How the target group affects the course

In an instructor-led training, you can easily see the reactions of the participants and change your presentation accordingly. This is not easily done with a self-paced online training, but a course of good quality has its starting point in the people who will participate in it, i.e. the target group. When you plan your course, take a moment to think about what you know about the target group and adapt the training accordingly. Here are three tips on how you can do the target group adaptation.

1. Previous knowledge

What does the target group already know? Is the prior knowledge even or uneven within your intended target group? A good online course covers both these situations. If the person who is going to take the course lacks the necessary prior knowledge, you can insert explanations and links to more information that will help the course participant. If the person who is taking the course already knows the basics about the subject, it is a good idea to offer in-depth information and challenges that allow the course participants to enhance their knowledge.

2. Practical aspects

How will the target group complete the training? Will they be freed from their regular duties for a few hours, or will the course be conducted in parallel with work? A clear structure with short sections creates flexibility that benefits everyone. Do they use a computer, tablet, or mobile phone? Make sure to click through the online training as if you were one of the target groups. Does everything work as it should or do you need to make improvements?

3. Attitude and motivation

What is the target group’s attitude to the subject of the course? How is the target group’s motivation to complete the training? With small, simple means, you can make the subject interesting. Make it concrete by giving examples and describing real situations. Another way to encourage the participants is to ask questions, to let the course participant ponder for a while and then present the answer. Ensure variety in the training, so that the course participant gets to experience diverse types of content, for example texts, images, films, and exercises.

In conclusion, target group adaptation is about changing perspective as well as reviewing the course from the course participant’s situation: What does the target group know about the subject, how do they complete the course and what is the target group’s attitude? With small, simple means, you can ensure that your online course becomes an attractive offer.

Good luck!

Why it’s important to protect data

Security should always be your most important concern when you’re working with information and data. In a learning platform there are three keystones - digital training content, user data and user results - that need to be protected. It is important to feel secure that the data does not end up in the wrong hands, both for your own sake and for the sake of all your course participants.

Content is protected

The development practices of Moodle LMS, on which Sparkfore is based, include security by design. This means that the software itself is developed to help keep users, files and data safe. As the software rests on open-source code, the application is monitored by a global network of developers who quickly resolve bugs and security issues that may arise, reducing the impact of vulnerabilities and security breaches. The Sparkfore cloud service includes continuous maintenance, which gives you a secure and up-to-date system automatically.

Two-step access

To be able to take part of content in the learning platform, two “doors” need to be opened. Firstly, you’ll need a login to the learning platform and secondly, the all logged-in users need to be granted access to the course(s). The advantage of this two-step access model is that different people can access different content. As a Training Manager, you can easily overview the total number of users in the learning platform and extract a user list for each course.

Roles with different permissions

A general guideline for maintaining good security is to limit who is given permissions and to restrict permissions to a minimum. In the same way that not everyone who visits a bank can enter the vault, the learning platform uses different roles to determine permissions. New users have the role of course participants, which means they can edit their own user data and complete courses. Only you who manage the system can add, edit and delete users and courses.

All this – the protection of the content, the two-step access and the roles with different permissions – means you can be sure that Sparkfore is safe for you and your users.

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/

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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