The Rapid Elearning Blog

Archive for January, 2023


e-learning quiz tips

Like many of you, I’m not a big fan of meetings because most of them tend to be presentations. The entire time I’m thinking, “Why didn’t they just record a presentation and send that out rather than have a bunch of people sit in a meeting with no expectations or action items? Seems like a big waste of time.”

We’ve all been in those meetings. And we don’t like them. Why?

Because while on the surface the purpose of the meeting seems meaningful, for most attendees the meetings are largely irrelevant with lots of “need to know” but not enough “need to do.”

Take that same emotion and apply it to typical e-learning courses, especially annual compliance and certification training. Most of those courses have what appears to be valuable content, but for the learner, the course is a lot of “need to know” but very little “need to do.”

And that’s why people click through the course at rapid speed and try to get to the quiz as fast as possible.

This is why we see so many questions on how to lock the navigation, because course owners know people aren’t going to sit through that boring, irrelevant content.

In an ideal world, the course is structured so it’s meaningful and relevant and the best learning experience possible. But that’s probably not going to happen, especially not with most compliance training.

That’s OK. The reality is that most of those courses are mandatory and there’s not much we can do. However, instead of fighting this, let’s look at a few simple ways to make these courses better.

Quiz Tip #1: Provide a Pre-Test

Don’t fight skipping to the quiz. Instead, put it up front. Give the learners who know the content the opportunity to prove it upfront.

If they can pass the quiz, then they demonstrate they know the content (or at least to the level that you’re quizzing). Pass the quiz, get credit for completion. Don’t pass the quiz, go to page 1 of the course.

pre- and post-test e-learning quiz

Click here to view the example quiz.

Quiz Tip #2: Create Pressure to Review the Content

Ask questions in the quiz where you suspect they’re probably skipping. Don’t ask  trick questions, but essential questions that cover the core content. When they’re not sure how to answer, they’ll go look it up.

In the screenshot below, odds are that the person isn’t familiar with RCW and all of the answers are viable, so they’re probably forced to go look up the answer to the question rather than risk missing it.

e-learning quiz

I can guarantee you, as they’re asked something very specific that they don’t know, they’ll jump right into the content to look for it. And then you’ll have them in the course, learning what they need to know to pass the quiz.

Quiz Tip #3: Make the Quiz the Course

Don’t start with slide after slide of content. Instead start with the first quiz question. And then regardless of how they answer, provide the core content.

You can’t insert fifty slides of content. So, as the course author, it forces you to determine the core content that you want them to know and then create the appropriate question to assess that knowledge.

Bonus tip: you can also make it more engaging by setting up the questions like a scenario rather than basic quiz questions.

quiz is the e-learning course quiz tips

Click here to view sample quiz.

There’s a reason people jump the content and go to the quiz. In an ideal world, the course is meaningful and relevant to what they need to learn. That’s probably enough to keep them in the course. However, if you do find they’re skipping the content, above are three good alternatives to try.

Events

  • May 21-24 (San Diego): ATD ICE. Come visit the booth.
  • June 1 (Johannesburg): 2023 Learning Indaba Conference. Delivering a keynote presentation and afternoon e-learning workshop. You can also sign up to attend the conference sessions virtually. Register here.
  • June 2 (Johannesburg): Articulate User Roadshow. Connect with other users and learn all sorts of tips & tricks. Learn more here.
  • June 6 (Cape Town): Articulate User Roadshow. Connect with other users and learn all sorts of tips & tricks. Learn more here.
  • Everyday. Check out the weekly training webinars to learn more about Rise, Storyline, and instructional design.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 




build practice and prove-it learning experiences for e-learning

Much of online training is content that’s created with an e-learning authoring tool and positioned as e-learning courses. However, these courses aren’t necessarily the best at getting people to learn. I know there are some in our industry who’ll stand on their soap boxes and tell everyone how that’s not real e-learning in the first place. They’re free to do that, but they’re wrong.

It’s real e-learning, it just may not be complete e-learning. It all depends on the course objectives.

Content is Part of the Learning Experience

When it comes to content, I don’t see the difference between a PDF, PowerPoint slide deck, web page, or “e-learning course.” It’s just content packaged in different mediums. And the content is part of the learning experience. If anything, the “e-learning course” can add a level of interactivity and novelty that the other mediums can’t.

They key point here is that content is part of the learning experience, but it’s not THE learning experience. And that’s where the criticism is valid. Content needs context which highlights its relevance to the learner.

If you just build a content-focused course and the course has performance expectations, then you need to consider two things for the learner:

  • How do they practice using the content?
  • How can they demonstrate their understanding?

Creating superficial interactivity and simple multiple choice quiz questions isn’t enough.

Build a Practice & Prove-It Learning Experience Outside the E-Learning Course

When you boil it down, you can build practice and prove-it activities in the e-learning course or you can build them outside the course. Keep in mind, a multiple choice quiz is not a prove-it activity.

The e-learning course is part of the overall training goal. If the course is mostly content, you’ll need to build the practice and prove-it activities outside the course.

Here’s an example of how I did this on a previous project.

We trained machine operators. Initially they were trained on the production floor. But the training they received wasn’t consistent which proved a bit challenging for the new hires. So we built e-learning courses that covered the machines, how they worked, how they were maintained, and the production workflow. This gave the learners a solid understanding of the process and what was happening on the floor. Because of this, they entered the production environment with confidence and some context.

In the production environment, we created a working lab. The machines were slowed down and they focused on single tasks rather than the entire process. That let them practice applying what they learned in the e-learning courses. And we assigned a peer coach who monitored their work. At some point in the process, we put them on a live machine and they were able to demonstrate their new skills.

In this example, the e-learning courses were used to present content consistently and at a pace that worked for the learners. And the interactive learning experience happened outside the course on the shop floor.

Build a Practice & Prove-It Learning Experience as Part of the E-Learning Course

Building practice activities inside the course requires stepping back from the content a bit. Instead of focusing on the content that’s in the course, you need to focus on the decisions a person needs to make and then what content supports those decisions.

Generally speaking, content heavy courses follow a linear process from start to finish. However, a performance-based course focuses on how to use the content to make the appropriate decisions. To build a performance-based course, you need clear, measurable objectives. And then you build an environment that is relevant and meaningful to the learning experience.

When it comes to getting them to practice, I always say, “Let’s throw them in the pool!” Put them in situations where they have to make decisions or do something as if they were doing it in the real world.

For example, a typical content-based course explains the company’s sexual harassment policy and then finishes with a simple quiz. But a performance-based course puts the learner in a situation where they have to deal with sexual harassment issues. And then they make decisions (practice) that hopefully comply with the company’s policies. Based on their decision-making, they get fed the relevant content and feedback. And at some point in the process, they can prove the appropriate level of understanding.

They key point in all of this is that if you have performance requirements, but your courses are mostly explainer content (which is typical), then you need to consider how the learner can practice doing the things they should be able to do outside the course.  And that requires a blended solution where they go through prove-it activities to demonstrate their competence around the objectives and expectations.

The other option is to build meaningful decision-making activities inside the course, where they can practice making decisions and ultimately demonstrate their competencies.

So those click-and-read content-based courses are fine. However, if you have performance expectations and the practice-and-prove-it activities are not part of the online course, they’ll need to be built outside of it.

When you look at the courses you have to build, what percentage would you say are explainer content versus performance-based content?

Events

  • May 21-24 (San Diego): ATD ICE. Come visit the booth.
  • June 1 (Johannesburg): 2023 Learning Indaba Conference. Delivering a keynote presentation and afternoon e-learning workshop. You can also sign up to attend the conference sessions virtually. Register here.
  • June 2 (Johannesburg): Articulate User Roadshow. Connect with other users and learn all sorts of tips & tricks. Learn more here.
  • June 6 (Cape Town): Articulate User Roadshow. Connect with other users and learn all sorts of tips & tricks. Learn more here.
  • Everyday. Check out the weekly training webinars to learn more about Rise, Storyline, and instructional design.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 




Extract text from images for e-learning

Copying text from images comes in handy especially when updating old e-learning courses. Sometimes you may not have the source file and have to work for older published content. In those cases, do a screen grab of the course and then extract the text from the image. Then copy and paste the text into the application you use to build your e-learning courses.

How to Copy Text from Images

You may already have some applications that can extract the image. Here are a couple of common ones:

If you don’t have either of those applications, that’s OK. I recommend using Microsoft PowerToys. It’s free and easy to use.

How to Copy Text from Images with Microsoft PowerToys

The steps for this are pretty simple. No need to do screen shots.

  • Install Microsoft PowerToys.
  • Locate the text you want to extract.
  • Press Windows+Shift+T to activate the Text Extractor.
  • Select the text.
  • Paste into a document.

Here’s a quick video to show the process.

Click here to view the tutorial on YouTube.

As you can see, it’s pretty simple to copy and paste the text. So if you run into an issue where you have old courses but not the original source file, keep this tip in mind.

Events

  • May 21-24 (San Diego): ATD ICE. Come visit the booth.
  • June 1 (Johannesburg): 2023 Learning Indaba Conference. Delivering a keynote presentation and afternoon e-learning workshop. You can also sign up to attend the conference sessions virtually. Register here.
  • June 2 (Johannesburg): Articulate User Roadshow. Connect with other users and learn all sorts of tips & tricks. Learn more here.
  • June 6 (Cape Town): Articulate User Roadshow. Connect with other users and learn all sorts of tips & tricks. Learn more here.
  • Everyday. Check out the weekly training webinars to learn more about Rise, Storyline, and instructional design.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.