Using Qualtrics for Online Trainings

From E-Learning Faculty Modules


Contents

Module Summary

The Qualtrics Research Suite is a state-of-the-art research tool that is commonly used for surveys and event sign-ups, and other applications. One fairly new use of it at Kansas State University is as an online training platform because of some important capabilities. These capabilities range from technological capabilities for digital development (including powerful customizations), pilot testing, accessibility testing, training deployment (including on mobile devices), record-keeping, data extraction, built-in data analysis, and other capabilities. This module provides an overview of this approach.


Image:MaskedQualtricsSurveyWorkspace.jpg


Takeaways

Learners will...

  • Review the features and functionalities in Qualtrics that enable its use in automated online trainings
  • Consider the “integrations” between Qualtrics and student information systems and human resources information systems which enables accurate and large-scale record-keeping
  • Explore some core elements of online trainings (from a general instructional design point-of-view)
  • Consider a sequence of instructional design steps in building online trainings
  • Reflect on some real-world considerations when building an online training on Qualtrics, particularly adult learner needs


Module Pretest

1. What are the features and functionalities in Qualtrics that enable its use in automated online trainings?

2. What are some of the affordances of the Qualtrics application programming interface (API) that allows its data to be automatically flowed to databases (such as those behind student information systems and human resources information systems)?

3. What are some core elements of online trainings (from a general instructional design point-of-view)?

4. What are some common sequences of instructional design steps to building online trainings?

5. What are some real-world considerations when building an online training on Qualtrics while meeting online learner needs?

Main Contents

Generally, online trainings are learning experiences designed to promote workplace awareness, skills, attitudes and behaviors. These are usually done to meet the requirements of particular regulations and laws designed to ensure fair, safe, and effective workplaces. Online trainings, in general, are delivered through web-based platforms, and they are accessed from desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices. During the training, learners acquire information, practice making decisions, and are assessed (formatively, summatively, or both). Some trainings include an attestation of commitment to certain profession-based attitudes, behaviors, or actions.

Beyond broad-scale trainings that everyone in an organization must take, there are also specific trainings for individuals who require that training as part of their workplace duties. In these contexts, those individuals who must have access to particular trainings have to be identified, notified of the training need, registered for the training, trained, and supported in their learning. There have to be records of their work. Due to changing regulations and contexts, trainings have to be updated. Because people tend to experience the “decay” of knowledge and skills over time, trainings often have to be provided fairly often as refreshers.


1. What are the features and functionalities in Qualtrics that enable its use in automated online trainings?

As a research platform, Qualtrics has a number of features which enable the easy design and development of trainings. Its collaboration feature enables anyone with a valid email address to be invited to take part in the co-design of a training, and with select role-based powers within the system (based on the owner of the training). The platform itself is highly robust and resilient. Qualtrics allows all sorts of common web-based multimedia integrations, including inline frames and uploaded videos. There are easy ways to customize the trainings, through the creation of variables, through the use of piped text, through branching (based on performance, based on profiles, or based on other factors, such as regions of origin), and other factors. Trainings may be archived in internal libraries. Qualtrics itself has generic surveys from their own libraries that may prove a basic template for a variety of surveys (it would be nice if they also had a set for trainings).

The trainings may be delivered in an open-access way by URL (uniform resource locator), or it may be offered in a closed way by unique email invitations. Those who need to deliver mass-scale trainings may use the built-in application programming interface (API) to capture data in student- and employee- database systems. As a cloud-based tool, Qualtrics provides protections to ensure information integrity. The collected data may be analyzed initially within Qualtrics with some basic reportage features and bar charts and even a cross-tabulation analysis (by variable). The data that is collected may be exported in common formats for additional analyses outside of the Qualtrics system. Users may conduct sub-group analyses by segmenting out different groupings of respondents (based on provided or captured information). For trainings that require a certain level of achievement to pass, it is possible to sum points using the Scoring function and then to set thresholds by building conditionals. Then, panels may be created based on those who completed a training satisfactorily.

For trainings that have to be delivered in multiple languages, there is an integration with Google Translate, but the translations themselves still have to be vetted by native speakers of the particular target languages in order to ensure correctness.


2. What are some of the affordances of the Qualtrics application programming interface (API) that allows its data to be automatically flowed to databases (such as those behind student information systems and human resources information systems)?

With developer support and the proper access, the Qualtrics API that enables data sharing may be accessed to flow training data to various student- and employee-information systems. This means that there will not be any human-in-the-middle, which will ensure cleaner data.


3. What are some core elements of online trainings (from a general instructional design point-of-view)?

In terms of online trainings, they are designed to achieve various purposes. These may come in various sizes, styles, and sequences. To broadly over-generalize, they may consist of some, all, or none of the following elements:

  • Title
  • Overview of learning objectives
  • Overview of topics covered
  • Authorizing regulation or policy (if relevant)
  • Estimated length of training (time commitment)
  • Content (information): Text, images, stories, audio, and video (with source citations)
  • Decision-making and walk-throughs of real-world scenarios
  • Assignments (actionable)
  • Formative questions and answers
  • Summative assessment (with results to the learner)
  • Attestation
  • Feedback from learners about the training and assessment (for continuing improvement)
  • Contact information of the training provider
  • Downloadables and takeaways (such as checklists, tip sheets, posters, and others)
  • Online sites (to serve as memory refreshers)
  • Descriptive metadata (to help relate / tie current training to other trainings and training sequences)


4. What are some common sequences of instructional design steps to building online trainings?

From an instructional design point-of-view, there are seven general instructional design focuses:

1. Legal requirements

2. Pedagogy / andragogy

3. Digital content creation

4. Assignments

5. Assessments

6. Technologies

7. Pilot-testing and revision


5. What are some real-world considerations when building an online training on Qualtrics while meeting online learner needs?

Given the fast technological changes in instructional design, it would be helpful to take an audit of the field to see what the state of training is for the particular context.

It is important to use a project stylebook to set expectations for the various deliverables of the project.

Where possible, the standards should be captured in templates that may be used and re-used.

At various points in the project—certainly in the beginning and during development and at the end—review the specified requirements of the online training.

Pre-build the elements that will be used in the online training. These include photos, diagrams, illustrations, audio, video, slideshows, and others.

Make sure that accessibility design is part of the entire process.

Paper-prototype one of the learning objects (or learning object types). Critique. Revise the stylebook based on evolving insights. It is much lower-cost to spend effort on design than on development and then have to change course.

Create the training in Qualtrics. Script the sequencing and learning paths. Script the behaviors of the respective segments. Add page breaks. Alt-text the imagery. Add timed text to audio and video files.

Test the various behaviors on various browsers. Test the data capture and data downloading and data analytics.

Alpha-test (α) the training within-dev team.

Beta-test (β) the training with members outside the team (preferably a small group ~ to the real-world learners for the training).

Archive all raw files. Archive project documentation. Archive all processed files.

Go for the simple build. There will be plenty of complexity in the contents and in the learners.

Make sure that the principal investigator (PI) or faculty member or administrator who inherits the training is sufficiently comfortable with the technology to be able to manage it.

Back up the training with a master training.

Launch the online training. Continue to monitor the training for areas for improvement.

Maintain intercommunications with the learners in the training.

Examples

There are no current open-source or open-access trainings created at K-State on the Qualtrics platform.

How To

Please refer to the steps above.

Possible Pitfalls

The selection of any one online learning system over another means that there will be tradeoffs. What are some possible pitfalls of using Qualtrics (vs. say a learning management system) for online trainings?

Some obvious ones are that there is a bit of a learning curve to use the tool’s advanced features with proficiency, including the extraction of the back-end data. Those who want to use the application programming interface (API) for data exchange will need to have the support of adept developers to connect that tool to databases.

Interactive learning objects have to be hosted off of other servers and pointed-to from within the trainings. There is not a capability to host complex interactive learning objects within Qualtrics.

In terms of access to trainings, if they are offered in a public way, there will be potential security concerns—such as the sharing of links, such as the perusal of the questions and the sharing of known answers among a group, and other such challenges.

Module Post-Test

1. What are the features and functionalities in Qualtrics that enable its use in automated online trainings?

2. What are some of the affordances of the Qualtrics application programming interface (API) that allows its data to be automatically flowed to databases (such as those behind student information systems and human resources information systems)?

3. What are some core elements of online trainings (from a general instructional design point-of-view)?

4. What are some common sequences of instructional design steps to building online trainings?

5. What are some real-world considerations when building an online training on Qualtrics while meeting online learner needs?

References

Hai-Jew, S. (2016). Using Qualtrics for Online Trainings. SlideShare. Retrieved Feb. 26, 2016, from http://www.slideshare.net/ShalinHaiJew/using-qualtrics-for-online-trainings.

Hai-Jew, S. (2016). Using Qualtrics for Online Trainings. A support website. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from https://kstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d7sG3VQSVvxG29v.

Extra Resources

Hai-Jew, S. (2015). Exploring Advanced Features of Qualtrics. Retrieved Feb. 26, 2016, from http://www.k-state.edu/ID/ExploringAdvancedQualtricsHandout.pdf.

Qualtrics. http://www.qualtrics.com/