5 Sources Instructional Designers Can Use To Acquire Big Data In eLearning

5 Sources Instructional Designers Can Use To Acquire Big Data In eLearning
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Summary: Big Data seems to be one of the biggest buzz words in recent history. But there's a reason why everyone is talking about this valuable resource of information. In this article, I’ll share 5 sources that Instructional Designers can use to acquire Big Data in eLearning.

How To Acquire Big Data In eLearning: 5 Sources Instructional Designers Can Check

Big Data in eLearning is a collection of insights, eLearning feedback, and analytics that reveal a great deal about your online learners. It also gives you the power to gauge the effectiveness of your eLearning course and pinpoint areas for improvement, thereby boosting your eLearning ROI. Many eLearning professionals already know about the benefits Big Data can bring, but learning how to acquire it is an entirely different story. This article is going to shed some light on the data mining process. Here are 5 top sources of Big Data in eLearning that you can tap into.

1. LMS User Tracking

Many Learning Management Systems are now equipped with detailed analytics and reporting capabilities. These LMS platforms reveal a great deal about how your online learners are progressing and the effectiveness of your eLearning course design. They can even tell you how often the online learners are visiting the eLearning course, how long they are taking to complete each eLearning module or activity, as well as the delivery methods they prefer. To get the Big Data you're looking for, it's important to research the top LMS platforms, paying careful attention to the reporting features. While some only cover the basics, others offer in-depth reports that are available in a wide range of formats. For example, advanced LMSs may tell you how many times an online learner shared eLearning content via social media and send the reports directly to your email inbox.

2. eLearning Assessment Results

eLearning assessment results are a more specific form of Big Data. How well your online learners perform on their exams and how long it takes them to complete an online assessment can shed light on their overall progress. It can also draw your attention to the strengths and weaknesses of your eLearning course design. For example, if one online learner struggles with a particular section of your online exam, you may need to offer them additional support. However, if all of your online learners have trouble with that same section, you may want to take a closer look at your eLearning strategy. To get accurate results you should set specific goals before creating your eLearning assessments. Ideally, you'll want to focus on a few key topics or ideas and divide your online tests into sections. For instance, questions 1 through 5 might pertain to the first lesson, while 6 through 10 assess their understanding of the second module. This gives you a clear idea of which aspects of your eLearning course design are working and which need to be fine-tuned.

3. Social Media Activity

Online learners' social media activity is a treasure trove of Big Data. It tells you how often your followers are sharing your posts, how many people are clicking on your links, and the percentage of followers who are taking part in the online discussions. For example, if half of your online learners retweet a Twitter post about building soft skills, then you may want to think about creating more soft skill-based content for your eLearning course. Likewise, if one of your posts gets very little response or activity, then you know that it's probably not worth sharing a second time. Social media analytics can also help you identify which social media platforms are most effective. For instance, you may discover that Facebook and Twitter are much more active, while your Instagram page isn't gathering much attention. Then you are able to focus on the social media sites that are worth the time and effort.

4. Surveys, Focus Groups, and Polls

eLearning feedback tools are powerful sources of Big Data, due to the fact that they allow you target the information you're gathering. You can customize every question to identify the needs of your online learners, pinpoint performance gaps, and find out how you can improve your eLearning course moving forward. Surveys are ideal for remote learners who prefer to remain anonymous, while focus groups allow them to share their input and opinions in a more interactive setting. Polls can be integrated into your eLearning course, website, or social media pages to collect valuable eLearning feedback from your audience. It's the quickest and most convenient way to collect Big Data, but it has its limitations. For instance, online learners must choose from predetermined responses instead of offering their own insight. Interviews are yet another option, particularly when you are gathering Big Data for corporate eLearning and have access to a diverse employee pool.

5. Website Analytics

Your website or blog analytics can be used to gauge visitor online activity and determine the interests of your online learners. For example, if one of your articles attracts 1,000 visitors in the first day, it's safe to say that the topic is worth exploring further. You may even want to convert the content into an eLearning course module or eLearning activity. Analytics also highlight the amount of time visitors spend on each page, what they are looking for, and the conversion rates, especially if you are selling your eLearning course or asking for opt-ins. This form of Big Data is crucial for effective SEO. It lets you know which keywords are bringing in the most traffic and which marketing strategies are living up to expectations.

Big Data is all around us, you just have to know where to look and what you are looking for. Narrow the scope of your Big Data mining in order to get the information you need to improve your eLearning strategy and make sure that every online learner stays on track. Also, bear in mind that you'll probably have to utilize a variety of data resources to get the complete picture. The results you extract from Big Data will help you identify where your eLearning course stands and, therefore, figure out which LMS and eLearning authoring tools you need to create the perfect eLearning course for your audience.

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