5 Top Sources Of Big Data In eLearning
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Where To Find Big Data In eLearning: 5 Top Sources

Big Data is an all-encompassing term that refers to large quantities of information. In other words, it's an Instructional Design gold mine that helps you improve every aspect of your eLearning course. The question is: where can you find this valuable Big Data in order to create a plan of action? Especially when you don't have the time, staff, or resources to comb through every source. Thankfully, there are a few go-to sources that have all the information you need for acquiring Big Data in eLearning.

1. LMS Metrics

Undoubtedly, the most powerful Big Data tool at your disposal is your Learning Management System. LMS platforms typically feature in-depth reports and analytics. As such, you have the ability to analyze every aspect of your eLearning course. From individual online learner performance and completion rates to assessment results. The trick is looking for patterns and trends that emerge. Here are some of the top LMS metrics that you should check on a regular basis:

a. Online Learner Performance

Online learner performance helps you identify individual areas for improvement, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your overall eLearning design. For example, LMS data reveals that 75% of your online learners are unable to complete an online simulation. This is a tell-tale sign that they don't have the information or skills they require. As such, you need to offer supplemental training materials or improve your eLearning course design.

b. Online Learner Feedback

eLearning course satisfaction ratings help you step into the shoes of your online learners. You can find out what they really think about the eLearning activities, assessments, and even instructor performance. High percentages of unhappy online learners can only mean one thing: ineffective eLearning. As a result, you may have to go back to drawing board and use the data to focus your efforts.

c. Assessment Results

Are your online learners actually able to apply what they've learned? Do they remember the key takeaways? LMS assessment metrics help to determine if online learners are moving knowledge from theory to practice. Many LMS platforms allow you to track interactive assessment results, as well. For instance, online simulations to monitor task performance and skill proficiency.

2. Social Media Stats

Social media platforms allow you to interact with your online learners and facilitate collaborative online learning. However, they are also rich sources of eLearning Big Data. As an example, Facebook features polls that facilitate the feedback process. You can also learn more about the preferences, personal opinions, and habits of your audience. First and foremost, social media analytics monitor online learner engagement and audience reach. They help you determine which platforms are worth the effort, and which you can omit from your eLearning strategy. For instance, how often people comment on your posts and when they are typically on social media. You also have the opportunity to gauge the popularity of past posts by analyzing the likes/dislikes and share stats.

3. Website Analytics

Your eLearning course website, online forums, and eLearning blogs are other Big Data sources. You can use analytics to track site traffic, engagement, and conversion rates. This data can even reveal where your online learners originate, how long they spend on the site, and which devices they utilize. For example, Google Analytics allow you to track the time online learners visit your site, and which keywords they used to find you. Furthermore, you have the ability to view all of your Big Data in the form of pie charts, graphs, and other visual representations. Do some research to find an analytics tool which offers the features you need and seamlessly integrate with your website.

4. Surveys, Focus Groups, And Interviews

Sometimes the most effective way to gather Big Data is to get it directly from your online learners. Surveys, focus groups, and video conferencing interviews help you uncover their honest opinion about your eLearning course design. The trick to using these forms of feedback is to focus on your pain points and learning objectives. For instance, you are already aware that your compliance online training modules need some work. Thus, your questions should center on elements that you feel are lacking and open the floor to suggestions. This Big Data resource also gives your online learners a voice. They know that their thoughts and ideas matter, which helps to boost active participation and motivation.

5. Business Reports And Workplace Evaluations

Numbers don't lie. Your profit reports, customer satisfaction ratings, and other business data tie into your eLearning strategy. For instance, low sales figures may be a sign that your sales online training program needs some minor adjustments. Your sales team might benefit from more character-based scenarios to hone their negotiation skills, as well as interactive demos that highlight the features and specs of your products. Another Big Data source is workplace observations. For example, managers monitor employees on the job as they perform a common task. They are able to take notes on the employee's strengths and skill gaps, which you can use to fine-tune your approach. If you are unable to conduct workplace evaluations in-person, you can always opt for online training simulations and branching scenarios. These interactive eLearning activities allow you to monitor employee performance in real-time so that you can identify areas for improvement.

Big Data is a powerful tool that offers insights into learning behaviors and the effectiveness of your eLearning course. This article can help you evaluate your eLearning by tapping into the power of analytics, surveys, and reports. Just remember, Big Data isn't truly effective until you put it to good use. As such, you'll need to create actionable goals using the data at your disposal in order to enact real change.

Would you like to learn more about the must-have LMS metrics? Read the article 6 LMS Metrics eLearning Professionals Should Look For to discover the top LMS reports that eLearning professionals should look for.

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