Insights

Are Great Leaders Born or Made?

"Great managers aren’t born — they’re trained.” That’s the message Scott Blanchard, principal and…

Winners Circle

Learning! 100

8th Annual Learning! 100 Award Call for Applications Opens

Award Program Recognizes Top 100 Global Learning Organizations Elearning! Media Group, publishers… Read more...

The 2017 Learning! 100

If there is a lesson to be learned from this year’s Learning! 100 honorees, it is that there is… Read more...

The 2017 Learning! 100

If there is a lesson to be learned from this year’s Learning! 100 honorees, it is that there is… Read more...

Best of Elearning!

The 2017 Learning! 100

If there is a lesson to be learned from this year’s Learning! 100 honorees, it is that there is always room for improvement, that learning organizations cannot stand pat from year to year, no matter… Read more...

99 Solutions Named Best Of Elearning!…

The 2016 “Best of Elearning!” awards honor best-in-class solutions across the learning and technology marketplace. Celebrating their 12th year, these honors are bestowed across 27 different… Read more...

The 2017 Learning! 100

If there is a lesson to be learned from this year’s Learning! 100 honorees, it is that there is always room for improvement, that learning organizations cannot stand pat from year to year, no matter… Read more...

A new McKinsey Global Institute report, “The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype,” finds that the hype may actually understate IoT’s full potential — but that capturing it will require an understanding of where real value can be created and a successful effort to address a set of systems issues, including interoperability.

According to McKinsey research, IoT has a total potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion a year by 2025.

MGI’s Michael Chui believes that these factors will determine how successful businesses are at unlocking trillions of dollars in value during the next decade:

  • Interoperability between IoT systems is critical.

  • Currently, most IoT data are not even used for optimization and prediction, which provide the greatest value.

  • Business-to-business applications will probably capture more value—nearly 70 percent of it—than consumer uses.

  • IoT users (businesses, other organizations, and consumers) could capture 90 percent of the value that IoT applications generate.

 - Download the podcast and/or report: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/business_technology/the_internet_of_things_the_value_of_digitizing_the_physical_world?cid=other-eml-nsl-mip-mck-oth-1507

Published in Trends

By Sharon Boller

Today’s workers and “modern learners” only have 1 percent of their work week to devote to professional development and learning. The concern I have is that we make an assumption that we can and should winnow down all learning initiatives to fit into this 4.8 minutes per day or 24 minutes per week. Most definitely, reinforcement of a skill or reinforcement of a specific body of knowledge can be handled in 4.8 minutes a day. Learning sciencebased platforms such as Knowledge Guru, qStream or Axonify can be very useful in delivering micro reinforcement in this context.

Micro-learning is NOT useful when people need to acquire/learn complex skills, processes or behaviors. Imagine trying to learn any of these behaviors or skills in 4.8 minutes per day:

  • A musical instrument
  • Project management
  • Agile software development and processes
  • Instructional design
  • Any software tool
  • Teamwork skills
  • Sales
  • A [new] product 

 

What our industry needs is better clarity on when we need to formally train people, when we need to reinforce knowledge or skills people are building on their own, and when we simply need to keep key principles or practices front and center (e.g. safety and security practices).

A few years ago, we opted to create a “learning lab” environment in our own organization. We wanted a means of building technical and project management skills — and we recognized that if we want innovation to happen, we have to give it time to happen. This sparked the idea of “skill-builders,” which are formal side projects that employees can do ON COMPANY TIME. This year, we formalized this to the point of letting an employee allocate five full work days of time on a skill builder. Criteria for doing a skill-builder:

  1. The skill-builder needs to link tightly to a competency the company has agreed is important to us. (For example, we use AfterEffects quite a bit. So if a graphic designer wants to learn AfterEffects, he or she can craft a skill-builder around it.)

  2. We need to make sure employees have sufficient time to do it; ideally, they will be able to work in one-half to full-day “chunks” on the skill-builder as it is too hard to stop/start when you are in learning mode.

  3. A formal document needs to be created that describes the project, what skills it will build, what resources are required, and how it links to our business needs.

                  — Sharon Boller is the president of Bottom-Line Performance. Established in 1995, the company creates award-winning learning solutions for a variety of corporate clients. To read the rest of this blog post, visit www.bottomlineperformance.com/the-myth-of-micro-learning.

Published in Insights

There's No One Answer, Since Audiences Are Diverse But There Are Pitfalls.

By Matt Gilley

Many organizations often want to explore how to engage, communicate and train “external audiences.” Generally, requests are focused on students, or potential students, who are not employees of the company and reside outside of the organization’s physical footprint and technological infrastructure. This scenario certainly presents a series of unique challenges.

Five common misconceptions and pitfalls that, when avoided, lead to much more successful external programs.

#1: Don't Recreate The (Content Strategy) Wheel

Companies sometimes overanalyze the needs of their external audiences. They mistakenly assume external audiences require a level of engaging, entertaining content that is somehow different from what they provide their internal audience members. Before you worry about internal versus external audiences, you should develop an over-arching content strategy that results in creative, modern, engaging training material. Then you can determine how to present the appropriate content to the appropriate audience. If you’re considering content for external users that is superior to the content you present to internal users, you’re doing something wrong.

#2: Don't Ignore Student Segmentation

Even the organizations with great content strategies sometimes neglect to plan ahead when it comes to segmentation. You would be surprised by the number of companies that allow external students into their learning environments without a clear way to identify or track them as such. If you can’t tell at a glance which students are internal and which students are external, how can you expect your learning management system to deliver the appropriate content? Develop an efficient way to designate a new user as internal or external during the registration process. You certainly do not want to try and identify them once they have become active users. If security becomes a big concern, you can consider pushing the two audiences into separate accounts. Over-complicating the structure and security requirements of a single learning environment in order to accommodate
both internal and external audience members can divert attention away from the primary training mission. Instead, think: “Same great content, same variety, same over-all approach, different accounts.”

#3: Don't Overcomlicate Registration

The registration portal is the first thing external students encounter. It should mirror the kind of simple, clean and intuitive experience the entire learning environment offers. Too often, registration pages and processes are bulky and confusing, forcing external users to jump through too many hoops before accessing the learning content. Difficult registration processes will result in significant drops in user activity. Consider the simplicity of the registration process for the majority of the consumer apps we rely on everyday. Are you thinking about single or social sign-on to simplify registration? You should be.

#4: Don't Undervalue The User Experience

A large number of external training initiatives rely on the “selfpaced” model, allowing students the freedom to move through topics and access modules at their own speed. Amazingly, many organizations do not consider the student’s actual experience when they build out an external, or even internal, learning environment. Students expect to find
the content they are looking for immediately, and with little effort. This means search functionality must be exceptional. Key words, course descriptions and summaries need to be less clinical and neutral, and much more strategic and engaging. The affect that images have on user engagement numbers, positive or negative depending on the quality of the
images, are staggering. It’s time to ditch the outdated clip art in your catalog and course descriptions. Work with marketing to develop an image strategy for the entire learning environment that not only aligns with your content, but helps “sell it.”

#5: Don't Forget To Ask, "Why?"

External is definitely “trending up,” but first, companies should really evaluate what they are trying to achieve. Perhaps more importantly, why? Some organizations have the kind of content that external audiences are already demanding. Some companies view external training and education as a way of strengthening or securing their already strong brand ties and audience relationships. Either way, these organizations typically have external audiences in place, audiences that already perceive value in the content and
justify the required resource investment. If you don’t have a good answer for why the content should be offered to students outside of your organization, there is no reason to
further explore the how.

                                 —The author is the CRO for Intellum. More info: www.intellum.com

Published in Ideas

How Do You Improve Employee Engagement? Laz Parking and Randstad Reveal Their Learning Philosophies.

By Matt Gilley

Let’s start with an openended question: How do you define and measure "employee engagement"?

Andi Campbell, VP of Human Resources, LAZ Parking: At LAZ Parking, we measure engagement by asking employees their sentiment toward topics like tenure, effort, communication, management and culture. We are concerned with things like how likely employees are to work for us long-term, how likely they are to say positive things about LAZ, how well they think leaders demonstrate the LAZ values and how inclined they are to exceed job expectations.

Rick Maybury, director of Learning & Development, Randstad U.S.: When we think of employee engagement at Randstad, we are really trying to assess the ability and interest our folks have in being creative, and innovative and going beyond the basic expectations. We are focusing on how we encourage employees to become more selfmotivated and self-driven when it comes to their work, their own personal development and even driving innovation.

How do traditional training tools, like an LMS or a private activity stream, play into your strategies for improving engagement?

Campbell: We don’t think of the Intellum Exceed LMS as "an LMS." It is a strategic tool for delivering results. If we are continuously improving the learning resources and tools we offer our employees, we are going to continue to see improvements in employee engagement. The LAZ Parking Learning Center is powered by the Exceed LMS, but it has become the launch pad for everything related to talent, and by extension, engagement. So you go to the Learning Center, you can view your talent profile, then fill out your performance review, check out upcoming training opportunities, visit your team's Tribe (Intellum's private activity stream). It all starts from the Learning Center. 

Maybury: We believe there is tremendous value in creating curriculums, on-the-job training and career-development opportunities that empower individuals to drive their own careers. If employees are creating a portfolio of capabilities that are truly transportable, even ultimately to other companies, they become more dedicated to our company. Our openness and focus on their personal development, as opposed to focusing only on what we can get out of them, is the key. The Exceed LMS is the tool that enables them to pursue these developmental opportunities effectively.

If you were going to offer a peer one piece on how to achieve the kind of engagement results you have achieved, what would it be? 

Campbell: Don’t over-complicate things. If you mirror employee behavior outside of work as much as you can inside of work, you will absolutely witness positive change. We know that people in “the real world” expect to Google information and get immediate access to quick, bit-size chunks of information at the exact moment in which they need it. We know that people enjoy “liking” photos on social media. Give them the tools to apply this consumer technology experience to their business lives and people will become more involved'  

Maybury: Begin by selecting the tool that enables selfdirected development along a broad base - development that is both career and personal. Then embed within the tool the ability to self assess and track growth. Provide employees with a transportable portfolio of capabilities that becomes applicable through out their individual careers. One of the prime motivators for an employee to engage and dedicate superior effort while they are with you is directly correlated with what that individual perceives as her or his professional and personal development opportunities. 

                             —The author is the CRO for Intellum. More info: www.intellum.com 

Published in Ideas

SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZATIONS SEEK (AND FIND) EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND ENTHUSIASM WITH INNOVATIVE LEARNING PROGRAMS

BY JERRY ROCHE

In this day and age, it's not enough for employees to be well informed and well trained. It's increasingly important for learners at corporations, non-profits and in the public sector to be engaged and enthusiastic - and maybe even entertained.

Of all the commonalities in this year's Learning! 100 competition, employee engagement from training and development was a major driver of these organizations' successes.

The American Heart Association's vice president of HR and Corporate Learning Katherine Neverdousky says participants in the AHA's new mentoring program "are very excited. They appreciate the opportunity for them and the SMEs assigned to them, and they also get peer networking, which makes for great conversations and discussions."

Shaw's Chris Clement tells us: "We are constantly hearing from our audience" - meaning his salesforce. "We can’t design training how we want to deliver it, because people have different learning styles. So we've got to respond to their needs, or we'll be designing training that’s obsolete."

Vi Living's new open-enrollment benefits education program not only received rave reviews from employees, but it also drove improvements in business-related metrics: a 69 percent increase in flex spending account participation, a 40 percent increase in the enhanced vision program, a 7 percent increase in the medical plan, and a 9 percent increase in 401(k) program participation. "And employee satisfaction grew along with participation," Vi’s Judy Whitcomb tells us. "follow-up employee survey determined that 90 percent of employees had a good understanding of company benefits compared to 83 percent from the prior survey."

Like the AHA, the financial services company SWBC also has implemented a mentoring program. And, like the AHA, it’s finding increased employee engagement. "One hundred percent of the participants indicated their mentor/mentee was a good match," notes SWBC vice president of Training and Employee Development Mandy Smith. "The vast majority reported feeling more confident in their knowledge, skills and abilities. Six of the 30 participants reported receiving promotions during the program that they attribute to their mentor’s support and the mentoring program."

Learning! 100 applicants are evaluated across three criteria: Collaborative Strategies’ Collaboration Index, Darden School’s Learning Culture Index, and overall organizational performance.

But beyond those metrics, if there is one lesson to be learned from the 2015 Learning! 100 honor roll, it’s that engaged employees are informed employees are excellent employees. To find out more about how the leading companies are being so successful with their learning programs, review the list on the following pages and watch for upcoming sessions, Web seminars, articles and events hosted by Elearning! magazine.

Learning! 100

Published in Top Stories

Hybrid Event Attracts Nearly 2000 Attendees

The learning industry came together at Enterprise Learning! Conference hybrid event with the three-day live event held in Manassas, VA June 8-10, and the two-day virtual held July 16-17. Eighteen hundred and ninety-seven learning professionals registered for the hybrid events to learn, network and share best practices from corporate, government, and higher education leaders.

ELC15 Hybrid conference theme of "Building Smarter Organizations" provided attendees four distinct learning tracks that included:
• Learning Environments for the Next Generation
• Smart Connected Things in Learning
• Learning Analytics & Performance in the Big Data Age
• The Learning! 100 Best Practices

"The way we conduct business and train our employees in today's world is different than any other era and the popularity of having the option to attend an on-site or virtual, from-your-desktop learning event was reflected in the robust attendance for both events," reported Catherine Upton, Group Publisher & Event Producer.

The July online event featured 6 live sessions and video broadcasts of the most popular onsite sessions. A fully live Q&A opportunity was made available to all virtual attendees during the Keynote address by Wayne
McCulloch as well as the Learning CEO Panel featuring Todd Tauber from Degreed and Malcolm Lotzof from INXPO. These live sessions included:

• Keynote: Transformation of Learning Systems – presented by Wayne McCulloch, Salesforce
• Learning CEOs Power Panel: Trends in Tech & Practices – presented by Todd Tauber, Degreed & Malcolm Lotzof, INXPO
• Agile Talent Development Strategies – presented by Davina Collins & Ryan Rose, CISCO
• Managing Your Video Assets Enterprise Wide – presented by Jeff Fissell, KZO Innovations
• 7 Tips for Creating Great Video Learning – presented by Emma King & Emma Meyer, INXPO
• Creating Engaging Virtual Learning Experiences – presented by Emma King, INXPO

Other highlights from the on-site event which were recorded and featured in the virtual event included two cutting-edge keynote addresses from: Dr. Jennifer Golbeck - Director of Human-Computer Interaction Lab, University of Maryland shocked the attendees with Analyzing the Social Web Implications for You, Your Career & Your Organization revealing how much of our personal data is out there without us even knowing! And, finally a riveting presentation by Col. Ronald Dodge- CIO & Associate Professor, West Point Military Academy. He discussed Next Generation Learning Environments and Cybersecurity and disclosed that the greatest threat to your company's Cybersecurity is the users!

The conference programming was designed by our partners, George Mason University, Defense Acquisition University and Elearning! Media Group. Over 50 sessions were hosted onsite and 20 sessions are available at ELC Online. Those that missed the event can still view this valued content, Q&A and chats on ELC Online platform. The ELC Online content can be accessed on-demand through October 16. To register and view the on-demand content, click here.

Learning! 100 Awards
The highlight at ELC15 is always the Learning! 100 Award ceremony and conference sessions. Celebrating 5 years, the Learning! 100 are comprised of 60 corporate enterprises and 40 public sector organizations. The top winner in the corporate enterprise category is Salesforce (www.salesforce.com) and the public sector winner is Defense Acquisition University (www.dau.mil). Both were honored at the 2015 awards dinner and reception on June 9th at the Hylton Center, Manassas, VA.

ELC15 hosted twenty Learning! 100 winners who share their best practices and strategies. Topics range from:

- Building the 2020 Workforce by AT&T and IBM
- Learning Culture at American Heart Association and Advance Auto Parts
- Sales Enablement at ADI- Honeywell and Allied Barton
- Next Generation Learning Systems at Waddell & Reed & US Navy,
- Talent Strategies at Leumi Bank of Israel, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate & Cisco
- Going Global at McDonald's Corporation.
- And others including GMU, DAU, Choice Logistics, FCC, DHS, DISA

"The Learning! 100 recognizes the top 100 global learning organizations for high performance. These organizations are innovative, collaborative and have a truly immersive learning culture," reports Upton.  "Organizations from 2 to 1.6 million employees are honored this year, and shows size does not matter when it comes to making a difference in the learning field."

About Enterprise Learning! Conference 
Enterprise Learning! Conference 2015 (ELC15) hosts the exclusive Learning & Workplace Technology Conference for corporate, government and higher education executives. ELC15 also hosts the Innovations in E-learning Symposium, in partnership with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and George Mason University (GMU). At ELC15, attendees learned from learning technology academia, share best practices from the top corporate university — Defense Acquisition University — and networked with the top global learning organizations, the 2015 Learning! 100. Altogether, ELC15 provided executives a collegial environment to network, share and learn from leaders across government, education and corporate enterprise.

Enterprise Learning! Conference 2015 Partners

About Defense Acquisition University
Defense Acquisition University is an award winning corporate university for the 150,000 members of the Defense Acquisition Workforce. DAU uses classroom and Web-based training and certification programs to keep all acquisition workforce members abreast with the latest trends, developments, resources, and information available for the acquisition community. While DAU faculty use a variety of proven teaching techniques to impart information to students, including both lecture and case-based curriculum, they are also on the forefront of innovative teaching techniques such as flipped classroom and distance-learning via Telepresence suites to reach remotely located workforce members while maintaining a low per-student cost. DAU faculty not only provide the certification training that qualified acquisition professionals need now, but continuously develop the body of acquisition knowledge to meet future learning requirements. Learn more at: www.dau.mil

About George Mason University
George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. Mason is setting the gold standard for the modern, public university. Its dynamic culture and innovative academic programs prepare Mason's hard-working students for 21st century careers. Its commitment to teaching excellence combines with cutting-edge research that enriches the academic experience and is literally changing the world. Mason is also one of the best values in higher education, producing graduates who lead all Virginia schools with the highest annual salaries. Learn more at: www.gmu.edu

About Elearning! Media Group
Elearning! Media Group is owned by B2B Media Group LLC. Elearning! Media Group consists of eleven media products including: Elearning! Magazine, Government Elearning! E-Magazine, e-mail newsletters, Alerts, Websites, Web seminars, the Enterprise Learning! Summit and Enterprise Learning! Conference. Elearning! Media Group serves the $220 billion learning & workplace technology market. Suppliers and practitioners can follow us: online at www.2elearning.com ; on Twitter: 2elearning or #ELSummit; via Facebook: Elearning!-Magazine or LinkedIn: Elearning! Magazine Network or Elearning! Summit.

 

Published in Latest News

Tata Interactive Systems (TIS) is launching QuizBiz, a social game solution for mobile devices that can be used by corporate and educational organizations to create in-house social games.

QuizBiz features a Game App that players can download to their mobile devices and challenge friends and colleagues and a Game Engine that allows the organization to manage users, author and edit questions and games, besides viewing analytics. The game mechanics are based on popular trivia games on smartphones and tablets.

Features:

>> Easy creation of questions on topics of choice

>> Fun and addictive

>> Wide variety of analytics allows users to evaluate performance across all the topics and get an insight into the gaps

>> Allows organizations to aggregate and analyze data

>> Easily customized and personalized.

The game is designed as a secure, Cloud-based SaaS service and is available in multiple languages.

—More info: www.tatainteractive.com

Published in New Products

LearnBrite has unveiled a new virtual reality (VR) solution for health-care training. The company is also opening applications for pilot projects with enterprises and other universities.
Important features:

>> It employs speaking animated avatars, 3-D environments and gamification that are entirely achieved using HTML5. That means no plugins or games engines.

>> The user experience is designed to work across smartphone, tablet and/or desktop with or without a virtual reality headset, a feature called "responsive design for VR."

>> The scenarios can be simply deployed as courses within thousands of learning managements systems such as those from Moodle and Blackboard that are already used in enterprise and education. LearnBrite is aiming to build more online training platforms in HTML5. The company invites enterprises, universities and e-learning companies to create pilot projects with this unique blend of technology.

—More info: www.learnbrite.com

Published in New Products

Virtual Conference Offers New Free and Premium Access Registration, Plus Advanced Online Features, Games and Interaction

Corona, CA June 2, 2015 - Elearning! Media Group will hold its second Virtual event of 2015 at the Enterprise Learning! Conference Online on July 16-17th from 7 am PT to 5 pm PT. The Virtual event will host live sessions only on July 16th. The event's new platform will offer two registration types: free access and premium. Attendees selecting free registration can access all live sessions on July 16th. Premium access attendees can view not only the sessions on July 16th, but also new sessions on July 17th and gain On-Demand access to all sessions and content for 90 days after the event through October 15th, 2015.

Both registration types allow attendees on the July 16th live day to visit sponsor booths in the virtual exhibit hall, interact live "avatar-style" with booth reps and download hundreds of documents and information in the resource center. New to this virtual event is the application of games which allow attendees to earn points or badges on the live July 16th event day. Virtual games range from trivia challenges and memory matches to opportunities to earn badges for prizes.

"In our second Virtual event of 2015, we are giving industry professionals choices, variety and greater convenience," says Catherine Upton, Publisher and CEO of Elearning! Magazine. "The new options available during our July Virtual event provide greater opportunities for learning, HR, training and talent development professionals to gain access to and learn from the speakers and experts participating in our event."

The Enterprise Learning! Conference Online 2015 will feature six live sessions on July 16th and new content on July 17th plus virtual exhibits, online chat, social media elements allowing attendees to tweet and post throughout the event on July 16th. Registration is now open at Enterprise Learning! Conference 2015.

About Elearning! Media Group
Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines, e-Magazines, E-newsletters, Alerts, Web sites and Summits are produced by B2B Media Company, LLC. Elearning! Magazine is one in the family of 12 media products serving the $220 billion enterprise learning market. In combination, these brands reach up to 2 million executives and professionals who plan, evaluate and deploy enterprise-wide learning solutions across their organizations each year. To learn more, visit: http://www.2elearning.com.

Enterprise Learning! Events
In our seventh year, Enterprise Learning! Events bring onsite and online live audiences together to learn, network and share. Enterprise Learning! Summit 2014 hosted industry thought leaders, analysts and up to nine sessions, on March 20th, 2014. Watch these sessions On Demand at www.2elearning.com.

 

Published in Latest News

LearnBrite has unveiled a new virtual reality (VR) solution for health-care training. The company is also opening applications for pilot projects with enterprises and other universities.

Important features:

>> It employs speaking animated avatars, 3-D environments and gamification that are entirely achieved using HTML5. That means no plugins or games engines.
>> The user experience is designed to work across smartphone, tablet and/or desktop with or without a virtual reality headset, a feature called "responsive design for VR."
>> The scenarios can be simply deployed as courses within thousands of learning managements systems such as those from Moodle and Blackboard that are already used in enterprise and education.

LearnBrite is aiming to build more online training platforms in HTML5. The company invites enterprises, universities and e-learning companies to create pilot projects with this unique blend of technology.

—More info: www.learnbrite.com

Published in New Products
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