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Highly interactive content developed with over 20 years of experience

Engage in Learning is one of our longer-standing publisher partners and they have been a mainstay of our content catalogue since 2016. Now part of the Kallidus Group, Engage in Learning offer an extensive catalogue of over 100 titles covering personal development, management, and leadership, as well as health & safety and compliance topics. True to their name, their courses are all highly interactive and engaging, and offer sufficient depth in a subject to deliver a meaningful learning experience.

With this in mind, we were keen to explore more about ‘what makes them tick’ and Jackie Finlay, Head of Off-the-Shelf Learning at Kallidus, was kind enough to share her thoughts with us in this interview.

Course-Source: How do you approach the design of a course to ensure that you deliver meaningful learner engagement within a course?

Jackie: “We’re really mindful of the challenges involved in designing courses that need to engage potentially millions of people in wildly differing industries and with diverse learning needs, particularly for some of those health and safety and compliance subjects that can be a bit dry. We want to keep the learner fully engaged through the whole course, make them feel they really enjoyed it and, crucially, make the impact powerful enough for them to easily retain and apply the learning.”

“We use a combination of approaches, constantly testing and using new digital interactions and applying pedagogical theory to recreate many facets of classroom learning. For example, we build each step to appeal to different learning styles simultaneously, such as engaging people who learn visually or aurally. We also combine graphics, text and audio to reinforce each learning point before moving onto the next one.”

“We build in a huge amount of interactivity, as frequently as every step, as research shows learners who try to find the answer for themselves learn better and faster than through passive learning. We also keep the learner on their toes by bringing in new approaches all the time. For our recent Emotional Intelligence course, we built and filmed interactive video options so the learner could test out real life scenarios to see the impact of their choices.”

Course-Source: What is your view on the current trend for microlearning style courses?

Jackie: “Businesses are grappling with the challenges posed by learning in the flow of work, and just-in-time learning. Learners can often be time-poor – recent research showing the average UK employee has 24 minutes a week to devote to training – or only have a mobile device to learn on, so the demand is certainly growing for shorter, single-topic courses. Our courses may look longer but are broken up into modules, some of which are microlearning in length, so the learner can take these as suits their schedule. This way the content remains thorough and focused on reinforcement, so the learning is retained for far longer than the immediate need of the moment.”

“Additionally, due to our belief in creating a continuous learning culture, and recognising the strength of microlearning in some instances, we’re excited to be developing a range of bitesize courses for customers with those ‘just-in-time’ needs in mind. Our first bitesize suite, Mindfulness, was released a couple of months ago and has had top ratings from all our customers. We built it to be easy to use on mobile, with highly impactful graphics, to support the desire for learning that fits into that spare 10 minutes on a break or before a customer meeting.”

Editor Note. Jackie makes a really important point in that long format content can be consumed by learners in shorter bursts due to a modular construction. Many learning objectives simply cannot be condensed down to the micro level, and we should avoid the temptation to think we must always do this.

Course-Source: What do you see are the emerging priority soft skills for organisations in 2021 and beyond and how are you addressing these needs?

Jackie: “I think all of us in the eLearning industry have seen an overwhelming demand for courses that support wellbeing and mental health, as the country moves through the pandemic and people start returning to the office or back to work after furlough. We’re working on courses that directly support people and their team leaders through these changes, such as Hybrid Working and Change Management. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are also right at the top of the agenda, given things like the impact of the pandemic on working women, the benefits of a diverse workforce and the fight to attract staff now anyone can work from anywhere – we’re getting a lot of interest from businesses for content on this topic.”

“We’re also refreshing our ‘soft skills’ courses to give them a great modern, fresh look and feel with new animations and learning scenarios. Examples of the latest refreshed courses are Angry Customers or Communicating to Influence.”

Course-Source: What are you most excited about in terms of the development and evolution of your courses in the next year?

Jackie: “We’ve been part of the Kallidus group for about 18 months and it’s given us a huge boost, from entering the US market to developing our soft skills offer. Learn, Kallidus’ LMS, is also going through some exciting changes and we are becoming the off-the-shelf library of choice for all Learn customers, as well as providing an even better experience for new and existing customers, whatever their LMS. As Kallidus encompasses a wide range of products designed to boost employee engagement and nurture a culture of continuous development, it’s exciting to see how our content fits in the wider employee lifecycle.”

Engage in Learning courses are available via Course-Source and can be viewed here. Please contact us for a quote to meet your exact requirements and to preview the courses on your LMS.