Learning is not limited to a single, specific phase in life, that of the years at school, but also happens in different contexts, over the course of a lifetime. With its strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training, ET2020, the European Union supports the concept of lifelong learning by coordinating cooperation between Member States on training and formal, non-formal, and informal education.
Therefore an extensive variety of educational platforms have been developed that offer courses which spread from business and computer science to public health and marketing. One of the most notable is Coursera.
What is Coursera?
Founded in 2012 by professors of Stanford University, Coursera has gradually accumulated a catalog of hundreds of courses from elite institutions such as Stanford, Duke, Michigan and HEC Paris. Coursera possesses the largest and most eclectic catalog for online higher education.
Each course includes several hours of video lessons each week, graded assessments, quizzes, and forum participation. In those well-administered forums, students interact with peers across the world and share their ideas them, which is very helpful in implementing one’s projects.
Students can access any course on their smartphones through Coursera’s mobile app or through the platform’s website on their computer.
Coursera offers their users three different learning options. The student can choose between single courses, specializations (a series of courses designed to improve a single skill) and degree programs. While courses last a few weeks, specialization programs typically take between 4 to 6 months to complete, while degree programs can take up to three years.
Below is a list of the top courses and specializations of 2018 shared by Coursera, as measured by total enrollment.
Machine Learning from Stanford University.
Learning How to Learn: Powerful Mental Tools to Help You Master Tough Subjects from The University of California, San Diego.
The Science of Well-Being from Yale University.
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies from Princeton University.
Algorithms, Part I from Princeton University.
English for Career Development from The University of Pennsylvania.
Financial Markets from Yale University.
Introduction to Psychology from The University of Toronto.
Python for Everybody from University of Michigan.
Data Science from Johns Hopkins University.
Applied Data Science with Python from University of Michingan.
Google IT Support Professional Certificate from Google.
Advanced Machine Learning from National Research University Higher School of Economics.
Improve Your English Communication Skills from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Business Foundations from University of Pennsylvania.
Architecting with Google Cloud Platform from Google Cloud.
Excel Skills for Business from Macquarie University.
Coursera courses are free unless you want a course completion certificate. Even if you want a certificate, these courses won’t cost you a fortune. Keep in mind though that since Coursera offers expertly curated classes created by some of the mostwell-respected educational institutions in the world, those classes typically cost more compared to other educational platforms based online. Some people may also find useful the fact that the proof of participation provided at the verified certificates and specializations can be shared via LinkedIn.
There are several reasons why online learning is a more attractive option compared to traditional methods. This is because online courses are more affordable compared to traditional learning and can be accessible from a variety of devices like smartphones, tablets and computers. Another reason is that online courses almost never force deadlines to students and last less compared to traditional courses offered at universities. Coursera’s digital classes are inexpensive, and the duration of the courses is reasonable. In addition Coursera gives you the flexibility to learn at your own pace without compromising with your schedule and lifestyle. Considering that GenZ has a limited attention span, a narrow badge and does extended use of mobile phone, Coursera can make the education process more appealing and accessible to young learners. Navigate to Coursera and enhance your skills now
Class Dojo is a student behavioral management system that is used by 35 million users worldwide according to the app’s developers.
How does it work?
Initially, after signing up at the Class Dojo (https://www.classdojo.com), the teacher creates his / her digital class by simply entering the names of the. Students then download the application to their mobile devices and register in their digital class easily via a QR code that has been given to them.
Students earn or lose "Dojo points" depending on how they behave in the classroom. These points vary according to the type of the behaviour and are predefined by the teacher. For example students can earn points if they are being kind to their classmates and loose points if they miss the homework's deadline. Particularly useful is the recording of the pupils' overall behavioral progress throughout the year, as it is not limited to a single lesson.
A pretty useful feature is that teachers can assign activities to learners. Those activities can be also registered in a student-portfolio that follows the users throughout their learning pathway.
Extraversion and communication with parents
Class Dojo enables teachers to inform parents about the progress of children as well as notify them about various events that occur in the classroom. This way a connection between school and home is fostered, implicitly involving parents, even those who are busy but still want to be regularly informed about the progress of their children.
The main purpose of the application is to allow the teacher to effectively manage his/her class. In addition Class Dojo attempts to instill a positive way of behaving to students which will eventually turn them into responsible and caring citizens.
The application is completely free to use and is available for both Android and iOS devices as well as PCs on MAC or Windows.
Class Dojo is a behavioral tool that focuses on shaping classroom behavior and aims on positive reinforcement to receive points as a reward. Through deduction of the points, students realize the penalties of negative behavior, giving them a deterrent effect. Encouraging positive feedback is therefore intended to inspire students to participate in lessons and to focus specifically on learning and not to disturb the learning environment. This further promotes active learning and the elimination of low-level disorders.
If you wish to try the Class Dojo you can visit its official website here and easily create your own digital classes.
Virtual reality has attracted the interest of the research community due to the endless possibilities itoffers in the educational arena. Although a wide range of applications already exists, further researchis required to establish effective practices for a fruitful classroom implementation. This quantitativeresearch of a sample of 37 primary school students explores the educational affordances and students’perceptions of virtual reality systems as supportive tools for teaching English as a foreign language.
It is well known that gamification is an engaging technique that enables the creation of a deeper bond between the user and the product. Why does this happen? How does Neuroscience explain this connection? Read the article below by Juliette Denny to learn more.
Gamification involves creating a narrative around the learning activity that describes why the task is relevant to the learner. According to University of Reading researchers, attention spans are affected by the subject’s emotional connection with the activity.
“We found that participants’ attention is affected by emotion and priority, such that they pay more attention to particularly vivid information or details that are highly relevant to them, but their retention of low-priority information is impaired” - Michiko Sakaki
The hippocampus is an area in the lower section of the brain which is largely responsible for knowledge recall. During learning, a strong hippocampal activation makes the content easier to remember and recall (Foerde & Shohamy, 2011). In clinical tests, gameplay has been shown to stimulate these conditions.
“Identifying a direct connection between the stimulation of neural circuits and gameplay is a key step in unlocking the potential for game-based tools to inspire positive behavior and improve health” - Brian Knutson, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Stanford University.
Dopamine, or the feel-good hormone, is released whenever we are rewarded for a specific action. Gamification focuses on giving learners instantaneous feedback which might not otherwise be available. By giving virtual rewards for achieving learning goals, learners begin to associate the learning with positive emotions, prompting them to try to repeat it (i.e., seek out more learning).
One of the key components of a compelling game is a good story. People tend to remember stories better than lists of unconnected facts. This isn’t just a matter of preference; it’s a physiological imperative. When we are engaged in a strong narrative, the brain releases oxytocin – a chemical that generates feelings of trust and empathy. As a result, when the brain receives information presented as a story, it recognises it as being more valid.
Serotonin is a hormone that governs our overall mood. Plenty of serotonin makes for a sunny disposition whereas a drop in serotonin might leave you feeling a bit grumpy. Aside from eating properly, serotonin release is also triggered by remembering past successes. The badge cabinet of a gamified Learning Management System lets learners get a serotonin rush on demand whenever they look at rewards they have earned.
The thrill and excitement of playing a game is the result of endorphins being released. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkiller but they can also lower stress and anxiety levels, and even create a sense of euphoria. Combined with other neurotransmitters,this helps create an ideal environment for focused learning.
Studies have shown that gameplay can improve brain functions. In a study conducted by BBC’s Horizon, a test group of older subjects played a popular racing game for 15 hours over 5 weeks. When they were evaluated after that period, their memory and attention span scores had improved by around 30%.
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and it controls the body’s reaction to stressful situations. When it comes to learning, high levels of cortisol force the brain into survival mode, distracting from the learning in order to deal with the stress. Results of a Texas A&M International University study showed that “games reduce depression and hostile feelings in players through mood management.”
The brain can only handle a finite amount of information. If the cognitive load is too great, the learner could miss information, resulting in incomplete training. One way that gamification can deal with cognitive load is to present the learning in a more game-like, challenge-based format. Along with the other neurological benefits of gamification, this approach helps to chunk the learning into smaller pieces that are easier to retain.
The workforce is filling with people who grew up playing complex video games that require a lot of intricate coordination. By commanding a Roman army to victory or managing the facilities of a virtual city, players can gain skills like resource management and prioritisation.
“These young people may be better equipped to switch between tasks easily, adapt to new information, and modify their strategy as new input comes in.” – Judy Willis, M.D., American Academy of Neurology
With gamification and game-based learning producing some outstanding results, the scientific community is conducting more and more research into the power of gameplay in non-game scenarios.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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
If you tell me I'll listen if you show me I'll see but if you let me experience I will learn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Nowadays countless activities involve us in a process of collecting points. You may get points for buying regularly from your local coffee shop, your neighborhood supermarket or even by travelling with the same airlines. Those are just a few common examples of gamification in the everyday life for most of us.
Gaming is the use of game mechanics in non-playable situations (Detering, Dixon, Khaled, & Nacke, 2011). This way, the game-related elements are used to directly improve the user experience and enhance one’s interest, encouraging greater product loyalty.