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Want New Employees to Stick Around? Use Digital Onboarding! [Infographic]

Onboarding is a challenge for every L&D manager, no matter what your strategy is!

Training for new employees is a mandatory need – and there is no escaping it – so you want onboarding that is quick, creates a cultural expectation, and provides a rapid enlightenment of your business values.

But what many don’t realise is that onboarding doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore, completed just so you and your new employees can tick a box.

If anything, you can use onboarding to your advantage!

At CDSM, we recently looked at:

  • Why an onboarding program is important
  • How companies are currently training new employees; and
  • What you should expect from digital onboarding

To see what we found out, take a look at our latest infographic:

[View Text Only Version]

Digital Onboarding

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E-learning Infographic Knowledge Tree L&D Learning Software

Facts about neuroscience that you need to know… [Text Only Version]

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“Our brains build our learning, learning builds our brains.” – CIPD

  • Human attention span – 8.25 seconds
  • Goldfish attention span – 9 seconds
  • Humans handle approx. 40,000,000 pieces of information every second, but only 40 of those make it to our conscious brains.
  • The speed that the brain can be process information is as slowly as 0.5 meters/sec or as fast as 120 meters/sec(that’s about 431 km/hr).
  • You can commit about 3-4 things to short term memory. After 20 seconds they will disappear from memory unless you repeat them over and over.
  • The human mind wanders 30% of the time.

Based on these facts alone, you can see why 25% of L&D professionals are integrating neuroscience.

Neuroscience helps us to explore the question: What makes L&D effective?

Neuroscience enables:

  • More engagement for learners
  • Cost savings
  • Higher staff retention
  • Increased credibility as a practitioner

But two thirds of those who want to integrate neuroscience haven’t done it yet…

At CDSM, we have considered neuroscience in the development of our tools

4 Ways to Integrate Rapidly-Evolving Neuroscience into Your E-Learning:

The Challenge
E-learning should encourage curiosity and help people move towards an accepting state.
Our Solution
At CDSM, we’ve found that a visually-attractive and engaging user experience can immediately translate into high levels of acceptance and uptake amongst users.

The Challenge
People find it easier to retain information if it’s presented in small chunks.
Our Solution
Our Playlists curation tool allows learners to intake small, ‘bite-sized’ chunks of information, and all from one place!

The Challenge
People are better able to understand complex data if they have time to reflect.
Our Solution
CDSM’s Knowledge Tree gives learners the ability to view relevant content in their own time and at their own pace, helping them to achieve a better understanding of the subject matter.

The Challenge
E-learning needs to be challenging, but not threatening.
Our Solution
Our Networks function allows learners to become part of a ‘knowledge community’ – a place where they can share, reflect and discuss their new understanding of a subject with their peers.

Source:
http://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/neuroscience-action_2014-applying-insight-LD-practice.pdf
Read more:
http://www.businessinsider.com/100-things-you-should-know-about-people-2010-11?op=1#ixzz3ejUKGyqo
http://www.nursingassistantcentral.com/blog/2008/100-fascinating-facts-you-never-knew-about-the-human-brain/
http://www.businessinsider.com/100-things-you-should-know-about-people-2010-11?op=1&IR=T
http://www.statisticbrain.com/attention-span-statistics
See more at:
http://cdsmteamblog.co.uk/wpmu/?p=1621#sthash.IWmr4oMn.dpuf
http://www.cipd.co.uk/blogs/cipdbloggers/b/leading-in-learning/archive/2014/12/11/applying-neuroscience-to-l-amp-d-initiatives.aspx

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CDSM EdTech Education Insights Learning Software Wales

The Donaldson Report – A CDSM Perspective (Part 1)

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 first post, we’ll look at the task, the principles and some key recommendations, giving our perspective on the intended outcomes.

The Task

Schools Traffic Sign

“In recognition of the potential pitfalls of overload, complexity, and redundancy in the [current] curriculum, the Review was asked to stand back and to take a fundamental look at the ways in which today’s schools can prepare young people for an exciting but uncertain future.”

Successful Futures, page 11

CDSM believe that Wales has to ensure its learners are ready to play a role in the local and national industries that govern the prosperity of the nation. Only a wholesale transformation can make this possible. To try to adapt the 1988 curriculum in piecemeal fashion could add years of frustration to the process.

The Principles

School Science Class - Donaldson Report looking at School Improvement

“The purposes of the curriculum in Wales should be that children and young people develop as:

  • ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
  • enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
  • ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
  • healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society”

Successful Futures, page 29

While CDSM admit that a broad set of purposes, like these, can be used to say very little, we cannot help but be excited and energised by the focus on creating life-long learners who are well-rounded, worldly and outward focused. For us, it means that the classroom becomes a place of discovery, and an environment where pupils can take a lead in their own learning. It’s a perfect environment for the tools that we work so hard to create to flourish, fulfilling their potential alongside the potential of the students they are helping to teach.

It was impossible for us to overlook the references to inclusion in the report; Wales is leading the way through its adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and we’re proud to see that this sentiment will be represented throughout the new curriculum proposals. CDSM believe that it’s vital we give our learners a holistic understanding of what it means to have rights and to be protected. This is contiguous with our own commitment to ensuring learner safety and freedom of expression.  

“Principles of curriculum design – the curriculum should be:

Inclusive: easily understood by all, encompassing an entitlement to high-quality education for every child and young person and taking account of their views in the context of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and those of parents, carers and wider society”

Successful Futures, page 14

CDSM has, for a long time, banged a drum for teachers. We feel that teachers are the best-placed people to make decisions about their classroom. It is their passion, drive and invention that strengthens our education system, always responding to new demands and changes. Our intention is to enable teachers to successfully adapt to those changes, by creating tools that place teacher-generated content at the heart of the classroom. We make aggregation, sharing and collaboration easy and we facilitate networks of professional learning communities, helping the whole of Wales to benefit from established islands of excellence.

We can’t, therefore, fail to be excited by the commitment to subsidiarity, outlined in the report:

“Principles of curriculum design – the curriculum should be:

Based on subsidiarity: commanding the confidence of all, while encouraging appropriate ownership and decision making by those closest to the teaching and learning process.”

Successful Futures, page 14

Key Recommendations

School Classroom - Children and Teacher - Donaldson Report looking at School Improvement

“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

This recommendation is hugely welcomed by CDSM. As an SME based in South Wales that strives to recruit the best and brightest software developers from local schools and universities, the commitment to improving the levels of digital competence – not just in terms of using software, but in terms of becoming an active participant in the discovery and creation of tomorrow’s technological breakthrough – cannot be underestimated.

The Reception

School Classroom - children with hands up - Donaldson Report looking at School Improvement

It’s worth noting that the Donaldson Report has received near-universal support from our politicians and, although no concrete timelines have been announced, the feeling is that we should expect an ambitious timetable leading to implementation before 2020.

“We need a curriculum which is ambitious, engaging and fit for the challenges of the twenty first century. The national curriculum of 1988 has served an important purpose, but we can no longer address the weaknesses of the current curriculum through a ‘patch and mend’ approach.”

– Huw Lewis, Education Minister, July 2015

CDSM has a huge role to play in the realisation of the Donaldson Report. It’s potentially the biggest and most profound change in our education system in living memory and, crucially, it  represents the ambitious, forward-thinking and diverse framework we need. From the perspective of a learning technologies company based in Wales, with a vested interest in our young people, it’s as much as we could have asked for – and we can’t wait to get started.

In the second of this two-part series on the Donaldson Report, we’ll look into the report’s implications for teachers, the classroom and technology in the classroom. To make sure you don’t miss it, follow us and subscribe.

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CDSM E-learning Insights Learning Pedagogy Software

E-Learning Design Part 6: CDSM’s Active Learning Model™

Throughout this series on e-learning design, we have looked at some of the learning theories that help to form the method and practice behind our award-winning e-learning. This is known as our ‘pedagogy’. In this final post in the series, we’re going to reveal how we ensure that sound theory is turned into exemplary practice, by giving you an insight into the formula we use for producing successful e-learning content for our customers – a formula we call our Active Learning Model™

What is CDSM’s Active Learning Model™?

CDSM’s Active Learning Model™

CDSM is a commercial e-learning company. This means that we are one of a number of national brands that claim expertise and excellence in designing and developing e-learning courses. So it’s important for us to distinguish our skills, expertise and service from other providers in the marketplace. One of the ways we do this is through the use of CDSM’s Active Learning Model™ – our formula for producing successful e-learning content derived from many years of professional teaching and learning experience.

At CDSM, we draw from a wide range of classical learning and contemporary memory theories – as varied as behaviourism, constructivism and social constructivism. With fundamentally differing views on how people learn, no one would blame you for assuming that these theories are mutually exclusive. However, in order to achieve the best-fit pedagogic approach, we carefully select the bits that work and can be practically applied for the relevant context, always using the best strategies to help people embed and recall knowledge or skills. We also consider learning styles and how we can cater for different learners, constructing an experience that will interest and challenge each and every user.

CDSM E-Learning Award Winners

How CDSM’s Active Learning Model™ Works for Everyone

Making sure that e-learning suits the circumstances of the end user it is intended for is very important if an e-learning course is to be a success. That’s why our Active Learning Model™ subscribes to leading thought on user experience, accessibility and usability, and why we spurn off-the-shelf products in favour of bespoke solutions that exactly fit our customers’ needs.  

Let’s take Bloom’s taxonomy as an example of a theory we utilise differently depending on circumstances. Learners working entirely independently may benefit from structured outcomes using Bloom’s taxonomy (i.e. outcomes that indicate precisely what is expected of them). In instances where this is the case, we may focus on outcomes that ensure that learners are able to understand and retain knowledge. However, for learners who benefit from having the scaffolding provided by a teacher, trainer or a community of peers, we may advise flipping Bloom’s, loosening the outcomes and offering a solution that enables learners to discover, create and share knowledge.

In order to ensure that our Active Learning Model™ achieves the results required, we give careful consideration to the nature and frequency of activities and assessments, choosing effective formative activities that help learners to check their own progress as they work their way through a unit of study. We also employ summative assessments at the end of a section or unit of study that others can use to assess learners’ achievements.

CDSM’s Active Learning Model™

The Future of CDSM’s Active Learning Model™

Our Active Learning Model™ has been expertly constructed, but it is not something that we consider to be sealed shut. It is a model that is interested and open to new ideas, research and fresh impetus from learning professionals from all over the world. Whatever solution we agree on, rest assured that we’ve considered the options and will deliver e-learning that not only engages your learners, but that responds to everyone’s needs based on our extensive knowledge and experience.

If you’ve enjoyed this series on e-learning design, or if you want to open a discussion about any of the points raised, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via our website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google+. We’d love to hear from you. And to make sure you don’t miss out on further news, blog posts and insights from CDSM, follow us and subscribe.

Go To Part 1 >

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CDSM E-learning Insights Learning Pedagogy Software

E-Learning Design Part 5: Learning through Creating (Blooms 21)

At CDSM, we draw on a range of theories – from the past and the present – to form the method and practice behind our award-winning e-learning. This is known as our ‘pedagogy’. In an earlier post in this series (E-Learning Design Part 2: Observable and Measurable Outcomes), we looked at the influence of Bloom’s taxonomy (1956) on our e-learning. This time, we’re going to take a look at how this taxonomy can be ‘flipped’, so that learners are actively involved in knowledge construction from the outset.

What is Blooms 21?

Conceived between 1949 and 1953 by a committee of educators, the original Bloom’s taxonomy identified a number of cognitive levels at which humans can function. These levels range from the basic function of understanding and recalling new information, to the more complex function of evaluating new information and connecting it with other knowledge. They are commonly displayed as a step pyramid, with the lower-level functions located at the bottom.

step-pyramid structure - Blooms 21

The step-pyramid structure is often interpreted as suggesting that the higher-level functions can only be reached if the levels below them have been achieved, and that not all learners will be able to reach the top level. Some educators strongly disagree with this structure, most notably Shelley Wright of the Buck Institute for Education (BIE):

“The presentation of the taxonomy as a pyramid suggests that one cannot effectively begin to address higher levels of thinking until those below them have been thoroughly addressed. Consequently, Blooms becomes a ‘step pyramid’ that one must arduously try to climb with your learners. Only the most academically adept are likely to reach the pinnacle.”

– Shelley Wright

5-2-aThough this taxonomy of the cognitive domain was revised by Anderson and Krathwohl in 2001, the visual metaphor of the step pyramid was still prevalent. In 2012, Wright suggested that the revised taxonomy should be flipped on its head, so that learners begin with an introduction to a subject through creating, rather than being bombarded with facts they need to remember.

Blooms 21

We would suggest that this flipped taxonomy, also referred to as ‘Blooms 21′, is more in keeping with a constructivist approach to learning due to its emphasis on learner contribution to the building of knowledge.

How CDSM’s Users Learn Through Creating

When used in the context of learning, the word ‘creating’ often conjures up images of early-years students fingerpainting, pritt-sticking and making lopsided ceramic bowls that only a parent or guardian could love. This is because ‘creating’ (alongside words like ‘create’, ‘creative’, ‘creativity’, etc.) has come to be more associated with producing something physical – like a painting or a piece of writing – than it has with the equally correct definition of “evolving from one’s own thought or imagination.”

Like Shelly Wright, CDSM believe that learners of any age can benefit from ‘getting creative’. We particularly like activities that ask the user to contribute their own ideas – ‘starter activities’ at the beginning of a unit of study, for example, enable the user to consider an idea before being told more about it.

Starter Activities

‘Suggested response’ activities are very useful in this context too, getting users to respond to a question or idea with the opportunity to see some of our suggestions if they wish (i.e. offering scaffolding when required). Open-ended questions are also a useful device, enabling users to reflect upon what they have just learnt.

As Wright asserts, “the more churn a brain experiences, the more likely it’s going to retain information,” and so asking a learner to begin with creating is a really effective way of getting those cerebral juices flowing. Learners are engaged with the process of learning from the start and therefore, by the time they reach the end of the unit of study, are more likely to have understood, interpreted and curated the essential knowledge they need.

Next time, in the concluding part of this series on e-learning design, we’ll be introducing CDSM’s Active Learning Model™ – our trademark formula for producing successful e-learning for our customers, based on our extensive knowledge, experience and application of the learning theories we have explored throughout this series.

Take Me To Part 6>

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Just2easy and CDSM: A Perfect Partnership between Award-Winning Providers

Just2easy are an award-winning Educational Software Company with years of experience in creating stimulating learning tools for primary schools. These award-winning tools have been made available via Hwb for all schools in Wales.

J2E Tool Suite

The Just2easy Tool Suite contains a number of curriculum-focused tools that encourage pupils to explore their understanding of particular subject areas, and to present their work in collaborative, creative and imaginative ways.

J2E Tool Suite

The tools have recently been updated to include an e-portfolio that ties in with learning conversations and progression statements, making it perfect to monitor progression and to celebrate success.

As you would imagine, J2e’s tools have been designed by teachers with the classroom in mind. Teachers love the ease of use and intuitive nature of the whole Tool Suite, which gives pupils from the youngest age the opportunity to become fluent in digital literacy, creating a new generation of digital leaders.

The Tool Suite has had an amazing reception from the schools that are discovering it in Hwb:

The relationship between CDSM and Just2easy is beginning to produce opportunities that we had only dreamed of at the start of our collaboration. Hwb has already brought together the best of what is currently available to schools worldwide, and the introduction of the Playlist by CDSM has coincided with the update of j2launch by Just2easy – creating flexible routes to learning opportunities for schools, classes, groups, pupils and teachers.

Both companies’ modern approach to software development means that schools in Wales are using-cutting-edge technology and pedagogical thinking. Thanks to the partnership between Just2easy and CDSM, ‘any device, anytime, anywhere’ learning is a reality for every single pupil using Hwb.

You can stay up to date with what’s happening by following CDSM on the social media websites below, or by subscribing to our monthly e-zine.

 

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CDSM’s Response to the Challenges of School Improvement in Wales

What’s being done to improve performance in Welsh schools?

Wales is currently experiencing significant educational reform. At the heart of this reform is an unequivocal acceptance that the performance of schools has to improve. Welsh Government has provided dedicated funding to support school improvement activities, which are planned at school and regional level. This collaborative approach acknowledges the support that regional education consortia can offer schools, driving their performance in the right direction. There are four regional education consortia in Wales, each of which is responsible for agreeing and monitoring their client-schools’ use of funding, in order to ensure there is a positive impact on school performance and learner outcomes.

In partnership with CDSM, the Education Achievement Service (one of the four regional education consortia, based in South East Wales) identified the need for a web-based system that enabled School Leaders to plan and support all funding, monitoring and accountability activities linked to their school’s improvement plan. Together, we developed the My School Improvement Dashboard (MySID) to meet these requirements. MySID is based on Estyn and Welsh Government guidance.

School Improvement in Wales
MySID users are guided through an easy, cyclical planning and improvement process online. We wanted to help all involved achieve success, so we developed the following features:

  1. Self-Evaluation

A feature, designed around the Estyn Framework, which helps schools identify their strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Development Plan

This feature enables schools to identify and prioritise short and long-term goals.

  1. Budget Profiler

This outlines the grants available to schools, and enables them to add additional custom budgets to help them to make decisions on how to achieve their goals.

  1. Activity Plan

This feature enables School Leaders to find events or initiatives that will lead to school improvement.

  1. Financial Monitoring

This feature is designed to help schools create accessible, transparent records of expenditure against budgeted allocation for all school improvement activities.

  1. Quality and Impact Reporting

This provides School Leadership Teams and Challenge Advisers with an understanding of the value of their school improvement activities, offering a measure of the impact each activity has had.

  1. Review Impact and Priorities

Enables schools to evaluate how successful they’ve been in meeting the goals set out in their Development Plan.

#MySID

Find out more about My School Improvement Dashboard by downloading the CDSM Case Study: The School Improvement Conversation in Wales.

mysid_casestudy

So, what are your thoughts on MySID? Is it being used at your school? How is it affecting your school’s improvement? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch via our contact page, or by using the hashtag #MySID on social media.

If you’re interested in hearing how we’re helping teachers directly in the classroom, check out CDSM’s work with Hwb.

 

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CDSM Learning Software

Working on Major Projects Has Given CDSM a Real Edge

We’ve worked with the Welsh Government, Gleeds, Local Authorities, and even won an award with Honda Europe. So, after demonstrating our extensive experience with cloud solutions, CDSM became a listed supplier on the UK Government’s G-Cloud 6 Framework, starting 2015 with a bang!

PrintBut what is G-Cloud? A solution born from the UK Government’s desire to create a leaner and more efficient public sector IT spend.  More than £500m of business is now being done through G-Cloud, and it’s exciting to hear that 59% of this volume is with SMEs. The IT procurement landscape is changing, and we are not the only ones to notice.

“The G-Cloud programme has made significant progress to date in creating a fairer marketplace for all, boosting opportunities for innovative SMEs and challenging the dominance of inflexible incumbents, while supporting the UK public sector with agile and cost-effective IT solutions.”
– Simon Hansford, CEO of Skyscape

Enter CDSM:  breaking up the monopolies and creating more agile and cost effective services to the public sector.

“For decades the large System Integrators have locked the public sector into expensive and long running contracts that offered little ROI for taxpayers. With the advent of cloud computing, the UK Government has realised that SMEs can offer a more dynamic and cost effective service than the old guard. G-Cloud and the Government Digital Strategy means public sector IT is no longer a closed shop. This is great news for the tax payer.”
– Nik Goile, CDSM’s Head of Delivery

What is G-Cloud getting from CDSM in return?

CDSM is offering a specialist service and raising organisational knowledge of how to implement cloud technology. But how are we really helping customers?

  • We are evaluating cost, security and access in relation to different cloud providers and subsidiary services.
  • We’re planning and documenting the migration of existing services to the cloud.
  • Designing the cloud infrastructure for new digital services to work in the cloud.
  • Designing high performance web solutions.
  • Managing the change process to get the greatest benefits.
  • Making sure everything runs smoothly for all organisations.
  • Designing and implementing systems to pass a CLAS audit.
  • Boosting knowledge and training staff about how to operate within the cloud.
  • Tracking costs and keeping them under control.

G-Cloud 6 continues to deliver transformational benefits to the UK public sector, and CDSM are proud to be part of it.

To find out more about what CDSM are doing with the G-Cloud framework, check out the following links:

https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/service/6426421270413312

https://assets.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/documents/585346/6426421270413312-service-definition-document.pdf

 

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