Archive for category e-Learning

e-Learning – A Necessary Part Of An Institution’s Course Delivery

Lakhs of students write entrance exams for getting entry into professional courses in India every year. The demand for these professional courses has given rise to many colleges in the hope of capturing a chunk of this target student base who can’t make it to top rung institutions. Some institutions are backed by corporate entities or real estate companies. However, this increase in the number of colleges did not actually translate into an increase in quality (in terms of knowledge, industry readiness, skills etc,) of students, coming out from these colleges. The primary reasons for this are:

Shortage of resources

Managements of colleges with deep pockets are able to provide good infrastructure. But colleges with limited financial resources find it hard to provide the needed infrastructure. But irrespective of the financial power of these institutions, finding good quality teaching faculty has been a huge challenge in recent times as there is a genuine dearth of quality teachers with professional and research background.

Industry exposure

It is difficult for lesser known colleges to provide early industry interaction for their students through internships or to get well-known guest speakers from the industry to come, speak and interact with the students. The reasons could be varied, ranging from lack of budget to lack of contacts. The troubles faced by the institutions are not limited to the above. But the end effect is many colleges are being forced to scale down courses or close down altogether due to lack of student enrollment.

With resources like faculty with background in high end research, quality teaching material etc coming at a premium, colleges are turning to technology to help overcome these hurdles. A Learning Management System is one such technology enabler for E-Learning and is an option being explored today by many institutions. Once an LMS is enabled across the institution, it is just a matter of acquiring/creating a courseware that can be delivered through the LMS. An e-Learning course enabled and delivered using an LMS solves the above issues in the following way:

Teachers need not be physically present for handling courses

If the institute can acquire quality material, this can be uploaded into the LMS, creating courses in different streams/areas.

Video lectures (recorded or live)

Record lectures once and deliver to multiple students any number of times.

Apart from the above, an LMS for educational institutions provides these additional benefits:

Students can study at their own pace

Students will be encouraged to put in efforts to go through the course or practice on their own for exams. The evaluation methodology has also undergone quite a few changes over a period of time keeping in mind the limited faculty time. Some LMS providers also provide social learning features to enable participative learning among students.

Reach of courses

College management wants to reach out to maximum number of students possible to offer their courses. This is true especially in case of distance learning course providers. An LMS for distance learning institutions that can help create and deliver courses online and can enable submission of assignments and quizzes online will create real value for these institutions.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

e-Learning In Today’s Corporate World

“People are our greatest assets, and people-development is a key pillar of our success.” scream organizations from their roof-tops. Any Company worth its salt in the global corporate fraternity aims to be “progressively learning” and wants its employees to be on a continuous learning curve. Some call themselves “learning organizations” while some claim (for good reason) that in this age of knowledge-intensive growth, it is essential for all organizations to perennially maintain their learning edge to be able to keep their noses ahead of competition. More and more employees now realize that their success is directly proportional to their skill-enhancement, and training opportunities provide a great avenue for the same. That’s where e-Learning is proving to be a game-changer.

With the onset of e-age tools, the electronic existence of an individual more or less defines his/her persona. Even in the corporate world, the online environment has become a strong medium to reach out to employees and provide them a credible option to build their corporate persona. From intra-office social networks, to blogging sites, from online notice-boards to learning circles, email-notifications to compensation-management portals, online hiring tools to online learning management systems, “online” is now employed by organizations for all their people programs. The online mode has become a potent one for employers to enhance the learning and development opportunities for their employees as well. Most progressive organizations today have training modules made available to their employees through an online LMS. A whole host of ready-made electronic modules as well as recordings of classroom training programs with training materials have been made available to facilitate learning on a plethora of topics, which hitherto were considered the hegemony of classroom sessions. While traditional class-room sessions and on-the-job trainings still form an inseparable part of the learning curve of any organization, e-learning has carved out its own niche and today is exploited vastly for furtherance of talent development initiatives. In addition to organizations using an online LMS for internal trainings and assessments, there are several independent portals which offer e-Learning options for students and individuals as well, to help them enhance their skills in various dimensions.

So are we cozying up to this new-age online wonder in the learning and development space? Well, I for sure am! e-Learning offers a host of advantages which help overcome various road-blocks faced in pursuing the traditional brick & mortar classroom training models. To outline a few:

  • Flexibility of time – Unlike in classroom training, where you have to register for sessions and free up your calendar as per the training schedule, e-learning presents online modules right at your workstation, and you could choose to undergo the training at any time of your choice.
  • Quorum – More often than not, classroom trainings necessarily need to have a certain quorum for effective transfer of learning. E-Learning modules are independent of this factor. Companies are also deploying recordings of successful classroom sessions online, for future trainees to go through the sessions online, without missing out on the exchange of views as it happens in a classroom.
  • Cost – Today, organizations are trying to cut down on costs in every possible way. E-Learning also presents a cost-effective training mechanism for organizations. A successful classroom training program, once conducted, could be harvested across several employees through the online mechanism by allowing them to go through a recording of the same. Needless to say, the savings on account of logistics are considerable.
  • Adopt a comfortable pace – In classroom training or in OJT (On-the-Job-Training), the trainee needs to keep pace with the trainer, and the transfer of learning depends wholly upon whether one is able to keep pace with the rest of the batch. The trainers work towards completing a fixed module and tend to push the pace on need basis. e-learning is advantageous in that one could go through the program at a pace of their comfort, and repeating modules and sessions for better understanding, as many times as they need.
  • Backlog – Employees often complain that owing to trainings requiring attendance in multiple classroom sessions, the regular day’s work gets piled up, and they need to slog extra hours or often even weekends to clear it up. e-Learning actually is a boon in such cases. Just keep the online module running in a window and keep toggling it as and when you get time!
  • Online Assessment – Any good e-learning programme is usually followed up with a short but incisive assessment test. It’s an online test and the good ones usually give an appropriate picture of the understanding developed by the trainee on the subject. If the scores are not good, don’t sweat…just re-load the requisite module, go through the session again and re-do the test. Eventually, for the sensitive minded, it is better than the drama around a classroom test where your performance could be openly scrutinised. Self-evaluation of one’s learning is always the best way to assess one’s proficiency, if one is honest about learning any topic.

Detractors may argue that it restricts the learning to the limited module subjects, and any additional clarifications may not get resolved, thus proving the training to be restrictive. Also, given that it could be done at the workstation, there would not be undivided attention, thereby diluting the learning.

While it is true that everything has a flip-side, one has to understand that online modules should be developed for a limited syllabus, and should have enough case-studies and examples to provide a holistic learning of the topic.  All progressive organizations invest a lot of research in developing impactful online modules, covering a host of subjects which do not require classroom presence for effective learning. While undivided attention is a concern, the same applies to classroom sessions as well, wherein employees keep walking in and out of the training rooms to attend “urgent calls” and office-related works.

One must appreciate that e-learning is not a substitute to other forms of training. It is a strong supplement to the bouquet of learning initiatives of an organization. What’s more, I get to train myself on topics of my choice, at a time of my choice, at a pace of my choice, and also get a record of course-completion after each course. At the end of the year, I get to mention it all as “self-initiated learning” in my appraisal and impress my boss with my ‘eagerness to learn’ and ‘skill-enhancement initiative’! So what’s stopping you…figure out your favorite topic and enhance your skill by enrolling for the relevant module online. Happy Learning!

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments

Effectiveness of Online Assessments

Many organizations are adopting online platforms in recent times for their pre employment assessments and internal assessments as well. This area has seen growth due to an increase in the needs of the organizations to either quickly create & deliver pre employment assessments or to create assessments as part of their internal trainings. But an organization should think through clearly the requirements and whether a chosen online assessment platform actually fulfills these requirements and if yes, how effective is the chosen platform / system? The term ‘online assessment’ is interpreted in many ways to mean online exam platform or computer based assessment or online test repository or simply e-assessment. Though there is no definite difference in the final learning outcomes between offline and online assessment systems, the effectiveness lies in the implementation, speed and ease. Obviously, no one system fits the needs of all organizations. 

The features of the online assessment platform and their suitability to the requirements of the organization and the content (question bank and the exams created) define the effectiveness of the system more than anything else. There used to be some areas of evaluation which required human intervention earlier. But with advances in technology, smart applications are able to monitor and evaluate every possible assessment area. Another important factor that determines the effectiveness of the platform is how well does it help in delivering the exam to its end users. When doing pre employment assessments, a major determinant driving the effectiveness would be whether the platform helps in creating the exam, delivering it, and evaluating fast enough to have considerable reduction in the recruitment cycle. When the same platform is being evaluated for internal trainings, a major factor that determines this effectiveness would be whether the assessments could be tied to skills enhancement and their tracking by managers.

Assessment is a cyclic process. The results of each cycle should lead to improvements in the next one. To be effective, organizations should evaluate their current system and agree upon the benefits of implementing online assessment system. Instructional and evaluation quality should be maintained in the online environment.

For a detailed view on how an online assessment platform can help your organization, speak to hubVirt’s experts in the area, by reaching out to us here:

http://www.hubvirt.com/hubvirt/contact.html

To understand how our online assessment platform can help your organization in your pre employment assessments, see vTesting features at:

http://www.hubvirt.com/hubvirt/vtesting.html

To know how our online LMS for Organizations can help in internal trainings and assessments, see vLearningPro features at:

http://www.hubvirt.com/hubvirt/vlearningpro.html

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Case Study – vTesting for Shortening Recruitment Cycle

XYZ Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is a technology company which has an employee pool consisting of web developers, UI designers, test engineers and sales personnel. The company hired through job portals, recruitment agencies and the usual channels. The HR team would sift through hundreds of resumes before short listing a handful for processing. The potential candidates would then be put through various stages of selection.

The company was looking to simplify and quicken its hiring process. One of the ways was to conduct a screening test on various technologies for potential employees. The performance in the test would be used as a basis for calling the candidates for an interview. Since, the number of candidates who would be taking the test is in hundreds, it would be an enormous task calling them all to the office and take them through a paper based test and then correcting them manually.

hubVirt provided them their online exam platform named vTesting.

Outcome: The time taken in the entire process (until an offer has been made) reduced by nearly 50% by using vTesting.  It also helped in reducing the effort required by the HR team in pre-screening the candidates and for conducting a test, correcting the answers manually and sorting the scores. The company saw clear gains in using the online platform vTesting in conducting screening test and thus getting a better hold on its recruitment process.

Read more at this link:  vTesting for shortening recruitment cycle

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Training and Development – Online Option For Organizations

As businesses expand, having a workforce that is well-trained and up-to-date with knowledge of internal processes becomes critical in order to deliver quality services. It is not easy to find such talented and readily trained employees. Hence some companies have partners or extended work force instead of permanent employees to maintain flexibility in resource base. Managing such a workforce is more difficult than managing permanent employees.

No matter what type of workforce an organization has, it is important that every employee follows the current best practices and common processes to ensure that the offering to the end customer is consistent. Whether it is keeping the sales force up-to-date on the product offerings of the company or training the employees on the products & processes, training and development of workforce plays a pivotal role in ensuring that quality service is delivered to customer. As the company grows, it becomes difficult for the company to bring the workforce together for frequent trainings or product updates.

Technology plays a crucial role in managing the trainings of a global workforce. A comprehensive LMS is a must-use training platform for companies. Here are some of the important features that a company should look out for:

  • tracking current skill set of employees
  • nominating employees for trainings
  • online course delivery
  • knowledge base sharing
  • social learning to engage workforce
  • feedback mechanism

Some of the benefits of offering courses online are:

  • save resources used for training
  • have easy access to training material
  • let employees undergo training at their own pace
  • track skill base of employees
  • scale up training programs quickly

vLearningPro is a comprehensive LMS for organizations, that enables them to take advantage of technology in saving time, cost and resources for talent and knowledge management by offering training programs online to their workforce. For more details visit: www.hubvirt.com

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Conducting Examinations Online – The New Alternative

Online examinations are increasingly becoming popular in India. Almost all graduate and post-graduate level exams have gone online or are in the transition period. The limitations of the paper-based tests have left administrators with little choice and the developments in technology have given them an excellent alternative. With information technology becoming an integral part of everyday life, conducting online examinations has become feasible and easy.

The traditional system of conducting exams with a paper and pen has the following disadvantages:

  • The process of conducting an exam is time consuming for administrative staff and teaching community.
  • It is difficult and time taking to analyze the answers manually (of course the OMR sheet reduces this burden to an extent).
  • Scalability is limited when the number of candidates taking an exam increases.
  • Results and analysis are not precise.
  • There are security issues with papers being delivered to the venues physically.
  • Mal-practice is prevalent since there is human intervention at every step.
  • Storing historical information is difficult and tedious.

In comparison, the online examination system offers the following benefits:

  • It is less time consuming and more efficient.
  • Reduced usage of resources.
  • Correction and analysis are automated and easier.
  • Results can be accessed almost instantaneously.
  • Records of previous exams can be stored online and can be retrieved easily.
  • It is relatively secure since it reduces human intervention.

Of course, we are assuming that it is feasible and the required infrastructure and support system is present.

vTesting is an online examination and assessment platform used by Institutes and Organizations. If you are interested in conducting an online exam, write to sales@hubvirt.com or visit www.hubvirt.com for more information.

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Have a paperless campus

Paper is probably the resource most used on any campus apart from power. The academic fraternity consumes lot of paper for correspondence, teaching methodologies, assignments and project submissions etc. A new class of institutions is increasingly looking at green initiatives. There are various reasons behind the good intent: Differentiate the institute among competitors, save energy and money, become eco-friendly, etc.

Here are few initiatives that an institution can take up to reduce the usage of paper:

– Recycle books. Students can reuse the textbooks of senior batches.

– Automate library management

– print only if necessary and print on both sides of paper

– use e-bulletin board and reduce physical circulation of notices/ memos.

– use a comprehensive e-Learning Solution to completely do away with paper for

  • delivering course content
  • conducting exams, quizzes
  • submission of assignments and project reports
  • distribution of case studies before discussion in the class
  • and any other academic operations that involve lot of paper usage.

Anaheim University is the world’s first paperless university. Hopefully many other will follow this trend to make this world a better place. Making an institute a paper-less one sends the right signals to the student community too that the institute practices what it preaches.

For more information on how our LMS ‘vLearning’ can help you reduce paper usage, please visit www.hubvirt.com or write to: sales@hubvirt.com

Leave a comment