What sort of exercises do you find within online content?
Exercises, exercises, exercises, everyone wants exercises. Now we fully understand the need for exercises if you’re involved in any form of Compliance based learning because you’ll definitely need to simulate a real-life scenario, be tested and to be proven competent.
When we’re asked the question, ‘Do you include exercises?’ our answer will always relate to the type of learning that you’re planning to use either through your own LMS (Learning Management System) or through whatever Portal you’re using.
How can Mi Crow help?
As you would expect we’re hugely committed to ensuring that all employees have all the training they need, and then some, in order for them to be the best they can be in their job roles.
Our feelings on the use of exercises is best explained by a short story. Many years ago, we had sent one of our employees on a Microsoft Technical Course as part of their Microsoft Certification which was a mandatory requirement for their job role, and we were absolutely delighted when they returned to the office and told us that they had passed their exam by close to 100%. What we couldn’t understand was that when they were back at work they appeared to struggle to be able to apply those newly found skills to their job. We knew that this person was committed, and we wanted to do all that we could to help. After a while though it became clear, that whilst tests or exercises prove one thing, they don’t always mean you’ve learnt something. In this case it was easy to do the examples and apply the learning to the course tests but not so to real world situations.
We’ve found that in some circumstances having a Certificate, based on completing a course with examples and tests, does not prove competence in any way and so it’s essential to look at what a person’s learning and establish if examples and testing is going to be beneficial to their job role.
We produce video content for office software, things like Microsoft Office, and therefore for us the most important thing is that any example should be a live situation. Our video content is short, concise and to the point. It’s easy for our users to watch a video, pause it and try out the process they’ve just learned directly on their own work. Now they may not get it first time around and may have to refer to the video again, but it won’t take long before they’ll prove to themselves that they can do it, and that success is not only self-fulfilling but hugely beneficial to the person and the job role they’re in.
Our guidance, therefore, is that there’s no doubt that there’s a place for exercises in online learning but the use of them should be measured against what it is you want to achieve. It’s very clear that there are circumstances where it’s essential and others where simply being able to do your work is the much greater result.
P.s We tend to favour exercises (such as tasks, scenarios and real-world examples). We’re not such big advocates of exam style exercises, at least not when it comes to those that score results (particularly not for softer skills).