Using Learning Analytics To Improve Content Authoring

Using Learning Analytics To Improve Content Authoring
Summary: Find out why you should use learning analytics to improve your content authoring, including creating personalized learning programs, with Mike Alcock.

Why You Should Use Learning Analytics To Improve Content Authoring

As technology progresses, today’s learners expect more than ‘click next’ e-learning. With more options than ever before available to instructional designers and authoring tools boasting increasingly advanced capabilities, we are able to create our most sophisticated, effective e-learning content yet. With a growing appetite for personalized e-learning, how can we ensure that our content authoring enables us to give our learners what they want?

Choosing the right tool for content authoring

There are many tools available on the market claiming to offer access to learning analytics. However, in reality, much of this will only be outdated, surface-level SCORM data. While it can be useful to know how long it took someone to complete a course or who has not yet taken a module, there is much more we can do with this data. The newest eLearning content authoring tools come with advanced analytics functionality to allow us to understand trends in our data quickly and easily. This is the first step towards creating personalized learning. The more we know about our learners, the more tailored our learning experiences will be.

Learning analytics

Learning analytics are often overlooked, but are an invaluable way to help us make the most of our content authoring. Using data about our own learners gives us the opportunity to create learning which hones in on the specific requirements of our audience. For example, many tools now enable us to identify trends such as how many people in a certain country have completed our courses, what device types they are using (desktop, tablet or smartphone) or which specific questions people are struggling with. This helps inform our future projects for learning that better suits our target groups, with a view to achieving better results.

Learning record stores

Until now, many of our personalized learning efforts have come from role filters and diagnostics, to assess an anonymous learner’s understanding of content upon accessing a module, or allowing them to select relevant content based on their role. But now, learning record stores (LRSs) and modern tracking standards such as xAPI allow us to keep up-to-date, individual records of our learners’ progress and learning history. This means that we can be much more intelligent in the way we distribute content to our learners. In the future, learners may even be able to take their learner profiles with them throughout their careers. If our content authoring tool software can show us what content someone has already accessed, and how they performed in their assessments, we can build the precise content they will need in the future.

Content authoring for personalized learning

In-house content authoring gives organizations the ultimate flexibility over the learning they create. But this can be enhanced even further with the use of learning analytics, to help learning designers make informed choices about the type of content they include. Perhaps your analytics show that the majority of learners in your New York office are struggling on a certain question about your health and safety policy. You can then investigate to find out why. Are the managers in that office telling them something different? Has nobody had a chance to take the preceding module? E-learning designers can take this information to build content which targets specific needs far more efficiently than ever before. Opting for software with inbuilt analytics functionality enables you to keep a close eye on the learning trends within your organization.

What if I’m buying my content?

Just because you are buying and not building your content, this does not necessarily mean you won’t have access to any learning analytics data. It can be useful for you to have an overview of your learners’ performance even if the content will not be created in-house. If you identify particular issues with certain groups of learners, you can conduct a more thorough investigation into why this might be the case, giving you a better insight into your own organization. Ensure you speak with your content provider to make sure they are working with content authoring software that collects meaningful data. Some tools allow multiple users to access this data, so see if you can have your own account set up with all the data you need. A customizable dashboard of the most important analytics and trends is a quick, easy way to get an overview of data, even if you don’t need the granular level of detail collected by the learning design team.

What does the future hold for personalized learning?

With tracking and analytics technology improving all the time, it is very feasible to see a time where learning designers can create a variety of content based on trends detected in an organization’s learning records. This may be a case of producing different question types, including more explanation or more interactive elements depending on the way learners have performed with previous content. This will help designers build better content, and allow students to learn more, based on their individual needs. The new wave of content authoring tools, with their learning analytics features, are bringing us closer to this smarter content authoring than ever before, and we are looking forward to seeing how closely personalized the learning of the future will be.

If you are looking for a tool which can help you collect meaningful data about your learners, gomo hosting & analytics is set to revolutionize our understanding of learning within our organizations. Gomo hosting & analytics is launching soon, so why not sign up for a free 21-day trial of the gomo authoring tool in the meantime? We will let you know as soon as our hosting & analytics product is available, so you can start learning more about your learners for your best results ever.