At Versal, we believe ongoing learner engagement is crucial to effective learning. In our latest product release a few weeks ago, we increased learner engagement in a new way – with discussion forums. Our new Discussion gadget lets trainers connect one-to-one with their learners to answer questions and provide additional guidance.

In Bloom’s Taxonomy renowned educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom demonstrated the benefits of mastery learning, the one-to-one teaching style which significantly improves learner outcomes. In what is referred to as the 2 Sigma Problem, Bloom showed that one-on-one instruction tailored towards mastery learning increased learner results by a factor of two standard deviations.

Simply put, “the average tutored student was above 98% of the students in the control class”. [Bloom, The 2 Sigma Problem, p. 4]. Bloom also found that time on task (an increase of one deviation) and peer groups (an increase of .80 deviations) had a positive impact on learning results. With asynchronous online learning, you have a tremendous opportunity to use this one-to-one teaching technique.

Trainers and learners are no longer bound to a single time and location for learning. Each learner spends as much time on task as necessary to achieve mastery of the material, while discussion forums in courses and lessons provide opportunities for learners to communicate directly with trainers – and with their peers.

a discussion forum

Remember, peer interaction improves learning outcomes by almost one standard deviation. This means that discussion forums added to lessons and courses have the potential to dramatically increase learning results. Combined with asynchronous learning that allows learners to spend as much time on task as necessary, you now have the opportunity to get more out of your training programs than ever before.

Check out the video below to see how our new Discussion gadget works!