Picture of Liz Smith
Learner times in Adapt
by Liz Smith - Thursday, 9 April 2015, 11:07 AM

Since starting to use Adapt and moving away from more traditional 'screen to screen' learning I've been struggling to quantify learner time accurately. If we can say that a block equates to a screen then that does help us to refer to learner time in a useful way to provide a scope for courses. But if we want Adapt pages to be more fluid, flowing, also thinking about the editorial style we might be employing more, we won't really be able to use this metric.

Would be interested to hear other thoughts on how we can quantify this. Could it be based on a word count and average reading time for example? For sales work, it's crucial that we can give rough estimates of learner time so we really need a system that can accurately predict an average time (taking into account that all learners are different and this will differ slightly from person to person).

Picture of Maxine Ross
Re: Learner times in Adapt
by Maxine Ross - Monday, 13 April 2015, 12:09 PM

I think basing it on a word count is a great idea. The block = 1 screen approach is fine for the majority of the interactions we use... but when it comes to blocks which contain just text and/or graphics, the timings are rarely accurate. A block with just a few lines of text won't take a full minute to read - so word counts sound like a good solution. 

Basing it on word counts might have another benefit too: helping us enforce how important it is to keep content short and to the point. Trying to cram a paragraph into an initial text field is never going to look pretty on mobile! If customers and designers are clear on just how much text is recommended upfront, there should be much less risk of overruns later down the line.

Paul Welch
Re: Learner times in Adapt
by Paul Welch - Monday, 13 April 2015, 1:01 PM

Tricky isn't it because you could also have a single block with a single width video and an accompanying MCQ which could take far longer than a minute. Word count would certainly help give us a more accurate steer, wouldn't it.

The old 60 screens/blocks an hour model came about as a simple rule of thumb for pricing/resourcing work that everyone could use, but this is of course very different from learner time. A different point, I appreciate but personally I can't wait for a time when we assign a value to elearning by it's effectiveness rather than the 'by the yard' metrics - these always tend to end up as a target to be reached, even if the learner would be better served by 20 minutes of content.  


Picture of x z
Re: Learner times in Adapt
by x z - Monday, 13 April 2015, 3:21 PM

Using word count and average reading rates could create an unreasonable benchmark which can be frustrating to learners. Reading speed varies greatly depending upon the level of difficulty of the content as well as the vocabulary level, familiarity with content, and reading proficiency learners bring to a course. Also using word counts does not account for other learning activities (required or undertaken independently).  

I'd be inclined to post estimates (and label them as such)  for a new course and then ask the students for feedback about how much time they spent. You could ask them to log their tine spent on each block or overall and make it a low stakes activity. You may also be able to gather this information through your LMS. Then you could give subsequent groups a range of times based on actual learner experience, and you'll know whether your estimates were realistic  You could even do a cross-comparison between time spent and marks achieved. It might prove an interesting starting point for discussion.