Theodosis Karageorgakis

Theodosis Karageorgakis

IT Expert - Trainer - Educator - Engineer - CEO at educraft.tech

Despite the fact that in comparative development corporate eLearning has grown by a stunning 900% since 2000, multiple training programs are still offered in an old-fashioned way of delivering eLearning courses. This leads to limited engagement and in some cases to the failure of the whole training programme.Those are the most common issues that eLearning programs face today.

Video Version of the Article

1. Lack Of Engagement

Many trainees may quit courses or simply skip classes outright if they perceive them as boring. Older training programs were mostly one-dimensional, mainly made of text.

By 2019, video will be in charge of 80% of the web activity on the planet.

This is because of the fact that modern learners are hungry for media. Thus, unless there are enough videos, sounds, and graphics, the content won’t engage the users. Besides, it’s crucial for eLearning programs to offer a sense of progression and achievement to the users. People like to feel a sense of achievement whenever they do something. Employees are no different when it comes to training and development. Therefore, there must be gamified tests and ways for the learners to check their progression, otherwise they may feel that they are not getting anywhere. Having that in mind, course designers may want to add leaderboards along with a ranking system that will definitely boost competition among the learners and eventually improve user dedication towards the program.

2. Lack Of Interactivity

A simple demonstration of new knowledge is not enough. It is of utmost importance to provide opportunities to the learners to actively engage with the tutors, other students or even the course itself. The learner needs to practice his/her new skills in meaningful activities and interact with other students in a variety of conversations. This interactivity will help the student overcome the fear created because of the insecurity the distance barrier brings about. Educators play a vital role, since they can make students interact and cooperate with other participants in a synchronous or asynchronous way, encouraging them to respond to their questions by creating a learning community. To learn more about the need for interactivity in eLearning programmes click here

3. Teacher-Centered Approach/Inadequate Educators

Educators should be present but should not be dominant. They should steer the conversation but never monopolize the discussion. They should interact with the learners frequently and make sure everyone has the chance to participate but they shouldn’t, under any circumstances, overshadow them. The educator has to be active and well informed in order to provide continuous support when needed. This is essential, since feedback must be regular so that the learner will not feel abandoned in an inactive or a low-value training program.

4. Information Overload

In order to minimize logistical expenses, it’s common for companies to offer intensive training programs that last for a day or even days. The reality is that people can’t absorb and remember all of that information in that limited amount of time, meaning that even more than usual of what’s taught will be quickly forgotten and eventually lost.

Millennials have a shorter attention span compared to previous generations, making the breaking of eLearning material into more manageable chunks of information necessary. This is called microlearning. Microlearning breaks information content into small-, easy-, and fast-to-consume parts, which helps learners achieve one distinctive objective at a time. You can read more about microlearning here

5. Need For Real-World Application

The Research Institute of America found that eLearning increases retention rates from 25% to 60%, while retention rates of face-to-face training are very low in comparison: 8% to 10%. On the other hand, if the learner doesn’t use the acquired skills after training, knowledge retention will diminish fast. It is a common mistake for some training programs not to give the learner a way to practice new knowledge.

A successful training program is necessary to provide the user with the means to connect the information learned in real-life situations. So the program should incorporate ways for the learner to practice new knowledge After all, a training program delivers value for an organization only when it aligns with employees’ expectations and improves business performance.

6. Not Mobile Friendly

An eLearning course has to be not only meaningful and engaging but easily accessible as well. If the training program is not mobile optimized, then it is highly doubtful that it will satisfy the participants’ needs. People use mobile devices a lot more than they use personal computers. This is because it’s possible to use portable devices whenever, wherever. People use mobile devices all day long. They watch videos, play video games or interact with others while laying on their beds, while waiting at the metro station, or even while watching TV. Therefore, eLearning training programs should be developed in a way that will be friendly for mobile devices.

It is certain that there are other factors which contribute to the failure of some eLearning training programs but those mentioned in this article are some of the most common ones. If those 6 issues are taken into consideration, many potential issues won't arise, and the trainees will definitely enjoy a far more intriguing and productive learning experience.

 

The article was originally posted at https://elearningindustry.com/elearning-programs-fail-tips-avoid-failure

Saturday, 17 November 2018 11:18

Panolingo – Learn Languages in VR

panolingo logo is a relatively new application that stands out from the plethora of Virtual Reality tools for learning foreign languages ​​that are available nowadays. The main reason for that is the excellent quality of the graphic depictions in the application. High-quality 360 ° panoramas are able to offer the user the viewing of environments in a natural way therefore enhancing the immersion of use, while limiting possible feelings of nausea due to the use of the medium.

 

The user through real life scenarios is required to complete activities by locating objects. For example, starting from his bed, the user is asked to locate his slippers in order to get up and then he has to find the door to get to the bathroom. The instructions for the execution of these actions are in English through incitements and natural expressions. This visualization of the necessary information will strengthen the imprinting on the user's subconscious, as it helps him to connect the new knowledge with real objects, in a really efficient way.

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Panolingo - Learn Languages ​​in VR offers a point system, personal progress check and leaderboards for enhanced competition. Those features support the enhanced maintenance of the user's interest over time.Finally, it should be noted that there is also a conventional version in which the use of an HMD is not required.

With regard to its technical features, the application works seamlessly with the most popular HMDs such as Google Cardboard, Oculus Gear, Archos VR etc. At this stage, it is only available for Android but will soon be available for iOS devices while adding more languages ​​other than English.In conclusion, Panolingo is an excellent solution for a home-based tool, and is aimed at teachers who want to introduce Virtual Reality technology into the learning process.

Friday, 05 October 2018 16:00

Blind Kahoots

So you have been using Kahoot! to evaluate students for a while now, but have you ever considered to implement Kahoot! when presenting a new lesson or concept?

Blind Kahoot Video

While many people create and play kahoots for review, formative assessment or to re-energise the class, others are using Kahoot! differently in a new approach called Blind Kahoot. Blind kahoots are designed to give every learner a chance to feel success and motivation throughout the game, and with long lasting effects. In a single game, you’ll be sparking curiosity about the new topic, laying the foundations for understanding increasingly complex concepts, and giving learners the opportunity to immediately and successfully apply their knowledge.

 Below are a few steps that you can have in mind while creating your own Blind Kahoots

  • Introduce the game to let learners know what to expect, and that it's about learning, not about getting all of the answers right the first time.
  • Use a "Blind" question (a question about something completely new to them) to spark curiosity, so learners are more receptive to the explanation.
  • Explain the answer
  • Reinforce using a series of questions focused solely on what they have just learned
  • Another Blind question prompts learners to actively listen to the explanation - this is a great opportunity to teach subtleties, exceptions to the rule or to build on what they have just learned
  • Reinforce with another series of questions solely about the most recent Blind question
  • Now use Compound Reinforcement to help learners consolidate everything they have learned in the whole kahoot
Monday, 24 September 2018 07:24

Mondly VR

If you tell me I'll listen if you show me I'll see but if you let me experience I will learn.

Lao-Tse 

mondly vr 4

Mondly VR is a new application by Mondly, which uses virtual reality to help students expand their language learning skills. What makes Mondly VR stand out is its language recognition ability. Users can take part in conversations with virtual characters in a variety of different real life scenarios. Those scenarios include talking to a taxi driver, a hotel hostess, a waitress in a restaurant a stranger at the train station and a few other interesting choices.

Inside the application

I was really shocked when I first found out that you can practice from a selection of over 30 languages. Obviously the first step is to select the desired language. After the language is selected you are supposed to pick the conversational situation that you would like to engage with.

Mondly VR learn 30 languages in Virtual Reality

The conversation begins when the virtual character asks you a question or makes a remark. Then, you are prompt with a series of answers in the language you have picked at the very first stage of the application as well as their explanation in English. As soon as you pick a suitable answer you will hear a voice which pronounces the answer. Afterwards your task is to repeat the answer. If your answer is detected as correct the conversation continues. Otherwise you are kindly asked to repeat your saying. Note though that the voice recognition mechanisms of the app are not flawless and need to be improved.

It is also worth mentioning that the level of difficulty between each conversation is different. For example it’s way easier to have a short chat with a passenger in the train, and harder if you are trying to reserve a hotel room.

choicevr

Level of interactivity and immersion

Although one shouldn't expect object manipulation by the user, it can be concluded that the level of interactity is higher than other similar applications, thus leading to a more immersive experience. After all immersive VR experiences are considered more advantageous compared to less immersive ones. In my opinion this characteristic of the app, along with the beautiful graphics make MondlyVR worth giving a try.

Specs and characteristics

Mondly VR is a paid application which is available for Android smartphones (inside a Cardboard obviously) and Oculus rift. You can read more about the application at their official site here 

Final thoughts

All in all, Mondly VR is a decent attempt to combine language learning with VR but certainly needs work in order to steal the show.

Τι είναι η παιχνιδοποίηση στη μάθηση; Πώς ενσωματώνεται η παιχνιδοποίηση στο νεο πρόγραμμα JUMP του εκπαιδευτικού ομίλου QLS; 

Παιχνιδοποίηση

Δεκάδες δραστηριότητες σήμερα μας εμπλέκουν σε μια διαδικασία συλλογής πόντων. Από την αγορά του πρωινού καφέ, την επίσκεψη στο σουπερμάρκετ της γειτονιάς, μέχρι την συλλογή πόντων για τα καύσιμα του αυτοκινήτου και τα ταξίδια μας. Τα προηγούμενα αποτελούν παραδείγματα παιχνιδοποίησης στην καθημερινότητα των περισσοτέρων από εμάς.

Η παιχνιδοποίηση (gamification) είναι η χρήση των μηχανισμών παιχνιδιού σε μη παιγνιώδεις καταστάσεις  (Detering, Dixon, Khaled, & Nacke, 2011). Με αυτό τον τρόπο γίνεται χρήση των στοιχείων που διέπουν τα παιχνίδια, ώστε άμεσα να βελτιωθεί η εμπειρία του χρήστη και να ενισχυθεί το ενδιαφέρον του, οδηγώντας τον εντέλει σε μεγαλύτερη αφοσίωση με το προϊόν.

 

What is microlearning? Can it improve students' engagement? Is it more advantageous compared to traditional ways of delivering content? Should microlearning be used in every single course? 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018 11:06

Virtual Speech (Language VR)

 

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Undoubtedly, virtual reality has been one of the most discussed topics between educators since the past year. Multiple applications try to exploit its characteristics in order to enhance students’ learning process.

Virtual Speech (Language VR) is an application which through scenarios and a wide range of language situations, aims to use the virtual reality to teach foreign languages. Besides English the user can choose between the following languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Chinese. Russian, Japanese, Italian and Korean are soon to be released.

 

 Originally the app was developed to help people learn English through simulations of the English culture and landmarks. The idea behind this was to create a more exciting way of learning in a virtual environment. Research shows that visual representations help in maintaining information and learning new vocabulary (Jones, 2010). In addition the use of images helps in making abstract ideas more specific to students.

 

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Below are listed the categories that the user can pick from.

Experience Culture: Virtual Reality (VR) is the possible solution for creating genuine language learning environments in EFL countries for a variety of reasons. The most beneficial part of using VR is the creation of those situations that simulate the physical environment through digital representation (Chen & Chen, 2016). London, Cotswolds, Warwick, Cornwall and many other British places are available to visit.

Language VR VirtualSpeech Screeenshot

Vocabulary: The user is asked to locate various objects in beautiful and well-designed rooms. Despite the fact that we really liked this option it should be mentioned that the free version of the app includes only room.

RED vr language app vocab office

Audiobook Chapters: The user can choose to listen to renowned books such as Treasure Island or Alice in the Wonderland. Of course, it would be an addition if moving or static images could be added as to enhance the student's involvement.

Basic Tenses: The player interacts with different shapes and objects trying to put them in order while creating sentences. Each object represents a single word. At the moment the user can choose from Present Simple, Past Simple and Future Simple.

Numbers: A realistic space ship simulation game in which the player tries to maneuver his spacecraft to the right number. It's not just a language learning game, but it certainly enriches the whole experience.

Roleplaying Speeches: It is a fact that through virtual reality it is possible to simulate situations that would be either too expensive or unfeasible to perform (Dávideková, et al., 2017). On this axis the user can simulate a speech, an interview, make a reservation for a hotel etc. It is a fact that there is no feedback based on what is said, but this may have had dubious results and would certainly require some financial consideration such as the purchase of the application.

Rewards and statistics: Finally, it is possible to record some of the user's achievements which are earned after completing certain activities.

Language VR will help teach English language and culture by providing photorealistic virtual reality environments to students to talk, listen, interact, and ultimately play.

The application is fully compatible with Google Cardboard and is available for Android, IOS, and GearVR devices. You can find out more here https://virtualspeech.com/

 

Bibliography

Chen, X. and Chen, M. (2016). The Application of Virtual Reality Technology in the EFL Learning Environment in China. Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Sensor Network and Computer Engineering.

Dávideková, M., Mjartan, M. and Greguš, M. (2017). Use of Virtual Reality in Education of Employees in Slovakia. Computer Science, 113, pp. 253-260.

Jones, A.D. (2010). Science through photography. Science through photography. Science and Children, 47 (5), 26-30.

Sunday, 31 December 2017 09:23

Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions is a virtual-reality teaching tool. It gives students an opportunity to explore a variety of amazing environments and areas that they may never have the chance to visit in person. You can swim with sharks, visit outer space, walk through a museum, and more without leaving the classroom. 

There are over 500 Expeditions trips available at the moment. Everything from the Great Wall of China, to the Buckingham Palace, and even the outer space are available as destinations for your students. Each Expedition is a 360-degree experience that allows students travel to an amazing place while being guided by a teacher.

To join an expedition, each participant needs a Wi-Fi-connected tablet or smartphone. Teachers choose the content that they want to show to the devices connected on the same Wi-Fi network and can pause, play, or change what students see.

Virtual reality provides an interactive, immersive experience. Instead of sitting passively, students stand up. Instead of looking at one aspect of an image, they literally turn their heads and move their eyes to view angles of a scenery. Instead of remaining aware of their classroom environment, they are immersed inside of a virtual reality setting.

How to use in classroom?

Teachers can use Expeditions to supplement their current curriculum with VR field trips.

The teacher’s role is to ask questions, pinpoint important things on the tour, etc. Giving time for students to explore each scene first and then highlighting points of interest can help enliven the content for your students. It is also worth mentioning that extensive support materials are provided for each scene, such as leveled questions and pre-determined points of interest.

Hardware/Software needed:

A tablet

The teacher guides his students through the use of a tablet he is handling. The role of the teacher is to provide the students with the necessary information regarding the scene they are watching while still being in charge of changing the scenes. It should be time-saving and problem-solving if each expedition has already been downloaded before the lesson's begging. 

Smartphones

A mobile phone between 4,5 - 5.99" with a gyroscopic sensor must be placed in every single cardboard. It doesn't have to big something fancy. As long as it possess a gyroscopic sensor it will get the job done.

Software

Each device needs to pre-install the Google Expeditions app, which is free and can be downloaded to the mobile phone via the Playstore or iOS.

Internet Connection / WI-FI

A special advantage of Google Expeditions is that there is no need for the student's mobile device to be connected to the Internet but simply to the school's local Wi-Fi. All in all, no internet connection needed during the lesson as long as the teacher has already pre-dowloaded the Expeditions of his choice at his own device (ideally a tablet as mentioned before)

HMD ( Head Mounted Display)

The HMD is the device that will host the smartphone allowing the viewing of the 3D scenes that it generates.

There is a huge variety of HMDs out in the market ranging for a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. A solid option is the official Google Cardboard that can be bought from the official Google stores online and cost around 20 dollars. 

Verdict:

Despite its disadvantages (mainly in relation to the degree of limited immersion and the dizziness that can be caused to the user because of the prolonged use), the device seems to be an opportunity to integrate VR into the classroom's setting given the wide spread of smart phones and its positive elements. It is certainly a tool that would help boosting the students’ engagement  while at the same time helping them gain a better understanding of the lesson.

Saturday, 30 December 2017 09:43

Gamification

The gamification of learning is a modern, student friendly, efficient way of teaching and deliving content. This approach uses the elements and characteristics of video games to transform teaching in a way that will greatly affect students' engagement.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017 08:28

Nearpod

logoΝearpod is an extremely powerful presentation tool. It allows teachers to create digital lesson plans, share it with students during class, and track individual progress. Lessons are comprised of teacher-created slides that can include text, video, images, websites, questions, quizzes, polls, and assignments. Teachers can use Nearpod effectively in the classroom to support student learning in a variety of ways. Give students opportunities for interaction and immediate feedback by having them draw on a map, respond to a poll question, post to a collaboration board, or take a multiple-choice quiz. Besides, teachers can incoroprate virtual reality trips and 360° views into their slides using the build-in capabilities the Nearpod offers. By watching videos and reviewing notes students can review the key concepts of the lesson. In addition they are able to follow the lesson on their own devices at their own pace or teachers can lead a synchronized session where students can follow the lesson in real-time. This way the learners become active participants in their education while teachers get valuable feedback on student learning.

 

 

quiz results 

Nearpod augments the normal PowerPoint experience. Τhe presentation experience is enhanced by administering formative assessments to students as they work and allowing the teacher to monitor students as they take notes, draw or map concepts, answer quizzes and more. This is formal learning that uses the traditional classroom model and elevates it to include more interactive elements.

lesson list

 

How to use:

add content

To use this tool, the teacher must visit the Nearpod website and register.The teacher can either create the lesson from scratch or import an already made presentation in PowerPoint and then add the elements to enhance it. When satisfied with the created lesson, teachers can choose if they are going to lead the lesson or if students will complete the lesson individually. If they are going to complete it together, students will need to log onto the lesson by entering the lesson plan’s pin into the Nearpod app or website. If this option is selected, teachers will have the ability to monitor their students’ computer screens once they are logged in, which means whatever is shown on the teacher’s screen is also shown on the students’ screen. If students complete the lesson independently, they will be able to work on their own pace. If teachers include different activities and assessments, they will be able to view student achievement and work as students progress through the lesson. Teachers will be able to see student progress by clicking the group icon on the top left of the screen.

join lesson

Side note: Not all the content on Nearpod is free. A teacher may have to purchase a subscription to access all the content. However, the educator can still make and use a custom lesson with the students for free but some of the options are limited. Also, teachers are encouraged to use the “Explore” option to view lessons made by colleagues and then use them or modify them  for their own needs.

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