The “Black Hole” in Online Learning

For quite some time, we have known that a massive black hole is at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Astronomers were able to measure the mass of the black hole in “our neighborhood” and others in the universe and the gravity waves emitting from them. However, scientists were unable to see inside black holes. This all changed in 2022, when astronomers behind the Event Horizon Telescope took the first image of inside our galaxy’s black hole. It was an amazing scientific accomplishment.

What occurs when learners are immersed in online training is much like what astronomers experienced with black holes pre-2022. We can view online course starts and completions, the amount of time learners spend taking online courses and their knowledge check/quiz grades. However, what isn’t visible is what is happening inside online training—how engaged individuals are while immersed in online content or how much they are actually learning.

Without this view, we have been forced to merely hypothesize that learners are engaged and grasping online content to some extent, but without any clarity or certainty.

Until now.

A View Inside the Online Learning “Black Hole”

FedLearn’s artificial intelligence-powered, online learning platform can see inside the online learning black hole for the first time.

Our AI analyzes learner clickstream data—key strokes while taking an online course or reviewing a piece of online content (videos, podcasts or text documents). The data captured includes rewinding/going forward in a video, moving forward/backward among pages in a text document, taking notes while in an online course and much more. More than 250 algorithms are working “behind the scenes” to identify and capture clickstream patterns. The patterns are then compared to a predictive model to determine if learning is occurring in real time. The clickstream data and time spent while immersed in an online course or piece of online content are also analyzed to ascertain learner engagement—also in real time.

This type of analysis, and picture of online learning, is unprecedented.

Case Study: Online Learning Black Hole

One of our Federal government clients recently deliberated continuing to purchase FedLearn course catalog seat licenses for its employees for the third consecutive year as the organization was under pressure to cut its training budget.

We were able to share with the customer that its employee course completion rate for the previous year was 31 percent—a very good percentage for online learning. However, we knew we needed provide a clearer picture of what was actually happening when its customers were taking our training.

After analyzing the learner engagement and learning scores for all courses the client’s employees took the previous year (complete and incomplete), we discovered that the average scores were 78.9 percent and 87.1 percent, respectfully. For the completed courses, specifically, the average learner engagement score rose to 83.5 percent and the learning score increased to 91.2 percent. For the incomplete courses, learner engagement and learning scores were 72.5 percent and 84.7 percent, respectively.

With these advanced learning metrics, FedLearn was able to peer inside the online learning black hole to provide meaningful insights that our customer found compelling—leading to the decision to renew for another year.

Visibility Inside Your Online Learning Black Hole

Do you wish to see take a look inside your organization’s online learning black hole to better understand learning ROI and your ability to achieve set training goals? There is no reason to be in the dark anymore.

Reach out to me directly if your answer is “yes.”

Dr. J. Keith Dunbar
Founder and Chief Executive Officer