How to Create Personalized E-Learning



all right it is officially the top of the hour so we are gonna go ahead and get started so welcome everyone to our free webinar this week on e-learning personalization this is a cool topic I've talked about this for a couple years now and it was interesting as I was preparing for today's webinar this past week I was looking back at my my previous presentation that I had originally given on this topic at a different event back in 2014 and I was really shocked to see how much has really changed in this in this area within within our industry which is eLearning you know back in 2014 it wasn't something you heard a lot about there wasn't you know real well-defined theory if you will and personalized e-learning and now when you Google personalized elearning you get a lot of different results there's a lot more out there than there used to be which is great because it's something that has piqued people's interests if you will and so I've added some additional content to to take advantage of that because it's changed a lot over the past couple years so the first question I want to answer is you know what is personalized or what is e-learning personalization and and when I first gave this presentation a couple years ago and I googled e-learning personalization there was nothing nothing came up there was no formal definition nowadays you know like I said you can go out there and search and and now there's you know several different articles blog posts and and stuff out there that people have kind of collectively defined what is elearning personalization but a couple years ago there wasn't one so I came up with one for myself a couple years ago and this is this is what it is you know elearning personalization involves the use of technology to tailor the presentation of content to match the preferences or needs more importantly the needs of a specific user and and this is something that I think for our industry specifically e-learning personalization or personalized our learning content to a specific individual or specific group of individuals is something that's still very much in its infancy I think it's going to be something that over the next couple of years we're going to identify as being a much more important feature of good learning design good in learning design you know whenever we think about classroom training we're always trying to cater to the needs of the individual as well as the group but with with eLearning it's always been a bit more of a challenge because not only are you not able to be in the same room as your learners most likely but also you're delivering your content to many many many more learners than you would say in a classroom of 15 20 30 people with elearning you're delivering it to hundreds if not thousands of people and those thousands of people have different needs and there are different ages and different cultures and different preferences and different learning requirements and so personalizing that content becomes a greater challenge the great news is though is that the technology that allows us to personalize content is getting better every single day and so eventually I think it's going to become something that's going to be not only easier to do it's going to be something that well why wouldn't you do it otherwise it's going to be a standard practice within elearning development is personalizing it to the individual and the truth about personalization I always whenever I talk about anything regarding e-learning I always like to put it in context with other things in the real world outside of e-learning and the truth is personalization is everywhere when you think about the way things get personalized to you as an individual or to you as a consumer personalization is literally everywhere and personalization really started with two things it started with technology and with marketing you see personalization being used more and more every single day with technology and with marketing and how you how people how companies market products to you or specific offers you know for example here here's a image of a website and you see now I should have pointed it out it should have drawn some draw something on-screen but you can see there's some text in the middle of the screen it says Jack you know are these the boots you wanted you know you see it uses people's names and you see that now in a lot of different websites where the marketing is geared towards you by using and your name or an individual's name to really you know if you will grab your attention you also see it now in the products that we buy you know obviously the personalization here for example choosing the color of your phone or the color of your Apple watch or smart device you have a lot more options than you used to have in order to personalize that experience for you and it goes beyond just the physical object it goes into the software as well I mean there was a time with iPhones and with all smart devices where you know when you would go to your menu the the home screen of your phone the layout of the apps was in a fixed layout and the order was determined by somebody as the best layout and and that's just not the case anymore we can personalize almost every single aspect of the phone and the interface to meet our needs and we can personalize not only things like the background image but also the way the apps were laid out and what apps notify you and what apps don't notify you and when they can notify you the personalization the options that you are given go really really deep into the experience of that product and again that's getting more and more powerful every day and it's starting to become to the point where that personalization is becoming automated by these devices I mean I nowadays you know in ways that make no sense to me whatsoever if I get into my car somehow somehow my phone knows when I'm entering my car and it'll tell me how many minutes I am away from home without me doing anything it just shows it to me on my home screen or it can it can notify me when I arrive to a certain area that I go to on a frequent basis that personalization that automated experience is becoming more and more integrated every single day you also see it like I said in marketing you know I we've all experienced this where you get a dedicated email or you see an ad and yeah I apologize I'm not going to try and pronounce your name but I'll call you Vee if that works V in chat you know technology is watching us and it absolutely is watching us it really really is watching us and I also think it's listening to us as well which I'll talk about in a moment but you know you get these ads that these products are recommended for me for you and this ad would look different depending on what consumer it was sent to because it's based off your purchasing history I used to work several years I worked in retail at Kohl's department stores and I can tell you you know those reward programs that you sign up for you know they're less about the rewards and more about the retailer being able to track what you purchase so that they can market specifically to you and they have algorithms that track you and obviously there's no single individual tracking you but they have algorithms that track your purchasing behaviors and they send you specific marketing based off that even you know for those of you who are big cool shoppers when I used to work at Kohl's and yeah it's data mining yeah absolutely for those of you rakul shoppers you know I think Cole's still does this where they send out those coupons that ten or fifteen twenty thirty percent off you know those aren't randomized it's based off of how frequently you use your Cole's credit card and and there is an algorithm that if you haven't used your Cole's credit card after so much time you'll get a bigger coupon in the mail because they want you to come back and so what a little strategy that I do is if I really want that 30% off coupon I won't use my Cole's credit card for quite a while and I'll magically get that 30% coupon because that's how it works that's how to make personalized to me individually as a consumer also going out with these topic technology is watching us I also think it's listening to us you know I can't tell you this has happened to me more times than I am comfortable with I think there was something to this I can't tell you how many times I've been out with friends or something and I will say I don't know a keyword I'll mention the word Nike and and sometimes it's minutes or hours I will get just a random email offering me Nike products it's really bizarre I don't know if there's any truth to that I know our technology can listen to us but you have to wonder I've also seen marketing that's personalized based off your location so there's some marketing that if you enter a specific area near a store then that can trigger marketing being sent to you which is really quite remarkable here's another image I like to always like to show this image if you've never seen it before the reason why I show this image is because I think it really explained if you will the way technology is enabling this personalization this image was taken in 2005 which relatively doesn't seem like that long ago 2005 seems like it was yesterday but actually it was 11 years ago almost 12 years ago which is crazy and this was taken during it was at the Vatican in 2005 now I want you to notice what I want to point out to you is I want you to notice that phone there was one phone you can only see one phone in this entire image now in comparison of course I always have to put you know of course you have the crazy lady here wondering why you're on your phone which nobody would ever ask nowadays and the reason why that is is this is the same event in 2013 and you can notice just the difference I mean if we do a comparison from 2005 to 2013 the technology is is getting so advanced that we all have a personal computer in our pocket and that personal computer knows so much about us it knows so much about our likes and dislikes and our habits that this personalization is being enabled by the technology that we all now have and I think this image is comparison between 2005 and 2013 really exemplifies what has changed in just a short amount of time and nowadays it's gone beyond just having everyone having a phone we all now have a SmartWatch or some other smart device honor that's collecting additional data about us every single day so the next thing I want to answer is well why does personalization matter and and not only doesn't matter I want to talk less about now how does it matter and the bigger sense of the world I want talk more about how does it matter to learning and how do we get back to learning with personalization personalization matters for a few reasons and I think it's kind of like with gamification is people look at these things these buzzwords like gamification or personalization and we're still in this realm if you will as an industry where these are nice to have things it's something where we will incorporate personalization or gamification if we have time or we have the budget or whatever that might be or if the content qualifies for these types of things but I think there's a few key specific reasons what personalization does matter and and these may be our excuses or reasons that we should be using them in our learning content the first one is interaction I think personalization as you'll see here in a moment when I show you some examples a personalization just provides you one additional opportunity for interactivity to get the user clicking in your course and doing something we're not to a point yet in our industry I don't think where we can automate the personalization it still requires the user to input how they'd like to personalize the course which I'll show you in a moment but it is an opportunity for the user to interact with the course and and and enable them to make the course feel personalized for them the other reason is engagement there is something really special and magical when you interact with something and it feels unique to you when you feel like that thing that you're interacting with whether it's an app or an e-learning course or a webpage or a marketing campaign when it feels unique to you that's magical and it makes you engaged with it it makes you want to go hey what other things is this thing going to show me that's just for me and nobody else and so it increases engagement and of course when engagement is increased it increases retention I'm going to remember something that felt like a unique experience to me more than I would remember or better than I would remember something that felt generic that everybody else also experienced I can remember that unique experience even if it's just the perception of it being unique even if it really isn't unique it's just the perception of it will increase engagement and retention so what I'm gonna do now is rather than showing you more slides I'd like to actually show you some actual examples of personalization and how you can incorporate personalization into your content and I'm gonna show examples that are really really simple examples of personalization and also way more intricate examples of personalization I will say all of my examples I built using storyline I know many of you I would assume the majority of you are probably story line users but many of these things if you're captivate users much of this can also be done in captivate or even in products like articulate studio or lectura so I try to keep it tools agnostic if you will but but if you are curious many of my examples are built in storyline so let me stop sharing my station give me one moment and I'm gonna start sharing my screen all right and then can somebody verify you can't see my screen you should see a course as preventing identity theft of you somebody could just type in chat perfect thank you guys so much all right so like I said I'm going to show you some examples that are really really simple and some that are more complex you know I think the simplest method of personalization that that you could incorporate into a courses right now and not spend too much time or effort is simply allowing the user to input their name one of the things you can do in storyline captivate and I believe even like Torah is you have the ability to let the user enter their name and you can use that information throughout the course in different ways so here's a sample course on preventing identity theft and the first thing to learn or experience is is this this slide here where it asks them to enter their first and last name so I can type in Tim and my last name is Slade and when I input that into the course storyline or whatever program you're using is remembering that information in the background and I can use it in different ways for example it says hey welcome to him in this course you'll learn oops I don't know why it's progressing like that it must be Otto progressing I apologize for that but you can see it uses my name and then also there was it's kind of glitching on me here but there was also a screen with a social security card where if we were talking about information privacy and using your driver's license or ID you can take that name and display it there or you can slay it throughout the course here's another example on this slide maybe we created a completion certificate and we wanted to show their name you can use that information throughout the course to give the learner a sense of personalization and my other examples also include the name so this one was being odd for me so I apologize for that another example of personalization maybe doesn't involve the user entering their name maybe it involves simply personalizing the course experience or being able to personalize in a way the choices the learner makes for example in this example this one's called planning healthy meals and if we were if I were really doing a course on how do you plan a healthy meal I could just present the information to the learner about you know how many calories should you consume each day and what's too many or too little but what if what if you encouraged the learner to learn about that by personalizing a meal themselves so it says you know plan a healthy meal by dragging your meal choices and clicking submit so here we have some you know different food options and I could you know say okay I'm gonna eat a hamburger a doughnut and whatever this thing is and if I hit submit you know it shows me up my meal is you know twelve hundred calories that's way too much so I can try again and maybe I'll do a healthier meal maybe I'll do these items and I can see you know okay I planned a healthy meal so not as not only is it a very very simple form of personalization where I'm getting to explore uh the different meal choices by personalizing a meal myself but I'm also learning about you know consequences of planning a bad meal or what's what's a good meal versus just having this presented to me so that's personalizing the content a little bit another example of this here's an example of a course this one's dated this one was created right when storyline came out and we built this as as a quick demonstration to show you what you can do with variables in text century fields but in this one this one's kind of a performance support course where it's asking the learner to evaluate whether or not they're busy or not to evaluate their time management and this course is completely interactive in terms of how it displays the content so it asks you a series of questions at the beginning so ask you well how many hours per week do you work well let's just go with the standard 40 hours let's say we work 40 hours okay and it has this little dashboard here on the side so it says okay I'm working 40 hours a week and now it asks well how many hours will you spend in meetings and other appointments so I can go through here and enter okay I have my Monday meeting I have some commitments here I have a doctor's appointment here and Wednesday I have something else on Thursday and I can put in my numbers here I will say you know we have six hours of commitments on Monday maybe two hours on Tuesday four hours on Wednesday we'll do three on Thursday and then two on Friday okay and so it calculates I have 17 hours worth of commitments during my week all right so we'll keep going then it asks well how many hours of work are on your task list because commitments and things that we have on our to-do list are typically two different things right so we know we got to do you know we got a prep for the meeting right we have to do our audit paperwork and I'll just enter in a bunch of other gibberish you know different tasks and maybe we'll put in some hours of prepping for the meetings maybe one hour a lot of paperwork sandy four hours three hours here four hours five hours there and two hours there of tasklist items calculated okay so we have 15 hours on our task list so when we continue on so what it does is it takes that information and it essentially analyzes it for you so it says if you're working 40 hours per week you'll be spending 17 hours and meetings and other commitments believes you 23 hours to do other work and we call that desk time meaning that's time you'll be at work but not away from your computer and so we have 15 hours of work on your test list when we aren't finished yet though because just because 23 hours at your desk it doesn't mean that you get to use all of that for you and why is that well that's because chaos you know things rarely ever go as we plan it to and what this comes down to is your control factor and so here we get to personalize the course even further by indicating how much control do we actually have in our day so it says what's your control factor how much control versus chaos do you have so you might be a really high-level manager where you have a lot of control in your day or you may not have a lot of control and it changes this a little multiplier to say well we have medium to low control once let's do that so then we can go through here so it says if you have medium-low control you can expect to keep maybe 40% of your desk time to things that you want to work on and that means if you have 23 hours at this time you can expect to use about 9.2 hours of that task on your list and we call that task time says your task list is 15 hours and that means you have a difference of negative 0.58 hours so it's not likely you'll finish everything on your to-do list and so again it's just it's helping me realize through the personalized content about how much time I actually have in my day and so it's a really great example of taking that learning content about time management and helping the learner or allowing the learner to enter in their own time to see what that's going to look like obviously this is an example that's way more intricate in terms of everything you'd have to do with variables and triggers and on the backend but the experience that I have as a learner is going to feel much richer knowing that I put in my own information rather than you know just a generic example of somebody's task list and work time is being presented to me that's a really great example here's another example this is when I created a couple years ago on how to cook a turkey which is just totally random example but the way that I let the learner personalize this is similar to the previous example where in this in this course the learner has to learn about how to select prepare and roast a turkey right so in in learning how to select a turkey one of the things that you have to do is know how many people how much people do you need to feed right and again this course could have presented as example of say hey let's say you have 10 people attending your Thanksgiving this is how much you need to cook but rather than that we're going to personalize that content in this example where the learner has a calculator where they can enter in okay well we're gonna have seven adults and maybe four children attend the Thanksgiving I can indicate whether I'm a big eater or we're light eaters let's say we're big eaters and I can calculate this and they'll say hey you need 20 pounds of Turkey it's calculating that in the background based off of whatever numbers I told how to calculate it and the learner can play with this they can say okay well maybe we have 15 people attending and nine kids and we're light eaters you know maybe we need 24 pounds of Turkey so that's an example where it might be personalized where the learner enters in their example the other one that I'll show you here is same thing as roasting learning about roasting a turkey depends on the size of your turkey so rather than just presenting an example to the learner what if they you know indicated how big their turkey is and it presented it to them and then a question is is this custom program or it can be used directly with storylines so great question this example was 100% done let me go back to the selecting this little calculator if you will was done completely with the features built in the storyline I did not use any custom programming no JavaScript no nothing it's just variables and triggers making that happen now I build this a couple years ago and I would have to thoroughly refresh myself on at Racal actual variables and triggers being used but I can tell you that you there is some math happening where we have two variables for adults and kids and then there's some multiplier that depending on what the user enters in here it multiplies it by this number and then it does the calculation so it's just variables and triggers obviously a little bit more advanced but but it's it's just built in storyline features making that happen it's a great question on that here's another great example of personalization going back to the user being able to enter then their name which wasn't working before but here's this example where we have a trivia style or gamification styled quiz here and and one of the things I mentioned before I show this is I think gamification and personalization I'll both share a really similar space and in the sense that you know I think personalization might be one way to gamify your course or vice versa in this example the user can personalize it by selecting avatar so then you choose one of these avatars obviously if this were a real course we would have you know a more diverse set of avatars and then of course I can enter my name so maybe the name is Mary right and if we go in here you can see here it's personalized by showing the learner their avatar there's nothing more above and beyond that and just the the action of doing that of showing the learner that avatar they selected and entering their name it's it feels special outside above obviously all the cool graphics and the user being able to earn the badge and do all that good stuff the act of simply personalizing that name and that character makes it feel special so in this example I'll just show you the gamification part of this the gamification part of this is just a simple multiple-choice question here I'll just go through and answer these all correctly and if the learner gets a correct they earn a simple little badge the badge is not personalized I don't consider that personalization that's more gamification but the the personalization of the character and the name combined with that makes this to be much more exciting than it would be otherwise the last example I'll show you is kind of like this trifecta of personalization not only can we personalize the character in the name but the learner can also personalize the content that they see so this is of course that many of you is probably seen on call center training or dealing with angry customers and so the first thing the learner sees here is they have to enter their name so let's say my name is Robert Robert I can also select an avatar so maybe it will select this guy here and another way I can personalize this is with the content which is also a really great way to personalize content or personalize your e-learning courses is giving the learner the option of what kind of content they need to view and you can do this in a couple of different ways you can give them a series of different scenarios maybe they need to view all three but maybe you give them the choice of what they view at that moment you can also personalize it based off their role so what if this wasn't pick a scenario but select your role let's say you're a manager versus an employee you can have them choose that and change or the content based off of that in this example the learner has to choose the scenario so we'll say we'll do a billing question here and we get this nice little dashboard it says hey your new call center employee your name is Robert okay there's the personalization here's our avatar and let's go into the scenario now what's cool about this is this character changes based up with the learner selects and you can also see it's using the name in the dialogue it says hi Robert I just got my bill and there's a $50 service fee so that personalization is being used deeply throughout the course and for those of you who are curious again no special programming here this is just done with simple triggers and storyline and different states for the characters and you can actually download this example from the e-learning and covered website there's a blog post on gamification if you go to the blog into a search gamification there is a blog post that has this example where you can download it and so the learner can go through this scenario and I will you know I will consider this personalization in the sense outside of the character and the name the learner can also choose what how they want to answer to the customer which also personalizes the response though the customer gives us so if you really make the customer mad eventually she gets so angry that she will cancel her service I'll just keep selecting the wrong answers and we get to the end and she's just ready to cancel her service there's something really great about that that allows the learner to learn from their mistakes now of course the learner can go back and do it again and they can go down the correct path if they wanted to but but being able to personalize the response to see how the learner responds are the character responsive customer response also increases engagement and also allows the learner to see cause-and-effect if you will so personalization is something that you know you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want it to be if you wanted to do something as simply allowing the learner to enter their name or select an avatar those things are pretty simple but you can also personalize the content in more complicated ways by making things highly intricate with the branching or with you know doing the calculator just like this so we're finishing a little early that that is the presentation so thank you all for coming I will I'll stick around if anyone has any hey did you like that video make sure to check out some of our other great content at elearning uncovered calm

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