This blog series has covered L&D data requirements spanning a wide range of learning technologies commonly found in learning ecosystems. But there are so many other product classes we haven’t had a chance to talk about—until now.
So, in this penultimate post of the series, we’re going to blast through several types of learning tools and technologies we haven’t covered yet. We’ll also explore the kinds of reporting questions that these platforms’ data might answer and critical considerations in data extraction planning.
Data Requirements for eLearning Courses
In many organizations, eLearning courses make up a significant chunk of learning programs. We chose not to give eLearning courses their own post; however, data from these courses tends to come via a learning management system and learning experience platform, which we covered in earlier posts. Data from eLearning courses will enable you to answer these questions and more:
- Learning content questions: Are there any parts where learners get stuck or put learners off? Are any parts of the assessment too difficult (and perhaps require further training) or too easy?
- Learner questions: How far has a particular learner gone? How did they perform on the assessment? How did they respond to specific questions? Which learners scored highest?
This example leaderboard shows which learners scored the highest and when they accessed the eLearning course.
The big question of eLearning course data is whether to use xAPI or SCORM. But pragmatically, that question often comes down to the functionality of the LMS or LXP launching the course than of the eLearning authoring tool since most have support for both SCORM and xAPI.
Data Requirements for Intranet
You can use your intranet as a learning platform and, in particular, as a source of reference information—perhaps as a job aid. This means it’s a valuable source of learning data. By surfacing which content learners more (or less) commonly view in the flow of their work, you can identify areas where:
- learners might appreciate more training, or
- beneficial job aids could be made more prominent, easier to find, and more precise.
When it comes to data, your intranet software probably does not have xAPI tracking by default and may not include functionality to provide tracking data in a CSV format.
The good news is that intranet software tends to be customizable, and some organizations have added xAPI tracking themselves. Take care to consider how you will include learner identifiers in this data so you can connect intranet data to data from other sources.
Data protection is another consideration that is especially relevant when it comes to tracking the intranet. Depending on the laws in your territory (e.g. GDPR), you may need to ensure that learners are aware their intranet usage is tracked and consider how that data is protected and used.
Data Requirements for Learning Games & Custom Learning Experiences
Learning games are a fun way to engage learners. And we’ve provided tracking for many different learning games—both as fun conference demos and in the real world with clients.
We’ve learned that every game is different, which applies to the reporting and data requirements. This means it’s essential to plan out reporting requirements and associated data requirements early in development. Some of the questions to think about are:
- What data do you need to capture to support the game’s functionality (e.g. to power an internal leaderboard or to support learners challenging one another)?
- What data do you need to capture to support analytics relating to the game itself (e.g. to understand game utilization or identify any issues with the game)?
- What data do you need to capture to support analytics relating to the learners, their progress, learning, and success?
This report shows where learners are dropping out of an eLearning game. This is actual data from a game demoed at a conference. There were many attempts at the game, but very few completions because the game had too many rounds for the attention span of a conference attendee! The insight here is to ensure games demoed at conferences can be completed quickly.
Data Requirements for Assessment Tools
Most organizations conduct assessments within eLearning content or use assessment tools built into their LMS. Other organizations, however, choose to use specialist assessment tools with advanced features typically relating to the security and reliability of assessments for compliance reasons.
Data from assessment tools should ideally be detailed enough to enable high-level completion, success, score information, and the more granular question response data. This lets you explore questions such as:
- How did the learner perform in their assessments? How did they do on a particular question?
- Which topics and questions in our assessments do our learners find most challenging?
- Which people who are required to pass the compliance assessment have not yet passed? Where are they getting stuck?
This report shows how learners responded to the assessment questions. Learners took a long time to answer both questions and got the answer wrong more than half the time.
Some assessment tools have support for xAPI, while others will offer data as CSV extracts. For assessment tools, the most critical question to ask the vendor is whether their data includes question responses or overall quiz completion and scores.
Data Requirements for Quizzing Platforms
You can use quizzing platforms to deliver quizzes and questions to learners after training to ensure the learning sticks. For example, some Watershed clients used Scrimmage to provide gamified quizzes to salespeople’s mobile devices to support and assess their product knowledge learning.
Salespeople played in teams and challenged one another to head-to-head quizzes with results published in leaderboards to drive competition and engagement. As with assessment tools, both high-level quiz scores and granular question-level data can deliver different insights. The kinds of questions to ask of quizzing platform data are:
- Who are the highest- and lowest-scoring learners?
- Are there particular topics and questions that learners struggle with, and does that indicate a gap in the training?
- How well are learners using the quizzing platform across the organization?
- Are particular times in the week better or worse for pushing quizzes out in terms of the engagement generated?
As with assessment tools, some quizzing platforms will have xAPI support, and others will support CSV data extraction. The most important question to ask is if the question-level data is tracked and available for extraction.
What other L&D data requirements do you have?
Did we miss a product category that you wanted to read about? Do you want more detail about the kinds of data you should expect to extract from a platform, or what reporting questions you might ask of the data? Or do you just want to let us know which post in this series you found most helpful?
We would love to hear from you. Get in touch!
Up Next: 5 Top Tips for Data Requirements
We hope you’ve enjoyed this data requirements series and are sad to say that the next post is the final of the series. So, we’ll be wrapping up with some final words of wisdom and providing links back to the rest of the series as a quick reference for you to bookmark.
About the author
As one of the authors of xAPI, Andrew Downes has years of expertise in data-driven learning design. With a background in instructional design and development, he’s well versed in creating learning experiences and platforms in corporate and academic environments.
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