How to grow your business with digital learning

What is the point of good and quality online training that no one participates in? The key to success is to reach out with the digital learning offer to course participants so that the trainings can be of use. It may sound obvious, but it’s easy to overlook. Here are some tips on how to reach out and grow your business with digital learning.

Digitize your course offering

Build an online course catalog through planning, producing and publishing courses in various subjects. Please read the blog post How to make amazing online courses to learn more. The courses can, for example, consist of recorded web meetings, filmed trainings, interactive exercises, instructor-led elements and digital self-correcting quizzes. Keep a consistand form with a course evaluation and a course certificate at the end. The Sparkfore template will help you with that.

Customize messages

Go through and, if necessary, adapt the text in the messages to will be sent to the course participants. Sparkfore offers four predefined messages that are used at different times:

  • Welcome - a message with the course link is sent to new course participants to confirm their access to the course.
  • Inactive - a notification to participants who have not been active in the course for three weeks.
  • Complete - a message to participants who have passed the course with a link to the course certificate.
  • F2F - a message linked to the course date to remind course participants one day in advance of a calendar event.

All messages can be sent by e-mail or by SMS. If you choose email, you can add an image, such as your company logo, to the header or footer. Note that the default setting is that the messages are disabled, so you need to toggle to Active for them to be sent.

Talk to your customers

An online course catalogue is of little use if no one knows it exists! Talk to your customers, friends and acquaintances to make them aware of your digital learning offer. Tell them about the benefits, e.g. that online training is flexible and accessible! You will find more benefits in the blog post Great opportunities with online learning.

Use your social media

Social media is perfect for creating awareness about your digital learning offer. Make posts that describe the different courses and preferably with quotes from customers who have taken the course and who agree to be references. Be patient to repeat your message and simplify your work by reusing materials that you have shared before. Digital marketing is about reaching your target audience step by step by raising awareness, creating interest, getting them to consider your offer and finally getting them to buy your courses.

Efficient and easy

As soon as a course participant has gained access to a course, the effient process begins: The automatic welcome message is sent as an SMS or e-mail, the course participant clicks on the link and enters directly the first section of the course. When all sections and the course evaluation have been completed, the learning platform registers that the participant has passed and issues a certificate with the current date, which is also confirmed with an automatic Completion message.

Follow up courses for high quality

Do you want to be successful with your digital learning offer? Make sure to offer high quality by systematically and continuously following up results and evaluations that lead to improvements. Sparkfore helps you along the way through automatic settings and functions that are easy to use.

Goal fulfillment

Make sure you start from the beginning. To be able to follow up whether the course participants have passed the course or not, the content of the training itself needs to be based on learning goals that the participants must be able to do or know when they are finished.

Then decide whether it is enough for the participants to have gone through the content or whether they should prove their goal fulfillment through a test that is corrected automatically. We recommend you to offer a good mix of some modules with tests and others without, as well as a final test.

Sparkfore automatically sets settings for course completion. This means that when a course participant has completed all modules, the participant will pass the course. The learning platform registers the date and time when the course is completed and shows it on the course certificate.

Schedule reports

Sparkfore’s report tool makes it easy to follow up the course participants' progression. In the report builder you can overview several courses at the same time and in the report for course completion you can follow up specific courses by taking part in the course participants' status in three steps: not started, in progress or complete. You can also see in detail which sections are Unfinished or Done for each participant.

The reports can be downloaded in Excel format for further processing or shared via e-mail. When you share a report, you can choose whether the report mailings should be repeated daily, weekly or monthly, which contributes to a continuous follow-up.

Go through the reports by studying if there is any module or course where few has passed? And vice versa, if there are modules or courses where many or all participants have passed? Find out, for example, by talking to one of the course participants, if there is a problem that needs to be fixed and set aside time for it.

Course evaluations and forms

Add a standardized course evaluation to all your courses to systematically collect feedback from course participants. Sparkfore’s course template comes with an evaluation that is easy for the course participants to complete and which is a mandatory part of the course to get a certificate.

The course evaluation provides valuable insight into what needs to be improved. As an administrator, you can download the answers in csv format. Open in Excel and process the result (read more about importing csv file). Make it a habit to follow up evaluations regularly - semi-annually or quarterly based on usage. Are there any recurring requests? Are they easy or difficult to fix? Prioritize and plan time to implement improvements.

Good luck!

3 steps to secure digital learning

Hand on heart, what do you know about IT security? Yes, you should not give your bank details to strangers, but when it comes to the actual protection, it is nice to be able to delegate the responsibility for a safe, technical solution to a reliable partner. One of Sparkfore’s basic values is to provide safety for you and your users. Sparkfore is robust and secure with modern encryption and where the data is not shared with either Google or Facebook.

Personal data in compliance with GDPR

A few years ago, the European law GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was launched with the aim of protecting personal data. Personal data refers to all information that can be directly or indirectly derived from an identifiable, living person, such as social security number and e-mail address.

Because Sparkfore, like all other learning management systems, handles logged-in users and consequently their user data, we take responsibility for processing personal data in a correct and secure manner in accordance with applicable laws. This means, for example, that course participants' accounts - on request or after the validity period has expired - can be deleted completely without their personal data remaining in the system.

When purchasing Sparkfore, you are the Data Controller, i.e. responsible for your users' personal data and we therefore establish a Data Processor agreement with you on order. If you want a signed copy of the documents, contact us and we will arrange it.

Servers within the EU

A hot potato in the past year has been authorities that store users' personal data in the US, where the protection may be inferior to the EU according to the European Court of Justice. The discussion have concerned IP addresses, which the European Court of Justice classifies as personal data as they can in the long run identify individuals.

The Sparkfore service is now offered with a Swedish Cloud provider that values privacy, data encryption and environmental conservation. This hosting solution provides strong protection for your course participants' user data.

Ownership of data

Finally, Sparkfore emphasize the importance of you, our customer, having the full ownership of all content in your learning platform, i.e. data in the form of courses, users and results. In the general terms and conditions of the Sparkfore service, we have therefore clearly specified that all intellectual property rights linked to content added by you, belong exclusively to you as a customer with ownership. This means that you can be confident that the time and effort you invest in your course offering will always be beneficial to you.

Read more on https://moodle.com/security-privacy/

Great opportunities with online learning

Online learning is exciting, but if you are still questioning the benefits - or if you have someone close to you you want to convince - here you will find five points about why you should also jump on the bandwagon.

When online learning has teacher-led elements, it is called hybrid education, i.e. there are both synchronous and asynchronous parts. This article focuses on what we call web-based training, e-learning or online training, that is, training or sections that are primarily designed to be self-paced and that are available completely independent of time and place.

Flexible

Online training is independent of time and space, which makes it very flexible for those taking the course. In a company, it can be employees who are given the opportunity to catch up after an absence, or offer introductions to newly hired people at irregular intervals.

Available

With a learning management system and associated web-based training that is available around the clock, you have a knowledge bank that offers knowledge when someone needs it and which also provides opportunities for repetition.

Level-adjusted

In online training, the course participants can control the pace themselves and adapt it to their level of knowledge. Those who do a training for the first time may need more time to absorb the content than those who already have prior knowledge and in both cases this level adjustment is a great advantage.

Consistent

In many training contexts, it is a great advantage to be able to give the same message to everyone. An employee who starts six months after the last employee should receive the same introduction as his or her predecessors, regardless of what resources are available at the time. Through online training, you can make it consistent for all course participants.

Quality assured

An online training can be reviewed by different people during production, which gives the advantage that the quality is assured before the course participants sees the material. Another important aspect of the quality assurance is the ability to adapt accessibility and make it possible for course participants with different needs to absorb the content.

Yes, there you have it! The next time someone asks or wants to talk about the benefits of digital learning, you know that when online training is at its best, it is flexible, available, level-adjusted, consistent and quality assured.

How to make amazing online courses

How do you get started offering online training? Many have realized the benefits of offering self-paced training that can be reused and shared with course participants without special adaptation, that is, what is called e-learning, web-based training, or online training. This article describes how to do this in three steps.

Plan the content of the training

The first step consists of making a script of what should be included based on learning goals or business goals. What content is needed for the course participants to succeed the training? Make a simple table of contents or why not formulate the exam questions. In online training, it is extra important to have a common thread and a clear structure, as the course participant will go through the material on their own without anyone explaining and clarifying. Divide the material into short sections and be consistent in always having an introduction and an end. Remember to make delimitations - everything you can think of about the subject should probably not be included in the training.

The planning can be done in any way - by hand, in Word or in PowerPoint. Choose the way and the tool that you feel most comfortable with.

Produce section by section

The second step is the most technical. Now you will take the step to make your training digital and possible to distribute via the learning platform Sparkfore. Here are three formats and methods that work on the web:

  • If you have documents that are to be included in the training, you should save them as pdf files before uploading them. Some advantages of pdf files are that they can be displayed directly in the browser (unlike Word or PowerPoint files that the course participant needs to download and then open on their computer) and that they are more difficult to change than Word and PowerPoint files. Keep in mind that the course participant can save the pdf file - great if it is a checklist or a similar tool that you want to share - but perhaps worse if it contains information that you should update from time to time because the course participant probably keeps their original file and misses the update.
  • Video is a great way to show, tell and convey information. In its simplest form, you can record with your mobile phone or make a screen recording on your computer. If you use Microsoft Teams, you can hold a meeting with yourself where you share a screen and record the meeting. With the different presenter mode settings, you can choose to be seen in the image while going through a presentation. There is also a screen recording tool in PowerPoint. The videos can then be uploaded directly to the learning platform or embedded.
  • But what would training be without offering the course participants to be activated? Documents and video are examples of information transfer where the recipient will be passive. But we also want to give the course participants the opportunity to get active. If you are going to do interactive exercises, where course participants can answer questions, drag and drop or click to read more, we recommend the powerful H5P program that is built into Sparkfore. With H5P, you can create slide shows that work on the web (unlike, for example, pptx files). Contact us for more advice on how to produce content in H5P.

Publish the online course

The third and final step is to invite course participants to test. Start by going to the course messages and activating the welcome mailing. You can decide whether to send it as an e-mail or SMS and, if needed, change the text of the default message. Then add users and let them go through the course. Gather feedback and fix any issues, but do not let the test pilots' wish list become an obstacle to getting started for real. Regard this online training as a first version and remember that you can always improve further later. The important thing is to get started and get the material out there.

Good luck!

Unleash the potential of learning with Sparkfore.

Anna Elvnejd

+46 10 492 43 22

Anders Stenmark

+46 10 492 43 25

You can contact us directly

[email protected]

Anders & Anna

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