Encourage employees develop both soft and professional skills using Ayris

Nov 8, 2018

In this technology-driven world it is important for companies to motivate employees to accomplish new skills and knowledge.

Employees are the company! They need to know that their managers genuinely care and are committed to support their professional advancement and even their personal growth.

Employee development is a long-term initiative, but it also leads to short-term benefits like increased loyalty and improved performance and engagement.

Max DePree once said: ‘We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are’. It is important to understand that success begins when we start growing personally and professionally.

One of the many ways to build soft and professional skills are:

• Professional Training – Employee training may be required to ensure competency and even excellence. Being excellent at what you do is very important, but passing on this excellence to new hires then creates an outstanding team. As previously mentioned, employees are the company, so having the best means being the best.

•Feedback sessions – Being interested in your employees and sharing with them positive and negative feedback shows concern. This way managers and employees, together, can fix issues and discuss future success and growth.

• Coaching – Being there when you are needed. Some employees may not have enough experience and telling them what to do may not be the right way. The more conceivable approach would be by setting aside time to show them the process they are struggling with. Every employee is different, therefore coaching tactics may change from team to team or even employee to employee.

• Develop ‘Soft skills’ – Teaching employees how to communicate and read body language is extremely important. When the team is in harmony and they have the correct communication, work gets done more efficiently and the achievements are immense.

By helping your team develop the skills listed, you are just one step away from growing and improving your business.

Ayris can help companies by:

• Allowing managers to assigning courses, submit tests or surveys to employees to help them develop personally or professionally.

• Help them create programs and establish gradual learning plan.

• Build beautiful courses using different course formats (including SCORM).

• Take advantage of corporate branding and own storage space!

Ayris is a clever way to check how your team is doing. To be productive and develop new skills it is important to constantly learn. Ayris can help managers to connect with their team’s results, development and to be aware of their team’s achievements. And most of all, Ayris can make your employees feel free and confident in finding their way to be better than yesterday.

Author: Mariya Ivanova

Why do we need a LMS?

Oct 2, 2018

What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?
LMS is a software application, that creates, delivers and manages eLearning content. The most key factors in LMS purchase decision are functionality, price and support. Top of desired features are Live/Video Conference, ITM, Mobile learning, Gamification. The most used are Assessment/Testing Tools and Blended Learning, but the lack of certain features remains the biggest dissatisfaction. However, setting up an LMS is just one step, which includes involvement to establishing connection with the company requirements. So, it is important to choose the right LMS for your needs.

What is a good LMS?
A good LMS platform should be capable of managing a large amount of data easily for many users. It needs to possess a friendly interface for users and administrators or the so-called Application Program Interface (API). The platform should have specified reports, which are formed from the requirements of the company. Considerations must be the portability and scalability of the system. Another aspect with immense importance is the administration of the LMS. This includes the management of complex recourses, trainers, training inventories, rooms, planning of training sessions, tracking feedback, and notifications to end users.

What is the future face of LMS?
The LMS will become more individualized – to schools and to teachers. There will be personal applications, that can be plugged together in kind of self-personalizing environment. Popular use today has the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard, which is created by the IMS Global Learning Consortium. LTI links content and resources to LMS's. Its purpose is to connect the LMS with external service tools in a standard way across learning systems.

Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE) 
NGDLE envisions what is the next thing that is not an LMS that can help manage digital learning.

There are five different dimensions of NGDLE:
1. Interoperability and integration - allows the parts to be connected and to share data.
2. Personalization - learning environments and activities can be tailored to individual users.
3. Analytics, advising and learning assessment - so that course level learning analytics as well as planning advising systems that have focused on student success can be part of this environment.
4. Collaboration - imply several types of interaction - student to student, student to faculty, faculty to faculty.
5. Accessibility and universal design - so that everybody can access education.

Referring to these dimensions of NGDLE to build individual components (bricks), the options for customization and personalization are infinite. This is the same as Lego analogy and as institutions, students, trainers, the NGDLE will prompt us to take the role of individual creators.

Therefore, NGDLE can be implemented like a Lego. The experts are stating that the possible future of LMS will be the implementing of NGDLE.

Where do we live?
We are living in a world with endless information. This information elevates the capabilities of our companies. Learning Management Systems are the modern way to continue the path of gaining the knowledge in a very efficient and remarkable manner, which is developing the look of our existence in the technology world.

Author: Kamen Zhelev

The connection between company engagement and learning

Aug 24, 2018

In our service and information driven economy, talented people are your most precious commodity. That is why having a personal growth strategy for your employees is a foundational concept in company and employee engagement, and something you cannot ignore. An atmosphere of continual growth is no longer just a desire, it is a necessity for companies that do not want to experience high turnover. When you have an environment where your employees are engaged by their work, you will notice higher levels of productivity. Therefore, it is crucial to connect the organizations mission with everyone’s activities.

Employee engagement is the extent to which an employee’s personal goals and interests align with the vision and goals of the company at which they are employed.

It is no secret that education is one of the best ways individuals can develop new skills and knowledge that they can directly apply to their roles. That is why education is one of the most worthwhile investments your company can make. If you do not have the budget to subsidize an educational program, there are plenty of more options and tools like Ayris that offer great alternatives.

Employee learning is becoming more “consumer like” where audiences search out and choose content for themselves. Micro-learning is a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts. At Ayris managers and/or admins can create, modify and share their own learning objectives, the learners are in control of what and when they are learning, and it is a growing trend in Learning Management Systems.

Learning and development opportunities are among the largest drivers of employee engagement and strong workplace culture. Providing learning and development opportunities to individuals show that you are willing to invest in them as a person. On-the-job education has much more  impact on employee performance as formal classroom learning does and considerably increases employee engagement. The transition from passive learning to productive learning can yield significant improvement in employees analytical and social skills. By contributing and participating to the learning process, team members will be more engaged with their work and improve at working together.

With the right knowledge, the right tools, and most importantly the proper mindset, it can be a powerful way to transform your organization and improve your bottom line.

Author: Tsvetelina Kirkova

The Knowledge-Based Economy and Ayris

Jun 19, 2018

Heraclitus once said: There is nothing permanent except change. We live in an ever-changing environment, in a society that is transforming every second, in a world that has gradually evolved into a highly industrialized technology-reliant economy. This new era is driven primarily by knowledge, which is regarded as an important asset that leads to economic prosperity.

While technology is infused in almost every aspect of our lives, the knowledge-based economy is not just about the technology itself. It is rather about being able to upgrade your skills and adapt yourself to the constantly changing working environment. When it comes to recruiting new employees, the emergence of the knowledge-based economy puts more stress on the level of education and training. People and businesses alike are striving to learn faster and more effectively than their competitors in the jobs market. The level of one’s competence, skills, education and abilities are of increasing importance. Hence, the knowledge-based economy is global and influences everyone. Only those who are flexible enough and willing to adapt to different kinds of work will be able to handle and benefit from the constant changes happening.

According to an extensive psychological study, the most adaptive people are not those who are better educated, smarter, or have fancier job titles. Surprisingly, the ones who find it easier to adapt are those who are ready to take a step forward and embrace the change. Ayris will enable you to feel and respond to the changes around you with just a few clicks. With its incredibly user-friendly interface, Ayris makes it easier than ever to share your ideas or upgrade your teams knowledge on any topic at a moment’s notice. Moreover, by designing your own online content, you have the chance to distribute the right content to the right people and spread the wind of change in your business organization. Be the change you want, be adaptive. Take a step forward with Ayris.

Ways to Ensure That Everyone Develops Their Skills Gradually Within Your Company

Feb 21, 2018

It is important to hire operation specialists according to the needs of your company to ensure business processes are well handled. New hires take time to adapt to their new workspace and expectations. As a hiring manager, or team lead, you will have to monitor their performance and results while the employees are acclimating themselves to their daily workload. This adjustment period, depending upon the complexity of the job, can vary from one month to six or even nine months and beyond.

Once the employee has settled in with their daily workload and expectations, making sure the employee can perform and execute their daily activities in accordance with the project timeline is next necessary step. But what happens when your employees are not constantly being challenged enough, their critical thinking abilities decrease, and the monotony of repetitive tasks prevail? How do you keep the interest of your employees in their current position?  How do you keep the investment you have made in their development? The answer always lies in the learning process.

Provide your employees with tools and encouragement to learn new skills. This will not only continue to push your employees to grow and develop, but it will increase the scope and capability of your entire team. Let them see that they are part of something bigger than what is needed to be accomplished today. Allow them to see that what they need to accomplish today is part of a bigger picture, not just to check off a box on a project plan, but how it impacts the end result. Employees need to be encouraged to not only think outside the box, but learn outside of it too.

With courses based on digital marketing, sales, personal finance, and other courses based on specific job profiles - you, as a manager, can strengthen the company loyalty enormously. All you need to do is select a course and assign it. From there, you may think of creating a mentoring program for your young employees, so they learn from the experience and sound advice of various professionals within your organization. Employee training programs are another direct investment in your company and serve as a proof that you value your people and want them to grow. They will get the notion that this is not just another six-month job improve resume, but a work-based university of personal and professional development.

Today you have the chance to break the work-for-salary mentality and give your employees a meaningful experience while doing their job. All it takes is to start paying attention to what their learning needs are and help them grow. You start doing that by providing them with knowledge via the right tool – a Learning Distribution System.

Ayris - the 2017 in review and what's to come in 2018

Jan 22, 2018

It was a grand year for Ayris! Our application matured with another amazing year of development and enhancements across several areas. In 2017, we improved many of Ayris’ components thanks to suggestions and “wishes” from our clients. Below we will highlight some of these components:

Company branding – Now with your first login, you can transform Ayris to look as your own custom made tool. Incorporate your company logo, background color, and menu colors right from your company branding Ayris page. Changes are implemented immediately and can be constantly updated by your team to keep up with ever changing corporate branding.

Enhanced programs functionalities – Create a learning program that Ayris will automatically assign throughout the lifecycle of the campaign. Create 30, 60 or 90-day events for your onboarding process of your new hires! Customize the timeline to fit your needs by adding multiple events in a smooth and easy way that allows you to attach and customize notifications, courses, and reports to each event on the go!

Additional content storage for your learning materials – Load any type of document into Ayris and easily share the downloadable link with colleagues. You can even take it a step further and add these documents as reportable courses to assign to your end users! Ayris Content Storage allows you to build folder structure and set privacy settings on documents you load. Keep all of your content and source files in one program.

Import course completions – Whether you want to quickly add completion of a course or you wish to upload mass completions to transfer learning history from a previous LMS – this simplified process is possible in just a few easy steps with Ayris.

An improved tool – We also improved the functionalities of our video player, the reporting features, and many more features to improve the quality of the program.

As we enter into 2018, we are already excited about what is to come! 2018 will see a complete restructure of the reporting within Ayris, and we are looking for your input to make it elite!

Our current clients have been amazing with this approach, and we couldn’t thank you enough for your input! As you can see from above, we are not shy with enhancing our tool to improve our clients’ process.

What types of reports would you love your learning tool to have?

Help us help you!

Five ways to expand your course reach and grow your learning audience with Ayris

Jan 8, 2018

Many learning organizations own and offer valuable content but often fail to present it in an attractive way.  As a result, organizations are unable to reach a wider audience and achieve the goals they are trying to reach. What are the tricks to increase your course engagement? Based upon the OutCons team’s years of experience, here are some suggestions below:

1. Browse trending headlines to select topics

Keep up to date with the most recent developments in your industry and always try to be one step ahead of your audience and the rest of the eLearning industry. People want to learn about what is new in their business niche. For instance, if they want to start trading Bitcoins, provide them with all of the relevant information about it – what they should know before they start, what to watch for, how to mitigate their risks, etc. You can always improve your existing course list. Just try to be in line with the ongoing trends and tailor it to your audience.

2. Customize your content by interest groups

While you are adding value to your course materials, why not study your selected audience a little closer too. Group your contacts by interest and create different groups for each one of your topics. Look for branches within your learning organization, areas of professional development, or self-improvement topics. This way you can differentiate your types of audience and create custom content grouping. Pick the suitable courses for each group so you can satisfy personalized learning needs. In cases where the content is required, make sure you make it as short and as effective as possible to it peaks and holds the interest of the required group.

3. Create original content and ensure it is visually appealing

Make your content attractive and visually pleasing. This is probably the most important thing in online education today. According to The Telegraph, people have shorter attention spans (because of massive usage of the smartphone), which only lasts for eight seconds. Yes, if you don’t catch the attention of your audience within this timeframe, you probably won’t catch it at all. Be creative and entertaining, improve and upgrade your learning materials constantly.

4. Work your groups

Managing your learning group is a process, not a one-time, set-up case. You need to be active and engaged with all participants. Start an industry related community and post information, start chats, update statuses about the nature of your learning content and create a community of learning.

5. Ask industry influencers for quotes

Quote people who have taken your courses in the past, especially if they are recognized as leaders in your industry or organization. You can get creative and use tools like Canva to improve the visual representation of the quote itself. Individuals like to be associated with famous and influential people, so if you know someone appropriate, don’t forget to contact that person for a quote.

Always keep in mind that you are not promoting just a course. You are promoting your services, your company and your brand. Make sure that you present your courses well and get closer to and work with your audience groups. Do not get in a passive mode. If you do your homework and create courses of interest to your audience, your audience will grow.


How do you get your learners to focus on your content?

Dec 12, 2017

With so many distractions, staying focused on anything is a real challenge. At OutCons, we aim to change that and enable quality learning. Too many people get carried away by social media and their smart phone apps, which turn out to be a burden for lifelong learning and successful career development. One research suggests that the average person unlocks their phone 110 times a day! If we assume that a person’s day is 16 hours long, that accounts for roughly one smart phone pick-up every 15 minutes! And if all other activities the average working person has are added, it makes it very difficult for an educator to help someone learn, stay focused, and remember the learning material in order to implement it later.

How can you help your learners focus on the content?

1. Organize!

The key factor is the organization of the learning process. Make sure you establish an easy to understand schedule and course length. In our experience, breaking up learning into smaller chunks (5-10 minutes max) will help your learners focus and then get the break they are looking for.  A good distribution system (like Ayris) can help you distribute multiple chunks of learning, let your learners step away and then promt them to return through notifications and events. Within the calendar in the Programs menu of Ayris, you can schedule events for the upcoming weeks, months or even years. All you need to do is plan and organize the events, and Ayris will do the rest for you.

2. Set Goals/Gates

Set goals after each step of the education process. Setting an exam or questionnaire survey to supplement each course will allow you to keep track of learners’ performance and knowledge obtained. Engage all users by setting personal goals too. This will challenge the learners and they will be more willing to commit to the task and complete it.

3. Communicate the Schedule

Make learners aware of the time they need to accomplish the course.  If they are behind schedule, you have the option to send them a customized notification to proceed with the assignment when they can, by utilizing distribution tools like Ayris. All you need to do is be realistic about these time estimates and give students ample time to accomplish the course at their own pace. In this way, you will also have an indication of how committed the student is to learn and develop.

Many organizations we have worked with have giant libraries of content. One client we worked with had almost a one learning course per employee!  This client continued to post new courses in an effort freshen up their available courses, but failed to retire out dated content. This made it difficult for users to find new and releveant training. Distributions system make it so only the courses that are assigned to users are available to view.

Once your learners have gone through their program, allow for time to apply the learning and relax to prepare for the next challenge!

Mass Upload of Course Completions is Now Available on Ayris

Oct 6, 2017

Good news for everyone working with course completions! Batch course completion is now available on Ayris and this means two things for all of our users - smooth course completion process and peace of mind. If you have used another learning management solution in the past or you currently need to upload course completions for existing courses, our neat new feature will help you bring all of those learning history records on Ayris in no time.

You can access this feature on the "Learning" tab and then navigate to the "Manage Course Completions" menu. From there you will be able to select the courses for which you wish to submit course completions, for as many users as you like.

The other great add-on to this menu and probably the most important feature for learning managers is the mass upload of course completions from file. The "Import from CSV" button is created to help you upload learning completions quickly and easy. Once you press the button, a pop-up window opens allowing you to download a template which shows how course completions must be entered to successfully import them on Ayris. On the same window, you can also find brief instructions to support your successful submission of course completions on Ayris. Enjoy!

Learning Content Distribution with Ayris in the World of Online Education

Sep 11, 2017

Learning management systems serve great purposes today. They are a powerful tool in the hands of the companies who decided to constantly develop and widen the horizon for their employees and management staff. Companies with an LMS in their possession are constantly building learning materials related to the area of business and shaping it into online courses, surveys, and exams, etc. Most of the time getting this learning content accessible by their employees results in months of complicated content integration. But let’s skip this part and try to observe a common fact that happens next – people are not willing to go to LMS’s unless they are going for company mandated content. Courses like workplace safety, fire safety, company culture and trainings are among the best examples. Why is that?

Employees typically try to get closer to the state in which they are comfortable in doing their job and at the same time the manager is satisfied with the results. This makes them willing to cover whatever job related course is assigned to them.  But going out on their own, registering for classes, searching for courses to improve their job, and taking classroom courses to do so, is a rare occurrence unless they are specifically tied to new job title. What we did with our learning distribution system is cut short that distance between learning content and learner for the learning professionals. Months of content integration with complicated LMS now can be used by learning managers to better understand their employees’ needs. Lost hours on low content quality can be used to develop better structured and more engaging content so people can learn with ease, at their own pace. Most importantly, from a user’s perspective, is they do not even have to register for the system – you get what is distributed to you by your manager, team lead to you in your email and launch right from your inbox, regardless of device. Really, as simple as that and managers can still track completions.

Learning today is not just having content. It is about making it accessible and easy to reach. People lose interest really quick and shorting the distance between learner and the learning material is key. It’s like creating a market place, matching supply and demand for knowledge. Ayris serves this exact purpose but better – making it easy and fast for everyone involved.