There’s a lot of talk about learning analytics today, but often less understanding of how we can go about benefiting from the insights they give us. With the introduction of Experience API (xAPI) analytics, it’s a real revelation to be able to see live insights from courses detailing devices used, location, number of launches and pretty much anything else you could want or need to know.

Amongst all of the excitement, and with so much data to take in, it’s easy to lose sight of what we can do with the numbers to benefit future learning initiatives, strategy and e-learning content development. Following on from our webinar ‘5 ways learning analytics tools can make your training more effective’, we decided to go into a little more detail and explore each of the 5 aspects we covered a little further. 

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Improve learning design – go off more than a hunch

You might think that people don’t get an aspect of your company’s brand and vision, despite having launched a new e-learning course about it in the last six months. It’s easy to panic and presume fault with the course, especially as SCORM tracking has historically left us guessing what people got up to in the x number of minutes they were in a course.

Where traditional LMS and SCORM tracking would tell us that a learner got a 65% score on a quiz, xAPI analytics lets you drill down into each question or user, showing what they got wrong and also how each question performed. This helps you begin building a picture of what your people know and don’t know, giving you data to back up the e-learning content development process and help you avoid any knee-jerk reaction from stakeholders.

Understand what devices are most popular and design with them in mind

Understanding what devices your organization favor for learning changes everything. Simply knowing how many launches a course has is too generic and doesn’t account for the full learning experience – it’s important that you can take launches per device into account. Why create courses for desktop if over half your course launches are taking place on a mobile device (or vice versa)?

With device use data to hand, the e-learning content development process is informed by data. You can build with the most popular devices in mind, create extra, branched content for a particular device or play to the strengths of any one device a little more.

Map what people have and haven’t experienced

The clue is in the name: Experience API… it’s about what learners experience, not just that a course is completed. We want our learning to improve skills and change behaviour, and evidence that they’ve been through a course or not isn’t really enough to go off. It’s only natural that courses won’t be perfect upon release, so it’s important we’ve got analytic insight to help us build and improve until we have something that does the trick.

It’s not always essential that we must test or quiz to prove an understanding of knowledge – in some cases, just seeing that a video has been viewed or a game has been played is enough to show understanding. This allows us to get creative and move away from MCQ’s and hotspots from time to time, pulling data based on certain triggers and experiences. Those who haven’t watched the crucial video? Send it out in an email to them, get it involved in internal communications, give them a soft prompt and help edge your organization’s understanding forward.

Build secondary courses based on what people did and didn’t do

Collecting and analyzing data from individual nuggets or a specific aspect of a course can begin to show us what people favor and, more importantly, what they don’t bother with. It might be the content, the subject or the amount of time they have to spend on e-learning, but it’s your job to make sure they do take it in, and we can’t just force people into it.

Whether you make a lean, mobile on-the-go course or re-evaluate the learning outcomes and look for new ways to engage, with a wealth of new data at your disposal, you’re able to understand what hasn’t worked in order to put strategies and courses in place to get it right.

Use data to inform learner journeys, future e-learning content development and more targeted learner outcomes

All of the above help us move toward a better understanding of our audience, which can only mean one thing: better learning. The more relevant data we can collect, the more we can be sure we’re creating courses that will resonate and engage. The more we analyze courses with a fine tooth comb, the closer we are to truly proving how well different subjects and competencies are known.

With more numbers in what we do, we can work toward more real, numeric targets and better defined goals which will improve how our teams approach designing courses. It helps us get down to the essence of what we’re trying to do and achieve while helping us prove what we’re doing is right.

The gomo learning suite comes with xAPI tracking to help you harness the power of analytics. If the idea of this level of analytical insight gets you excited, maybe you should put it to use by trialling gomo today

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