations by offering VR experiences, 3D-avatar based learning environments or AI-based role-play simulations.

This helps to accelerate the learning curve of learners in a simulated environment, reproducing real-life conditions without time or space limitations and much fewer risks than real environments. It’s also supported by a recent study, supported by the Korea World Bank Partnerships Facility. The study shows that VR training is, on average, more effective than traditional training, developing students’ technical, practical, and socio-emotional skills. And the results are particularly promising in the fields of health and safety, engineering, and technical education.

How can Liqvid help?

Training simulations should not be created in isolation. Businesses need a robust learning management system for delivery and analytics to loop in feedback and continuous improvement of the learner. We have been creating simulations for educational institutions for a few years, and the demand has been increasing since the pandemic hit us.

One of our recent projects was about developing a multi-player, virtual pharmacy simulation game for a polytechnic in Singapore to make their students proficient in routine tasks performed in a pharmacy – receiving, typing, packaging, and dispensing. And the result – improved engagement, better learning, and retention!

Several top vocational training and education institutes are widely using simulations for skill development. Contact us if you need a partner to help make your simulation-based learning needs a reality.

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Talking Head Videos for eLearning: 4 Reasons Why They Work

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Videos are great storytellers. They can get your audience to connect and communicate with you on a deeper emotional level, even more than words or pictures. They also help build trust as people can “see” you, what you stand for, and really “connect.”

This is where talking head videos are making waves, especially in eLearning. People are spending more time online. And though there are different kinds of video formats, talking head videos have gained a strong foothold— especially post-COVID, when the need for in-person interactions is sky-high.

And it’s also the most straightforward solution to use in your training.

What is a Talking Head Video?

A talking head video is, literally, a video with a person explaining or talking about a topic directly to the camera. In this video format, only the person’s upper body and head are visible.

The instructor is usually off-center in such videos, and the background is primarily blank or plain. Sometimes, the instructor’s image is showcased in a picture-in-picture (PIP) frame in the corner, and the rest of the screen is filled with a screencast, software simulation, or visuals to highlight or support the presenter’s points.

Here are some examples of talking videos in eLearning:

>> “The Future of Storytelling” MOOC by the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (FH Potsdam) – A plus point of this video is that it’s not just a recording of a lecture that has been uploaded online. The instructor is natural in front of the camera and genuinely likable.

>> Algebra Basics by Rob in Math Antics – Another great example of a talking head video introducing the concepts of unknown values and variables in algebra.

>> Chief Learning Officer video – It’s a slightly different style of a talking head video, where the presenter talks about creating the infrastructure to support lifelong learning. This video creates a more immersive effect with the view transitioning from the camera laptop to the external camera and vice versa.

Done well, talking head videos can help your learners get to know the instructors and institution and provide a personalized experience.

4 Reasons Why Talking Head Videos Work

1. Cheap and easy to create – The sheer number of talking head videos on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo shows the popularity of this format. And it’s primarily because of the minimal operational costs. All you need is a camera, the video script, an editing tool, and you’re good to go! Anyone with knowledge about the subject matter can create them, and it’s also turning out to be a great resource for cultivating a knowledge-sharing culture.

2. Accommodate different learning styles – Not all learners are the same when it comes to retention and comprehension. And the larger your audience, the more diverse are their respective learning styles. Some people respond to words, while others learn better with visuals or audio. With talking head videos, you can ensure that every learner is receiving information in a format that’s easy to digest.

3. The human element – Perhaps, the most important reason for the popularity of such videos. Research suggests that we are more motivated when there’s a human figurehead providing guidance. Such videos offer a semblance and warmth of in-person interactions in the remote and contactless world through several nonverbal cues, including facial expressions, hand gestures, and intonation. Also, instructors often speak directly into the camera in a talking head video to create a personal, one-on-one learning experience.

4. Aligns well with microlearning – Microlearning (bite-sized learning, where the topic is broken into easy-to-learn small chunks) has become a dominant form of course delivery in eLearning. One of the microlearning course types resembles the talking-head video format, consisting of an interview with an expert where they are asked burning questions. The entire interview is recorded and then divided into several shorter clips or micro-videos.

Use More Talking Head Videos to Supercharge Your eLearning

Talking head videos are common, classic, and proving to be extremely effective in eLearning. Because they are so simple to create, practically anyone can make them with minimal overhead. However, there are several experienced eLearning content development companies like Liqvid who can guide you.

We can build your courses with a thorough understanding of your organization’s training goals and vision for the learning curriculum. We have designed several interactive video learning for various global education providers. Recently, we designed talking head-style video courses to transition the green rating certifications for GRIHA-certified projects online due to COVID-19. We integrated such videos into the existing modules with enhanced graphics, resulting in an uninterrupted certification program with a solid online learning experience.

Contact us today to see how we can create interactive talking head videos that work for you.

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The Value of Simulation-based Learning in EdTech

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  • A health simulation company offers computer simulations to help educate college students about substance use and sexual misconduct prevention.
  • The School of Nursing has introduced UNLV’s Poverty Simulation, an interprofessional education exercise to help students from Nursing, Medicine, and Dental Medicine understand the challenges of poverty and the resources and barriers connected with community services.
  • Students at the Michigan Tech Research Institute built an app simulation to enable scientists and engineers to measure hydraulic conductivity while simultaneously recording their data with ease and efficiency.

Examples like these show the growing importance of simulation-based learning in the EdTech world. 2020 was all about settling and getting used to the remote learning model. As online education and remote or hybrid workplace training continue to be the reality for most, simulation-based learning will find more acceptance.

Simulation-based learning offers learners a wide range of opportunities to deep dive into complex topics and practice skills. Let’s see how simulation has evolved over the years.

History of Simulation

Simulation training has been around for a very long time. Perhaps, the earliest application can be traced back to WWII when mathematicians John Von Neumann and Stanislaw Ulam used newly developed computing techniques to model nuclear detonation for weapon design. Post this, the aviation industry completed aviation training in 1910 with the release of the first flight simulator.

Other industries soon followed. In the field of anesthesia in the late 1960s, full-body mannequin simulators were introduced based on work done by Denson and Abrahamson from the University of Southern California. From the 1970s, we began to see several computer-generated simulators.

Today, we’ve 3-D landscapes with the precise scale of landscapes in the real world. Simulation training has now expanded to a range of industries like healthcare, military, law enforcement, transportation, and more. But as we saw from the examples mentioned at the start, the recent strides of simulations in EdTech look most promising.

Let’s see how simulations are revolutionizing the EdTech space with several benefits for the learners.

8 Benefits of Simulations-based Learning

1. Practical learning: How many times have we heard the stuff – “Practical is always better than theory”? And there is merit to that. When your learners are aiming to be leaders in the business, simulations are one thing that can give them practical experience in the real world and prepare well. For instance, medical students can learn to perform operations and know human anatomy better through 3D simulations. Similarly, business school students would learn about running a business better with a simulation that can teach them to develop new products, market them, sell, and service them.

2. Instant feedback: The biggest advantage of simulations is real-time and prompt feedback. Trainers can provide constructive feedback, which offers learners opportunities to improve their skills. They can also try new, alternative skills or methods to improve old methods.

3. Collaborative skills: Perhaps, the single biggest benefit of simulation-based learning is seamless collaboration. Simulations introduce learners to several real-life scenarios, which require some cooperation between the participants. When simulated training solutions are implemented, learners often work with each other, which helps improve their teamwork abilities.

4. Retention aspect: Simulations make learning fun, which aids a lot when it comes to retention. Simulation-based learning programs equip learners to understand the actions they can take in a situation, which will, in turn, help them retain the concepts better. It also sort of validates the results of training and makes it effective.

5. Risk management: Simulation-based learning helps in risk management. Learners can be trained on the required concepts, and a business can test the efficacy and performance of the solution or product to learn what is working and what isn’t. this helps in risk management to a great extent.

6. Cost-effective: A simulation-based learning environment is always cost-effective compared to the real world. There are no travel or other admin costs involved in such an environment or in a remote setting to train the learners. Even the time and expenses are reduced significantly with improved retention and hands-on methods.

7. Multiple users: Of course, simulation-based learning supports multiple learners at one go; there’s no cap on the number of participants in the training, unlike a physical set-up.

8. Optimum resource utilization: Simulations can help in the management of resource utilization. Lesser resources are required to run a simulation compared to physical training sessions.

Simulations in EdTech – the Future is Bright

In today’s connected world, simulations can bridge the gap between structured training and real-life experiences. But creating simulations that stay true to the learning goals and are effective as well require expertise.

An experienced eLearning content development partner like Liqvid can help you design effective simulations with our end-to-end offerings. We have our own software development kit (SDK) consisting of several simulations templates that allow us to do rapid prototyping and development.

Our learning simulations are the preferred choice for global organizations with robust content authoring, LMS integration, and analytics. Contact us today to see how we can create interactive simulations for you.

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What Makes Extended Enterprise Training Successful?

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Businesses worldwide use extended enterprise training as a strategic tool to grow their business. It means different things to different organizations and can be broadly categorized into customer training and partner training, underpinning the source of revenue for the business. Extended enterprise training is also significant for associations and member-based organizations, public organizations, and academic institutions.

However, in the era of specialization, having the same system for delivering internal employee and extended enterprise training does not work. Plus, having a system designed specifically for your industry makes it even better.

Let’s see why extended enterprise training is beneficial for you.

Four Core Benefits of Extended Enterprise Training

Improved brand reach and visibility: When you train a group, they become better brand ambassadors, know your products and services thoroughly, and help you create brand visibility.

Increased revenue: The outcome of extended enterprise training is adding revenue for your business. If you are training your channel partner network, they can sell better and in turn, get more business. If you train your customers, they can use the products and services better and add to revenue through renewed subscriptions.

Reduced costs: When your customer and partner ecosystem are better educated about your products and services, it improves customer satisfaction and reduces risks associated with knowledge gaps and misinformation. It reduces the overall customer support costs too.

Accelerated time-to-market: With an extended enterprise training infrastructure, you can roll out new products, features, services to the known territories faster. You can also expand to newer territories effectively and add to sales revenues.

What Facilitates Extended Enterprise Training?

You need a robust hosted learning management system (LMS) to roll out and manage extended enterprise training – an LMS with the capability to deliver learning content in various formats, tracking and measuring performance. All enterprise learning initiatives are different, but five common traits bind them:

1. All are voluntary learners on your LMS. This audience isn’t your employee, so you must invest in creatively engaging them.

2. The size of the audience is larger than internal training. In some cases, the LMS needs to support more than 100,000 learners.

3. Extended enterprise deployments must typically integrate with several other systems and tools, including CRMs, e-commerce, marketing automation, content management, customer support.

4. Specific business objectives drive most extended enterprise learning programs, and to measure the success of these objectives, tying them to defined metrics is essential.

5. Extended enterprise learning systems are domain-specific.

Step-by-Step Implementation of Extended Enterprise Training

So, how can you start implementing an extended enterprise learning program in your organization? Here are five basic steps to start with.

Step 1: Determine your target audience

Like any other new initiative, you need to identify your target audience before you think of doing anything. Figure out whether your targeted learners are customers, vendors, distributors, suppliers. And since they aren’t your employees, you’d have to invest a lot of time and effort and customize the approach, content, or even the training itself for their tastes or needs.

Step 2: Define your KPIs

Your next step must be defining the key performance indicators. When you define the expected outcomes, you’d have a clear roadmap. And every target audience segment’s KPIs will be different. Your distributors and agents’ KPIs can be their sales and quality of service metrics, while your customers’ KPIs could be customer satisfaction, the frequency of use, or conversion rate after taking the training.

Step 3: Gauge your LMS capabilities

Find out the exact capabilities of your LMS. It must be able to handle different groups as well as a number of learners. Extended enterprise learning needs to have separate content, user profiles, and rules.

Step 4: Calculate ROI

Calculating the approximate training costs at each stage will hold you in good stead to convince your stakeholders to adopt the program. Do you create courses in-house or outsource? How much does this process cost per learner? How do you compute the ROI of each training course that you run?

Step 5: Make a business case

After all your data collection and analysis is over, gather your requirements and get going on a feasible business case for an extended enterprise learning strategy.

Conclusion

Driving a revenue stream with extended enterprise training plays a significant part in your business success. Mapping the LMS to your target audience groups’ exact needs is the foundation. There are more than 800 LMS in the market available currently and selecting the right one can be a daunting proposition.

You have corporate LMS that are primarily built for employee training and can be customized for extended enterprise training while the open-source platforms focus purely on extended solutions.

If you need help in finding the right LMS for your extended enterprise training, we can help. For organizations focused on English language education, we have a Language LMS specially crafted by our ELT experts. We also offer hosted LMS that is widely being used by training companies, publishers, and educational institutions. Contact us to learn more.

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7 Ways How Learning Apps Add Value to Training and Education

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By 2022, the global eLearning industry is projected to surpass $243 billion, per Statista, while a study by Research & Market predicts the market size to be $336.98 billion by 2026. The eLearning industry was growing at a healthy rate even before the pandemic, but since last year, the growth has been exponential, especially with the proliferation of learning apps.

When it comes to numbers, Statista says Duolingo was the most popular learning app worldwide in April 2021 based on monthly downloads, with more than five million users. Cake, another learning app was second on the list with Lingokids at the third spot.

Numbers don’t lie! Learning apps, which blend gamification, have become an increasingly popular learning mode for adults and kids. They are also proving to be increasingly effective in learning due to accessibility and inclusivity. Let’s see why.

7 Benefits of Learning Apps

1. Novel learning techniques: These apps employ many novel learning techniques, which are refreshing from the traditional monotonous learning patterns of restricted and upright book learning. They add an element of fun and engagement through puzzles, games, and other exercises. Additionally, using the latest technologies like AR and VR, such apps effectively break down complex learning topics into simple approaches.

2. Enhanced interaction: Learning apps make learning more interactive and increase the engagement factor. Students are more attentive; even the participation between instructors and students and parents and instructors is better and productive.

3. More learning resources: Learning apps give learners a vast trove of resources like ebooks, pdf files, presentations, and other online learning materials that are otherwise impossible or difficult through the traditional learning approaches. Everything online means such resources are accessible to all, irrespective of geographies.

4. Convenient and accessible: Learning apps are convenient; you don’t have to be physically present at a location. As mentioned earlier, they are also accessible, portable, and mobile.

5. Utilization of leisure hours: With TV, the internet, and gaming becoming addictive, learning apps have become a relief for parents and educators. Instead of engaging in such activities, children can spend their time learning new things and gaining knowledge.

6. 24/7 availability: Learning apps can be accessed 24/7, unlike the traditional learning formats where instructors aren’t available all the time to clear learners’ doubts.

7. Inclusive: Learning apps are inclusive as the courses can be structured, designed, and tailored for all demographics. They are also a helpful tool to educate learners on complex, difficult, or taboo topics, such as sex, racism, abuse, etc.

Top Training Areas for Learning Apps

Speaking of inclusivity, learning apps are indeed helpful as they can be used as an effective tool in several areas.

1. Skill development
Learning apps can be effectively used for focused skill development programs. For instance, you can have an app to teach specific skills like music, baking, hospital management, or coding. Within the larger education fold, you can have apps as per student levels like pre-school, high-school, or a college graduate, even competitive exams.

2. Building language proficiency
Learning apps make learning a new language effortless. It’s not always possible to learn from a native speaker or even visit a particular school to learn. Voice directives allow the user to hear how a word is pronounced and practice with the speaker.

3. Soft skills training
Most soft skills young people need to succeed, like communication, social skills, empathy, even a positive outlook, must be built through interaction with other people. Learning apps make such interactions possible. For example, a restaurant chain or a retail outlet can leverage a learning app to teach customer service skills. The apps would be especially helpful in such a scenario as the employees can’t afford to spend long hours in the classroom. A gamified quiz or a bite-sized microlearning nugget that’s quick, engaging, and easily delivered would be engaging as well as effective.

4. Product training
Learning apps can be used to train employees and channel partners on the company’s products and solutions. The depth of product knowledge needed for each learner group can be designed accordingly. For the customer-facing teams, a scenario-based learning approach can help prepare for the typical questions faced on the products. Adding gamification can make learning competitive and engaging. Learning apps enable companies to customize product training, conduct assessments and employ analytics to track preparedness.

5. K-12 education
For the K-12 education sector, learning apps have been extremely helpful, especially when the world has been forced to embrace online learning rapidly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Learning apps can work as a complete learning management solution where there are device constraints. Teachers can manage their classes, interact with students, set up lessons, create interactive presentations and lesson plans, and perform student evaluation procedures. Setting up multiple classes, sharing documents, and creating different projects are easy for teachers, while students can access lessons and complete assignments online. Parents can also monitor their children’s activity and performance. When the infrastructure is not an issue, learning apps make a great learning companion tool.

In Conclusion

In today’s connected world, training and education require a delicate balance. As the traditional learning approaches often do, packing too much information can confuse the learners and hinder learning and productivity. On the other hand, learning apps make eLearning more accessible, interactive, and fun in a modern learning environment. As an experienced digital learning company with white-labeled learning apps as one of the core offerings, Liqvid helps organizations roll out standalone learning apps and companion apps to achieve the training goals.

For a mobile-first strategy, a wide range of templates can be utilized to create engaging, interactive content and branded learning apps on Android and iOS platforms. If the strategy needs companion apps for continuous learning, better retention, and reinforcement, a personalized learning experience via learning apps help. The backend applications of learning apps are hosted on a learning management system (LMS), enabling easy progress tracking and custom reports.

Our learning apps are the preferred choice for global organizations with robust content authoring, LMS integration, and analytics. Contact us today to see how we can create interactive learning apps for you.

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How Gamification Improves Learning Effectiveness?

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Gamification has become a driving force in eLearning, and companies are seeing exponential benefits from its implementation. A study by FinancesOnline reveals that 97% of employees over 45 believe that gamification would help improve work, while 85% are willing to spend more time on training programs with gamified dynamics.

The gamification market itself is seeing exponential growth. A study by Verified Market Research says that the size of gamification in the education market size is projected to grow to $6550.3 million by 2028 from $742.01 million in 2020.

But it isn’t easy to gauge when gamification began. Though Nick Pelling coined the term itself in 2002, gamification’s first mass-market appearance is estimated to be in 1912 when the American popcorn brand Cracker Jack started including a free prize in every bag. In education, the first well-known gamification was the scout movement in 1910, which utilized ranks and badges to reward children’s achievements in various activities.

In this post, we make a case for implementing gamification in training and eLearning programs to enhance learning effectiveness.

What is Gamification, and Why is it Effective?

Gartner defines gamification as “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.”

The below infographics from UX Knowledge Base Sketch explains the concept better in layman terms.

Image Credit: UX Knowledge Base Sketch

What makes gamification effective is a lot of reasons; prominent among these include:

1. Knowledge retention: Perhaps, the most important benefit. Gamification has been shown to increase learning effectiveness by making the process more fun. Gabe Zichermann, in his book Gamification by Design: Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps, said, “If you can make something fun and include notions of play, you can get people to do things they otherwise might not do.” Some learners learn by watching others; they are called visual learners. And for these, gamification provides a risk-free environment where trainees can perform some of their job actions and view the results immediately.

2. Attention span: Gamification is very effective in holding the learner’s attention span. It incentivizes learners to listen, observe, and complete activities through rewards. And when learners are completely focused, they will absorb information better.

3. Real-time feedback: With gamification, learners can instantly assess their knowledge. Every missed point, badge, or other rewards can help identify skill or knowledge gaps in real-time.

4. Problem-solving: Gamification is very useful in assessing real-life problem-solving skills by incorporating visual scenarios. It can also improve the speed at which learners find effective solutions through practice.

How Can You Incorporate Gamification in eLearning?

To incorporate gamification in your training or eLearning content, you’d need four key elements – Trigger, Action, Reward, and Investment. Let’s see the techniques to cover all your bases when it comes to these elements.

1. Scores: Collecting scores or points make the learner feel rewarded and acts as a prime motivator. The scores and points collected can unlock new levels for the user and can also unlock more content on the platform. You can also base the grading system on these, where the learner is rewarded for every effort. There’s no punishment for underperformance but just rewards for the efforts. This way of cumulative rather than reductive grading proves efficient as each evaluation and test heightens the learners’ sense of achievement.

2. Badges and trophies: Badges and trophies in gamification work just like the real world. Just like the soldiers are awarded badges for their bravery, badges and trophies in your eLearning program can act as a status symbol. Learners can exhibit these badges on their profiles to show off their feats.

3. Unlocks: Unlocking is typically used to increase the sense of achievement among learners/ game players as they complete certain activities.

4. Visualized dashboards/progress bars: Adding dashboards will enable learners to see their progress based on score/completion.

5. Avatars: Avatars are a unique way to enhance engagement for learners. Instead of their own picture, they can choose to be Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, even the Mother of Dragons. Avatars also help protects learners’ privacy.

6. Leaderboards: Leaderboards inspire the users to perform to see their name at the top of the list. Most addictive games, be it the all-time classic Pacman or Candy Crush Saga, have leaderboards.

7. Quests: This is another smart way, especially for educators, to gamify learning in their classrooms. Each week of the semester schedule can be converted into a quest where students earn badges for both completion and mastery.

Effective Gamification with Liqvid

Gamification triggers real emotions in learners, like the desire to win or earn prizes, bringing heightened engagement. We have extensive experience in infusing gamification strategies into the core of microlearning platforms and have helped several clients.

Recently, we developed an exam practice app for the English language for a media company. The usage was decent; however, the client wanted to improve user engagement. We proposed to develop and integrate a gamification engine and APIs with the app. And the result – increased usage of the app and time spent on the app.

Our gamification solution included:

Points – for increased usage, regular visits, completion of activities; basically, rewarding for every achievement

Badges – for completing certain activities in a row; for instance, being the fastest one to complete an activity to inculcate a competitive spirit

Leaderboard – to allow users to check their ranking across the globe or within a country for specific activities

Is gamification the future of eLearning?

Play is a major part of the human experience – Google Doodles being a prime example. Games have several elements that make them powerful tools for learning. When implemented intelligently, gamification can help students and professionals to develop the required skills, stay interested and engaged in their courses, and succeed in their long-term goals.

A reliable and experienced partner like Liqvid can help. Contact us today!

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Talking Head Videos: A Human Touch to Online Learning

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There is a sharp increase in the demand for eLearning video content post-2020. As much as 58% of respondents reported using digital video to learn new skills in a pandemic world, as per research by Google/Talk Shoppe. And it’s not just schools that see an increased demand for eLearning videos – 90% of businesses are now using eLearning regularly, a stark contrast with just 4% two decades ago.

Talking head videos have emerged as the most popular form of business and educational video content out of all the formats. They are simple and personable and act as a great medium to inform, engage, educate. More importantly, they give a “face” to your brand that customers and learners can relate to.

If used effectively, talking head videos offer powerful support for your learning strategy – telling the story of your brand in a way other video formats like product demos or explainer videos can’t match! People are using videos as a tool for learning everything – right from basic skills like changing a tire to installing a new version of the software. In short, videos are good teachers! Let’s see what talking head videos are.

What Are Talking Head Videos?

A talking head video is different from talking cartoons with round or square heads! It’s the simplest video format in which a single person, usually an interviewee or a Subject Matter Expert (SME) or an instructor, talks to the camera.

A distinctive difference between these and other interview-style videos is that the presenter is either standing or sitting and is featured only up to their chest or waist. This is, so they don’t detract attention from their speech or the basic essence of the video. The presenter can either look directly to the camera or to the side, just like in real-life interviews.

Here are some examples that will make it clear what we are talking about.

–> Virtual wine tasting at a Florence castle from Trafalgar: In this talking head video, the presenter Alberto welcomes his virtual audience to a wine tasting in front of a historic castle in Florence, Italy.

–> Shark Tank video of business tips for entrepreneurs: Here, Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank offers business tips for entrepreneurs. The video format switches back and forth between visual slides that emphasize Robert’s points and his talking head!

With the right video editing skills and creativity, you can make some engaging talking head videos.

Benefits of Talking Head Videos in Learning

Using a talking head video for learning has many potential benefits.

1. Accommodates different learning styles: Some learners learn by watching others (visual learners), while some learn from reading words on a screen or listening to a voice-over. The pared-down aesthetics of such videos make it easier for people to focus on what is being said.

2. Supports microlearning: Talking head video formats sync with microlearning as the learner engagement doesn’t wane because of the short training content. It’s a simple and fast way for SMEs to get their message across. Picture a rapid-fire round of questions that you can ask an expert.

3. Easy to create: These videos are comparatively cheaper and easier to make as all you need is a good script, a camera, lighting, and some editing tools.

4. Adds a human touch: As mentioned earlier, a talking head video adds a “face” to your brand. Through nonverbal cues, including facial expressions, hand gestures, and intonation, SMEs can engage learners with a personal, one-on-one experience.

How to Create Talking Head Videos?

Talking head videos are easy to create. Here is what you’d need to start with:

1. Script: You must never start a video without a good script in hand. Though some level of improvisation is great to bring in the natural element, a script is always helpful.

2. Recording equipment: Next step is the proper equipment. Usually, a video camera on a tripod or two video cameras to capture different angles is good enough. You can also shoot the video on your phones or laptops.

3. Microphone: Though today’s devices are powerful enough to catch the voice signal, having a quality microphone will minimize noise distractions from the background and ensure a crisp sound.

4. Lighting: Access to good natural lighting is the best, but ensure you’ve decent lighting in place if you’ve to shoot indoors. Professional studio lights, though expensive, will be the best. Or you can use an LED ring light around your phone or camera.

5. Video-editing software: Use a program to edit the image, sound, speed, and lighting of your video. You can use professional options such as the Adobe PremierePro or any good free program like OpenShot.

10 Tips to Create Effective Talking Head Videos

1. Do a thorough analysis of your audience before writing a script. Follow a structure and mold the language as per your audience. Choose a topic that resonates with your learners.

2. You must rehearse a couple of times before the shoot to help you handle nervousness and incorporate suggestions from people to sound natural.

3. Walking into the camera after the camera starts rolling is a good practice; it allows you to ensure video and audio are working properly to avoid giving that awkward pause initially. You can always edit the gaps out later; it’s not a live video!

4. SMEs generally position themselves right in the center of the screen while shooting videos. If you position to the left- or right-hand side, there will be enough space left on the screen to share any graphics, text, or subtitles.

5. SMEs must pay attention to their posture and body language and speak slowly to sound natural.

6. Shooting with two cameras placed in opposite corners will give you good results. You can cut between different angles to make your video more visually stimulating and engage your customers.

7. You must always stick to the time limit so you can make shorter and more engaging videos.

8. Adding a few supportive elements like a whiteboard, on-screen text, symbols, or sounds to the videos is always a good idea to engage learners.

9. Add captions and subtitles to make your video content accessible for hearing-impaired learners.

10. When making an eLearning video, always give reference links to other videos or resources that the learners can refer.

When to Use Talking Head Videos?

1. Customer journey: A talking head video is the best medium to use at any stage of the customer journey.

–> To build brand awareness, use these videos to inform and educate.

–> To develop trust in your business, place it on your landing page, encouraging customers to buy.

–> To increase conversions, use it as part of your email campaign.

–> To tell your customers how to get the best from your product or service, send it to them after purchasing.

2. Remote onboarding: To bring in an element of connection among your new hires, use the talking head videos from the company’s CEO and a few team members to talk about the company mission and culture.

3. Instructor-centered online learning: Talk head videos work exceptionally well in delivering teacher-centered or instructor-centered training online. A face-to-face or classroom training can be effectively moved to online learning keeping the connect between the instructors and learners intact.

4. Blend with other formats: You can blend the talking head videos with other forms of video content like explainer videos and product demos to explain business concepts or product features.

Get the Most Out of Your Videos

Educational video platforms for online learning have made difficult topics more accessible and easier to understand. And everyone can make a video these days – the process is relatively simple. It does have a disadvantage, though; it’s a one-way street. The interactive element of an instructor-led session, where learners can ask the SME questions in real-time, is missing. However, with the right strategy combining talking head videos with other training methods and formats and by adding interactivities and knowledge checks, they can be a great value addition to your eLearning program.

Various studies show that using short videos as part of your learning strategy allows for more efficient processing. The visual and auditory nature of videos appeals to a wide audience and makes memory recall stronger.

It’s important to make a video that not only ensures each user processes information in a way natural to them but also resonates with your learners and creates good traction for you in the market. An experienced and reliable digital learning provider can help you make the most out of your videos. Liqvid has developed a suite of blended learning courses with over 34,000 videos and 45,000 learning hours. We offer end-to-end development for talk head videos and have worked with clients across industries.

Contact us today to see how we can create interactive eLearning experiences for you with talking head videos!

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How is AI Upping the Game in Language Learning?

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$25.73 billion – that will be the size of the online language learning market by 2027, per Verified Market Research report. From $12.49 billion, this is equivalent to a CAGR of 10.2% from 2020 to 2027, which is huge! In Europe and the UK, respectively, 92% and 70% of students are enrolled in language classes, while those numbers are 20% and 13% in the US and China.

These stats make sense as the demand for language learning has been growing exponentially. Although it’s a challenge to learn a new language, especially once we’re past 18 years old, new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) have made it a lot easier. AI makes language education accessible and free to everyone, and with a potent mix of personalized learning, immediate feedback, and gamification/rewards – fun as well.

Role of AI in Language Learning Experience

Discussions around AI are often centered on the idea of a humanoid robot. In reality, most AI applications have nothing to do with robots or replicating human cognition; instead, they leverage the vast computational capabilities of modern computers to solve problems in a much more effective way than a human can.

AI can make digital language learning personalized to each learner: reducing the time, cost, and frustration. And everyone can benefit. Enterprises can use AI-infused language learning solutions to upgrade employee skillsets. Learners can leverage the 24/7 accessibility of AI language learning to study anytime, anywhere. Even traditional schools can incorporate AI in English Language Training (ELT) and other language learning to expand their students’ horizons.

Let’s take a closer look at what benefits AI in learning can offer:

  • Adapting to individual needs

AI collects a lot of data. When analyzed, it acts as a powerful tool in the hands of educators to understand the interests and abilities of the learners and design effective programs. In a traditional classroom, it’s extremely challenging for an instructor to find the right approach for each student. But suppose AI is integrated into the learning process. In that case, learners can learn at their own pace, repeating lessons, emphasizing things they have trouble with, and engaging in tasks that appeal to them with the right cultural nuances.

  • Instant feedback

With the AI-powered language learning platform, learners don’t have to wait for someone to grade tests and come back to them; they can get instant feedback. AI can instantly point out errors and suggest ways to avoid them in the future, resulting in better performance. From the data, even instructors can see what can be improved in their lectures or practical assignments, what questions are misleading, and which learners need additional guidance.

  • Suitable for all kinds of learners

Some learners are introverts and are shy to ask questions or receive feedback publicly, per the common feedback from ELT classes. AI-infused English language learning software or other language platforms help such learners tremendously through objective one-on-one feedbacks without any biases or judgements.

  • A redefined role for instructors

Contrary to popular opinion, AI-based language learning platforms won’t take away the jobs of instructors. Instead, with AI language learning doing the grading and the paperwork, ELT and other language instructors will have more time to coordinate the learning process and mentor students. They can also don the hat of data scientists themselves and analyze and use the data to design innovative learning processes and experiences.

  • Deeper involvement of learners

With AI, learners can learn from anywhere at their own pace. Additionally, through innovative features like games, puzzles, or other exploratory activities, they will become more engaged in the learning process than traditional learning.   

Applications of AI in Language Learning

1. Vocabulary building: Advanced new machine learning models have made significant progress in teaching grammar, syntax, and other linguistic principles. A popular language learning app offers a skill tree of lessons that uses listening exercises, flashcards, and multiple-choice questions to build learners’ vocabulary. Yet another app has a feature called “Learn with Locals,” which pairs words with videos of native speakers saying the phrase out loud. Some apps also use data patterns to great effect with a concept called spaced repetition, where lessons are delivered over longer intervals by increasing the gap between practice sessions. This greatly aids in vocabulary building in contrast to the traditional methods of several lessons crammed in over a short period.

2. Voice recognition: Speech or voice recognition technologies can aid significantly in learning a new language as they help learners finetune their intonation and pronunciation. And practicing with an English language learning software or app, for that matter, can also take away some of the intimidation element of talking to a native speaker. For example, a multilingual app has a speech recognition feature that lets you speak words back during an exercise. Similarly, another language app tests your speaking skills with a simulated conversation – you’ll hear a prompt spoken by a native speaker and will also see the words and their translations on the screen.

3. Automated essay scoring (AES): This involves using specialized computer programs, such as Natural Language Programming (NLP), to assign grades to essays for evaluation processes. One such tool uses a machine learning modelthat learns from a set of responses previously determined by experts. The model takes into account syntactic, rhetorical, and concept features of a written piece. It also focuses on the sentence structure, elaboration technique, organization, and focus of the overall essay to give a final score. Another point to note here is that in the past, the digital applications were not able to provide feedback on spoken and written English. Today’s advanced AI models can recognize patterns in speech recognition and assessments to give personalized feedback.

4. Analytics: Most language learning apps and specially designed English language learning software use analytics to offer exceptional learning experiences. Some learners prefer to learn during the weekends while some would like to cram everything in their schedule on weekdays to leave their weekends free. Various learning apps AI algorithms can spot these patterns to deliver personalized learning lessons – whether it’s bite-size snackable videos or long text chunks.

The Future

Language skills remain essential to everyday life, whether it’s communicating with friends, family, or in a business context. Learning, in general, is also good for mental well-being as besides helping us connect with the wider world and other cultures, it’s an excellent booster for brain, self-esteem, and confidence.

Advancements in AI will only make learning languages better. Technology adds vibrancy to language learning that enables us to learn more quickly and easily than ever before. Today’s language learning apps’ proprietary machine learning algorithms mean there’s no need for language experts to spend a lot of time on the structure and order of teaching, leaving enough time for instructors to innovate and learners to learn effectively.

A reliable digital learning company can make the language learning experience effortless and help organizations and learners adapt to the most recent and relevant digital learning content delivery methodologies and mediums. Liqvid is a pioneer in English language learning technology and content solutions. We recently launched the world’s first AI-based language learning product called Vocabulary Builder for learners training for competitive English language exams like IELTS, TOFEL, GRE, etc.

Contact us today to see how we can create interactive language learning experiences for you!

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4 Technologies That Are Transforming eLearning

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  • GSK Vaccines launched a custom project as part of their global onboarding event to introduce new hires to the business structure via a simulation game – a mix of live role-play and digital eLearning elements, including news-style videos and an online player dashboard.
  • New hires at Toyota Motor Europe get an interactive video onboarding tour consisting of quizzes and videos to see the customer value chain from beginning to end.
  • Tesco’s annual mandatory compliance campaign – Learning Leap – combines mini eLearning modules with microlearning quizzes and a gamified leaderboard to drive participation.

There are countless examples like these, which underscore the importance of technology in eLearning content development today. Gone are those static screens with long winding text. eLearning is evolving at a rapid pace, part of which is driven by emerging technologies, the gig economy, and automation, rapidly changing the nature of work and resulting in a “skills gap.” To top it, the disruption of face-to-face learning due to the pandemic pushed eLearning content development to new highs.

Consider this – eLearning industry growth is projected to increase from $101 billion in 2019 to $370 billion by 2026. And the growing need for students and employees to keep up with changes serves well for the eLearning industry. It’s a win-win for all as effective eLearning content can contribute measurably to a well-trained staff who can steer an enterprise to measurable growth.

So, How Is Technology Shaping the Industry?

In 2020, 90% of companies used eLearning as a training tool, according to Corporate E-learning – Global Market Outlook (2017-2026) report. It’s only going to pick up the pace with the introduction of new gadgets, innovative tools for trainers, and cutting-edge equipment that have enabled new eLearning experiences. Here are just a few emerging technologies that have taken the eLearning world by storm.

1. Virtual Reality (VR) – It comes with the promise of enhanced engagement, improved retention, and experiential learning. For instance, American Airlines’ VR training solution allows its cabin crew to explore the aircraft at their own pace and includes several passenger scenarios and practical guidance on performing tasks when airborne. Or take the example of the construction equipment rental company, United Rentals, which leveraged VR training solutions in its classroom. The trainer asks everyone questions based on real-life job scenarios, such as safety concerns. This allows the entire group to learn and participate in the VR experience even when they are not wearing the headset.

2. Augmented Reality (AR) – AR goes one step above VR by offering a composite view, making the learning process more interesting and easier to grasp. Plus, its promise of affordability makes it prime for adaptation even by small and mid-size companies. You don’t have to look far than Pokemon Go to realize the power of AR and its use is widespread.

For example, Deakin University in Australia uses an AR app to teach students to perform ECG procedures. The app features a 3D model of a heart with normal and abnormal cardiogram patterns and blood flow simulation with built-in testing modules to check what students have learned. While German industrial giant Bosch has its own AR platform, displaying wiring and block diagrams that help service technicians and consumers repair cars.

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – AI tools are increasingly used to spot the difficult topics for students, identify students who need additional help, and produce personalized content plans at the click of a button. Many online learning platforms use AI to deliver tailored content to students without any human involvement. Many of these platforms also use spaced repetition learning systems and AI-powered chatbots to help with queries.

Perhaps the most famous example is IBM, whose corporate training platform leverages AI to recommend content based on the employee’s role, experience, and prior training. The popular foreign language-learning app Duolingo uses the Second Language Acquisition AI model to analyze a history of errors made by learners of a second language to predict the mistakes that they are likely to make at arbitrary points in the future for personalized learning.

4. Analytics or Big Data – Big Data helps eLearning experts understand how the users digest the information, which learning aspects appeal to them, and which learning interactions should be fine-tuned. Based on these patterns, eLearning experts can predict where learners may excel or struggle.

Australian superannuation fund UniSuper built an xAPI data model to gather data on training effectiveness, success rates, responses, participation rates, completion statistics, and employee confidence across several operational risks. The resulting interactive scenarios helped the company to increase users’ self-confidence scores, leading to better compliance.

Similarly, City & Guilds’ TechBac program for 14–19-year-olds uses big data to integrate data from multiple systems, websites, and apps and displays it to learners and their tutors on its Skills Zone portal. Learners can visualize their work on the City & Guilds Skills Wheel and export this data to their own tailored CV, customizing the information they present to potential employers.

Challenging the Status Quo

Learning has always been a teacher/student interaction model in which knowledge flows from one person to another. While this is still the status quo, the latest technologies like neural networks and machine learning challenge this model.

Now, developers can build applications that can automatically collect, sort, and organize the information, leading to on-demand learning and tutoring systems. And leveraging the engaging properties of gamification makes learning a more fun experience.

Contact us today to see how we can create interactive learning experiences for you!

 

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