If you are like the majority of Americans, you are probably glued to your smartphone. You likely use it to check emails, keep track of the news, and interact with friends on social media. In fact, 2016 was the first time that mobile Internet use surpassed desktop use, tipping the scales at 51.2% for mobile, and 48.7% for desktop (techcrunch.com).
With this in mind, it’s important to understand how crucial it is to have a mobile accessible platform and content. Just because your organization has a website, doesn’t mean it is optimized for phones and tablets. Not to mention, there are 56.7 million Americans who have a disability (2010 U.S. Census). According to the World Health Organization, there are 285 million people with visual impairments worldwide, 39 million of whom are blind, as well as more than 360 million people who have disabling hearing loss.
Mobile plays a central role in providing an exceptional degree of autonomy to individuals with these and other types of disabilities. Mobile devices and applications can provide access to information and services that might otherwise be unavailable. In 2013, Georgia Tech’s Wireless Engineering Rehabilitation Research Center conducted a study that showed 92% of people with disabilities use a “wireless device such as a cell phone or tablet.” Many use a screen reader, which is a piece of software that relays content and functions audibly to the user.
Additionally, the New York Times reported in October 2017 that the Baby Boomer generation (those between ages 53 and 71) are a coveted buying audience by many industries, primarily due to having discretionary income and the time to spend it. The New York Times also cites a report by eMarketer for AARP, which claims that more than 60% of boomers owned a smartphone is 2016, and 73% of people ages 50 to 59 owned a smartphone and used it daily. Incidentally, age-related farsightedness, which makes screen text difficult for some, affects both men and women around the age of 40.
Mobile websites and applications have revolutionized the way we stay in touch, conduct business, search for goods and services, and keep ourselves entertained and informed. As these services and information sources move to a mobile environment, it is critically important from both civic responsibility and litigation standpoints, that content be available to everyone. It’s also important for mobile web designers, developers, and content providers to remember the end user – and that even if you aren’t directly impacted by a disability, many in your potential user base could be (Vivian Cullipher, microassist.com).
Making online content accessible means building a website, app, document, video, or other digital medium in such a way that people with disabilities can perceive, operate, and understand your content, even when using assistive technologies such as screen readers or magnifiers. Web designers and developers, as well as the companies that own and host websites, should ensure that accessibility is built into their website from the very early stages. If you’re still not convinced, here are four more important reasons to design your mobile website to be accessible:
- Google Prioritizes Mobile-Friendly Websites
Mobile-friendly websites are prioritized over those that are not in mobile search results. The Google algorithm change that occurred in 2015 completely changed the way Google displays mobile search results. Websites that are optimized for mobile rank better than those that do not.
- It’s Becoming a Standard Best Practice
Countless websites are mobile-friendly with more and more coming online every day. Responsive web design has made mobile optimization more direct and accessible to everyone, which means users have begun to expect this level of functionality to become standard when browsing on their mobile devices.
- It Builds You Credibility
Having a mobile accessible platform and content helps you build credibility with your users, clients, and other influencers in your industry. With a mobile website, the chances of anyone who visits your site on a mobile device will more than likely have a positive experience, and this will encourage them to see you as a credible resource for information and services.
- It Benefits Your Reputation
The importance of a mobile accessible platform and content benefit you not just online, but offline as well. People will take note and remember a website they have a great experience with, and consequently they will also take note of a website that gave a poor experience. Reputation is everything, and most businesses and organizations cannot afford to give people a bad experience – digital or otherwise.
Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly are quickly falling by the wayside as our world is quickly evolving into a predominantly digital environment. Waste no time in contacting us today to help guide you in building what your users want and need. We are here to help!
It is not uncommon for organizations to struggle with creating a strong compliance training program. All too often, compliance training is looked at like a box that needs to be checked- something that just has to be done. Not to mention, compliance training is often dreaded by employees everywhere. Do you worry your compliance training has grown mundane? Chances are, you wish you could effectively impact prevailing attitudes and behaviors, but you’re just not sure how.
Compliance training, if done correctly, creates a strategic advantage that minimizes operational and financial risk. Leaders responsible for compliance within an organization need no justification for investing in better compliance training programs (Panopto.com). Success is measured not only by things that happen, but what doesn’t happen – including fines, lawsuits, reputation damage, dangerous incidents, lost business, and more. In some cases, noncompliance with safety procedures can be the difference between life and death.
Building an effective compliance training program doesn’t have to be a difficult task. In order to achieve the main goals of reducing risk and expanding employee learning retention, you want your materials to be purposeful and impactful. Know what best practices exist and what to look for before selecting a program to use with your staff.
There are certain elements that if put in place, can help ensure a compliance training program is successful. The first one to examine is retention, which is best understood when looking at the Learning Pyramid. Studies show that varying your study methods and materials will improve retention and recall of information, and enhance the learning experience. The “learning pyramid,” developed by the National Training Laboratory, suggests that most students only remember about 10% of what they read from textbooks, but retain nearly 90% of what they learn through teaching others. The Learning Pyramid model suggests that some methods of study are more effective than others and that varying study methods will lead to deeper learning and long-term retention (educationcorner.com).
One example of an effective method of learning and study is “Practice by Doing.” This method of study encourages students to take what they learn and put it into practice, therefore promoting deeper understanding while moving information from short-term to long-term memory. Practice by doing makes material more personal, and ultimately more meaningful to students. This also leads to more in-depth understanding of material, greater retention, and better recall.
The next element to examine in creating a successful compliance training program is creativity. With each training, you want to be creative with the subject – regardless if the training is in-person or online. An example would be to include relevant case studies within the training, or regulatory actions that best suit the department or group of people you are teaching.
Using creativity helps foster interactivity. It’s imperative to engage your audience and make them feel a part of the training. Exercises that incorporate real-world examples are crucial for employees to partake in.
Another consideration in a solid training plan is to create efficiency (ethinkeducation.com). Here are a couple of things to keep in mind while making efforts efficient:
- Budget. Always ask for more funds than needed. During the year, the training plan will change, and you might be asked to add more initiatives due to regulatory changes, updated policies and procedures, new services offered, new systems, and management mandates.
- Exclusivity. Review all the training entries to determine if there are any overlap of topics between departments. It’s great to train more than one department at a time if there is a workflow that impacts multiple areas. It’s also good for the fostering of relationships between departments.
- Time-saving. The goal is also to save time since you are taking staff members away from their actual work. If you’re able to produce training that covers multiple, related topics, your audience will appreciate it.
- Avoid overtraining. Determine which topics as a percentage of the training plan are included. It’s important to check if there are any concentrations that may lead to overtraining (ethinkeducation.com).
Creating a successful compliance training program is not a difficult task, but it must be done right and with due diligence for it to be effective. When training is done correctly, fines and risks within the workplace are reduced, and employees have a chance to actually be engaged with the material rather than merely talked at. HWNY has a variety of successful online training programs to fit the needs of your organization – contact us today for more information!
ELearning has completely revolutionized the way people learn and teach. Education is no longer confined to take place within the walls of a classroom… because through eLearning, learners have the ability to access information and knowledge any place, any time. And why wouldn’t an organization want to offer eLearning courses? According to eLearning Industry, 77% of US Corporations used online learning in 2017. Not to mention, eLearning is said to increase learning retention rates by 25% to 60% (techjury.net).
But, behind every successful eLearning course is the instructional design/designer. It is the critical job of instructional designers to create content relevant enough to keep the learners engaged and motivated (designingdigitally.com). Organizations looking to incorporate eLearning courses into their training must choose credible companies with solid instructional design. HWNY offers a multitude of services aiding in workforce development, some specifically for online learning.
HWNY currently provides workforce development solutions to more than 50 organizations across New York State, consisting in part of hospitals, long-term care facilities, federally qualified health centers, hospital ambulatory care departments, and private practices. Clients also include numerous mission-aligned organizations and associations, and thirteen of the twenty-five DSRIP Performing Provider Systems (PPSs). Of note, PPS clients utilize HWNY’s solutions to deliver enhanced services to hundreds of partnering healthcare organizations.
HWNY provides a full range of integrated workforce development services, that include: 1) research and analysis of problems, trends and best-practices; 2) education and awareness of high impact topics; 3) development of technology-based workforce development tools; 4) design and implementation of outreach and engagement campaigns; 5) boots-on-the-ground programming, and; 6) community engagement and partner connections.
Example projects specific to developing content for health care providers and staff include:
1) Leadership Development Workshops – HWNY uses its expertise in research and curriculum development to consult with health care organizations. HWNY emphasizes the engagement of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and facilitation of targeted focus groups throughout the process to assess professional culture, identify specific priority areas requiring improvement and to design, develop, and deliver exciting, experiential, highly-tailored, in-person leadership trainings. Each workshop provides clients with position-specific performance evaluations and continuous, on-going support.
2) InService Solutions Compliance Training – HWNY works in partnership with Central New York AHEC (CNYAHEC) to deploy a comprehensive compliance training package that includes set-up and implementation of a Learning Management System, as well as customization of 16 mandatory compliance eLearning modules.
3) eLearning Development – Using a variety of eLearning authoring tools, HWNY provides partners and clients with the skills and expertise to: 1) convert static PowerPoints and PDFs into interactive training content; 2) record in-person trainings and convert them into webinars, and; 3) host live webinars and record them asynchronous viewing.
4) Instructional Training Guides – HWNY works with partners and clients to develop detailed documentation, instructional guides, how-to videos, job-aids, and “cheat sheets” for internal staff and end-user to learn and utilize HWNY’s technology-based solutions to its fullest potential.
5) Education and Awareness Video Production – HWNY works with partners and clients to transform comprehensive, information heavy, research-based projects into short, engaging, and informative video content for ease of distribution, increased viewing, and larger impact.
To-date, HWNY solutions have allowed partners to:
- Deliver, track, and report participant data on more than 1,200 continuing education, professional development, and compliance trainings
- Train and advance the careers of more than 160,000 health professionals
- Introduce health careers to over 60,000 students and adult career seekers Mentor, guide, and support more than 500 high-school students as they pursue a health career
- Provide more than 1,600 postsecondary students with hands-on, experiential health professional trainings
- Significantly increase membership rates, including a campaign in 2018 to increase an Association Student Membership by more than 200%
To help your team design, develop, and deliver a highly-effective virtual/online course, HWNY will work with Subject Matter Experts to: 1) design compelling learning experiences that are not only interesting, relevant, and easy to fit into the busy work life of the learner, but most importantly, lead to genuine knowledge transfer and deliver performance improvement results; 2) identify and recommend the best authoring tools for the desired learning experiences; 3) develop interactive online activities, tools, and resources that are visually world-class, provide an excellent user experience, and feel authentic to the learners, and; 4) provide expert training and guidance on instructional design principles, process, best practices, and eLearning authoring tool trainings.
To achieve all of the above, HWNY uses these must-have best practices:
Step 1: Needs Assessment Phase
HWNY will meet in-person with SMEs to conduct an initial needs assessment to identify/refine topic-specific business goals, learning actions (objectives) required to achieve the goal, and knowledge required to successfully perform the action. HWNY will also discuss the learning environment and target audiences’ capabilities.
Step 2: Research and Design Phase
Using research-driven adult learning best-practices, HWNY will identify and recommend the necessary amount and type of training to support the desired learning actions. HWNY will then design instructional activities that are most effective at teaching the desired performance outcome, such as: Scenario-based Learning, or Micro-learning activities. HWNY will then work with SMEs to create scenario scripts, stories, and storyboards.
Step 3: Development Phase
HWNY will work with your organization to discuss the most effective authoring tool(s) for creating the desired instructional activities within the selected hosting environment. HWNY will then use the selected tool(s) to develop each learning activity ensuring it immediately, fully, and favorably seizes the user’s attention. The learning activities will then be bundled into lessons/topics within a single eLearning module/course and branded to your desired look and feel.
Step 4: Pilot and Refine
HWNY will work with your team to pilot each instructional activity in their final module/course format. Advisors and/or partner health care practices will be asked to complete a specific set of pilot instructions and give feedback on their experience. For the pilot, HWNY will develop testing instructions with specific tasks, a feedback survey to collect qualitative and quantitative data, and where possible, use technology to track pass/fail of key functionality. HWNY then will analyze the data, identify necessary changes, and refine the instructional experience to address any issues identified.
Step 5: Implementation and On-going Support
HWNY will work with your team to ensure a successful launch of the online course by creating a launch plan with effective communication and outreach strategies. HWNY will then provide two in-person trainings designed to give your administrator the skills and knowledge to maintain and update the instructional activities/modules created for the specific course(s).
At HWNY, our experts use strong instructional design concepts to create customized learning content to successfully meet your training needs. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can create custom learning solutions for your company.
Within any organization or industry, all training and learning requirements are constantly evolving. In order to accommodate these training and learning requirements, it is crucial that organizations use a customized learning management system (LMS). Think about the training needs your organization has… chances are, they are different than those of other businesses, even within the same industry. Unlike an out-of-the-box LMS, custom learning management systems allow you to address these issues and optimize your online training platform, specifically for your needs. Customization can also help an LMS reflect the company’s branding.
This blog will highlight the advantages and benefits of customizing an LMS for administrators, learners, and organizations as a whole.
Benefits for Learners:
- Access to Different Training Resources
According to commlabindia.com, the corporate industry is continuing to show growing interest in mobile and video-based learning. As LMS’ of today are trying to play catch-up with industry requirements, it is evident that they are not simply limited to hosting eLearning modules. Customized LMS’ offer far more incentives than those that are out-of-the-box, because they effectively integrate different types of training resources alongside eLearning. Learners can now have access not only to the usual formal training through their LMS, but to other training resources such as videos, podcasts, interactive PDFs, and eBooks. In addition, most modern and customized learning management systems are also now gamified. This is done through awarding points and badges when completing certain activities, to letter boards tracking and displaying progress – all of which are integrated into the platform.
- Increased Social Communication
Social learning and various collaboration tools have confirmed improvement of overall learner engagement and knowledge retention. A customized LMS has the ability to offer the following channels for better socialization and communication among learners:
- Live-chat functionality: to better connect with peers and colleagues
- Discussion groups: to share ideas
- Social media integration: such as Twitter and Facebook widgets for learners to share their progress and achievements
- Gamification: badges and achievements to create a healthy competition among peers for better performance
3) Visual Dashboards of Training Activities
Visual dashboards on an LMS interface are an ingenious way of conveying the most important and relevant information. An effective LMS is one that not only lets users access training resources, but also keep an eye on their performance.
By using dashboards, administrators can allow learners to be aware of their learning and training progress every time they log onto the LMS. Customizing your LMS like this creates a more learner-centric platform, and not just a passive warehouse for storing learning material. A dashboard can also display important information such as announcements, training schedules, surveys, polls, and responses.
4) 24/7 Access to Learning Resources
A customized LMS changes everything for the learner – all for the better. ELearning courses hosted on an effectively deployed learning management system can be accessed by employees that are spread across geographies, without affecting the quality or consistency of the training.
“Most modern LMSs are responsive i.e., they are device-agnostic, and offer seamless, flexible learning experiences on any device. This flexibility in-turn reduces dependency on a single mode of learning (i.e., desktop learning), and grants learners 24/7 access to the learning resources on multiple devices, whenever and wherever they need it” (commlabindia.com).
Benefits for Administrators:
- Bulk Course Uploads
The advantages of a customized learning management system vary for administrators. Adding 4-5 users to the LMS may not be very difficult, but imagine the effort in uploading hundreds. To add to the difficulty, users belong to different departments in a company, which means that different courses need to be uploaded. This is an extremely tedious job, but one that can be easily solved using a customized LMS.
A customized LMS will provide administrators with the option to bulk upload users, their respective courses, and resources with just a few clicks. For example, an LMS administrator can easily import e-learning courses in bulk using a CSV (comma separated values) file authored in either SCORM, Tin Can, or AICC format. Imagine if there are 100 e-learning courses to be hosted on the LMS platform. A single CSV file allows the administrator to upload all of the 100 SCORM-based courses at a time, saving valuable time.
- Assign Custom User Roles with Customized Access
In using a customized LMS, administrators can easily assign custom roles and custom learning access to these roles. Otherwise, they would be confined to the default LMS user roles that out-of-the-box LMSs provide. Administrators can control the types of activities users are allowed to perform. For example, custom roles such as learner, trainer, assistant, LMS administrator, and training manager can all be created with their own custom access.
- Send Customized Emails
Consider an organization that plans to transmit training to 500 employees, and wishes to let the users know about their enrollment. It would be laborious to send individual emails to all of the 500 employees. But the LMS can be customized in such a way that whenever an administrator assigns a course to a particular user or bulk of users, the course enrollment email will be automatically sent to all 500 employees without hardly any trouble or time.
- Create Customized Reports to Calculate Training ROI
Generating customized reports is the most critical feature of an LMS. Reports such as learner activity/progress, course overview reports, user course completion reports, assessments/grades reports, course access time logs, and certificate tracking give the administrator the power to constantly improve the online training strategy and personalize online training initiatives. A customized LMS can help generate custom reports, based on the need or requirement.
Benefits for Organizations:
- Reduce Costs on Training Administration and Delivery
Having a single, centralized place that stores and delivers training to employees, no matter what geographical location they are stationed at, is a huge benefit for organizations in terms of cost-effectiveness. It helps cut down administrative exertion by allocating training resources, thereby allowing organizations to greatly save on administrative and delivery costs.
- Using the LMS as a Powerful Evaluation Tool
As discussed above, a custom LMS can generate different types of reports that provide organizations analytical data based on the learner statistics, which in turn helps in estimating the training program’s overall effectiveness. LMS reports can be powerful evaluation tools, allowing companies to make crucial decisions such as evaluating whether training delivery is meeting its objectives, what content is working with the learners, the duration of the course, and many others.
A learning management system is an extremely powerful software application that allows organizations to take control of every aspect related to their training processes – from administering and publishing eLearning courses, to tracking and reporting learner activity. A truly customized LMS establishes a close integration with your training strategy, tailored to your specific training needs. When choosing an LMS, make sure that it supports not only the features that you need, but also supplies you with instinctive administrative options to enhance training capabilities. Reach out to us today to learn how HWNY can help you create your own custom LMS.