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Category Archives: Blended Learning

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The Benefits of Adopting Digital Learning

If your business hasn’t entered the rapidly-growing world of digital learning yet, there are plenty of reasons why it should. At CDSM, we are passionate about delivering high quality e-learning and digital solutions that improve performance and enable businesses to stay ahead of the competition. In this blog post, we’ll be looking at how you can harness the power of digital learning to build on your success.

Learning is key not only to economic success, but to achieving our full potential as human beings. There’s no denying it: learning matters. Moreover, digital learning is the way to go. The US Department of Education reviewed previous research into the effectiveness of online learning, with two key findings:

  • Learners in online study conditions performed slightly better than those receiving face-to-face instruction
  • Learners in blended learning conditions performed much better than those receiving face-to-face instruction

We summarised the other important points to come out of the study in an infographic: e-Learning Paints a Pretty Picture. Most notably, it found that giving learners control over their learning has a positive impact. Enabling learners to self-monitor their understanding, giving them additional learning time, and putting them in control of their own interactions with media, all led to greater success.

businesswoman using computer - digital learning

If you’re still tentative about taking the leap, you should also consider the extent to which digital learning plays a key part in business productivity, and how this trend is set to continue in the future. We’ve previously highlighted the cost savings, and according to a Brandon Hall study (1995), digital learning in contrast to traditional classroom instruction:

  • Is quicker to deliver than traditional, classroom-based instruction
  • Increases learner retention
  • Boosts productivity
  • Improves the ability to introduce new products and services
  • Is quicker to update
  • Decreases skills gaps

According to a recent report – Modernising Learning: Delivering Results – over 90% of L&D leaders would like learning technology to enable a quicker response to changing business conditions and organisational change. In spite of all this, a massive 60% of organisations cannot implement a technology-enabled learning strategy due to lack of skills.

How Can CDSM Help?

With award-winning e-learning and digital learning solutions at the heart of what we do, CDSM can provide you with the tools you need for a more productive business, a more knowledgeable and skilled workforce, and a more positive working environment. The proof is in the performance.

There’s never been a better time to go digital.

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Sources:

Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, U.S. Department of Education Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development Policy and Program Studies Service, Revised 2010

Modernising Learning: Delivering Results, Towards Maturity, November 2014

Return-on-Investment and Multimedia Training: a Research Study. Sunnyvale, CA:, Multimedia Training Newsletter, Brandon Hall, 1995a

Multimedia Training’s Return on Investment,Workforce Training News, Brandon Hall, 1995b, July/August

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The Donaldson Report – A CDSM Perspective (Part 2)

Earlier this year, Welsh Government published a comprehensive, independent review of the curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales, written by Professor Graham Donaldson. Now, in a two-part series on the Donaldson Report (Successful Futures), CDSM explore the headline findings and provide a context from our perspective as an Education Technologies company based in Wales. In this second post, we’ll look at the implications of the report for teachers, the classroom and technology in the classroom.

happy students in computer class - donaldson report

As already discussed in our first post, at CDSM we feel that we have a huge role to play in the implementation of Donaldson’s recommendations. We broadly support all of the report’s proposals, and strongly believe that it provides the opportunity to make a real difference to future generations in Wales. However, we understand that others may be a bit more tentative. After all, the report represents significant change that can only be achieved with time and, ultimately, teacher re-skilling. Teachers are at the forefront of this change, and so these fears represent very natural reactions.

At CDSM, we believe it’s our duty to support teachers, schools and regional education consortia through this transition. Our innovations in education technology, our understanding of pedagogy, and our commitment to their profession enables us to make teachers’ lives easier and their everyday tasks less time-consuming. We want to be there to aid them in their re-training, always listening for their pressure points and hearing their requirements. We’ve seen, many times, how useful the private sector can be in developing the holistic, niche or bespoke innovation that fulfils a need and ultimately helps teachers, schools and authorities to improve the services they provide. As the supplier of Hwb – which has become the gateway for a centrally-provisioned national toolkit – as well as region-specific services, CDSM is in a privileged position to work at the heart of this historical change.

One of the more profound changes is summed up in Recommendations 6 & 7 of the report:

“6. Children and young people should have their learning developed across the curriculum through three Cross-curriculum Responsibilities that should be the responsibility of all teachers: literacy; numeracy; and digital competence.

7. A digital competence framework and an accompanying ‘Routes to Learning Digital Competence’ should be developed and be included as a Cross-curriculum Responsibility.”

– Successful Futures, page 42

The focus and drive to implement the LNF in recent years has been an all-consuming task for teachers, local authorities and regional education consortia alike. Embedding a digital competence framework across the curriculum promises to be even more challenging. Teachers will need to be able to support the use of digital technologies throughout their lessons, whether they are teaching Drama, History or ICT. We know from experience that not all teachers feel comfortable or equipped to do this, and so again we find ourselves in a position where our services and expertise can make a difference. We’re already working with Welsh technology and teaching professionals to create a training programme that will help to alleviate much of the ongoing concern around this recommendation. Through our technologies, we’ll be facilitating communities of professionals who can support and learn from each other in order to become the teachers this report requires.

schoolboy with laptop and teacher - donaldson report

Although the report goes to lengths to make clear that it does not favour one teaching method over another, it does make some key recommendations about the very nature of the classroom itself. Children and young people want lessons to be more relevant and engaging, with more practical lessons, more fun, more interactivity, and more out-of-classroom activities. We know from a number of studies, including one by the US department of state (summarised in this CDSM infographic), that a blended learning approach has real benefits to learning and retention. In this sense, blended learning is mix of classroom based and non-classroom-based learning (e.g. e-learning).

We aren’t suggesting that Professor Donaldson was specifically advocating e-learning when referencing non-classroom-based learning, but it’s clear that well-constructed learning in this format has a significant role to play, both in adding variety to lessons and homework, and providing different stimuli and challenges for the learner. It’s also an approach that aligns with the Digital Competence Framework, and supports other key recommendations of the report. For example:

“Children and young people should develop their own e-portfolio, possibly including ‘e-badges’, to record key achievements and experiences.”

Successful Futures, page 83

“Significantly better and more creative use should be made of technology in the teaching and learning of Welsh and also modern foreign languages.”

Successful Futures, page 60

The classroom will undoubtedly maintain a physical form for some time yet but, for learners of all ages, it is now well-established in a virtual form too. Learning no longer takes place solely in school or at home, but through all interactions with the digital world. Through Hwb, a learner now has the ability to record that interaction, aggregating the learning seamlessly into an e-portfolio which can be used as both a revision aid and as evidence for assessment/evaluation.

CDSM have a role to play in formative and summative assessment too, with tools that create a variety of testing activities for use in multiple environments. The key differentiator in Hwb is that these tools form a part of the learning and development cycle, engaging the learner as an active participant, rather than simply providing a benchmark on their ability to learn and repeat.

“Testing, both multiple-choice and open-response, is an important element in the repertoire of assessment techniques. Regular classroom testing is a long-established feature of teaching and learning. The construction of tests that do more than focus on recall and simple application is, however, both complex and time-consuming.”

Successful Futures, page 79

“Innovative approaches to assessment, including interactive approaches, should be developed drawing on the increasing potential contribution of digital technology.”

Successful Futures, page 80

Donaldson Report - children in classroom

From a teacher’s perspective, technology already available in Hwb enables the collection of a young person’s learning. It tracks their progress automatically, and provides real-time analysis of achievement. It also offers instant feedback, and can be used to engage parents, carers and other stakeholders in the learning process – something the report cites as important:

“There is likely to be a greater emphasis on recording procedures that enable teachers to keep track of each child and young person’s learning…”

Successful Futures, page 77

“Increased use of digital media should be explored to help to improve the immediacy of feedback to parents and carers and engage them more directly in supporting learning.”

Successful Futures, page 83

Outside of the classroom, CDSM continues to have a responsibility to provide solutions for key stakeholders in our education system. We’re already working with the regional education consortia to provide technological systems and structure for School Improvement and External Verification processes. So, from our point of view, references in the report to assessment and verification are a welcomed inclusion.

“Where the results of assessment are to be used for purposes of comparison, issues of reliability in teacher assessment should be addressed through effective moderation; where the prime purpose of assessment is assessment for learning there is less of a need for reliability between schools.”  

Successful Futures, page 80

Assessment and verification are, without a doubt, important factors in ensuring that the next generation of young people have a consistent and comprehensive education, no matter what part of Wales they are from. In a conversation that has largely focused on curriculum and process modernisation, Professor Donaldson’s highlighting of these less talked about (but equally important) facets will ensure that they receive the attention and consideration they deserve.

If this series of blog posts has one message, it’s that all of us here at CDSM are excited by the changes recommended in the Donaldson Report. We can’t pretend that the transition to a truly forward-thinking education system will be easy, nor can we pretend that it will be quick. However, we can guarantee that we’ll do everything we can to make the transition an engaging, empowering process – one that supports and benefits all of our teachers and learners in Wales.

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E-Learning Will Improve Your Bottom Line

At CDSM, we’ve done a fair bit of investigation into the ROI of e-learning. In fact, it’s one of the first things potential customers ask us about: “Will e-learning improve our bottom line?”

In case you were wondering, the answer is “yes!”

In the automotive sector, improving the bottom line is crucial to a company’s success. We know this is the case, having seen the hugely positive results of our award-winning work with Honda Motors Europe. Thanks to this successful partnership with Honda, we were invited to tender with another automotive manufacturer: Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi2Sales are rocketing at Mitsubishi, and the pressure is on at dealerships to get staff trained up to their high standards. After reviewing contemporary approaches to L&D challenges, Mitsubishi looked to e-learning and digital technologies to scale up operations.

That’s where CDSM came in.

Up until now, Mitsubishi had a limited experience of e-learning but, with our help, they now understand the benefits that e-learning and blended learning solutions can bring to their people and, crucially, their business.

They now know what studies have proved – that blended learning is the most effective learning method – and are looking forward to realising the full potential of their sales staff quicker than previously expected.

We’re currently working with Mitsubishi to replace a number of their classroom-based courses with bespoke e-learning and a blended solution. Using cutting-edge learning design and theory, we will deliver e-learning that Mitsubishi staff really want to do, and can also use to obtain real-life, measureable results.

Find out what we can do for your business today – contact us now for a free demoMits

 

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Blended Learning E-learning Infographic Learning

3 Ways the UK Automotive Sector Can Become More Competitive – Text Only

There are currently over 30 million vehicles on the road in the UK, but – even as the 7th biggest automotive provider in the world – the UK is still falling short. So how can the UK improve its performance and climb the rankings?

At CDSM, we have a lot of experience in helping companies within the automotive sector, and consequently are now in a position to have expertise to share. Check out the new CDSM Infographic to find out more:

CDSM are offering you the chance to claim a FREE Roadmap Demo [http://marketing.cdsm.co.uk/acton/form/11389/001d:d-0001/0/index.htm] with one of our Digital Learning Experts. Sign up now and our knowledgeable staff will be in touch to arrange a consultation call.

3 Ways the UK Automotive Sector can become more competitive

 £59.3 billion turnover each year

30 million vehicles on the road

UK is the 7th best place to do business in the world

2350 automotive suppliers in the UK (majority SME)

731,000 people employed in UK Automotive sector

18,000 apprentices working in automotive retail

BUT…

UK’s International Performance on Workforce Skills are currently not strong enough:

  • UK: 2.76
  • France, Germany, Italy, Spain: 3.88
  • Central, Eastern Europe: 3.07
  • Brazil, Russia, India, China: 3.07

Having more skilled workers is urgent –

3 things you can do…

1. Create on-boarding e-learning…

–          Demonstrate lucrative opportunities

–          Develop a better recruitment process

–          Train staff from the get-go with your expertise

–          Attract top STEM subject graduates

2. Design high quality learning…

–          Training currently lacks coherence and traction

–          Inspire employees to learn on the job

–          Develop achievable and effective framework’s

–          Blended learning is proven to be the most effective

3. Pathways for leadership and management…

–          To maintain supply chain development

–          Create long term employees and retain their skills

–          Improves UK knowledge and creates a stronger skill set internationally

CDSM have proved that Digital Learning is the way forward:

10,000 employees – 32 countries – 14 languages – 9 modules – 731 pages of e-learning content – 79 activities – 48 assessments – 25 videos = GOLD e-learning award!

Honda Results:

81% Average Satisfaction

92% wanted more e-learning in that format

88% felt the e-learning objectives were met

Sales Advisor:

  • “The format and layout made it easier to stay focused.”

Sales Manager:

  • “The content is delivered in bite sized sections – perfect for real world time management.”

Sales Advisor:

  • “Information nice and succinct. No Fluff.”

Service Manager:

  • “Very simple to follow and user friendly.

Sources:

 

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E-Learning Paints a Pretty Picture – Infographic

The US Government has researched all the studies carried out on e-learning effectiveness over the past few years. We thought the report was a little on the heavy side, so for your benefit, we have made it more digestible in the form of a CDSM infographic.

Here’s the proof that e-learning kicks pass rates:

Click here to access the text only version of the Infographic

Click image to launch full size version

info2_1024px width

Enjoy, and by all means, share with your colleagues!

Sources:

https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf

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