Guide to Well-Being at Work

While employee health and safety programs have been conducted in organizations for as long as one can remember, ‘well-being’ programs are new to the show. By 2016, The Global Wellness Institute reported that 52% of organizations in North America and 23% of organizations in Europe were starting to have well-being programs in place. Today, 87% of employees consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer, and even some governments worldwide, such as the UAEian government, are pioneering having national well-being and happiness agendas.

But what exactly is well-being? And how can it be achieved at work?

In this blog post, we’ll explore what well-being is, why it’s important, and what organizations can do to guarantee creating work environments that support employee well-being.

What is Well-Being?

According to Psychology Today, well-being is ‘the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and the ability to manage stress.’ Well-being is vital because it is a measure of people’s quality of life. People who have high well-being simply enjoy life more.

Since well-being is centered around how people perceive their lives, it is crucial to realize the subjectivity of the experience. In other words, people attribute their well-being or lack thereof to different factors, depending on what they consider of intrinsic value to them. This means that there is no one-sure-way to well-being nor any one-size-fits-all solution.


What is well-being

The Elements of Well-Being

Well-being is the combination of a mix of feeling good and functioning well. This is because it is the composite result of four different aspects of health: physical, mental, emotional, and social health. Traditional organizational health and safety programs were focused on the physical aspect of well-being, to the detriment of the other factors.

Organizations and employees today know better. This can be attributed to many factors such as the mental health awareness resulting from the 2020 pandemic, the demographic shifts of more millennials in executive roles and more Gen Z joining the labor force, and the global focus on sustainable development rather than the myopic focus on economic development.

The Current Status of Well-Being

With this in mind, what is the status of employee well-being in the workplace today? In the Middle East and the world?

Research by Deloitte that covered 2,100 employees and C-level executives across four countries, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia shows disappointing results but increased awareness. According to this research, around one out of three employees and executives struggle with some form of fatigue or poor mental health. On the flip side, however, the tides are changing and increased awareness about the importance of well-being is leading the way. In fact, 68% of employees and 81% of the C-suite say that improving their well-being is more important than advancing their careers.

The results are not significantly different in the Middle East either. Research by McKinsey that covered four Middle Eastern GCC countries— Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Qatar— shows that one in three GCC employees report burnout symptoms.


Well-being matters

Why Well-Being Matters?

Organizations may wonder what should make them responsible for protecting and promoting their employees’ well-being. Well, the answer is simple! Employee well-being affects almost every aspect of organizational performance that organizations care about.

1. Increased Employee Retention

Globally, employees reporting high levels of toxic behavior at work are more likely to experience burnout, leading to an increased intention to quit. When organizations focus on creating work environments that promote employee well-being, including their psychological health, they benefit from increased employee loyalty and less talent shortage.

2. Increased Employee Productivity

Research by the International Labor Organization (ILO) shows that there is a considerable link between well-being and productivity. ‘The “happy worker” hypothesis provides evidence that higher levels of job satisfaction promote productivity. On the other hand, if well-being in the workplace or in general is low as a result of high levels of stress, productivity may be negatively affected.’

3. Increased Organizational Competitiveness

Happy employees are not only more productive, but also more engaged, creative, and innovative. When employees are highly engaged, this gives their organizations access to their discretionary efforts, which leads to increased performance, affecting product development, revenue generation, and, ultimately, profitability.

What Organizations Can Do to Promote Well-Being

For organizations to thrive today, they should include well-being programs in their cultural agendas. Here is a list of some best practices that can help.

1. Measure your organizational health

 You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Organizations like McKinsey provide tools like the Organizational Health Index (OHI) Survey to measure your organizational well-being and benchmark it to other organizations. This kind of measurement tells you what your organizational baseline is and what areas of well-being you need to improve on.

2. Start with a few areas of focus

A common mistake that organizations can make is to jump on the well-being wave with unbridled enthusiasm, which may lead to increased disappointment and frustrations when initiatives fail and can stretch your resources too thin. Instead, after identifying your organizational well-being areas of improvement, choose 1-2 areas of focus, succeed there, and then grow into other areas. Cultural changes take time and resistance is not unlikely.

3. Start change at the top

Regardless of what organization-wide internal communication campaigns say, it is the decisions that executives make every day that, ultimately, impact what priorities managers and employees shall have and how work shall be done. If organizations want to prioritize well-being, executives must create well-being agendas, develop well-being learning strategies, and, most importantly, model positive well-being practices themselves.

4. Make change possible from below

 Empower employees by making the organizational conversation around well-being public, encouraging employees to take action against toxic behavior using well-being hotlines, and creating employee well-being resource groups. Moreover, 63% of employees expect you to challenge what is normal by encouraging flexible working hours, introducing 4-day work weeks, and creating no-zoom meeting days, to name a few.

5. Promote transparency around well-being

It has been a tradition for large organizations to announce their annual results to customers, employees, and shareholders. However, for so long, these announcements were limited to financial results, which is commonly known as the single bottom line. Instead, it is better for organizations now to measure and announce their triple bottom line. ‘What is the triple bottom line?’, you may ask. It is a sustainability framework that measures a business’ success in three key areas: profit, people, and the planet. By using the triple bottom line, it would be easier for stakeholders to track if organizations are prioritizing their own employees’ well-being on their path to profitability.

6. Follow a holistic approach to well-being

Remember that well-being is the combination of four aspects of health: physical, mental, emotional, and social health. Therefore, ensure your well-being strategy gives every aspect its due focus. Good hiring and promoting decisions, great teamwork environments, and recognition programs all support the emotional well-being of employees. Investing in health and safety equipment and training protects employees’ physical well-being. Good pay, child care, and healthy leave policies all promote employees’ social health. Flexible work arrangements and opportunities for growth and development support employee mental well-being and help them achieve their full potential. There is no one way of doing things. Well-being is a subjective experience, so it is better to provide a wide variety of programs and give employees the freedom to use what serves their definition of it.

Become a Happier Organization Today

If you’re interested in knowing more about how we can help you with your well-being goals or are interested in viewing a live demo, you can check out our corporate solutions here.


The Rise of Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs)

Although learning experience platforms (LXPs) have been in the e-learning market for more than ten years now, interest in them has only greatly risen over the past four or five years. Perhaps, the ultimate proof of the rise of LXPs was Gartner’s listing of LXPs as a separate vendor category from the LMS in their 2018 Market Guide for Corporate Learning Suites. Since then, LXPs have been on the rise and the world’s biggest organizations have been showing greater interest in adopting their solutions.

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring what LXPs really are and what makes them unique, and we’ll look into Skillsoft’s Percipio as a good example of LXPs.

What is an LXP?

A learning experience platform (LXP) is a learning software solution, commonly used by corporate L&D functions, to provide personalized and intuitive learning experiences to their workforce. LXPs are commonly confused with learning management systems (LMSs). However, the two are quite different and there are some distinctive features that can help you draw the line between LXPs and LMSs.

LXP features

The Defining Features of an LXP

There is a set of defining features that distinguish learning experience platforms (LXPs) from LMSs. LXP providers, of course, vary in the feature mix they provide, but they all inevitably provide some mix of the below distinctive features.

  • Content Libraries

 Often referred to as the ‘Netflix’ of learning, LXPs feature a wide array of content. The content could be platform-created, user-generated, or even curated by a third party. As such, LXPs capitalize on the current trends of on-demand viewing that learners are used to in their other forms of content consumption. By riding these trends, LXPs provide learners with many content options that they can choose from.

  • User-Led Experiences

Not only do learners get access to a wide array of content through their LXPs, but they also get full control. In other words, while learning & development functions can still assign courses on an LXP, more often than not, users are invited to take up the courses that match their interests from the course libraries. They can even curate their own learning paths and set their own learning goals. LXPs capitalize on the de-centralization of learning where the learner, not the L&D department, is in the driver’s seat.

  • Skill-Based Learning

LXPs allow for content tagging by which content in the course library can be linked to particular skills. When such content tagging is used in integration with an organization’s skill taxonomy, competency model, or Learning Records System (LRS), the LXP can make content recommendations to the learners to bridge their skill gaps to better equip them for their current or future roles. This skill tagging feature also allows for higher-value search results which enables learners to get the learning they need from the platform at the time they need it, without the need for prolonged extensive searching. This convenient search feature also mimics the way learners are currently accustomed to getting access to information when they use search engines.

  • Personalized Learning

Rightfully dubbed the ‘Netflix’ of learning, LXPs present learners with user-friendly interfaces that are intuitive and personalized. An LXP’s user interface is not a one-size-fits-all home page but rather leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) to present users with their own personalized course recommendations, learning goals, reminders, triggers, etc. The recommendations are based on several predictors which may include the learner’s job role, department, work location, search history, content usage history, skill gaps, areas of interest, and similarities with other users. This guarantees the higher relevance of the content which boosts learner engagement.

An Example of a World-Leading LXP

Skillsoft Percipio


Skillsoft’s flagship product, Percipio, is one of the major LXPs in the market today. It is an LXP that features curated, immersive, and engaging skill-building content delivered when and where learners need it — almost like the Netflix of L&D!

It helps organizations identify and measure skill proficiencies to ensure their workforce stays relevant. The platform makes skilling personalized and accessible, offering a blend of self-paced online courses, hands-on practice, virtual live online classes, and coaching to close skill gaps. And it’s available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Here are some of the distinctive features that you can enjoy with an LXP like Percipio.

  • Establish a fact-based current state of your talent

Percipio enables you to assess, index, and track in-house skills with Skillsoft Skill Benchmarks. Skill Benchmarks are short, diagnostic assessments that provide a score and level to measure individuals’ proficiency and offer personalized skilling pathways to close skills gaps across your organization. This helps you get a complete picture of your organization’s skills and measure improvement over time.


Skills benchmark

  • Provide expertly curated, high-quality learning paths

With Percipio, you can present learners with learning journeys that clearly guide them from point A to point B, organizing outcomes by skill, role, and certification. You can customize these expertly curated, role and skill-based learning paths to help meet the demands of your organization. Learners can also have access to a wide array of certification courses in tech, quality, etc. In addition to Percipio’s content, L&D administrators can also design and assign live and on-demand skilling experiences with their organizational content or from other providers.

  • Provide content in a wide variety of formats

Percipio provides content in almost all forms that learners prefer — videos, books, audiobooks, interactive practice labs, coding sandboxes, and more. With Percipio, learners can also attend live events, tech boot camps, and instructor-led courses. By providing several blended learning options, Percipio boosts engagement and guarantees learning completion and knowledge retention.

  • Personalize the learning experience with AI

Percipio leverages AI to deliver personalized recommendations and offer relevant skilling pathways based on each learner’s role, interests, and behavior. Even more, the learners can set weekly skilling goals as AI-driven automated reminders encourage them to stay on track.

  • Drive engagement with badges & leaderboards

To promote engagement, Percipio enables learners to record and promote their learning accomplishments with digital badges. Skillsoft Digital Badges are secured and verified through a blockchain, making them easy to share. Moreover, the platform increases engagement by featuring leaderboards that can create a healthy sense of learning competition.

  • Offer learning in the flow of work

Percipio creates transformative learning experiences by seamlessly integrating with your current technologies and organizational software tools, such as:

– LMSs and LXPs

– Identity and Access Management

– Learning Record Stores

– Human Resources Information Systems

This enables learners to get personalized content recommendations in the flow of work, while using a particular system or tool. This helps them get the learning they need exactly when they need it.

Upgrade Your Organizational Learning Experience

With the learner front and center in modern L&D, there can never be a better time for you to focus on your employees’ learning experience. If you’re interested in knowing more about Skillsoft’s Percipio or would like to view a live demo, you can contact us at



Six Benefits of Blockchain for Higher Education

Since the emergence of Blockchain in 2008, the technology has gained adoption in several sectors, such as finance, supply chain, and tech. The situation is different in the higher education sector, though, where it has taken Blockchain significantly more time to gain adoption, for reasons not entirely unjustified. Despite the slow start, Blockchain adoption has been recently gaining momentum in the higher education sector.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what Blockchain is, its different use cases in higher education, its current adoption, and the challenges facing its wider-scale implementation.

what is blockchain technology

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a technology that is used to securely store and track transactions. The Blockchain starts with a transaction that is sent to a decentralized network of computers, which verify the authenticity and validity of the transaction based on agreed-upon rules. Accordingly, the transaction gets securely stored in the network with a clear time stamp.

A list of successive transactions creates a block, and a list of successive verified blocks creates the Blockchain. One of the greatest benefits of this mode of verifying and storing data is that it is decentralized and immutable. In other words, once the transaction is stored in the Blockchain, there is no deleting or tampering with it.

use of blockchain technology

The Uses of Blockchain in Higher Education

The decentralization, security, and immutability of data stored in the Blockchain help it present the higher education sector with many benefits that can promise to usher in the age of University 2.0. Here are some of the top uses of Blockchain in higher education.

1. Tamper-Free Credentials

The process of issuing and verifying university credentials is often time-consuming and comes with high overhead to both universities and employers. Even worse, they sometimes find themselves presented with forged credentials which may sometimes go unnoticed, risking giving opportunities to undeserving individuals. With Blockchain, the immutability of the recorded transactions makes the digital credentials stored in the chain tamper-free and saves employers and universities a huge administrative hassle.

2. Life-Long Learning Support

One of the key benefits of Blockchain is the multi-user experience that the platform enables. By alternating between public and private keys, students can choose who can simply view their credentials and who can add to them. This makes possible the creation of a digital repository that stores all of the student’s credentials, obtained from different institutions, in one place and enables the tracking of the student’s learning journey long after their university graduation. For example, in the United States, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has pioneered the use of blockchain-based credentialing. Working with a company called Learning Machine, MIT has developed “Blockcerts,” a technology for creating, issuing, viewing, and verifying blockchain-based certificates along the student’s lifelong learning journey.

3. Smart Contracts

The decentralization and the immutability of the chain also enable the automatic enforcement of contracts. By leveraging smart contracts, higher educational institutions can automate the tuition payment and financial aid processes. This would not only save universities time but also guarantee transparency and eliminate any fraud opportunities. According to a paper published by Oracle, a few higher education institutions worldwide have already started accepting Bitcoin in their campus stores such as MIT and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

4. Intellectual Property (IP) Protection

One of the key challenges that the higher education sector is facing in the Web 2.0 world is the possibility of intellectual property infringement. With users being able to post and share research, papers, and books anywhere at any time, Blockchain technology offers a viable solution to intellectual property disputes. Since all data stored is time-stamped and can be clearly tracked to its original user, the intellectual property generated by higher educational institutions can be protected and secured.

5. Scientific Research Integrity

Higher educational institutions continue to find their job of guaranteeing the integrity of research work presented to them challenged as more information-sharing technologies emerge. Blockchain, on the other hand, is one of those technologies that can greatly assist university faculty in verifying the source of research and the authenticity of its origin, thus, ensuring scientific research integrity.

6. New Studies & Research Frontiers

With Blockchain deemed by Holon IQ as one of the four breakthrough technologies in the system of education, Blockchain is now the subject of many courses and research projects in higher education institutions. In fact, a recent study found that 42% of the world’s top 50 universities now offer at least one course on cryptocurrency or Blockchain. Moreover, as the importance of Blockchain as an emerging technology rises, it is expected that full university majors will be dedicated to the study of Blockchain and its applications.

Challenges to Blockchain Adoption in Higher Education

Despite the huge positive impact the technology presents, there are still few challenges that continue to make it hard for Blockchain to go mainstream in the higher education sector.

– Legal & Regulatory Challenges

The international nature of Blockchain transactions makes them impossible to be governed by the laws and regulations of one jurisdiction alone. This gives rise to the need for a better, more internationally coordinated effort to regulate the technology.

– Training Challenges

Due to its multiple uses and access keys, users expected to gain the most benefit from the technology still require some level of training to be able to fully realize its benefits. This prerequisite poses a challenge to its wider-spread adoption. Moreover, there is still not sufficient awareness about the technology and its uses among many key players in the higher education sector. In fact, research published in the European Journal of Contemporary Education shows that when asked if they know about Blockchain technology, 43% of Russian higher educational institutions’ representatives did not know what it was.

Transition to Blockchain in Your Higher Education Institution

Despite these challenges, Blockchain is still expected to be centerstage in the technological infrastructure of the university of the future. If you’re interested in knowing more about how you can make the transition to Blockchain or are interested in viewing a live demo, you can check out the Blockchain solutions for education by our partner, Educhain.

Educhain has been the Blockchain platform of choice for 5 out of the 6 universities selected as part of Phase I of the UAE’s University E-Attestation Service roll-out. If anyone can help you understand how Blockchain can benefit your institution, it is them. Start your journey with Blockchain now.


Learning Technology Made Easier: LMS Vs. LXP

If you work in the learning industry, you must have come across the terms LMS and LXP. While the term LMS has been in use in the L&D industry since 1990, LXP, on the other hand, is a relatively new term, surfacing only in 2012. But what is the difference between the two? And which is better for your organization?

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring just that and presenting you with a shortlist of the top commercially-available applications of both.

What is the main difference between an LMS & an LXP?

An LMS is a learning management system focused primarily on allowing organizations to upload and assign learning courses to employees. Learning management systems allow organizations, also, to track the completion of courses. An LXP, on the other hand, is a learning experience platform. As the name implies, it is less focused on ‘managing’ learning, and more focused on upgrading the users’ experience of learning. LXPs provide learners with more flexibility allowing them to explore learning options and make learning decisions for themselves, all the way while collaborating and engaging with other learners.


Key Differences between LMSs & LXPs

There are main differences between LMSs and LXPs, which make each have its own distinctive applications. 

1. Who’s in Control?

LMSs usually give more control to L&D admins, enabling them to assign courses to learners, set completion dates, track completion, and generate completion reports. On the other hand, LXPs give more control to learners. In an LXP, learners can explore a wide array of content in several formats, select the ones they like, and may, even, curate their own learning paths. In an LXP, the learner takes the wheel.


2. What type of learning courses are covered?

Although not a rule, LMSs have traditionally been used to deliver content that is more focused on mandatory or compliance training. Being administered by L&D admins, for the most part, who may not necessarily be fully familiar with the specific skillsets required for the individual roles in their companies.

LXPs, on the other hand, are more often used to drive reskilling and upskilling programs. Due to their excellent use of user data analytics, LXPs can create skill taxonomies for every role in any company and can make content recommendations for users, accordingly, based on their roles. Moreover, since most learning on an LXP is learner-initiated, most learners tend to focus their learning efforts on acquiring skills rather than checking company boxes.


3. What Type of Content is Featured?

An LMS usually features content in a SCORM format, which means that content is usually presented in very limited modalities since SCORM is by nature a rigid set of guidelines. Contrary to this, LXPs use an xAPI technology that allows content upload and curation from all different sources and modalities. In other words, in an LXP, learners can enjoy a wide array of content. They can hop from taking a micro-learning video to answering a quiz, then to reading a publicly-available blog post.


4. How is Data Analytics Used?

Both LMSs and LXPs provide powerful data-based solutions. An LMS provides powerful analytics regarding learning tracking and completion. LMSs are also powerful in assigning the right mandatory programs to each employee level in the company. LXPs, likewise, provide powerful analytics but center more on content rating, content use, and skill or competency rating per employee. An LXP, also, uses learner data, coupled with the power of artificial intelligence (AI), to provide more accurate content recommendations, personalized paths, and, most importantly, company-wide and individual-level skill mapping and level reports.


5. What Learning Methodologies are Utilized?

LMSs are suitable for structured, formal learning, that are formally and expert-generated. LXPs, on the other hand, are more suitable for self-learning, supported by social learning. This is because LXPs enable user-generated content and enable social collaboration through forums, content sharing, and posting of likes and comments on consumed content. LXPs are also ideal for microlearning formats, making them perfect for ‘learning in the flow of work’.


So which is better: an LMS or an LXP?

There is no option that is fundamentally better than the other. It all boils down to your organizational needs. If your L&D objectives are focused on mandatory and compliance training and you would prefer a more centralized approach, an LMS would do the job for you. If you are building a decentralized learning strategy where employees take ownership of their own learning and you are more geared towards skilling programs, then an LXP could be the better choice for you. 

Needless to say that you can, definitely, have both an LMS and an LXP since they are, inherently, integrative, not mutually exclusive. In fact, some of the top companies in the world  opt for such integrated solutions.


Our Top LMS and LXP Partners in the Market

If you work in L&D, you probably know that the options are huge. So, to make things easy, we have compiled a shortlist of the top LMSs and LXPs for you.

Cornerstone OnDemand

Founded in 1999, Cornerstone OnDemand, popularly known as CSOD, is one of the world’s leading LMS & LXP providers. 

  • LMS: The company’s LMS is a unified platform that helps you govern, assign, automate, and track all required training. With Cornerstone LMS, you can boost productivity with version management and seamless inline content workflows. The LMS also features its own application, enabling employees to learn anywhere anytime. 


  • LXP: CSOD’s LXP EdCast, is an AI-powered Learning Experience Platform (LXP) that helps you democratize learning and skill-building for your organization by giving employees access to hyper-personalized expert content in the flow of work. With EdCast, you can embed learning in the moment of need inside the apps you already use in your organization.


Skillsoft Percipio 

With more than 36 million learners and counting, Skillsoft democratizes learning through an intelligent learning experience and a customized, learner-centric approach to skills development with resources for Leadership Development, Business Skills, Technology & Development, Digital Transformation, and Compliance. 

Their flagship product, Percipio, is an LXP that features curated, immersive, and engaging skill-building content delivered when and where you need it — almost like the Netflix of L&D!



Dubbed a talent experience platform, Totara features an LMS, an LXP, and a talent management platform, that, when combined, unleash a world of amazing data-based opportunities for employee growth. As such, Totara combines skills and performance development to create lasting employee success and personalized learning paths.

Totara offers three main products:

  • Totara Learn– an LMS that enables you to assign and monitor learning progress 
  • Totara Engage– an LXP that provides formal and social learning environments, uniquely branded and personalized to enable a distinct user experience for different departments, teams, and organizations.
  • Totara Perform– a talent management system that enables you to set performance objectives, track employee performance, identify your company’s top talent, and create succession plans. 


Open LMS

As the name implies, Open LMS is an open-source LMS designed to deliver an effective and engaging learning experience. As the largest commercial Moodle provider in the world, they help organizations deliver great learning experiences without complexities that allow administrators and L&D managers to focus on creating a quality, robust learning culture.


Get the Solution that Works for You

This was the difference between LMSs and LXPs in a nutshell. If you’re interested in knowing more about these solutions or would like to view a live demo, you can contact us at


The New Tech Face of Higher Education

Technology has had and continues to have a great impact on almost all economic sectors. And the higher education sector is no outlier. Although long considered to be one of the most traditional sectors of the economy, the higher education sector has rapidly developed in recent years to adapt to the rise in technology use.

In this article, we explore the key technologies affecting higher education, their impact, and how educational institutions can best maximize their benefits.

The Key Technological Trends in Higher Education

The trends affecting higher education are as many as the emerging technologies themselves. However, to make things simple, the 2023 EDUCAUSE Horizon report has made a concise list of the technological trends that are expected to have a significant impact on the sector.

Predictive Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Predictive artificial intelligence is the technology that enables machines to employ learning processes, as humans, and, thereby, employ decision-making. Examples of predictive AI are recommendations in video streaming platforms such as NetFlix or social networking platforms such as Facebook. You may think, ‘What does predictive AI have to do with education?’ A lot! By using predictive AI, educational institutions can use learning analytics to recommend the suitable type of learning content, exercises, and activities to learners, thereby, providing learners with unique, personalized learning experiences.

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This is not your standard AI; this type of artificial intelligence enables the generation of near-authentic text, images, and audio, almost similar to the outcome of human creation. Think ChatGPT, for example! This technology is expected to have a great impact on higher education as generative AI can help learners and faculty translate material instantly, get ideas when they feel ‘stuck’, and generate manuscripts, proposals, assessments, etc. fast. By using generative AI, learners and teaching faculty can spend the time saved on mundane tasks to focus on more cognitively challenging learning activities.

Mixed Learning Modalities

Higher educational institutions started adopting different learning modalities for more than a decade now. The learning modalities used have been face-to-face, on-site, in-person, blended, hybrid, online, remote, distance, and more. What’s new now is that universities are offering a combination of these modalities within the same course. In other words, a single course could have some sessions on-site, others one-on-one in-person, and others online, with exercises submitted through the learning management system (LMS). This helps increase access to learning for students from various locations and students with disabilities, and, most importantly, broadens the students’ learning environment as they learn to access knowledge from a wide variety of sources.


HyFlex stands for hybrid and flexible. And although it may seem just the same as mixed learning modalities, it is actually different. HyFlex means that for the same course, students get the flexibility of attending it all online, on-site, or blended. The rise of HyFlex in the higher education sector has a great impact on accommodating a larger student population that has to balance between studies and work or family responsibilities. It also helps increase efficiency in the learning process as students prefer to use commute time in maximizing learning time.

The Technological Trends Still In Infancy

Although technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and 3D Printing are no new advancements, these technologies are rendered still hard to adopt in the higher education sector. This latency for adoption may be attributed to the relatively high cost of the deployment of these solutions. 

Nevertheless, it is estimated that these technologies can play a huge role in improving STEM education by enabling the creation of virtual or remote labs and creating virtual tours and study props in almost an instant. In fact, a study by McKinsey shows that 37% of higher-ed students are “most excited” about the technology’s potential in the classroom and 88% of them believe AR/VR will make learning more entertaining. And while the impact of these technologies on learning is still not proven, some data looks promising. For example, in a recent pilot study cited by McKinsey, students who used a VR tool to complete coursework for a STEM subject improved their subject mastery by an average of two letter grades.  

Capitalizing on Technological Trends in Higher Education

It is clear that these technological trends are broadening students’ learning environments, opening ways for students’ collaboration, freeing faculty time to build more authentic connections with students, increasing higher educational institutions’ efficiency, and reducing admin expenses. However, for institutions to make the best use of these technologies, there are some factors they must bear in mind.

Building Students’ Metacognitive Skills

With the wide variety of content that students can access inside and outside the classroom — instructor-provided or peer-shared— students must develop the skills to learn how to select information, organize it, critically analyze it, and put it to good use. Teaching faculty, on the other hand, must re-imagine ways of assessing students’ skills. Rote memorization and basic knowledge of concepts are skills no longer valued in the age of generative AI. This requires teaching faculty to develop new ways of assessing the skills that will actually matter in the future such as critical thinking and application.

Adding Sense, Ethical Judgement & Cultural Meaning

Similarly, in the age of generative AI, information will be much easier to access than ever before. The well-educated student’s task becomes adjusting knowledge to meet their contextual and cultural demands. Therefore, universities that wish to make the best use of these current technologies must develop their students’ skills in these contexts. Moreover, these technologies also give rise to questions on intellectual integrity and AI bias. Universities should also ensure to include relevant guidance in their courses to students on these matters.

Teacher & Student Training

Although both learners and teaching faculty are enthusiastic about adopting new technologies in the learning experience, technology adoption can sometimes be a strain, especially on less technically adept lecturers or students with no or minimal access to internet-connected devices. Moreover, even the tech-savviest of students need encouragement and motivation to make the time to access and use university platforms. Therefore, if you wish to make the best use of these technologies, your university must create programs for student and teacher orientation and assistance. 

Transform Your Educational Institution With High Tech

These were the main key technological trends affecting the higher-ed sector and how you can best capitalize on them. If you’re interested in knowing more about how tech can transform your educational institution, you can check out our academic solutions here.



A Blueprint for Workforce Transformation

The rapid evolution of technologies, demographic shifts, and ever-changing macroenvironmental factors are giving rise to a multitude of disruptions that are changing the way we work. In response to these shifts, organizations need to equip their people with the tools and skills necessary to navigate this evolving landscape.  Continue reading “A Blueprint for Workforce Transformation”

Gender Equity in the Workplace

In 2022, the World Economic Forum reported the Global Gender Gap Index to have reached 42.7%, the highest gender parity score ever. This means that more equity is taking place between men and women in professional, technical, and leadership roles. And as much as this score signals positive progress, there is still a long way to go before gender equity can be fully achieved. In fact, the Global Gender Gap Report of 2021 estimates that with the current rates of progress, it might take 135.6 years for the gender gap to close. 

So, although great progress has been made, there is still a significant disparity and still much that can be done to bring about more gender equity in the workplace. In this article, we will help you get an insight into the current state of gender equity and what you can do to improve the stats in your organization.

The Top Manifestations of Gender Inequity

Gender inequity in the workplace manifests itself in many forms, infiltrating the entire employee lifecycle, starting from hiring and going all the way to assuming senior leadership roles.

A Clog at the Beginning of the Pipeline

In most workplaces, gender inequity starts at the beginning of the pipeline, with gender targeting being commonly practiced in job ads. According to a study by Ashoka University in 2021, approximately 4.5% of job ads have an explicit female preference while 3.8% have an explicit male preference, with job titles such as ‘telesales’ and ‘office executive’ occurring frequently in female-targeted jobs while titles such as ‘delivery boy’ and ‘sales executive’ commonly targeting men. These findings confirm that employers consciously prefer specific genders in specific roles and do not shy away from explicitly expressing these preferences. Such a practice negatively impacts gender equity in the workplace as it deepens existing occupational gender stereotypes at the beginning of the pipeline. 

Furthermore, research shows that word choice in job ads can have a strong impact on perpetuating gender inequity at the beginning of the funnel. The research conducted by Havard Kennedy School shows that words such as ‘competitive’, ‘dominant’, or ‘leader’ invite more male candidates to apply to jobs, while words such as ‘support’, ‘understand’, and ‘interpersonal’ invite more female candidates. Unfortunately, including such gendered wording in job ads is still commonplace practice today. 

Studies also show that mothers, and women of childbearing age, are less likely to receive a callback from hiring managers, even when their résumés are identical to the résumés of male applicants or childless women. All these factors signify a clog in entry-level positions that makes men and women start out on an uneven playing field.

The Broken Rung

What is more staggering is how less women get promoted from entry level roles to first-line management roles. Research by McKinsey shows that while women, in the United States alone, account for 48 percent of entry-level hires, they account only for 38 percent of first-level managers, shedding light on a broken rung in the pipeline to career advancement and senior leadership roles. Women need to work harder to be considered for their first managerial roles, compared to men, are set to higher standards, and often suffer the microaggressions of being mistaken for a junior or being considered not qualified. 

The challenges women face to get an opportunity to gain access to their first managerial roles worsen as they move upwards, with research showing that as they move upwards, for every female director being promoted to the next level, two choose to leave their organizations after facing stronger headwinds than men derailing their promotions and some leave simply seeking more DEI-focused work cultures. Moreover, higher up the pipeline, the gender equity gap, further, worsens, with only 26% of C-Suite positions in the United States alone being held by women in 2022.

An Astounding Gender Pay Gap

Gender inequity reflects also in the difference between the pay of both men and women holding the same roles. Interestingly, the gap starts from entry-level positions, with women making 11% less than men on average for the same jobs, even though women negotiate for higher pay at about the same rates as men. As with career advancement opportunities, the gender pay gap further widens as women advance, with women earning on average 16% less than their male counterparts globally, although this percentage is significantly greater in many places. 

Best Practices to Close the Gender Inequity Gap

Best Practices to Close the Gender Inequity Gap

Although the statistics may be discouraging, modern technologies and work arrangements offer a world of opportunities that can totally turn around the current stats. Here are some best practices that organizations can do to help close the gap.

1. Ensure Fair Hiring Practices

Ensure your hiring board is diverse and includes women. Having a woman share in the hiring decisions may help highlight instances of unconscious bias. Besides that, provide training to your hiring managers and HR employees on gendered job posts and gender-discriminating questions and bias in interviews. More importantly, follow hiring dashboards closely to watch out for any gender-related discrepancies and take necessary actions. Also, provide a way for candidates to voice their complaints to your organization in case they experience discrimination along the hiring process.

2. Provide Appropriate L&D Initiatives

Leveraging the learning and development arm of your organization can help greatly in closing the gap. Build women’s skills by providing them with special training programs designed to help them overcome the leadership challenges specific to them. Design mentorship programs to help junior female employees receive guidance from senior leaders. Also, provide training to all employees to raise awareness about gender-related issues, bias, and best practices to make sure employees from all genders can bring their best to work.

3. Provide Opportunities for Growth & Promotion

Follow closely your promotion data with its gender divisions, share it transparently with all employees, and highlight achievements and when changes need to be made. Ensure women are fairly considered for promotions and are not being disregarded on the premise of their caregiving responsibilities. 

4. Create a Family-Friendly Working Environment

Research shows that flexibility is one of the top reasons women consider when selecting companies to work for. Providing remote work opportunities, flexible working hours, etc. are work arrangements that make it possible for care givers from all genders to strike a balance between their work and family responsibilities. Creating a daycare facility in the office or adding a daycare allowance to employees’ salaries with children under the age of five is one way to create a more family-friendly working environment.

5. Build an Equitable Payscale

Ensure that men and women are paid equally for the same jobs performed. Make sure the right checks are set for positions at all levels so that both genders are paid fairly even in entry level positions. It is not a change that can be done overnight, but publishing an organization-wide gender pay gap report regularly can help increase transparency, raise awareness, and encourage employees to speak up in case a pay adjustment is needed. 

6. Remember It’s About Men Too

Gender equity in the workplace is not only about women; it’s about men too. Work towards giving men the same caregiving privileges that women get. Maternal leave has been commonplace for long, but some forward-looking organizations and countries have started to implement paternal leaves too to help men stay on top of their paternal responsibilities. 

Build a Gender-Equitable Workplace

This is the current status of gender equity in the workplace and what you can do about it. If you’re interested in developing the leadership skillset of your female employees or raising organization-wide cultural awareness, you can check out our library of online courses here.



Increasing Engagement with Interactive E-Learning Content

Studies show that more than 41.7% of global Fortune 500 organizations already use some form of self-paced e-learning. Moreover, the corporate e-learning market is expected to grow by over 250% between 2017 and 2026. However, despite the rise of e-learning as a valid learning modality in most organizations, driving learner engagement remains a challenge. In fact, a study of 200 organizations using 28 different learning management systems shows that driving engagement is the number one challenge that 71% of organizations face when deploying e-learning programs. In this blog post, we’ll take you through a few tips to help you increase your learners’ engagement with the content of your e-learning programs.

First things first, why care?

The Importance of Engagement

Before we dive deep into how to build content engagement, it is essential that you understand why it even matters. Now, to understand the value of engagement in learning, you need to be acquainted with the psychological theory of flow.

Psychological theory of flow Update

According to positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, flow is the state of mind a person reaches when they become fully immersed in an activity. At flow, you lose your sense of time and become deeply engrossed in what you are doing. Flow brings the best work out of you, helps you overcome challenges, and spurs your creativity. Flow theory has long been associated with intellectual and creative pursuits, but its application to learning is of no less value.

In the learning context, flow helps learners stay focused on the learning activity, overcome learning challenges, gain new skills, retain learning, and, more importantly, enjoy the experience. So, how can you create e-learning content that helps learners stay in a state of flow?

Flow can only be achieved in the golden mean zone, which lies between the ‘low-stress zone’ which induces boredom and the ‘high-stress zone’ which induces anxiety. Keeping your learners in that ‘flow zone’, therefore, boils down to maintaining a healthy balance a balance between challenge and comfort. Let’s see how you can build both into your content.


Driving Engagement by Building Challenging Content

To drive learners to a state of flow while engaging with your content, you need to make the learning content challenging enough but not too challenging that it leads to de-motivation. The crux of this equation is to understand well your learners’ current level of knowledge and their desired next step. Here are practical ways you can use to achieve just that.

1. Correct Placement

Have a level placement testing methodology in place to ensure you are setting your learners to the appropriate learning paths for them. There is nothing more boring than having to go through two hours of content you already know. A crisp placement test centered on real-life knowledge and skills goes a long way to save you this trouble.

2. Leveled-Up Programs

Building on the previous tip, ensure you design your learning content in a layered format where learners progress from one level to another. There are two ways of building levels into your content: linear design and circular design. In linear learning design, you create your learning levels in a way by which the higher levels contain ‘more’ terminology and concepts that are not included in previous levels but build on them. In circular design, you create your learning content in a way that all terms and concepts are covered at all levels. However, there is ‘higher contextual depth’ as learners progress through the levels. 

Which methodology to use will be a question of the knowledge or skill area your learners aim to learn. Language, for example, is a skill area that is better suited to a circular design, while engineering, for example, is better suited to a linear design.

3. Personalized Learning Paths

Once you have designed your content in a level format and put a placement methodology in place, it is essential to recognize that even at the same level of knowledge, learners will have variations in what they know or do not know. Therefore, try to leverage AI-powered learning platforms that automatically build personalized learning paths for every learner. If such technology is not available for you, simply provide learners the freedom to choose what to learn. A simple ‘skip’ button can help learners choose what they want to learn.

4. Real-Life Applications

To add a sense of challenge to the learning content, learners must feel that the content can help them overcome some real-life challenges or problems they face. You can make your learning content challenging to the current level of learners by adding interactive scenarios, simulations, or project applications that help challenge them to move to the next level of real-life skill.

Driving Engagement by Building Challenging Content

Driving Engagement by Boosting Learners’ Comfort

To reach a state of flow, learners must not feel overwhelmed by the level of challenge in the learning program. You can ease learners’ tension and make them feel more comfortable with the learning process by following some of these best practices.

1.  Microlearning

Microlearning is the practice of chunking down learning content into bite-sized pieces that can be learned in under 10 minutes. This practice helps decrease your learners’ cognitive load and enables them to benefit from mind breaks as they progress through the content. So no matter how complex a piece of information is, your learners will have the energy to go through it because of a rested mind. Leverage the pause points that come with microlearning to provide learners with ample opportunities to rethink and reflect.

2. Gamification 

The gaming industry is estimated at a staggering US$ 202.7 billion worldwide, enjoyed by children and adults alike. And this is no surprise! Games are fun, competitive, and totally exhilarating. You can achieve a similar level of fun and engagement in your learning programs by designing them around game models. To instill gamification in your programs, you need to build into them these three elements: competition, leveling, and rewards. Consequently, you will have training programs that not only increase learners’ comfort but even excite them.

3. Focusing Objectives

An excellent way to capture your learners’ attention is by starting every module with a focusing objective. And please do not confuse them with learning objectives. Learning objectives are what instructional designers need to design successful programs; focusing objectives are simply-stated objectives that help learners understand what they will be ‘focusing’ on in the module. 

Stated bluntly in a statement format, focusing objectives can be less impactful. In fact, a more effective strategy for focusing your learners is to start your modules with a case study, scenario, quiz, or game that highlights a learning gap they have. This should be sufficient to focus their attention throughout the module and drive their engagement.

4. Frequent Feedback

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘practice makes perfect’? Well, it’s wrong. Practicing mistakes makes you only perfect at making mistakes. Likewise, effective learning requires constant feedback to drive positive behavioral change. Not only does constant feedback drive learning effectiveness, but it also boosts learners’ comfort. Learners feel supported when they get constructive feedback and encouraged when they receive positive feedback. Add feedback to your games, case problems, scenarios, etc. to increase learners’ engagement. It also helps if you can provide learners with a mentor or learning support specialist to answer their questions and provide guidance when needed.

Create Custom E-Learning Content to Increase Learners’ Engagement

These were a few tips that can guide you in building learning programs that help learners achieve a state of flow. In XpertLearning, we create highly interactive custom e-learning content for you. If you’re interested in knowing more about our custom content solutions, check out our wide array of offerings here.



The Benefits of a Student Information System

With more than 1.54 billion students worldwide in K-12 and Higher Education, it is easy to imagine the level of administrative work that goes into managing the information of this massive number of students every year. In fact, although the recommended student-to-administrator ratio of an educational institution is 12:1, schools in the US alone, for example, have a student-to-administrator ratio of 230:1.  Student Information Systems provide the optimal way to streamline educational administration to ensure your institution can focus on the most important aspects of student management. 

Read on to find out what a Student Information System is, what the benefits are, and how it can help you manage the influx of data that comes with managing student records. 

What is a Student Information System?

A Student Information System (SIS) allows you to store, manage and access all student information throughout the entire lifecycle, starting from the day a student applies to join your institution until they graduate and become alumni. Using a Student Information System is the optimal way to introduce efficiencies in processes and provide your students with a seamless and modern experience that complements rather than distracts from their student experience.

What’s the Difference Between a Student Information System (SIS) and a Learning Management System (LMS)?

What’s the Difference Between a Student Information System (SIS) and a Learning Management System (LMS)?

It is essential, first, not to confuse a Student Information System with other education technologies an institution requires. An SIS is different from a Learning Management System (LMS) although we commonly hear the two confused.   

The SIS’s main use is to manage the information and interactions within the Student Administration lifecycle for all constituents handling aspects such as admissions, enrollment, fees, exam boards, and a suite of online services for learners to engage with.  

An LMS, on the other hand, manages the teaching and learning journey for a student through their program of study. Mainly used by academic staff and learners, it is where you’ll find course content, engage in topic discussions, submit assessments for grading, take post-class surveys, and provide course evaluations, for example.  

Both an LMS and SIS provide an institution with data-based insights for decision-making. However, whilst the two systems are essential for any vocational and higher education organization, they are complementary and do not provide insights into the same decision-making areas. 

What are the Benefits of a Student Information System?

What are the Benefits of a Student Information System?

A Student Information System is an investment that an institution makes, but the investment is often returned and exceeded swiftly. The ROI can be determined in a wide array of benefits, unimaginable with the use of traditional, manual processes. Here are a few of the key benefits;

1. Administrative Efficiency

According to research, academic staffs spend around 5-10% of their work time on administrative tasks. Adding to this the fact that they spend 13% of their time keeping order in classrooms, educators are stripped of up to one-fifth of their teaching time every year. Not only do educational institutions lose teaching time to administration tasks, but they also have their administrators’ time lost in tedious and laborious tasks. Time spent on administrative tasks comes at a high cost. In fact, a recent study by the University of Rome has revealed that the process of verifying diplomas costs the university more than $20,000 annually, corresponding to about 36 weeks of work. 

A Student Information System significantly reduces the time spent on those tasks.

By introducing online services, workflows, and automated notifications to support administrative processes such as applications, enrollment, fee payments, and graduation, the processing and communication time for each of these tasks significantly drops. This, in turn, helps in reducing queues at Student Support counters, minimizing data entry tasks for all, and providing timely updated information   all of which are crucial at key points within the academic calendar. 

2. A Smooth Student Experience

If you work in a Higher Educational Institution, you know that your students are your customers. A positive student experience provides the highest endorsement on educational institutions for peer references, which is arguably one of the most vital lead generation sources for your institution.

Not many students will enjoy the necessary administrative processes a university requires. However, by providing a personalized portal for students to engage with at their convenience 24/7, students can stay updated on their online application progress, enroll online, pay tuition fees, receive class timetables, view their grades and progress online, or even raise a request all without attending campus! Best of all, a leading SIS doesn’t require an institution to re-enter information from scratch in each engagement, making the processes far quicker and more efficient than manual forms and disparate systems.

3. Valuable Insights for Decision Making

Like all powerful management systems, a Student Information System enables you to get more than just the job done. With a Student Information System, administrators’ work is less about handling tedious paperwork, providing more time to complete ‘value-add’ activities to improve institutional efficiency and the students’ experience. A Student Information System provides administrators and management with ample data-driven insights about students’ demographics, attendance, academic performance, payment status, engagement, etc., enabling the enhancement of institutional policies and processes to continuously improve the student experience. 

4. Managing Regulatory and Mandatory Requirements

Nearly all countries have a level of regulatory requirements for institutions to provide ministries and government departments with statistical information about their student population – a task that is becoming increasingly complex year after year.  A leading SIS will support many of these requirements as a standard or provide the ability to extract information via inbuilt reporting tools allowing an institution to maintain compliance for data and audits key for maintaining reputation within the sector

5. Higher Learning Outcomes

Research shows that attendance in class is positively correlated with academic performance, explaining 11.8% of variations in academic performance. Student Information Systems, when linked with campuses’ in-class tracking systems, enable real-time attendance tracking, helping educators stay on top of the student’s attendance performance. The availability of this instant data can have a significant impact on students’ commitment and performance.

Not only does a Student Information System provide the source data required for student attendance tracking, but it also helps educators track their student’s academic performance, providing alert mechanisms to trigger early interventions and ensure students stay on track.

Do you have the right Student Information System for your Educational Institution?

If you’re interested in knowing more about how your institution can benefit from an SIS, you can check out our Student Information Systems solutions here. Alternatively, if you’re interested in exploring other academic education solutions for your institution, you can refer to our offerings here




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