standard vs custom content
Two categories – One goal
Custom vs. off-the-shelf training content: Which best suits your needs?

“Off-the-shelf training content is no longer an uncomfortable compromise”

When is a custom training course money well spent? And when does an off-the-shelf training course make sense?

Digital training solutions continue to gain ground. With the objective of placing learners at the core and inspiring them with real learning experiences, decisions have long been based on factors other than just time and cost.

 

Yet, to design individual learning paths, you don’t necessarily need custom training content. We spoke to two learning experts, who explain the differences between custom and off-the-shelf training content, and describe what content is best suited for a custom or an off-the-shelf training course design.

street ball game

Custom vs. off-the-shelf training content – the differences

Custom training content – specifically and exclusively designed to meet a company’s e-learning requirements – is generally created from scratch. Its starting point is a specific need or task, for which a special solution is designed, and an entirely new training course is created.

 

These solutions are a great choice for companies seeking to cover specialised topics, such as training for their own production areas – where it can be safely assumed that no standardised solution suitable for their needs exists.

jaegermeister meister academy

Custom Content: Jägermeister Meister Academy

Meanwhile, off-the-shelf training content describes training courses or learning content created independently from any specific customer enquiry which can be used by different companies in a generic form. Thus, this content addresses tasks of a general nature rather than a specific issue or need.

 

Typical topics almost every company needs to deal with would include information security and data protection. These can be perfectly covered with off-the-shelf training courses, as they reflect regulations and laws applicable to all, rather than company-specific issues.

 

A clear preference for off-the-shelf training content also exists for compliance trainings, given that the fundamental principles are based on the applicable laws. However, if a company wants to convey their corporate policy in their training course, things get trickier. Stephan Härle, Instructional Designer at imc explains: “Off-the-shelf trainings provide information of a general nature: You must be careful with gifts and may have to contact your Compliance department. Meanwhile, custom training content can offer more detail: In our company, gifts worth X or more must be approved by our Compliance department. It is impossible to include this in off-the-shelf training content because guidelines differ in every organisation.”

cyber crime time

Standard Content: Cyber Crime Time

“This should really be the first question to ask from a customer perspective – before deciding whether to use off-the-shelf training content or arrange for custom content design,” Philipp Schossau, also Instructional Designer at imc, explains. “Are my training requirements or issues very specific? Or is this type of training utilised by many different people in various sectors?”

How unique is custom training content?

“First of all, we get together with the customer and carry out a major needs assessment,” Stephan Härle says. “If the right conclusions are drawn at this stage, the training can be designed to fit the target group perfectly. But we can only do that with a custom training. Defining the target group very precisely enables us to find the right approach, make the training exciting for a greater number of learners, and increase the completion rate. Custom really means customised for a specific requirement and tailored to the learners’ needs.”

 

“It’s like buying an outfit,” Philipp Schossau continues: “If you were to attend a gala dinner, it would be rather difficult to find a suitable mass-produced smoking that fits perfectly. However, if I’m only going out for a nice dinner, without it being a special occasion, then I can buy and wear off-the-shelf outfits that I enjoy wearing.”

Still, even the best store-bought suit cannot compete with a tailored fit, and the same applies to e-learning content for certain target groups.  “I understand this issue all too well. I have very short arms, and many things will simply not fit straight off-the-shelf,” Schossau jokes.

We raise the bar for off-the-shelf training content

In the past, off-the-shelf content often seemed somewhat stale. That is changing. This past year, imc has been developing and expanding its off-the-shelf content. The specialist department researches relevant topics in its market. Ideally, the solutions are a match for all customers and across countries. But above all, the latest off-the-shelf training courses aim to feel good, cutting edge and highly motivating.

two basketball players

INFO

  • At imc, off-the-shelf training content meets the same high requirements for design and user experience as custom training content.
  • T off-the-shelf training courses recently designed by imc are fully responsive, and the relevant training courses can be completed from mobile devices.
  • Both categories can be integrated into a learning management system (LMS) or be utilised without an LMS.

Stephan Härle: “We want off-the-shelf content to break free from its poor image. While many reasons speak for custom content, off-the-shelf content need not be an uncomfortable compromise. On the contrary, it can be a perfectly suitable and useful solution that is also enjoyable.”

 

Naturally, resource investments are significantly lower, given that no further input is needed for the content design. Moreover, ready-made training content is available much faster than a custom solution that needs to be designed first. Of course, costs can play a role in this decision, too. Off-the-shelf content is usually cheaper.

But the two categories can also be combined to leverage their strengths, Härle explains: “There really are no limits! With an individual learning journey, off-the-shelf content might, for example, be included as learning nuggets. Our objective is to create off-the-shelf content that feels nothing like off-the-shelf. Cyber Crime Time, the Journey, is a prime example for this.”

Cyber Crime Time e-learning content header

Cyber Crime Time

The Grimme Online Award nomination adds to a long line of awards recognising the serious game Cyber Crime Time. With the Cyber Crime Time learning journey, the creators respond to current developments, and offer extensions like the Phishing Detection Booster.

 

Companies can purchase Cyber Crime Time as off-the-shelf content. A trial version is available for anyone wanting to play the role of a hacker.

The questions companies should be asking themselves, when deciding whether off-the-shelf content could meet their needs:

Infographic standard vs custom content
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I joined the imc newsroom team in 2021. As a journalist my heart beats for content and storytelling.

 

I’m excited to figure out how e-learing and digitization affect the future of work. My task is to create content to talk about and I’m always looking for trends.

 

Privately I love to travel and eat Tapas.

 

Topics: E-Learning Trends, Corporate Social Responsibility, Press and Influencer Relations

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Communication Manager
Fun at the office
Forget boring compliance training

Compliance Training Doesn't Have to be Boring - How to Make it Engaging

Mandatory compliance training has a bad reputation - it’s seen as boring and often nothing more than a tick-box exercise to sit through in a lecture or click next through in static elearning. Such training is often delivered as part of an employee onboarding process.

There are two major problems for an organisation when this is the case:

 

  • When the emphasis is on just getting through the material and gaining the Pass, the learner may not have been mentally engaged in a way that will ensure retention and truly impact their behaviour long-term, helping to manage personal and business risk.

 

  • It sets a scene for training in general to be boring and ‘unimportant’ to the individual, so when a learner has access to learning that can boost their performance and benefit the whole company, they lack the enthusiasm to jump in and engage.

 

To avoid creating a culture of disinterest when it comes to learning, here we look at how to make compliance training engaging through the use of effective elearning content and a learning platform that makes it easy and enjoyable to access.

worker happy with his role

Make it Relevant to the Learner’s Role

Information instantly becomes more boring when you feel that it will never relate to your life. While some training content will be relevant to the entire workforce, try to minimise the use of generic content throughout, where it has limited relevance to certain roles.

 

The use of branching scenarios means that you can deliver globally relevant training at the outset, but which then forks down role-specific paths. For example certain modules may be signposted for frontline workers, while managers / supervisors can be taken down a different path.

 

The greater appreciation of context will mean that the learner sees relevance within their day to day role.

women has easy access on her phone

Make it Accessible

If you want compliance training to not only get completed, but absorbed and really assimilated into working practice, then it’s important to enable learners to access it in a manner, at a time and in a place that suits them.

 

Unless the training needs to be consumed at a desk on day 1, then mobile-friendly elearning enables anytime, anywhere learning. Might your learners want or need to access the materials on the go? A good learning platform will make it easy for learners to access training anywhere, and for HR or L&D teams to track progress across individuals and groups.

brief information

Make it Brief

Bite-size learning or microlearning enables them to access training in chunks that allow for consolidation between sessions.

 

Numerous studies over the last century, notably Miller’s Law that originated back in the 1950s, have shown that a small number of items (5 to 9) can be held in your short term memory before new information starts to crowd those items out.

 

Deliver training in small chunks that enable consolidation into long term memory between sessions, and create a level of testing and repetition to really help training stick.

training looks amazing

Make it Visually Appealing

Some colour and vibrance will help draw learners into training content and create a better vibe than just black and white text. Even the driest and most technical of subjects can be brought to life with some colour and movement.

Women enjoys audio training

Make it Multimedia

Everyone consumes, absorbs and retains information differently. Some people are drawn to reading text, while others struggle - regardless of proficiency in their work. Some find that they enjoy or learn faster with the audio and visual combination of videos while for some it’s annoying or they are unable to have the sound on at their desk.

 

Where possible, provide options within an elearning course so that every type of learner is catered for.

two women playing games

Make it Fun - Gamify

Even those who display zero signs of competitiveness enjoy games, or at least rewards, now and again. Either games-based learning or the introduction of game-playing elements within a traditional system (gamification) is shown to improve learning outcomes. In fact, gamification has been shown to enhance motivation and improve psychological and behavioural outcomes in multiple arenas.

 

Some modern LMS solutions make it easy for you to create gamification elements within the platform, such as badges or other awards for achievements and learning milestones. You can even create a level of competition between individuals or departments to further increase motivation.

Here at imc, we created, elearning content on the subject of cyber security, which we made available for free to individual users in the form of a game:

Cyber Crime Time e-learning content screen

Cyber Crime Time is a highly interactive game where you the learner get to take on the role of a hacker.

Here at imc, we created, elearning content on the subject of cyber security, which we made available for free to individual users in the form of a game:

Chatbot Cyber Crime Time

A normally dry compliance topic is brought to life by allowing the learner to learn about the risks of cyber crime and how to protect data in a novel way.

In Summary

By following the above steps to making compliance training more engaging, you can help to ensure that the content is really absorbed in order to manage risk.

 

You’ll also help to make learning part of the culture within your organisation, leading to employees being happy to - even seeking - personal and professional development opportunities.

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I wanted to be a fiction writer when I was a child but became a marketing person after graduating from university. Instead of a slick person in a suit, I'm a beardy nerd in unironed t-shirts who like to creatively solve problem, analyse data and reach out to the right people.
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Gijs Daemen
Global Marketing Manager
Learning Ecosystems interview with Fiona Leteney
Opinion Piece
Fosway Group's Fiona Leteney on Learning Ecosystems

Fosway Group: "Focus On Your Learning Ecosystem"

Opinion piece by Fosway Group's Analyst Fiona Leteney
Fiona Leteney

Fiona Leteney

Fiona Leteney is the Senior Analyst for Learning Systems at Fosway Group, Europe’s #1 HR industry analyst. She has worked in the learning technology market since 2000, gaining a wealth of experience by either selling, implementing or managing learning solutions in a corporate context.

Terms such as LMS, NGLE and LXP are confusing for corporate buyers. The definitions aren’t clear and it’s hard to differentiate between the different types of technologies. That’s why in the February 2020 Learning Systems 9-Grid™, Fosway took the bold decision to reclassify Learning Systems as Suites and Specialists with the aim of more clearly and accurately defining the market. Organisations have always had a learning ecosystem of platforms and tools but the acceleration to digital-first ways of working and hybrid working require the ecosystem to be optimised to deliver impact and value.

 

This blog will explain the reasons why:

  • The new classification is more reflective of the current learning systems market
  • The ecosystem concept of combining suites and specialists is the way forward
  • The connectivity of the ecosystem and circulation of data is more important than ever before
Team talking about Learning Ecosystem

LMS & LXP labels no longer reflect the current learning systems market

Market perception is that the LMS represents traditional ‘tick-box’ compliance and ‘click-next’ content. A new label (LXP) encouraged the market to look to a fresh new future. However, over recent years the lines between the two types of system have blurred and those vendors who thought that formal learning and LMS functionality could be ignored were mistaken. This is true, particularly in the mid-market, where buyers can neither afford nor justify the purchase of more than one learning system. As the market now both accepts and adjusts to the Fosway classification of Suites and Specialists, some vendors have re-evaluated their target positioning and where they fit in the corporate ecosystem. Some specialists have prioritised innovation over backfilling core learning management functionality, often preferring to partner with other Suites instead. Suites have added LXP capability, whatever they perceive that to be.

The ecosystem concept of combining suites and specialists is the way forward

Learning technology has always been an ecosystem with many components, including the Learning Systems (LS), sources of HR data, virtual classrooms, authoring tools, learning content and other resources. Seamless integration has often been an issue, many corporates choosing not to tackle the problem, leaving them as separate, stand-alone technologies and making a single source of truth for data an unreachable goal. This is no longer a viable option even for learning at the mid-market level. However, even more integrations are required as an organisation gets larger, more complex and their core LS does not deliver the depth of functionality in specific areas. So, platforms with specialisms such as training resource management, curation, extended enterprise or programmatic learning might be added to the learning ecosystem.

 

However, the ecosystem is expanding beyond learning, connecting with the HR System(s) for the learner’s profile has always been a priority but now the lines are also blurring between communication, learning, performance and talent. It’s all about the data flow and the term we use to describe the ability to do this well is ‘Ecosystem-ness’. Vendors will rightly say that APIs solve this problem, but building integrations require integrators, i.e. developers and other experienced people to build and maintain them. In a complex company, that is expensive and non-trivial. In smaller companies it is impossible as they lack the resources and budgets to develop their own integrations. The more that Ecosystem-ness is of the out-of-the-box, the better off all buyers will be.

Business man doiang a training in the office

To deliver value & impact requires ecosystem connectivity and circulation of data

The ecosystem provides the opportunity to deliver a new level of learning impact. Take this scenario for example: an employee is recruited because of their existing skills which are noted, their learning through the onboarding process takes care of the gaps and time-to-value in the new role is measured. Successful performance is demonstrated and rewarded during the delivery of internal or external projects. Awareness of new opportunities for further development and upskilling are at the learner’s fingertips along with collaborative assignments or individual coaching. The manager has access to their team’s progress to ensure intervention is possible when necessary. The organisation can recognise the skills gaps across the whole organisation and initiate reskilling for competitive advantage and growth. Learning is at the centre of this and at every stage!

 

But none of this is possible in an effective efficient way without all the various HR, talent and learning system suites and specialists being integrated to ensure the data flows unimpeded. Which is why the ability for a vendor to demonstrate ecosystem-ness is crucial.

 

And if all this can take place behind the scenes, mostly hidden from view and the employee has access to everything wherever they are working on a day-to-day basis then we’ve cracked it!

 

Find out more about the Fosway 9-Grid™ for Learning Systems and read the full report here  and you can contact Fiona via @fionaleteney or @fosway on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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imc Express e-learning content for the Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games case study: imc Express e-learning content

Welcome to the third in our series exploring imc’s project with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. In this post, we will explore how the Commonwealth Games used the imc Express authoring tool to create their own eLearning content in-house.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games organising committee needed a lot of custom content to support their workforce of over 50,000 employees, contractors and volunteers. Ideally, this would be created in-house, meaning they needed an efficient, easy-to-use authoring tool to produce lots of eLearning content in a short period of time.

Why did the Commonwealth Games choose imc Express?

imc Express is an easy-to-use authoring tool that takes the hassle out of content creation. Learning teams can easily import text from Microsoft Word, add multimedia content, drag-and-drop images and build interactive learning activities to build engaging learning experiences. To support the most inclusive Commonwealth Games ever, video content is automatically subtitled, ensuring it’s accessible to the entire workforce.

 

On top of this, imc Express offers a range of pre-made and customisable design templates, along with didactic templates to help authors convey their content in a didactically meaningful way. Content is adaptive and responsive for all devices, ensuring it’s suitable for the Commonwealth Games’ large, diverse audience who may be accessing training from desktop computers, tablets or smartphones.

Tennis player top view

Creating content with imc Express

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games team has two imc Express ‘super users’ with the overall responsibility for managing the eLearning content creation process. These super users will set up the templates and send them out to each functional area in line with demand for new learning content.

 

The templated approach will empower more people to create learning content without needing extensive development or design experience, while also being able to create engaging and interactive eLearning content instead of a plain PDF.

Content straight from the in-house experts

 

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games only has the budget for a select few highly interactive modules to sit on their LMS, and with no dedicated in-house content provider, imc Express will make it much easier to spread the content creation workload across functional areas of the organisation, ensuring modules come straight from the experts for the best-quality training.

Football team is teaming up

Why Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games needs custom content

With 43 different functional areas (or departments), the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games needs to accommodate a wide range of learning requirements.

 

There are 279 different volunteer roles within these functional areas, covering everything from transport to media to medal ceremonies; much of which will be unique to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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How the Commonwealth Games is using custom eLearning content

This custom eLearning content will supplement the in-person training which takes place within the Commonwealth Games venues in Birmingham, ensuring volunteers can make the most of their face-to-face time. The modules created in imc Express will help volunteers know what to expect before their in-person training, giving them a useful overview of their roles and the tasks they can expect to perform.

 

Over 50 courses were created, in-house, in no time. Many static documents and plain text resources were transformed into engaging, interactive eLearning. This was made significantly easier by the fact that with imc Express, a single plain text input can be converted into multiple outputs, such as SCORM, web content or ebooks. This content was then imported directly from imc Express into the Learning Magagement System (LMS), reducing manual content upload.

 

Providing this content as soon as volunteers have their roles, ensures that they can start to prepare for the games immediately without having to wait for their face-to-face training. They will have access to photos, videos, maps and more created with imc Express by leaders in their functional area, ensuring they can turn up for their face-to-face sessions with a foundation of knowledge.

 

This primarily self-created approach will also allow the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games team to accommodate inevitable last-minute requests for learning content, as they can all be quickly created in-house using templates and the imc Express tool’s artificial intelligence to pull together accessible, attractive and engaging learning resources for thousands of volunteers, contractors and paid employees.

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Customer Case Study

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games case study: The solution

Welcome to the second in our series of posts exploring imc’s project with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. In this post, we will look at imc’s solution, including how the design tied into the Commonwealth Games organising committee’s unique requirements.

Following Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games’ public procurement process, imc’s proposed solution clearly came out on top. This was, in part, thanks to imc’s experience with other sporting organisations, such as Australia’s National Rugby League, along with their on-budget and on-brief solution.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games project kickoff

The project kickoff took place in November 2021, with the initial go-live planned for late February 2022 - a very tight timeframe for such a large-scale, complex LMS project, so efficient working practices were a must.

 

 

An inclusive learning platform

 

A key consideration for this project was that the Birmingham 2022 games will be the most inclusive Commonwealth Games to date, with more medals for women and a bigger para-sport programme than ever before. Birmingham is also a very diverse city in the UK’s West Midlands. This need for inclusion had to be reflected in the choice of learning platform. The LMS needed to be simple, accessible and suitable for use by a wide range of learners.

 

 

Building an LMS within time limitations

 

Additionally, it was vital that this programme remained within the planned scope. With such limited time, it was not an option to stray outside the initial plans, so the Commonwealth Games organising committee and imc agreed very early on that this LMS needed a very clear focus with no room for scope creep.

swimmer top view

Designing the programme

With so many volunteers and contractors involved in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, it was essential that the programme ran efficiently and didn’t take up more time than was absolutely necessary. The last thing the Commonwealth Games organising committee wanted was to ask a volunteer working four shifts to participate in a full week of training, so a smart design was extremely important.

 

All employees, contractors and volunteers involved with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games must attend four-hour face-to-face orientation sessions to help them familiarise themselves with the venues and procedures specific to each location. Therefore, a blended learning programme was quickly established as the best approach, with the LMS providing additional bitesize training and support while protecting limited face-to-face time.

 

 

Integration with a workforce management system

 

The Learning Management System (LMS), B-Bright, takes user data from workforce management system Rosterfy, the volunteer portal. For the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, this takes place through a simple data transfer service, but with more time to prepare for future games, these systems will be integrated. This is one of the advantages of a multi-games contract – lessons learned from this version can be directly implemented in future versions, instead of starting from scratch each time.

Soccer Team celebrating

Managing users

There are thousands of people involved in the Commonwealth Games, all of whom have different learning needs and roles to prepare for, across 43 functional areas and 279 different volunteer roles. The data transferred from Rosterfy to the LMS flags the type of user and automatically gives them access to the relevant training within the course catalogue.

 

This data also tells the LMS which functional area the learner works in, so they are also automatically enrolled into role-appropriate courses. This removes a huge amount of manual work for the organising committee, and ensures that the user management process is streamlined and efficient,

A future-proof solution

The LMS is built with multitenancy in mind. While this solution will be operational for the six months around the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the platform itself will be reused for future games.

 

User data for future games will be completely separate from the Birmingham 2022 users, meaning that unique designs and content can be applied to the LMS without affecting other host cities’ experiences.

Volleyball player

An agile approach

 

This solution has been designed with future games in mind right from the start of the process. While the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games requires a quick, on-brief solution, there will be much more time to automate more elements of the platform for future games. Owing to this agile approach, the larger scope of more complex learner journeys and close integration with other systems can be iteratively rolled out over time. Getting started with what is required now with built-in flexibility means that the solution will be ready to adapt to what is needed in the future.

 

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Women is doing an Online Compliance Training
Online Compliance Training

How to Implement Compliance Training Online

Here we look at how to implement compliance training online using a learning suite to automate repetitive tasks, track learner progress and ensure that refresher courses and recertifications are completed successfully.

By leveraging the latest learning technology, your organisation can stay compliant while saving valuable time and money, as well as engaging employees with the training process.

 

A modern ‘learning suite’ will comprise capabilities as both a learning management system (LMS) and a learning experience platform (LXP). When it comes to mandatory training to stay compliant with legal or industry regulations, the former is most relevant.

 

So below we look at 5 key capabilities you need in a good LMS for compliance training. We then offer 5 quick tips for making compliance training engaging, as well as effective.

Women on a sofa is working on her Compliance Training

Automate Compliance Training

The imc Learning Suite enables you to define target groups for training courses and book them automatically. Progress is continuously documented from the time of booking, and learners can be reminded by automatic messages to complete these courses within the required period.

 

An automated refresher training mechanism ensures that the course is repeated regularly, so that the employee always meets all compliance requirements. All status changes are stored throughout the entire process, ensuring that all compliance-relevant activities can be tracked and monitored across the board.

 

By using personal profile data, new employees can also be automatically trained according to requirements during the onboarding process. The imc Learning Suite also supports maintenance through necessary repeat training and recertification.

 

All compliance-relevant activities are supported by the system, from the nomination of target groups to the tracking of course progress and the so-called “chasing“, right through to the reporting of training measures.

 

Keep the above info block but remove ‘the’ to read just ‘Reduce susceptibility to errors’.

Assign Training

The training assignment process describes the formation of target groups for defined compliance requirements and the selection of training measures that must be carried out to meet the requirements.

 

The imc Learning Suite provides support by defining and selecting target groups via inclusion and exclusion rules. Assignment criteria can for example be courses, user attributes, course types, learning paths, skills, group assignments or job profiles. Target groups can be generated automatically via batch jobs that can be configured as desired or after a manual start.

Learner Tracking

The learner tracking process describes the continuous monitoring of the learning progress of training measures. So you can be sure that you meet the compliance requirements. The imc Learning Suite makes the current status of training measures traceable at any time and facilitates progress control via reports, automatic notifications, and the course progress display.

 

The current status of the training activities can be graphically displayed in the imc Learning Suite on a reporting dashboard. The reports can be configured individually and offer filter options so that those responsible are always informed about the status and possible need for action. On request, the reports can also be sent to the compliance officers on a regular basis or triggered by predefined events.

Women is happy about responsive Options of her Training

Chasing

For training measures that must be carried out due to legal or internal company compliance requirements, there is often a fixed timeframe for successful completion. If such deadlines are not met, this can lead to the employees not being able to perform tasks due to a lack of professional qualifications or not being entitled to perform them due to legal requirements.

 

To support the successful completion of such training measures, employees are not only informed about the status of their mandatory measures, but are explicitly requested to complete them within the defined period. In the compliance environment, the term “chasing“ has become established for this task. Compliance officers can not only easily create compliance training courses in the Learning Suite user interface, they can also assign validated content to users of predefined target groups.

 

With just a few clicks, graphically appealing and meaningful reports on compliance status can be activated. In addition to the monitoring and chasing options available via the user interface, the notification module of the imc Learning Suite can be used to define the time intervals at which the distribution groups are to be informed by email about the compliance status of employees.

Refresher Training & Recertification

The recertification workflow controls the fulfilment of compliance requirements for the respective target groups on the basis of a dynamically calculated due date. It also triggers recertification processes either manually or automatically at the optimum time.

 

The efficient design of the recertification process creates a high level of up-to-date information, relieves those responsible for compliance,  and reduces sources of error.

 

!! See an error in this sentence on the original PDF!!

5 Tips for Engaging Compliance Training

Know your target group

Even though compliance today affects almost all work areas and employees, a training course should always be tailored to the target group for which it is intended. Does the target group need in-depth knowledge about compliance, or is it enough to sensitise them?

Development

Focus on performance and outcome instead of mere information transfer

In every area of compliance there are a multitude of problems and rules. But not every possible scenario is equally relevant. Awareness of specific risk areas and possible measures are more important to the learners than knowledge of all conceivable compliance scenarios. The focus should therefore be on the cases that the target group can actually encounter or that have occurred in the past.

knowledge icon

Focus on behaviour change

Simply learning rules by heart causes rejection by many people and rarely fulfils the goal of compliance training. After all, the learners should behave according to the compliance rules and not be able to give a lecture on these rules. The focus of a compliance training course should therefore be on changing behaviour.

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Use authentic content with consequences

Examples and concrete cases where the learners can test their knowledge in an application-oriented way are preferable to knowledge queries. It is important that these examples can also be encountered by the target group in everyday work. The more concrete a case study is and the sooner it fits into the target group’s working life, the more interesting it is for the learners. This is the only way to show credible consequences that convey the relevance of the content to the learners.

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The format is crucial

Compliance as an often dry perceived topic must be brought to life. Even more than with other topics, an initially boring-looking compulsory training can become a learning experience by using scenario-based approaches and storytelling, gamification elements or interactive elements to bring more life into the training. In search of suitable content? Use our popular standard content or develop content perfectly tailored to your situation together with our content experts.

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I wanted to be a fiction writer when I was a child but became a marketing person after graduating from university. Instead of a slick person in a suit, I'm a beardy nerd in unironed t-shirts who like to creatively solve problem, analyse data and reach out to the right people.
Running will help me de-stress after a hard day's work, and I listen to rock music instead of jazz.
Gijs Daemen
Gijs Daemen
Global Marketing Manager
imc Commonwealth Games-
The perfect LMS for 2022 Commonwealth Games
Customer Case Study

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games case study: The challenge

Welcome to the first in our new series of posts exploring imc’s project with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. In this post, we will reveal the challenge faced by Birmingham 2022 Games, and what they needed from their new learning management system.

About the Commonwealth Games?

The Commonwealth Games bring nations together in a colourful celebration of sport, human performance and culture. Birmingham 2022 will see around 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories compete in 19 sports and eight para-sports. Much like the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games takes place every four years, moving cities for each event. As the biggest event ever to be held in the West Midlands, Birmingham 2022 is expected to attract more than one million spectators to the city and have a global TV audience of 1.5 billion.

sport fans celebrating in the arena

The training requirement

With each event comes a mammoth training requirement. With a workforce of over 50,000 volunteers, paid employees and contractors to rapidly upskill, Birmingham 2022 needed a learning management system (LMS) to streamline the training process for their diverse team.

 

To find a new LMS, Birmingham 2022 went through a public procurement process to find the right vendor. Birmingham 2022 has pledged to be the most sustainable yet, so sought a solution that could be reused across a multi-games contract, by Birmingham 2022 and future committees.

 

For Birmingham 2022, it was vital to ensure efficiency and value for money, so it was crucial that they chose the right LMS from the very beginning. The Commonwealth Games Federation’s vision was for better knowledge transfer between organising committees, with systems and contracts carrying over from one Game to the next to reuse as much as possible.

Plans for a blended learning programme

Birmingham 2022 knew that they wanted a truly blended learning programme, comprising eLearning, digital resources and live face-to-face training sessions. The addition of the online element was relatively new, and driven in part by the challenges posed by COVID-19. This would be in contrast with the very simple LMS used by the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, which was essentially used for ‘click next’ learning with no tracking or reporting.

 

The shift in focus to blended learning would enable Birmingham 2022’s training team to ensure that valuable time wasn’t taken out of face-to-face sessions to deliver soft skills training. This meant that workforce would receive their venue-specific training in person, while accessing role-specific and customer service-focused training online for more efficient learning.

Sport team are supporting each other

Designing for a large, diverse audience

An important part of this project would be the huge learner audience, of 35,000 contractors, 14,000 volunteers and 2,000 paid employees. Additionally, this would be a very diverse audience, comprising different ages and levels of technical ability, meaning the LMS needed to be extremely accessible and user friendly.

 

With so many volunteers and contractors, Birmingham 2022 needed to ensure that their event scheduling platform, Rosterfy, would communicate with their LMS. This ability to transfer data from Rosterfy to the LMS would save Birmingham 2022 a lot of time that would otherwise be spent on manual data entry.

 

Finally, the LMS would need to support multiple different user groups over the course of the contract, along with different branding and content, so the chosen LMS needed multitenancy functionality.

Following an extensive tender process, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games selected imc as their enterprise LMS vendor of choice. The project commenced in November 2021 – nine months before the start of the games. With this in mind, it was time to get to work on creating the perfect solution in a limited timeframe.

Join us for part 2 when we will take a look at the solution imc created for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games…

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Conversational Chatbot Learning

Learning with chatbots

Chatbots have advanced so far that it can sometimes be harder to distinguish between robots and humans. Learn more about how chatbots can be incorporated into corporate training to develop engaged employees.

Chatbots are being increasingly deployed as an important channel of contact. As a tech tool, along with phone and email, plus real human agents, they are becoming a vital point of contact for customers getting in touch with a company.

 

In addition, it has been used in e-learning content to create an interactive learning experience by using informal languages and creative GIFs. Effective conversational learning with real-time response is one of the advantages of chatbot learning.

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Connecting with the consumers using a chatbot

LivePerson’s Consumer Preferences for Conversational Commerce survey found two-thirds of consumers would like to message with brands. Again, this reflects a preference for consumers to do business with companies that answer questions immediately.

 

Australian consumers are among the highest levels of chatbot users worldwide. Consumers particularly in younger age brackets, are interested in the convenience and ease that chatbot interaction can offer, but they can still be sceptical of bots and prefer human interaction.

 

However, when developed effectively, chatbots are extremely valuable and can offer a very unique way to forge a connection and develop valuable insights

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Chatbots can become a robot teacher

Chatbot learning has evolved because we are now in an age where education has become more accessible than ever. We are constantly in pursuit of better, faster, and deeper ways to learn.

 

Adult learners are busy and rarely a priority to make time to learn, but utilising chatbot can change this tendency with spikes in productivity because of personable and knowledgeable training assistance.

 

Additionally, it can offer a welcome change to employees, with interactive training elements to engage them with high knowledge retention and put them in control of their own learning journeys.

What are the benefits of chatbot learning for organisations?

Some of the advantages of incorporating chatbot learning include:

  • Real-time analytics dashboards, these measure the most commonly asked questions, track active and engaged learners versus learners who are not engaged, view the interactions that happen during off-hours, and evaluate learners’ skill development.
  • They will encourage employees to be more productive and better placed to learn at their own pace when they need support.
  • They can push out personalised information to learners.
  • They can review and access all learner created questions and responses.
  • They reduce the workload of trainers.

How can chatbots be used in corporate e-learning?

Integrating chatbot learning into your Learning Management System (LMS) environment can provide your organisation with additional data about learners.

 

This will significantly contribute to the process of learning because learners are using an interactive mechanism as compared to traditional e-learning systems. Digital learning with chatbot offers more personalised and effective learning, by giving learners direct access and control to information and learning stored in the LMS.

Let’s Chat Compost

An example of a conversational learning chatbot approach developed by imc Australia was deployed in the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The chatbot complemented the Compost Facility Management Training by teaching learners some of the basics of the main concepts in the e-learning program, such as Odour, Pasteurisation, Contamination and the Composting Process. It was also operating as a driver to motivate participants to want to learn more by going on to complete the Compost Facility Management course.

 

imc Australia used engaging design (Chatbot framework) and a conversational learning approach to teach participants about technical concepts involved in composting, using an informal and fun approach to gain their interest and inspire them to complete further study on the subject. You can register on the EPA’s learning management system here.

EPA chatbot mockup

Chatbot learning utilises interactive elements

Moreover,  imc created a chatbot that uses more informal language and uses GIFs as well as emojis to make it a more interactive experience for learners.

 

We have implemented GIFs within our chatbot learning because they can make learning more vivid and entertaining.

 

Here are some of the benefits of using GIFs in e-learning:

  • They visually represent ideas and information in a few seconds
  • They are easier to follow than a series of still images
  • They usually run in a loop and are also perceived out of the corner of the eye
  • They are much easier to create than higher-end video content
  • They can play automatically on almost any system
  • They trigger emotions. The stronger the emotion, the better the memory

What do chatbots mean for your e-learning

Chatbot learning can make a more productive learning process. It offers a more personalised experience for employees and also makes learning and development departments more efficient.

 

So, if you want to provide on-the-ball support and real-time personalisation for your learners, make your initiatives more productive and efficient, then a chatbot might be right for your organisation.

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Training your external network
Make your external network integral part of your business strategy

Train your external network with a robust LMS and curated e-learning content

Never underestimate the power of your external partner network for your business success – and training them plays a pivotal part in enabling them to thrive

An organisation does not work in isolation. Its growth and success also depend on its network and on external relationships.
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Enabling the success of your external partner network is a crucial ingredient for your business success - it’s your job to support them in every way you can. Therefore, training plays a pivotal role in this. If your organisation trains its network of partners, you empower the people outside of your organisation to contribute to your business goals. Ultimately, it results in more trained resources, more efficient collaborative processes, and turns your partners into advocates who can become your most ardent supporters and sources of new business.

 

The LMS market in Australia

The Australian LMS market is a market that had significant potential, and was being underserved. This is because the cost of LMS deployment can be unnecessarily high and open-sourced solutions do not suit many corporate LMS needs.

 

When selecting an LMS in Australia, or anywhere, there are key requirements that must be met:

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It should have a simple and modern interface for users
Easy and accessible customer support
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The LMS should be secure, reliable and scalable

It is therefore important to implement a cloud-based LMS for external networks that is quick to set up. Moreover, it should also be user friendly and backed up by Australian support.

Your external networks may be wider than you think

You may ask: who are my external networks?

 

Here are a few examples of who you can empower to help grow your organisation through comprehensive e-learning training:

  • Partners
  • Customers
  • Resellers and franchisees
  • Dealerships
  • Members and volunteers
  • Friends and family
  • The general public

How can e-learning enable these audiences to grow your business?

Utilising your external network can be valuable in helping your organisation to achieve its goals in a variety of ways:

  • Investing in your external networks will improve their knowledge and skills. In return, they can use their improved skills to contribute better, quicker, cheaper, and more effective outcomes for your business.
  • If they are up-to-date with your developments and plans for the future, your external networks will align more closely with your organisational goals.
  • By training and certifying your external networks they will be more compliant and follow your processes and guidelines and meet your quality, security and safety standards.
  • Empowering and supporting your external audiences by training them will improve their skills and sense of engagement with your organisation.

By taking on board and implementing e-learning for your extended networks, you will grow your organisation as an extended Australian enterprise! imc Australia collaborates with our partner, Go1, to develop a case study to understand the benefits of this concept.

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Multi Tenancy LMS Solutions

A multi-tenancy LMS is a single learning management system instance that serves various learner groups with differing training needs.

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Gamified Learning Drives Learner Motivation

I just want to play!

Why gamified learning increases employee motivation

How can organisations incorporate gamified learning to build the skills of their employees? In our digital world, organisations are more likely to invest in e-learning but are often challenged by low completion rates. Therefore, content needs to be taught in a playful way! We checked with some experts how this can work especially in Australia.

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Our play instinct

When it comes to the concept of play, we usually think about the interactions of children. A child’s imagination is not the limit of play. This is demonstrated by the Latin term “homo ludens” which means “the people playing”. Our play instinct is very pronounced, regardless of how old we are. This is because games offer us a world of fun and creativity.  We mostly play in a digital context in the modern world, and institutions and companies alike can take advantage of this through gamified learning.

Usually, the younger the age bracket, the more games are played. According to a report entitled Digital Australia, 84% of Australians between the ages of 15-24 play video games of some kind. However, in the age bracket of 35-44, 76% of the population still actively play. The most common household device, by 2015, was the PC, closely followed by smartphones¹. Regardless of the device or how they are played, people are still clearly engaged by games. Often this level of engagement goes one step further, where players lapse into what is known as a “flow”. This is where you are intensely concentrating on a game whilst it becomes effortless at the same time.

A recent government study of Australian higher education students² found that only 46.6% of online students completed their qualifications. For face-to-face students, this is 76.6% by comparison. These statistics are problematic, because if learners fail to gain knowledge, then both time and money are wasted. It is vital that we present e-learning content in a playful way.

 

Gamification learning

It’s time to get serious

Serious games are a form of gamified learning that offer serious added value”. This means that they have other intentions other than just being entertaining. Examples of this includes advertising and marketing games.  

Another sub-category of serious games is digital education games and gamified learning. Their primary focus is to impart knowledge. There are three types of serious games, these are:

 

Drill and practice games

The classic knowledge building games apps develop to build vocabulary or mathematic skills.

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Quiz games

The BizQuiz app from imc is an example in which employees and entire teams can take part in engaging quizzes.

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Point and click adventure games

Roleplaying games with enriched content and an exciting narrative.

The "City of Goods"

imc created a point and click adventure game for our customer Linde Materials Handling, called the “City of Goods”. In this game, learners are placed in a 3D distribution warehouse. Players need to recognise areas in this virtual world where warehouse process can be optimised and note them down. Players are intended to understand the entire workflow of the warehouse by the end of the game.
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Learning through experience

Another category of e-learning often used are simulation games. They usually create a simplified version of reality to educate people about real-world practical scenarios from the comfort of their desk. 
Simulation games are often applied in medical education, to demonstrate how diagnoses or operations should be practiced. Flight simulators are another example of these, which budding pilots are trained with.

The psychological benefit of gamified learning

According to meta-studies by Vogel et al.³, people’s motivation, behaviours and/or attitudes are altered by gamified learning. Users can build their cognitive, meta-cognitive and motor skills through in-game actions.
Motivation can be defined as either:
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Intrinsic

(where our inner needs are met, such as the desire for social exchange or to master our skills), or
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Extrinsic

(an incentive that drives the desire for social recognition or rewards).

Gamification is embedded in our everyday life. This can be through motivational tactics such as benchmarking (calorie or step counters) and nudging (such as point systems).

 

In summary, your employees are more likely to be motivated through gamified learning, when it is applied playfully.

 

 

Educational games can help reduce dropout rates and help employees build their skills in the workplace. Therefore: Game on!

This blog article is an extract from an article written by Sven R. Becker (A board member of imc AG) and Stephan Urbanski (Senior Instructional Designer at imc AG).

The original article was published in the I+MIO e-magazine (Available in German only).

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