Using Data to Create a Better Learning Experience

April 14, 2016

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The first step to creating a better learning experience is to understand where it stands at present. You need to determine what worked to get you where you are, so that you can create a plan to realistically reach your goals. How do you accumulate this data? To begin, you can collect a bit of information through employee feedback surveys. Does the employee feel they can do their job better after training? Was the employee happy with the learning environment? Does the employee have an improved attitude about his or her job after taking training?These should give you a basic understanding of what your training looks like. Now you can begin taking steps to improve the learning experience, by gathering multiple measures of learner data and deeply analyzing each one. This blog will outline the categories of data that you should gather, and how they will improve the learning experience. 

Collect Demographic Data

Demographic data includes enrollment history, gender, age, attendance history, expulsion/suspension reports, economic status, special needs, etc. This type of data has been known to be predictive of student achievement and ability, and it allows you to develop and define persona's for different groups of trainees. Demographic data can be used in three different ways:

  • To understand the current needs of learners.
  • To see how learners, learning material, and learning environments have changed over time.
  • To adapt, change, or modify the learning material, or to put new strategies in motion, in order to meet learner needs.

This data can be obtained through Student Record Systems, Statistics Canada, or surveys. Looking at this data over a longer period,  3-5 years will provide you with the best pool for identifying trends and patterns.

Assess Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Learning

The power of positive attitudes and perceptions around learning are often overlooked, but are essential to proficient learning and training. Collected through evaluations and surveys, this data allows us to identify improvements based on opinions and attitudes of trainees. Combining perception data with demographic data allows you to understand how different groups (demographics) experience (perception) the training differently.

Collect Learner Progress Data

This is data collected from different reports such as time spent learning reports, or progress reports, as well as through classroom assessments and report cards. This allows trainers to understand what is being taught, and what is being absorbed - if there is a gap between the two, it can easily be identified and filled. It also allows trainers to determine which individuals are falling behind and need additional help.

Combining Demographic, Perception, and Learner Progress Data

Using these three types of data, you can begin identifying ways to improve training experiences for individuals, based on what they like and don’t like, and what works for them and what doesn’t. This will allow you to reconstruct training, or plan training around these points. You can also assess how perceptions of training (including environment) impact absorption of training material, and how these vary based on demographic. This will empower trainers and organizations to adapt training to better reach, engage, and ensure success of every student.

Want more information on how you can use data for learning? Watch our recorded webinar on 6 Strategies for Data-driven Online Trianing & Learning! 

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Sell, market, manage, and scale your eLearning all in one place with the brand new Lambda Suite!!

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