BenchPrep Team October 30th, 2018
Is your learning program suffering? How to use data to find out
With today’s digital learning programs, data is imperative to understanding the efficacy of your program and how it’s performing. Specifically, data can reveal the areas where your learners are succeeding, where they might be failing, what content they are engaging with, and what content isn’t resonating well. Here are some of the most powerful metrics your education program should be reporting to you.
Overall Engagement Levels
Engagement with your learning program can have a lasting impact on your organization and its objectives. Studies show that companies using online learning programs experience an 18% increase in employee engagement. When you leverage a top digital learning solution, access to granular data on both individual learners and group learning allows you to better assess engagement with the program and the efficiency of content delivery as a whole, revealing a great deal about your organization’s education strategy.
For example, microlearning, or learning in short bursts, can be a highly effective approach to increase engagement. It’s estimated that microlearning is 17% more effective than other models. To ensure it is the most effective strategy for your education program, you can compare microlearning efficiency to more traditional measures. A comparison of course engagement for both microlearning and traditional learning models reveals how you can enhance efficiency.
Learner engagement data can also answer the following questions:
- How and where are learners interacting with an educational program – desktop, tablet, or on mobile?
- How often do learners engage with the education program?
- What are the lengths of usage time spans (i.e., how much time are learners engaging with the program each hour, day, week, or month)?
- Which learning modules are they most engaged with (i.e., practice exams, video, flashcards)?
- How soon before an exam or required time frame are learners engaging with content?
The modern learner expects an on-demand learning experience that is personalized and delivered in a flexible format. If you invest in an digital learning solution, it’s important to know that your investment will continue to generate return in today’s ever-changing professional and learning landscape. Using data such as completion rates, provides extremely helpful insight into learner’s long-term success with the program.
Course completion data can be used to evaluate dropout rates and can also lend insight into how to improve your program to maximize completion. Data on dropout rates can show you how many learners are abandoning their courses, and why, creating personas for ideal learners and those who might represent drop off. This can be helpful for organizations that provide prep resources for seasonal exams or certifications to better understand when learners are engaging with the program in relation to taking an exam.
For example, if your education program is available to learners year-round, but dropout rates are higher during the summer and around the holidays, these data points can tell you that these are seasons in which learners have other priorities. This can help lead your organization to take necessary actions to engage learners and minimize dropouts during this timeframe. Such steps could include shortening lessons to make them less time-consuming, changing your course cycle to reduce study during these seasons, or supplying incremental resources at alternate times during the year.
Implementing a blended learning strategy can also be an effective way to reduce dropout rates. Blended learning offers the best learning environment for any learner, regardless of whether they prefer to learn in-person or using digital devices. In fact, 59% of teachers said that learners were more motivated to learn in a blended learning environment. Additionally, a study published by the Department of Education states “Blends of online and face-to-face instruction, on average, had stronger learning outcomes than did face-to-face instruction alone.”
Course completion data points tell you more than simply how many people finished your education program. It provides detailed insights on how to improve both your program’s efficiency and its outcomes.
Assessment scores divulge much about learner outcomes. Scores from learner assessments give organizations, administrators, and instructors measurable data points on the success of each individual engaged in the learning program. If a healthy majority of assessment scores are passing grades, you can use that data to verify and confirm the efficacy of your content and its relevance to learners. However, if scores are not meeting expectations, data can help you determine where action is needed to improve your education program.
One of the most powerful insights you can glean from these assessments is learners’ strengths and weaknesses. This allows you to create personalized learning paths for each user.
For instance, you could have an initial assessment as students are beginning your course. Data from this assessment reveals which topics the learner is proficient in and which topics need more work. Then, the entire programs can be crafted to accommodate these areas of strength and weakness. Personalization often culminates from assessments and generates improved outcomes. I n one study, students who engaged with customized lessons improved their knowledge at a rate that was more than double that of students using standard lessons. Though this study focused on school students, the insights can be applied to learners of all levels.
Some may fear that data turns learners into “just another statistic” instead of individuals with specific needs. On the contrary, data allows greater personalization in learning, and data gleaned from the administrative, user, and instructor levels hold valuable insights.
- Administrative Level Data – If an administrator believes a learner’s score can be improved based on data points, they can make adjustments to the content, supplying pieces of content that are most relevant for that learner. They can also update content as needed if data shows the current course materials are no longer connected to the real-world application of lessons.
- User Level Data – Using data points via your education program’s digital platform, users can assess which topics require more studying and where improvements are not needed. This allows learners to self-personalize their learning experience, focusing on areas with the greatest weaknesses.
- Instructor or Manager Validation – Particularly in blended learning scenarios, assessment data can provide useful insight into how the live, instructor-led portion of a learning experience might be impacting overall learner success. If learners in one classroom setting are performing substantially higher or lower than those in a different instructor-led setting, location or instructor-based training issues can be assessed.
Data insights from assessment scores help your organization to ensure they’re getting the best results possible for every learner.
Learning Gaps and Successes
While assessment scores can help you identify individual strengths and weaknesses to personalize your program to best suit the needs of each learner, data can also help you identify broader learning gaps and successes among all your learners.
One of the greatest advantages of using this data is the patterns these insights can reveal about your content. For example, if one of your lessons is based on a particular instructional video and only a few students pass a subsequent quiz and achieve an above average score, you can identify that the majority of learners are struggling with this aspect of the course. This provides reason to re-evaluate the efficacy of your video’s content and its ability to meet the needs of learners at the point in a course.
An effective learning platform can also help learners themselves avoid missing the mark on their achievements. Learners should have access to metrics that shows their progress compared to others in a group. This creates urgency for learners to stay on track with their knowledge goals, helping them prioritize their time and remediate effectively.
Data plays an indispensable role in learning today. When you apply data insights to your education program, you’re sure to increase efficiency and improve outcomes.
To help properly evaluate the current state of your learning strategy and to determine if it’s delivering the necessary data to drive learner success, BenchPrep has developed this tool to ensure you’re building and implementing an impactful program.