Capabilities

Why Everything I Believed About eLearning is Wrong.

Part 2:

I stared at the number: 28%.

28% has long been established as a standard, an ever-present challenge to developers of traditional elearning programs. That’s the percentage of material that you can expect your learners to retain two weeks after your elearning program. Some refer to it as “the problem of forgetting.”

There’s a reason why I’m waxing philosophical about numbers and percentages. It’s because my world has been rocked.

What if I told you that I have uncovered a proven solution that is consistently delivering retention levels of 95%?

That’s right. 95%.

I will tell you what I said when I first learned about it: “I have dedicated my professional life to staying abreast of learning innovations. If this were true, I would already know about it!”

But that’s when things start to unravel a bit. Because, I hadn’t ever before focused on the “hidden truths” that I outlined in my previous blog entry. And without knowledge of those paradigm-shifting learning insights, how would I know that I needed to search for a better way? I wouldn’t, and I didn’t.

Until now, when I was faced with the two numbers. 28%. And 95%.

It seems that, in fact, a little-known company based in California, run by a PhD whose expertise is in the Neurobiology of Learning, is transforming Public Education in California by routinely delivering these results to his students.

“Ahh, well that explains it,” I mused, “because high school students aren’t the same as adult learners. Even if he has delivered these results they wouldn’t apply to what we do.”

But then I was presented with a third-party analysis demonstrating that surgeons prepping for board certification showed a 300% improvement with less study time than a control group made up of their peers.

I was hooked. I had to know how they do it.

Turns out, these secrets are not out of reach. They’re all hidden, right there in plain view, within the learning insights I described in the first part of this blog post.

Think of the solution as your very own “personal trainer,” whose job it is to isolate your weaknesses, and develop an exercise program just for you. The only difference is that in this case, instead of building muscle, you build connections in your brain.

Specifically, the fastest path to building those connections is an “exercise plan” that prioritizes exercises based on learner need, optimally spaces study sessions over time, and utilizes open-ended questions that the learner self-evaluates.

That’s the secret. That’s what you have to do to increase retention from 28% to 95%.

Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

Here’s the challenge: in the corporate environment, efficiency and scale dictate that these personalized learning plans are all but impractical. I’ve spent much of my career delivering learning solutions to hundreds or thousands of students at a time.

That’s why I’m so excited about a new solution that I am extending now to my client partners in some of the world’s most influential organizations.  It’s a digital personal trainer that utilizes an algorithm that borders on artificial intelligence to deliver custom study sessions. And it exists.

I’m a believer, and I’ve got a story to tell. And I’d love to share it with you.

Look at the long-term retention rates of your elearning interventions. Then, don’t get depressed. Instead, give me a call. I’ve got some ideas that can lead your people to the 95% winner’s circle.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Can an eSimulation be Better than a Live Action Role-Play?

Introducing PeopleSIM™

This immersive eSimulation challenges experienced and high potential leaders to apply coaching concepts in realistic settings while receiving immediate and continuous feedback.

How can an eSimulation come this close to delivering real coaching?

  • A voice-activated human interface delivers real-time interactions
  • Combines emotional-state rules & probabilities
  • The character’s mood will change based on their questions
  • Simulated characters “remember” the user’s questions and statements
  • Each statement the learner makes has an effect on the character’s emotional state
  • Negative statements may cause the character to become sad or angry
  • Positive statements can make the character warmer and more approachable


No other training solution on the market even comes close to delivering the realism!

Join us for a Free Webinar! May 9th @ 1:30 EST

During the info session and demonstration, you’ll get an exclusive sneak peek at PeopleSIM™: Performance Coaching and get to see first-hand how this revolutionary new program will change the way you groom your next generation of High-Potential Leaders!

 

 

If you are unable to participate in one of our upcoming public webinars, contact us today to schedule a private demonstration for your company.

We’re Not Trying to Diss on That Nice Bullet-Point Memo You Wrote, But…

Did you see my two previous blog posts? I wrote about the opportunity for greater linkage between communications and learning solutions; and then explored how narrative and metaphor have the unique ability to engage readers in a way that is highly participative.

Now let’s see if we can tie it all together.

At Blueline Simulations, we have developed a communication and learning tool that we call a Journey Map. It has proven to be a powerful device for:

  • Providing an easy-to-grasp overview of robust and complex messages.
  • Creating an involving narrative around organizational issues that allows readers to instantly see their role in the message.
  • Engaging readers at both a rational and an emotional level – so they don’t just understand the message urgency but feel it.

Here’s how it works. A Journey Map is a small graphic that is rich in both quantitative and metaphorical/narrative data. With dimensions of 11 x 17 (a standard “tabloid” sized page), the document is meant for “individual consumption” and not to be confused with our “Blueline Blueprint” learning technology.

The power of the Journey Map is not so much that it is “visual” (although that certainly grabs attention.) More importantly, it is “narrative”“ which means that it allows readers to connect not only with individual messages, but to better understand those messages in a context of how they relate to one another. These narrative-driven messages are “stickier” than those items in your bullet-point memo, leading to greater comprehension and retention. (Although I’m sure your memo is really good.)

The Onboarding Process as Narrative Journey

For example, one of our client partners worked with Blueline to rebuild its new-employee onboarding process. Of course, what is onboarding but one grand story? It’s a story about possibility, change, the aspirations of the new hire, and the vision that the new hire and the organization both share. Whew. That’s a lot of “tell”. And when you try to communicate all of that aspiration in a series of bullet points, you can hear all of the air going out of the balloon.

Part of our solution was to create a journey map graphic that depicted all of these messages in a single narrative, built around images and data. Suddenly the messages all clicked together: New hires were able to “find themselves” in the journey visual, while organizational leaders placed their progress in the context of a broader goal. This solution (along with our learning approach) has helped to create a best-in-class onboarding solution that is now regarded as one of the best in the country.

Organizational Change; Career Progression; Mentoring Structures; and More

Similarly, another of our client partners  – a global pharmaceutical company – was introducing a culture change with dramatic implications for how associates interacted with customers. By presenting the change in narrative format, associates were invited to reflect on their own role within the initiative, and recognize how their goals were in fact aligned with the goals of the organization. (This stands is stark contrast to the “defensive” response that leaders were expecting!)

In fact, our many case studies sound very much the same. Our client partners have brought us organizational challenges deep in complexity;¦and time and again have been astounded by how those complex messages can be rendered with clarity and emotional engagement in a simple graphical approach.

Of course, we’ve got more tricks up our sleeve. Give us a call today. We’ll give you a closer look at our Journey Map solutions. We’ve also got some ideas for couching your message in a narrative context for other communications, including:

  • Employee handbooks
  • Investor communications
  • Change, vision, and culture messages
  • Organizational identity (including onboarding audiences)

But enough about us. We want to hear your story. Contact us, and let’s explore some ways to bring it to life.

 

How “Fly Swatter Phonics” Can Help Solve Your Next Training Challenge! Part Two.

Last week, we started exploring the connection between having fun and actually learning…something my 4-year old grandson does by “swatting flies” as he’s learning to read. A key takeaway from that discussion was to keep your training content relevant and manageable. Otherwise, there’s a good chance the “fun-o-meter” will register pretty low. This week, we’re picking up there.

We often hear clients say something like this: “We rolled out training, but we can’t keep people’s attention. They aren’t engaged. What can you suggest?” Remember the client from last week? The one with the bazillion PowerPoint slides? What we discovered was their training wasn’t connected to people’s everyday work in a real, practical and believable way.

Our suggestion was to rebuild the training to simulate the learner’s real world. We felt it was critical to give people a chance to immediately apply what they were learning in meaningful ways and get immediate feedback at the same time. I’m happy to report that the client loved the idea, we built it, and it was a huge success! People remained engaged the entire time as they practiced “fly swatting” the way they would be doing on the job. The takeaway? If you want to make training fun, engage the learner through realistic practice!

In “Fly Swatter Phonics” the game mechanics were pretty simple. There was a fly swatter, some 3” x 5” cards, a blackboard and a few rules. But it wasn’t the game itself that made the learning fun. It was the fact that my grandson was actively involved in the learning. He wasn’t just a bystander. He was doing something. He was participating. He was making decisions. He was competing, appropriately, with his peers. He was responsible for earning his rewards or watching others earn theirs. These are the things that made it fun. (A fly swatter without purpose is just another fly swatter!)

When our client handed over all of those PowerPoint slides, we knew immediately that we had to find a way to make participants active learners rather than passive ones. We did that through the simulation. We also did it through a self-directed learning visual where, with minimal facilitation, teams navigated themselves through a collection of activities, team discussions, applications and mini-challenges.

Here’s what ‘our client of many slides’ had to say about their new program: “CONGRATULATIONS! The new training was amazing! What an improvement over the old method. Thank you on behalf of all involved. I would be very surprised if there was one person in the room who did not gain from the two days.” The takeaway? If you want to make training fun, involve the learner in the learning!

We at Blueline Simulations believe there’s no good reason—and no good way—for effective learning to be boring or passive. Let us help you swat your biggest training challenges!