The top consumer technology transformations were revealed by Dr. Shawn Dubravac, Research Director, Consumer Technology Association. These trends will impact enterprise technology over the coming months and years.

1. The Next Computer Interface is Voice

The word error rate is now at human parity, meaning the graphic user interface will disappear ushering in an era of faceless computing. Voice will be the command function for digital devices including robotics, A.I., etc.

2. Increasing Intelligent Systems  will Connect Diverse Objects

Software is now found in hardware out of the box, and hard- ware is eating software. Alexa is found in refrigerators and automobiles. While google’s newest smartphone is embedded with AR/VR software out of the box.  “This creates a ‘physical manifestation of data’ in our lives,” says Dubravac.

3. Transportation Transformation

The self-driving car was the catalyst for intelligent systems. With connected systems reporting to other cars, the vehicles can respond and react without human intervention. This is a model of many “robotic” type activities that may complement or replace human interactions.

4. A.I.’s Infusion into Real Life

Blending data from diverse devices is improving signal, functionality, and recommendations for users to follow. Hub de- vices will be used for vocal computing. A.I. will boost informa- tion processing geometrically. For example, Google cars have already driven more miles than a human can in 75 years. The speed, experiences, data collection and sharing has increased geometrically.

5. Digitizing the Consumer Experience

From wearables to smart home, online and mobile characterizes consumers tastes. Drone purchases reached 1.1 million units in 2016; VR 700,000 units; smart watches 5.5 million units and fitness trackers 12.6 million.

—Source: CTA.tech  bit.ly/CES2017TRENDS

Published in Insights

BY PRADEEP KHANNA

The other day, I went to meet someone in downtown Sydney, Australia. On my way, back on the local train, I looked at my mobile to check my emails and found a message asking me whether I would like to meet the person I had just connected with on my LinkedIn network. So, was this some form of artificial intelligence (AI) at play?

Yes! We now live in a brave new world where AI is the next frontier. We keep hearing about bots, chatbots, teacherbots, digital assistants, machine learning, deep learning and many more such words and often wonder what do they mean.

Just like virtual reality (VR), AI has been around for quite some time. In fact, I remember taking AI as a subject when doing my second master’s degree in computer science at University of Technology in Sydney 17 years ago. So, why so much fuss about AI now? AI will reshape how we live and work, but will AI also reshape the way we learn?

ABOUT BOTS, CHATBOTS, TEACHERBOTS AND A.I.

A bot is software that is designed to automate repetitive tasks. Bots have been around for quite some time. An example is use of bots for searching and cataloguing Web pages for search engines. Another example is shopping bots which pull out prices of an item from different vendors from the Internet. Some recent examples are bots making dinner reservations, adding an appointment to the calendar, or fetching and displaying information.

Chatbots are bots that conduct a conversation mirroring potentially a real-life conversation. Chatbots can either be simple rule-based or more sophisticated AI-based. AI-based chatbots get smarter as more interactions take place. The popularity of messaging apps has been lifting the demand for chatbots. Another way to look at the rise of chatbots is the user migration from Web to apps and now from apps to chatbots.

What are teacherbots? Just like a bot or a chatbot, a teacherbot can be a simple rule-based or smart AI-based. Simple rule-based teacherbots can automate simple teaching tasks whereas a smart AI-based teacherbot can become a teaching assistant (TA). A yet smarter AI-based teacherbot can also be personal tutor.

TEACHERBOTS AT WORK

There are two well known instances of teacherbot pilot projects at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K. and Georgia Tech in the U.S.A. The University of Edinburgh teacherbot project was led by its School of Education in collaboration with the School of Informatics and the Edinburgh College of Art. It was launched in April 2015 by Siân Bayne, professor of Digital Education. “Botty,” as this teacherbot was affectionately called, was created to engage on Twitter with students of Edinburgh’s e-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC on Coursera. This MOOC has had 70,000 enrollments across three course runs. The teacherbot’s primary role was to act like a TA. It could answer simple questions on deadlines, course content, etc. It was also able to answer some complex questions as well, based on AI that had been developed on stored tweets with Twitter hashtag #edcmooc. In “Botty’s” case, the students were aware that a teacherbot and not a human being was answering their questions.

Georgia Tech’s teacherbot was developed by Ashok Goel, a professor of Artificial Intelligence at Georgia Tech. Typically, the 300 students at Georgia Tech’s online AI course posted around 10,000 messages in online forums during a semester. Many of these questions were repetitive in nature. This was enough of a driver for Ashok to initiate work on the teacherbot. Leveraging IBM Watson’s technology platform and a databank of 40,000 questions and answers from past semesters, Ashok developed the smart AI overlay for the teacherbot, calling it “Jill Watson. The students were not told that TA “Jill Watson” was a teacherbot.

“Jill Watson” was launched in Jan 2016. As expected, its responses were not very accurate in the beginning, so responses were moderated by the human TAs before posting in the online forums. But by April, it had become sufficiently “intelligent” to answer the questions without human intervention.

The table on the following page compares the two pilot teacherbot projects.

ELM March A.I. Already Reshaping

Many factors determine the accuracy level of any AI project, including the AI technology layer at the infrastructure level, the size of the database, and the contextualizing smart AI layer. Looking at the above comparison between the two projects, the Georgia Tech project does have an advantage of using IBM Watson as a technology platform and having a database of 40,000 questions and answers from previous courses. No wonder, it performed better.

AI NEXT IN LEARNING?

The potential of AI to disrupt education and skills training sectors is immense. As Microsoft’s Bill Gates remarked sometime back, we already have online tutoring services where humans provide the services while the platform is online. Smart AI-based teacherbots can replace the humans to provide personalized learning. This has special relevance in lifelong learning scenarios where we will be dipping in and out the learning continuum all through our life.

Automated assessments are a natural application of AI in education and skills training. This application gets further amplified when  large number of assessments are being done in an online environment. Use of technologies like Facebook’s facial recognition technology and proctoring are classic examples.

Are we already there in the brave new world where AI is reshaping the way learn? IN these early days, where we are seeing AI-based projects being rolled out in different parts of the world. In the first instance, the focus appears to be on automating routine teaching tasks. This is akin to the Robotic and Process Automation (RPA) implementation onslaught we are seeing in other industries.

“Jill Watson” is estimated to have taken 1500 hours to develop. When many “Jill Watsons” are produced in 15 hours is when we will see real disruption in education and skills training.

Developments in AI in education and skills training will to an extent follow the developments in AI in general. With all major technology innovators investing heavily in AI, it appears certain that our working and learning will get reshaped by AI in future.

—Pradeep Khanna is founder & CEO of Global Mindset (www.globalmindset.com.au) and Technology-enabled Innovations in Learning & Teaching (TILT). He works on enhancing collaborative learning across boundaries and by leveraging technology. Khanna has also been Global Delivery Leader for IBM GBS Australia/New Zealand. He lives in Sydney, Australia, and can be contacted via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Published in Insights

6 STRATEGIES FOR MAKING YOUR TRAINING STICK - BY DEAN PICHEE, CEO, BIZLIBRARY, INC.

THE SCIENCE OF LEARNING

Many professions use science to improve the outcomes of their work. For example, architects use the principles of physics and math to design buildings that will function safely and last decades or even centuries. Architecture is often equated with art, but it's the science behind the art that truly makes it work.

In much the same way, we as learning and HR professionals need to understand and use our knowledge of the science of learning to improve the outcomes of our efforts in training employees. What does science tell us we should do to improve the way employees learn?

Here are six things you can start doing today:

1. Make learning bite-sized. Use short, relevant, video-based training (microlearning) focused on individual concepts.

2. Space training out over time. Employees should use the information they learn during training within the first 24 hours after the training event and in the days and weeks to come. Time is on our side here!

3. Add post-training reinforcement. Use quizzes, polls, videos and other resources to reinforce key concepts.

4. Mix it up. Combine training of multiple related skills rather than focusing on one skill at a time. Scientists call this learning concept interleaving.

5. Make it difficult. Resist the temptation to make training easy for learners. Challenging them actually increases the learning impact. One of the ways to make it more difficult is to increase the amount of time between testing and retrieval opportunities.

6. Write to remember. Your brain will recognize more of what's important when you write what you learn.

WHAT WORKS?

We call microlearning and post-training reinforcement "Burst and Boost Training." Using a combination of "bursts and boosts" is a proven way to get more ROI from your employee training program. Bursts of microlearning have been proven by cognitive psychology to be the most effective way learners receive information. Cognitive load theory states that we have mental "bandwidth" restrictions. The brain can only process a certain amount of information before reaching overload. To improve training content, chunk it down into bite-sized bursts to lower the cognitive load. Microlearning is very popular today and is a key component of BizLibrary's online training solutions.

Boosts, or post-training reinforcement, has been shown to increase long-term memory. Testing can actually INCREASE learning more than any other study method. Scientists call this idea "The Testing Effect," and numerous studies have shown that long-term memory is increased when some of the learning time is devoted to retrieving the to-be-remembered information. Incorporating tests and quizzes into employee training programs is more than just measuring the amount of learning that has taken place ... it's a critical part of the learning itself. Resist the temptation to skip testing and boost learning!

THE GREAT TRAINING ROBBERY

Stop the great training robbery that occurs when we deliver programs that are too long, too boring and easily forgotten. Microlearning is the first step. It's also crucial to add on-going reinforcement. Think of post- training reinforcement as the deadbolt on the door of your house, keeping the valuable information you're delivering to your employees from being forgotten and ultimately, maximizing the ROI of your program.

Published in Insights

Online learning continued to grow ex- ponentially, partially fueled by com- panies like Udemy, Lynda.com and Coursera. With employers more willing to accept that this type of courseware is necessary, we expect other related trends to emerge. The top five learning predictions for this year are:

1. EDUCATION HACKING

The churn in technology advancement - both software and hardware - leaves a lot of traditional educational facilities in a tough spot. Most times, universities and colleges find that their course- ware is being rapidly obsolesced by new advancements that occur in 9-12 month increments.

An example of this rapid obsolescence can be seen with some of the new cloud computing companies. Amazon Web Services boasted that it has over 700 significant changes to their cloud computing infra- structure each year. That means that if you’re going to participate in that arena, you can’t expect to find that content in traditional degree courses.

2. TECHNOLOGY BOOT CAMPS

These are coding boot camps that compress the learning process into weeks instead of semesters. Their popularity has spread quickly with venues like General Assembly, which has opened up campuses throughout the country to meet demand. 

But don’t count the universities out just yet. Many entities are expected to announce their own versions of these technology boot camps, which offer professional courses versus credential courses to their students. The University of Phoenix has launched one such venture called Red Flint, in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can expect to see them increase that capability as they re-tool to be more responsive to current trends.

3. MICRO-CREDENTIALS

These are non-degree courses that offer expertise in niche areas like technology, but also other areas where there is a shortage of talent. These courses cost a fraction of typical education venues and can be stacked to create a customized educational experience, i.e., the “hacked” education venue.

With more employers warming to online certificates, and people changing jobs more often, expect this particular trend to grow exponentially. In an age where there is continuous change, the need for continuous learning is a foregone conclusion.

4. APPRENTICESHIPS

This is expected to be another area where we’ll see greater growth, as evidenced by the agreement between Amazon and the U.S. Department of Labor announced earlier this year. This particular program announced an apprenticeship program to train veterans for tech jobs at Amazon. One of the unique benefits of this type of program is that the veterans can earn a salary while learning the skills needed for the job. We expect other major software and technology companies to follow this trend.

5. BRICKS AND CLICKS

We see this as a more accepted venue as educators in the corporate space focus on the unique job roles that have to be brought up to speed across their enterprises and ecosystems. While it was pretty easy to dump everything into the classroom venue in the past, the huge economies of blending online training with classroom venues will continue to push this trend further.

We expect that the ultimate solution in the next few years will be the enactment of the 20/80 model. That model suggests that 20% of the training will occur in the classroom, while 80% of the training is being provided by a combination of online and embedded learning - the latter of which is training within an application, or like in the Amazon apprenticeship program, right on the warehouse floor where employees can access the training at the point of need.

Published in Ideas

Economists have predicted that a rapid period of innovation follows an economic downturn. We are in that innovation cycle. We once could count on an obsolescence cycle of 24 months (thanks to Moore’s law), which was condensed to six months (the life of a smartphone). Now, we are learning and evolving instantly thanks to A.I. and machine learning.

In 2017’s Annual E-learning User Study conducted by Elearning! magazine, 65.6% of respondents are using machine learning today, and 46.9% are planning to purchase. Artificial intelligence is deployed by 31.8% of respondents with 72.7% planning to deploy over the next 12 months, a 228% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR). Augmented reality and virtual reality are close behind with 68.6% and 67.6% planning to deploy. (See article E-learning User Study.)

These advancements are transforming our practices, ecosystems and knowledge base. In the article titled, “Three Disruptive Macro Trends Shaping Enterprise Technology,” we tapped Gartner and leading learning technologists to share their insights and implications (see article Disruptions in Enterprise Technology). Dr. Shawn Dubravac from Consumer Technology Association also identified five transformational technology trends (see article 5 Transformational Technology Trends). Pradeep Khanna also shares his views on A.I. in learning (see article The AI Effect: Are You Ready), and Joe DiDonato makes five learning predictions for 2017 (see Top 5 Learning Predictions for 2017). All conclude that technology’s rapid evolution is spurring transformation at home and at work.

Nothing is gained without the steadfast commitment by our peers, partners and technologists. Elearning! magazine recognizes 28 Learning! Champions who have made extraordinary contributions to the learning industry. Three professionals earned our Lifetime Achievement Award: Elliot Masie, Kevin Oakes and Joe DiDonato. We are honored to feature all 28 thought leaders, trail blazers, innovators, mentors, and high performers inside (see article 2017 Learning! Champion Awards). You will hear from these champions across the year via articles, conferences, Web seminars and blogs. The 2016 Learning! Champion, Dr. Christopher L. Washington, shares his article titled “The Evolution of E-learning and Learning Analytics” on article The Evolution of E-learning and Learning Analytics  .

Thank you to all the learning professionals, technologists and colleagues who continue to advance learning everywhere.

Let’s keep learning!

—Catherine Upton, Group Publisher

Published in Ideas

Every day the enterprise learning ecosystem becomes more complex making a few questions even more important for learning and development leaders. What is the current state of the training function in your organization large or small? How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your training?

Only 8% of CEO’s in LinkedIn’s 2017 Workplace Learning Report say they can see a measurable impact from their company’s Learning and Development. These CEO’s are getting quantifiable activity data from other business functions, so why not L&D?

Chances are, your learning has now spilled out of the confines of an LMS, and touches a TMS, HRIS etc. You may have many of these systems in your organization along with new 3rd party providers, self-directed learning, or apps and portals available to your learners. You are probably spending L&D budget on micro-learning, self- paced learning, gamification, mobile, and more. Surveying aside, how effective are those new initiatives and training techniques? Are you able to track anything more than completions? Are you even able to track completions?

The first step to providing measurable impact is to baseline the effectiveness of your current training by getting better interaction data wherever learning occurs. You can baseline ALL of your current training across multiple learning technologies and you can start today.

It is relatively easy to get all of your training initiatives reporting better learning activity data in the form of Experience API (xAPI) activity streams to a Learning Record Store (LRS). Think of xAPI as a digital mesh that will get all of your proprietary learning technologies talking in the same analytics language. You can mine xAPI activity streams for patterns and react to them. You can keep your LRS data totally anonymous if you would like. xAPI is also technology agnostic so when you add new technologies or remove technologies within your ecosystem it is non- disruptive to your learning activity reporting. But most importantly, an LRS will provide you the learner activity data for formative and summative evaluation.

BENEFITS OF LRS:

1. Baseline your current training with better evaluation data.

2. Begin to build learner competency and performance profiles.

3.  The proper implementation of xAPI/LRS is the first step toward:

  1. Intelligent/Automated Tutoring
  2. Adaptive Learning
  3. Predictive Analysis
  4. Sustainment and Improvement of Training Systems

 

The path to modern training technology and the future of learning starts with xAPI and the implementation of a Learning Record Store. At Riptide, we have been working and engineering learning technology using xAPI since just after it’s inception. Before it was even called xAPI we were generating activity streams to early versions of our LRS, which is now our Storepoints LRS product. We are on the workgroup that created xAPI 1.0 and we are working with it daily.

Interested in learning more on how a Learning Record Store would work within your unique learning ecosystem? Visit www.RiptideLearning.com and request a free consultation today!

—Nick Washburn is Director of Learning at Riptide Software. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Ideas

10 Leadership Lessons from Higher Education - BY CHRISTOPHER L.  WASHINGTON

In ancient mythology, Janus was the Roman god of change and transition. Artistically depicted as having two faces positioned in opposite directions, Janus possessed the ability to see both into the past and into the future. Today, data analytics, which encom- pass the processes of extracting, compiling and modeling data, enable modern man to discover truths about the past and to render forecasts about the future.

I have found that learning analytics, the educational application of data analytics, hold the potential to magnify the view into how teachers teach and how students learn. They also illuminate the environmental conditions under which learning occurs. With learning analytics, I am able to debunk myths, supplant hunches, and confirm or disconfirm intuitions about teaching and learning. Decisions informed by learning analytics have led to a substantial rethinking of instructional methods and their benefits. Additionally, there has been a change in organizational culture from one in which quality is implied by inputs such as faculty credentials, to one that supports systemic assessment, continuous improvement, and greater accountability to stakeholders based on learning outcomes. I present 10 leadership lessons learned from my experience as a Learning! Champion.

LESSON 1: There is a symbiotic and co-evolutionary relationship between e-learning and  learning analytics.

While nearly every other profession outside of the academics is required to prove their effectiveness, up until the turn of the 21st century, higher education was largely exempt from external accountability. With an increase in public demands for greater access, lower cost and higher quality education, there was an increase in institutional pressure to demonstrate accountability.

To determine if e-learning methods are as effective as traditional face-to-face modes of instruction, circa 2000 the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) established a pilot project. At the time, there were strict rules limiting colleges and universities from offering more than 50 percent of a program’s courses in any form of distance education. To remove its restrictions on distance education programs, there had to be sufficient justification.

Franklin University was one of the higher education institutions selected to participate in the pilot project. Pilot program participants gathered and analyzed the data, reported it publicly, and noted how the results were used to improve educational processes and practices. This expectation is now a standard for academic quality review in higher education. Based on the data presented as evidence of instructional equivalency, colleges and universities are now able to offer distance education programs and to disburse federal financial aid to students who enroll in them. 

Fast forward to 2017. A lot has changed in the past 15 years since the DOE’s pilot project established a foundational framework for the use of data as evidence in determining the effectiveness of e-learning methods compared to traditional face-to-face modes of instruction. Figure 1 reflects some of the contemporary data sources used today to shed light on the effectiveness of curriculum and instruction, students, faculty and the learning environment.

ELM march The Evolution 1

Academic leaders today recognize that student learning experiences both influence and are influenced by factors in and outside of the classroom. Consequently, data is now being collected across multiple systems and treated and analyzed in a more integrated way. At Franklin University, we’ve moved beyond student attitude surveys of faculty members and courses, to an examination of student “clicks” on media, time spent viewing videos through the LMS, or pages read of assigned e-text through the library. We can examine spikes in tutoring requests and send early alerts to academic advisors when students are falling behind on assignments. We can see if faculty have participated in faculty development workshops, and begin to correlate faculty development data with student success data. The activity of our students in relation to interactive media now signal needed improvements to our curriculum design. The result of the relationship between learning analytics and instructional practices is a continuous refinement of questions and analysis techniques, and a resultant evolution of instructional practices. 

The adoption and expansion of e-learning methods in higher education continues to this day. According to the “2015 Online Report Card: Tracking Online Learning in the United States," conducted by the Bab- son Survey Research Group, more than 25 percent of the more than 20 million college students in the United States enrolled in at least one course online. Overall growth rates for online course enrollments grew at a rate of more than 7 percent from 2012 to 2014.

LESSON 2:  The price of light is less than the cost of darkness.

Higher education institutions (HEIs), places of both progress and tradition, present a special case study for educational leaders who aim to overcome resistance to incorporating new methods and technologies. According to the Babson Study, in 2014, 29.1 percent of Chief Academic Officers believe that members of their faculties accept the value and legitimacy of online education. Many leaders of HEIs perceive value in technology-enhanced instruction but struggle to get faculty members to adopt learning technologies, develop the talent to use it, or to develop the administrative processes to capture the value from learning analytics.

Perhaps the greatest challenge for leaders of HEIs is getting faculty buy-in. The deep traditions of higher education and significant skepticism of e-learning methods require an honest assessment of the effectiveness of current practices, leaving open the possibility of alternatives to traditional approaches to teaching and learning. Educational leaders who can use information to shed light on a culture that reinforces mediocrity are well positioned to develop a strategy that focuses on learner success, continuous improvement, and the use of learning analytics to make data-informed decisions. Existing data elements are essential in establishing a culture where individuals leverage new technologies to in- form teaching practice and develop a level of comfort with learning analytics. For example, existing industry and research reports on the effectiveness and increasing popularity of e-learning methods set the tone for our institutional conversations.

LESSON 3:  Strategy comes before measurement.

A clear educational strategy should drive the system of measurement and not the other way around. Measurement tells educators if our strategy is successful or not and where there may be opportunities for improvement. Data is enormously valuable in analyzing the teaching and learning processes. However, when one emphasizes metrics without the proper strategy in place, the result can drive behaviors that lead to data manipulation and other misuses of informa- tion. Lastly, in making the point that data informs rather than drives practice, it is important to clarify the limitations of data and to express a desire to honor the experience and intuitions of faculty and staff members.

LESSON 4:  “Quality is not an act; it is the result of intelligent effort.” —John Ruskin

One point often taken for granted in HEIs is that faculty members all have the same definition of academic quality. In fact, members of our faculty had very different ideas about quality, and if and how it could be measured. In defining quality, definitions ranged from the presence of a qualified faculty member, covering subjects, meeting the tradition of the discipline, fidelity to the standards of excellence set by experts, student satisfaction, meeting students goals, meeting faculty members’ goals, the learning process added value, and continuous improvement of the teaching and learning process based on assessment data. In some professional fields, the definition of academic quality should include a larger group of stakeholders that may include employers, associations and professional organizations.

Based on our quality conversations, we shifted from a focus on subject and content coverage to a focus on determining how students can apply knowledge learned in real-world settings. Early conversations also considered questions such as, “What do we dream our students will learn from us in our courses?” and “What would you want graduates to say about their learning experience?” and “What kinds of learning experiences would you want for them in order to succeed after college?”

We identified our goals to: assure high quality instruction across all academic programs; clarify valuable and rigorous learning outcomes for students; assure activities and assignments align to learning outcomes; allow students to experience meaningful and relevant learning activities and assignments; and make instructional materials support the needs of the instructors and learners.

LESSON 5: “Start with the ending; it’s the best way to begin.” —David Wilcox

In academic settings, inputs have long been treasured more than outcomes. Academic ranking services such as the annual U.S. News and World Report college rankings, have a long history of measuring academic quality — not based on student learning success, but based on a myriad of inputs to the learning process. These input measures include but are not limited to admissions selectivity, standardized admissions test scores and admissions rates, alumni donations, student-to-faculty ratio, class size and faculty credentials.

Today, learning outcomes are the currency of higher education, affording transferability of learning and courses between institutions, enabling educators to communicate what is to be learned, and supporting learners’ ability to communicate what they have learned. Learning outcomes are informed by a variety of inputs including but not limited to the educational goals of institutions and learning and performance tasks of employers. Faculty members must therefore agree on basic learning outcomes for each course, and how those course out- comes fit within the overall curriculum.

The adoption of a learning outcomes approach with the aim of identifying the right outcomes expressed at the appropriate level of rigor, revealed a great deal about the teaching and learning process at Franklin University. For example, many faculty members were well versed in subject categories and the topics they wanted to cover but not in writing measurable learning outcomes for learners. An evaluation of our syllabi across all programs and courses revealed inconsistencies in introducing, reinforcing and evaluating course outcomes through learning activities and assignments. Other concerns included unintended redundancies of course materials in some programs, hidden prerequisites, and a skill deficit among our faculty to address evolving manifestations of some rapidly evolving disciplines.

LESSON 6: The bait needs to be attractive to  the fish — not to the fisherman.

Most e-learning experiences offered at colleges are organized by faculty members in the same way as the face-to-face version of the course. They are often presented and delivered within the same parameters and schedule, and are evaluated using the same student satisfaction methods. Technology- enhanced curriculum provides opportunities to truly rethink how education is delivered. A clear understanding of learner needs, learning requirements, and of the potential ways learners and educators interact with learning technologies factor heavily in the success of technology-enhanced learning experiences. Some scholars suggest that success in digital learning is more likely if students serve as learning designers and engage in formative evaluation activities; i.e. an evaluation that takes place by the students before learning projects occur, with the aim of improving the project’s design and performance. This approach is quite different from a traditional lecture method where faculty members maintain total control of instruction.

To make education meaningful to the learner, the process of selecting instructional materials is also important. This process is often unmanaged at HEIs, with faculty members teaching each section of a course — often offering different resources to students at different price points. The instructional materials, technologies and virtual learning materials should: be accessible to and used by students; support learning outcomes; and contribute to student success. The selection of appropriate educational technologies is essential to successful teaching and learning. They should match the requirements of learning tasks, and be accessible and easy to use by students. Student surveys can be a place where data is collected on students’ reactions to instructional materials. Increasingly, instructional materials generate their own data, informing faculty about the use and effectiveness of the material in contributing to student learning. Another important data collection consideration is the cost of instructional material relative to other options and relative to perceived instructional benefit.

LESSON 7: “Every line is the perfect length if you do not measure it.” —Marty Rubin

There has always been a way to examine the effectiveness of courses. Prior to the introduction of e-learning methods, faculty members at Franklin University measured student attendance and retention, course completion, and student grades. However, today the capabilities of our learning management system (LMS) allow faculty members to examine student behaviors in relation to their academic achievement. Faculty members can now examine data related to the time students accessed course information, whether they watched all or part of an assigned video, answered questions correctly, responded to and posted to discussion boards, clicked on a lecture, or opened up an email with assignment instructions. The interrelationship between student actions and student success measures (such as course grades or nationally normed exams) allows us to uncover patterns and formulate predictions. Where data is informing student support practices, interventions for supporting students outside of the classroom and within virtual environments are evolving rapidly.

LESSON 8: “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” —Alexander Graham Bell

Faculty members are not born with an innate knowledge of how to teach or how to assess student learning. To ensure widespread understanding, we offered faculty members training and development opportunities designed to build a level of comfort and familiarity with e-learning and the use of learning analytics. Training and development allows faculty members to practice the range of teaching and learning methods. The workshops lead to conversations about assessment, encourage faculty to use the language of assessment, and help them gain competence and confidence as teachers using a variety of instructional approaches. A number of historic measures remain important. These include student surveys of faculty and faculty observations based on teaching effectiveness rubrics. In addition, modern LMS technology allows an analysis of faculty behaviors and engagement with the course and with students. The results of measuring teaching effectiveness allows professional development planning and other HR decisions. 

LESSON 9: “What gets measured, gets managed.”  —Peter Drucker

In many organizations, after the effort to gather and make sense of data, it can be summarized and placed on bookshelves to collect dust. Data collected should be used to make improvements to the course outcomes, instructional methods and ma- terials, or the assessment methods used. Figure 2 illustrates this relationship. In the end, data should inform improvements to student learning. Based on review of the data, our faculty members have achieved a number of the following goals:

ELM march The Evolution 2

>>   Redesign of the entire program’s curriculum to better fit market requirements and to avoid irrelevancy;

>>   Inform hiring plans for additional faculty;

>>   Target improvement of certain student learning outcomes for transferability;

>>   Change assignment requirements, supporting materials, and grading criteria;

>>   Change student feedback and faculty development practices;

>>   Change outcome assessment criteria; and

>>   Add learner support services.

Based on student and faculty feedback on courses, university-wide decisions have led to an increase in the perceived value and attractiveness of courses and programs.

LESSON 10: Our future is more data driven.

A number of trends suggest that the future of education will be more data driven. These trends include: (1) advances in technology; (2) looking at the softer side of learning; (3) greater interoperability of data systems; and (4) adaptive learning technologies.

First, analytical software is becoming more advanced and more broadly available. LMS software is becoming more advanced as designers of the software respond to the increasingly sophisticated user by adding new features. Hardware and learning software are also becoming less expensive and more powerful in terms of their computing capabilities.

Second, while economic measuressuch as enrollment and retention, course completion and grades were early indicators as dependent variables, increasingly, faculty are looking at the softer side of learning. These measures include student well-being, their active engagement, and the perceived relevance of the curriculum as it relates to their personal and career aspirations that are believed to be related to their success later in life.

Third, there is a movement toward greater interoperability of data systems. Currently, data silos exist both within and across organizations. As we begin to see the relationship between data sets as predictors of student success, this will drive efforts to have these systems talk to one another. For example, as many community college students enter four-year colleges prior to graduation from their two-year associate programs, data on learning outcomes met or courses taken may be sent from the four-year college back to the community college. This “reverse transfer” may signal the awarding of the two-year degree from the community college, which would positively affect their graduation rates and financial allocations from the community. Another example includes tying faculty development data to student success data. These data sources often reside in different places. Yet, it is believed that good teaching contributes to student learning. Systems that connect these two data sets would more effectively answer questions about the relationship between teaching and learning.

Lastly, adaptive learning is an educational method that uses computers as interactive teaching devices to direct learning tasks and paths based on the users’ competence and their unique needs. Adaptive learning is a form of machine learning that tailors educational experiences based on their responses. These methods produce both activity data and outcome data. As prerequisite knowledge and learning pathways continue to become clearer, adaptive methods will become more effective at individualizing learning.

CONCLUSIONS

The data generated by learning technologies such as content repositories, digital learning materials and interactive media objects are magnifying the view into how teachers teach and how students learn. The data also illuminate the environmental conditions under which learning occurs. Decisions informed by learning analytics can influence a culture of assessment and continuous improvement. We have, by no means, perfected our analysis and understanding of quality teaching and student success in higher education. Fortunately, the process of treating teaching and learning as a subject that can be analytically understood is moving forward, nudged by technology and human curiosity. With all this said, individuals and organizations need to constantly consider and develop new measures, new algorithms, and new social processes that enhance our ability to make data informed improvements.

—Dr. Washington is Senior Vice President for Academics at Franklin University. He opened the International Institute of Innovative Instruction, a collective body of learning scientists from across the globe the work to create and teach dynamic and innovative courses. He received the 2016 Learning! Champion Award for exceptional contributions to the learning industry.

Published in Top Stories

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Intelligence Systems. These applications are transforming business, and the enterprise technology an platforms to support them. By Catherine Upton

The digital evolution is changing how business is done. This is the era of impassioned CEOs and technology leaders with creative ideas who can inspire their organizations and lead them in transforming into digital businesses.

"The learning ecosystem is going through a technical disruption to automation and autonomous learning programs in the corporate space. Reminiscent of the shift from contact management software to sales force automation software or email marketing to marketing automation, the learning stack is the laggard to be re-invented and adopted, says Rory Cameron, General Manager, Litmos by Callidus Cloud.

In a Gartner report titled, “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends” authored by David W. Cearley, Brian Burke and Mike J. Walker, there are three macro trends leaders must embrace to enable a shift to the digital enterprise.

MACRO TREND 1:ALGORITHMIC BUSINESS  DRIVES TRANSFORMATION

Algorithmic business is an accelerator and extension of digital business, according to Gartner. It focuses on how increasingly intelligent algorithms enable smart machines and systems to become autonomous actors in the digital business as agents for human beings. Algorithms drive the connectedness among people, things, businesses and information that drive business value. Algorithms provide the “intelligence” to get the most out of the connections and interplay between people, things, processes and information. Algorithms also are critical to delivering a differentiated customer experience. Although big data remains a major concern for CEOs, big data generated as part of the digital business process is of no value in itself. It is only when the organization shifts from a focus on big data to “big answers” that value begins to emerge.

"Forward-thinking learning profes- sionals and learning technology providers have long recognized that we are amassing a significant amount of data on learners, reports Chip Ramsey, CEO, Intellum. “From the corporate perspective, the enterprise should already be drilling down to the individual employee to determine which learning asset positively altered which specific outcome. On the learning technology side, we should be leveraging the tremendous amount of anonymous user data within our reach to identify learning trends that impact performance. But these are still ‘fixed’ approaches by which learning technology providers, and our clients, are making decisions."

Analyzing big data to identify patterns and insights that drive business actions is the start of this shift, according to Gartner. Algorithmic business transformation occurs when organizations encapsulate these insights into algorithms tied tightly to real-time business processes and decision-makers, and when they use machine learning to allow increasingly autonomous algorithmic action. Algorithms are more essential to the business than data alone. Algorithms define action.

Algorithmic business extends beyond data and analytics to influence the evolution of applications, business models and future digital business solutions. This is ushering in a post-app era in which system and application vendors such as Microsoft, Google and Apple are likely to deliver platforms and applications with ever-more powerful agent- based interfaces.

Intellum’s Ramsey continues: “As business sectors across the board, including learning, continue to apply machine learning techniques, these traditionally fixed algorithmic approaches are themselves learning. At Intellum, we are already testing a solution that presents the exact information the user needs to consume at the moment in which that presentation has the highest likelihood of improving that employee’s performance. The algorithms that control this approach are not static equations but processes that learn from large numbers of prior successful outcomes to better determine who needs what, when.”

Algorithmic business builds on digital business, shifting the emphasis to the intelligence encoded in software, according to Gartner. Enterprise architects must add algorithmic business and related enabling technologies to their planning and future enterprise, data, security and application architectures.

IBM’s acquisition of The Weather Company is an example of algorithmic business. The Weather Company has a massive Internet of Things (IoT) implementation, with hundreds of thousands of weather sensors sending 28 billion transactions to its Cloud every day. Before the acquisition, IBM had an agreement to feed data to IBM Watson for weather prediction. With the acquisition, IBM brings together The Weather Company’s digital environment and associated data with IBM’s analytical and cognitive computing capabilities. This has created an algorithmic business that provides analytical services and results to a business ecosystem with more than 5,000 customers. These customers — in, for example, airlines, insurance companies and retailers — can use the algorithmic input to drive their own business operations.

Organizations must examine the potential impact of these macro trends, factor them into their strategic planning for 2017 and 2018, and adjust business models and operations appropriately. If they fail to do so, they will risk losing competitive advantage to organizations that do. {See Figure 1}

ELM March Disruptions 1

Ramsey concludes: “The algorithm that learns how to present the right information to the right person at the right time is beyond valuable. It will fundamentally transform the company that learns to harness it. Imagine the competitive advantage gained when the learning solution recognizes in real time an opportunity to intercede and present the user with information (a new sales technique) that turns an otherwise negative outcome (lost sale) into a positive one (closed sale). This is not an imagined future state. Companies like Intellum will be providing this competitive advantage to clients within the year.”

MACRO TREND 2:THE EMERGENCE OF THE DIGITAL MESH

Gartner defines the “economics of connections” as the creation of value through increased density of interactions among business, people and things. As an organization increases the density of its connections (among people, business and things), it increases the potential value it can realize from those connections.

Connections are at the core of digital and algorithmic business models. The digital mesh builds on the economics of connections, focusing on devices, services, applications and information. The digital mesh is a people-centered theme that refers to the collection of devices (including things), information, apps, services, businesses and other people that exist around the individual. As the mesh evolves, all devices, computers, information resources, businesses and individuals will be interconnected. The interconnections are dynamic and flexible, changing over time. Building business solutions and user experiences (UXs) for the digital mesh — while addressing the challenges they create — must be a priority for enterprise architects.

“This concept of a digital mesh that is made up of all the devices and digital applications that are tracking every aspect of our lives is very applicable to enterprise learning," claims Ramsey. “In a corporate environment, we use applications to manage projects and relationships, receive customer feedback, and control versions of critical documents and code. We interact with these applications across a number of devices from a number of locations. The things we rely on to get our jobs done are actually gathering data about how well we do our jobs.”

The digital mesh has emerged as a re- sult of the collision of the physical and virtual worlds, as computing capability becomes embedded in virtually everything around us. Additional advances allow the virtual world to enter the real world through advanced UI and virtual reality models, as well as physical items created with 3-D printers. This blending of both worlds delivers new insights into the physical world, allowing us to understand it in greater detail, and interact with it in new and intelligent ways. This will change how people experience the world in their daily lives. Opportunities for new business and operating models will abound.

Ramsey adds: “At Intellum, we can already mine this data from a range of devices (think Fitbit) and applications (think Salesforce) to determine employee performance levels. We can now experiment with how well specific inputs, like a mid-day walk or a two-minute video on how to become more persuasive, can alter an outcome or improve an employee’s performance. Once these feedback loops are in place, particularly at scale, we can apply the algorithms that will determine the exact learning asset an employee should encounter in a specific scenario. This will, of course, require even more data from even more sources, and the digital mesh will continue to grow.”

MACRO TREND 3:SMART MACHINES SET THE STAGE FOR ALGORITHMIC BUSINESS AND THE ALGORITHMIC ECONOMY

The smart machines theme describes how information of everything is developing to extract greater meaning from a rapidly expanding set of sources, reports Gartner. Advanced data analysis technologies and approaches are evolving to create physical and software-based machines that are programmed to learn and adapt, rather than programmed only for a finite set of prescribed actions.

The amount of big data collected by the many devices currently in place is staggering. However, the accelerating merger of the physical and virtual worlds will make the present volumes seem paltry. New kinds of data will continuously stream from new types of devices at record rates. This oversupply will overwhelm those who are ill-prepared. But for those who are prepared, the potential to gain new kinds of critical intelligence will be unprecedented. Leading senior executives will build a strong competency in turning this data into critical intelligence that will drive their organizations’ future direction. Additionally, leading organizations will significantly advance operational agility with near-real-time information, feeding business processes that can absorb it and react accordingly. Data coming from almost all directions provides the possibility for intelligence everywhere when combined with advanced artificial intelligence algorithms and other machine-learning techniques.

Three distinct trends are intimately linked in the smart machines theme. They represent an evolution in how systems deal with data, and the machines and people that create and consume this data, culminating in intelligence everywhere. {See Figure 2}

ELM March Disruptions 2

“These three macro trends are substantiated by what we have seen in the financial trading arena," says Apratim Purakayastha, CTO, Skillsoft. “For some years, sophisticated algorithms have taken over trading decisions. Those algorithms are connected in a mesh, taking decisions and automatically trading across firms — and those ‘smart machines’ — have set the stage for a mostly automated algorithmic business. There are other areas, such as supply chain management, where this trend is currently growing. In the area of digi-tal advertisement, we can also see this trend dominating. Overall, it is already a broad, cross-industry phenomenon.

Even everyday objects such as a stethoscope and enterprise software such as CRM systems or security tools increasingly have a smart and autonomous aspect. In “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends: Autonomous Agents and Things,” Gartner looked at how information of everything and advanced machine-learning algorithms, supported by advanced system architectures, are leading to more intelligent software and hardware-based solutions. These are creating new market segments and enhancing existing ones.

“The pervasive nature of these trends demands that everyone understand what comprises a 100 percent digital workforce — a workforce that is fully trained and conversant with fundamental digital skills, along with its benefits and risks,” adds Purakayastha.

The key digital skills sets required include but are not limited to:

>> Broad digital skills such as productivity and collaborative tools.

>> Modern technological trends such as Big Data, Blockchain, etc.

>> A thorough understanding of fundamental cybersecurity issues such as phishing, ransomware and other risks

>> Best practices and laws relative to digital compliance and data privacy

>> Digital “presence, leadership and image in a virtually interconnected workforce.

—This article contains excerpts from the Gartner Research Report titled “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends” by David W. Cearley, Brian Burke, Mike J. Walker. To access the complimentary Gartner report, download it at: http://gartnerevents.com/ Top_10_Strategic_EMEA?ls=ppcggle&gclid =CJiMlrSN184CFVAo0wodWdQNkQ

Published in Top Stories

Empowering Employees to Take Charge of their Development - By Ritu Hudson

At Navy Federal Credit Union, we frequently receive these questions in learning and development. You probably do too. People look to us, the training department, to support their development. But most team members aren't aware of all the training department offers, or even where they should start. Enter Pathfinder at the Navy Federal Credit Union.

Pathfinder is a tool that provides employees awareness of the variety of resources that Learning & Development offers. It makes development planning easier by providing resources based on a career path or competency. It facilitates developmental conversations between leaders and staff by providing a common language. Overall, the tool provides the resources for our employees to own their development and their future.

To assure success, we created a process to effectively develop and launch the solution. We relied on a process that is familiar to learning and development professionals: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation (ADDIE). Our approach included:

>> Obtaining upper leadership buyin;

>> Spending time up front to complete a needs analysis, organizing the content, and planning the project;

>> Determining whether to develop inhouse or find a vendor;

>> Utilizing a phased design-and-development approach to minimize the need for rushing to completion;

>> Launching the Pathfinder tool and creating awareness around it through branding and marketing; and

>> Continuously gathering feedback, revising, and reinventing the tool.

CHALLENGES AND NEEDS

Before creating the solution, we went  through a thorough discovery process that included talking to employees and identifying needs. We discovered three main challenges:

  1. Employees had difficulty identifying what skills they needed for specific positions. They wanted to know, "What do I need to do to become a ____?' They also wanted a "path" created for them to achieve the necessary skills and experiences to prepare for that role.
  2. Despite developing a process, a work- sheet template, and even a workshop to help employees create their competency-based individual development plans (IDPs), they were not being used as widely across the organization. Our IDP pro-cess stressed that development is driven by the employee and that the employee should take the initiative to meet with his or her leader on a regular basis to discuss progress. While employees and leaders were open to having these conversations, there was confusion regarding what developmental activities could go in the IDP, especially around the organization-wide competency framework.
  3. Many employees were not taking charge of their own development and waited until their leaders initiated a developmental conversation.

 

To overcome these challenges, we needed to:

>> Support employees by guiding their learning along career paths. We were consistently hearing, "How do I become a business analyst?" or "How do I become a project manager?" We needed to guide, not prescribe, learning resources based on career paths.

>> Encourage the use of IDPs across the organization. Leaders and employees had the resources needed to create their plans, and the suggested developmental activities associated to competencies.

>> Encourage employees to self-initiate their development by giving them the resources to do so.

Based on the identified challenges and associated needs, we determined that the overall goal was to improve employee performance and engagement by empowering our employees to take charge of their development. This goal directly aligned with the organization's strategic plan, which included an initiative to "…have highly skilled, engaged team members empowered to execute our strategy." With this alignment, we were able to gain visibility for this project, obtain an executive level champion, and also make it a priority for our team.

 DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT

Armed with the organization's needs and strategic plan, we were ready to begin development. We decided to develop the tool in- house instead of using a vendor. This allowed us to keep the tool current as we developed new learning resources. As with any design project, we went through multiple iterations to get it to where it is today.

Before beginning development, we reorganized our learning resources to help our employees understand the developmental categories involved. We created eight developmental tracks:

>> Career Development

>> Communication

>> Financial Management

>> Functional/Technical

>> Leadership

>> Management

>> Member Experience

>> Self Enrichment

Our employees would be able to more easily identify developmental resources, such as workshops and e-learning courses. In an effort to identify guided paths for employees developing for a specific role, we organized our learning resources into career paths. Despite having hundreds of positions across the organization, we utilized 10 areas of subject-matter expertise:

>> Administrative Assistants

>> Business Analysts

>> Executives

>> HR Professionals

>> IT Specialists

>> Loan Officers

>> Managers

>> Project Managers

>> Supervisors

>> Training Specialists

Last, we created an "All Employees" path for general employee development. Now, we were ready to build the tool.

Iteration 1

The first iteration of the tool was an interactive Adobe Acrobat PDF document. It allowed users to click on a Career Path at the top of the document, which highlighted the courses applicable to development for that path. This version of the tool was easy to send over email, but it was limited by scope and physical space. It only included selected learning resources, and no information beyond the resource's title was available.

ELM March Empowering Employees 1

Iterations 2 & 3

After deploying the first version of the tool, we saw what worked and didn't work for our audience. The second iteration produced a standalone, wizard-style tool. This tool was hosted on the organization's intranet, making it easily accessible to employees. The focus of this version was to enable our learners to pick the type of development that they needed.

The second version allowed us to take a more holistic approach. We added additional career paths and learning resources- e-learning courses, workshops (physical and virtual classroom), career development advice, and competencies. Furthermore, the tool allowed the resources to be organized in a manner that effectively provided learners with the ability to obtain learning to develop specific competency and to develop in a current or future position.

With Iteration 2's focus on functionality, we were able to fine-tune the tool in Iteration 3. We added additional paths and fully integrated the tool into our intranet. Instead of a link, it was now embedded within the site, allowing users to leverage the intranet's search functionality.

ELM March Empowering Employees 2

ELM March Empowering Employees 3

IMPLEMENTATION

Throughout the development periods, we worked diligently to market the tool across the organization. We created a logo and tagline for the tool, and used it everywhere. We aligned the tool with our annual Catalog of Services (outlining our offerings, categorized into the same development tracks) and integrated the tool into our workshops, including our New Employee Orientation. We went on road shows and demonstrated the tools at various business unit meetings. We sent targeted emails and advertised it on the intranet. We even created 3-D posters advertising Pathfinder and posted them everywhere. We communicated to employees that we listened, developed a tool to support them, and simplified the "how to" of development.

EVALUATION & IMPACT

Between our marketing and word-of- mouth, the tool became an integral part of employee development within our organization. We received positive feedback that the tool was user-friendly, accessible and interactive. Employees and leaders began using the tool in the development of IDPs. Pathfinder reinforced the competency language/framework that we utilize throughout our organization in behavioral interviews and annual performance reviews, and it further provided a common language for our employees and leaders to have developmental and performance conversations.

We continue to review and modify Pathfinder on an annual basis. Based on learner input, we have continued to add career paths. We also review the tool for functionality and to improve the user experience. We have linked Pathfinder to the learning management system (LMS), providing employees with the ability to review course descriptions in Pathfinder and quickly link directly to our LMS to open the e-learning course or register for the workshop.

Not only did Pathfinder support a more developmentally-focused culture and provide awareness of our department's offerings, it was a steppingstone to new and different employee-initiated development programs. We recently linked Pathfinder's Career Development section to an extensive job shadowing program in which employees make requests to shadow positions in other business units. We have also implemented self-paced certificate programs that put the learning in the hands of our employees. They register for and work through a curriculum of workshops and e-learning courses to obtain the certificate, some of which are based on development tracks. Further, when we get a development inquiry, we introduce them to a tool and other self- initiated programs that puts their devel- opment in their hands.

The Navy Federal Credit Union is a five-time Learning! 100 Award winner, recognized for innovation and high performance.

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Learning isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. It takes hard work, dedication and creative thinking. BY JERRY ROCHE

The 2017 Learning! Champion Award honors  individuals  for  exceptional  contributions  to  the  learning  industry.  Elearning! magazine  names  28  professionals  across six categories for 2017.

“Lifetime  Achievement”  winners  have dedicated  their  entire  lives  to  learning and  have  helped  thousands  of  others  do the  same.  “Thought  Leaders”  are  industry  experts  always  willing  to  share  their expertise  and  are  dedicated  to  bettering their  communities  and  industries.  “High Performers” have gone above and beyond, usually  in  a  relatively  short  time  frame, to  implement  new  learning  techniques  in their organizations. “Mentors” take a special interest in others to help them achieve their  potential.  “Trail  Blazers”  forge  new processes  and  procedures  in  uncharted areas  to  elevate  learning  and  technology successes.  “Innovators”  are  technologists and problem solvers who often bring these solutions to market for others to share.

The 2017 Learning! Champions are...

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Joe-DiDonato

Joe DiDonato, Editor-at-Large, Elearning! magazine

Joe DiDonato has proven to be a supremely knowledgeable, well-spoken representative of the learning industry through a long and distinguished career. He’s a customer-obsessed and a “roll-up-the-sleeves” kind of senior executive with background spanning both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. His experience ranges from individual, staff and management functions to CEO and board positions. Roles include senior learning officer responsibilities and marketing at major corporations. He is currently the editor-at-large for this magazine, providing content, expertise and analysis on trends impacting the world of corporate education.

At the same time, DiDonato is co-founder and presdient of The Orphan Foundation, a non-profit that helps find homes for orphans around the world by removing barriers to adoption. Its goal this year is to raise $1 million toward its mission.

Over the course of his career, DiDonato has had executive roles with The Wellness Community, Interwise (now AT&T Connect), Knowledge Planet, Productivity Point International, PeopleSoft (now Oracle). He earned the designation “Mr. Education” at Oracle when launching Oracle’s first certification and education program for the extended enterprise.

DiDonato’s self-professed specialties are business development, marketing, start-ups, professional services, corporate education, e-learning, customer obsession and conference development.  linkedin.com/in/editoratlarge1/

Elliot-Masie

Elliot Masie, Futurist, Founder, The Masie Center

Elliot Masie is acknowledged as the first analyst to use the term “e-learning.”  Masie founded The Masie Center, a Saratoga Springs, N.Y., think tank focused on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce. He leads the Learning Consortium, a coalition of 200 global organizations cooperating on the evolution of learning strategies, including CNN, Walmart, American Express, Emirates Airline, Starbucks, General Electric and Fidelity Investments.

Masie’s professional focus has been in the fields of corporate learning, organizational performance and emerging technology. He has developed models for accelerating the spread of knowledge, learning and collaboration throughout organizations and, advocated for a sane deployment of learning and collaboration technology as a means of supporting the effectiveness and profitability of enterprises.

Masie serves as an adviser to a wide range of government, education and non-profit groups. His service has included Skidmore College Board of Trustees and as a Board member of First Robotics, CosmoSid and the CIA University Board of Visitors. He has served as a pro-bono advisor to the Department of Defense and on the White House Advisory Council on Expanding Learning Opportunities.

Masie is known as a highly approachable speaker and trainer, blending humor, applicable stories of best practice and high levels of audience involvement. Over the past 30 years, he has presented programs, courses and speeches to more than 2.2 million professionals around the world.  linkedin.com/in/elliottmasie/

Kevin-Oakes

Kevin Oakes, CEO, Founder, Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp)

Kevin Oakes is the CEO and founder of the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), a human capital research firm that discovers the people practices that drive high performance.

Ranked among the fastest-growing companies on the Inc. 500|5000 list, i4cp provides its extensive member network of leading global employers and government institutions with the research, peer collaboration, tools, and data essential to developing and executing workforce strategies and practices that deliver higher market performance.

A frequent author and international keynote speaker on talent management and using human capital strategically in organizations, Oakes co-authored “The Executive Guide to Integrated Talent Management.” He also serves on the board of directors for privately held Workforce Insight, the world’s leading provider of workforce management and analytics consulting services.

He has been a leader in the human capital field for the last two decades including: founder and the president of SumTotal Systems, the largest provider of talent and learning solutions in the world; chairman & CEO of Click2learn, which was founded in 1985 by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft; and president and founder of Oakes Interactive, an award-winning technology-based training company in Needham, Mass.  linkedin.com/in/kevinoakes/

TRAIL BLAZER

Yvonne-Andres

Dr. Yvonne Marie Andrés, Founder, Executive Director, Global SchoolNet

Dr. Yvonne Marie Andrés has been a trail-blazer and non-stop thought leader dedicated to advancing online education and global collaborative learning since 1981. She has been an inspiration to thousands and thousands of educators worldwide, believing that in a connected world students need a global perspective. Her work has brought together youth online from 194 countries to explore community, cultural and scientific issues that prepare them for the workforce and help them to become responsible and literate global citizens.

Andrés is the co-founder of the non-profit Global SchoolNet and the founder of the Global Schoolhouse. She was named one of the 25 most influential people worldwide in education technology and was invited in 2000 to meet with President Bush to launch the Friendship Through Education initiative.

She also is the creator and producer of International CyberFair and the U.S. State Department’s “Doors to Diplomacy” program.

Andrés produces numerous videos and frequently writes about highly effective education programs from around the globe that blend online and offline learning, while incorporating the latest neuroplasticity findings and constructivist learning methodology. Her works have touched people in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Europe, Australia, South America and Africa.In short, she has offered the learning industry some amazing and tireless contributions. linkedin.com/in/yvonneandres/

Chris-Bartlett

Chris Bartlett, Director of Learning Resources, FMC Technologies

Chris Bartlett has made significant changes that enable FMC Technologies’ employees to learn and do more with less, organizing more than 150 employees from 30 countries into a central cost structure, bringing all global learning resources together into a centralized learning resources organization to greatly reduce spending on learning-related activities in just one year without affecting quality.

Here are just a few of the achievements of FMC’s Learning Resources Group, under Bartlett’s direction:

>>   Led the way as the first truly global “shared services” organization with a presence in all business units and regions of FMC.

>>   Connected people globally (75 percent of employees participating in 90 networks via the corporate knowledge sharing platform, The Edge).

>>   Connected people to subject-matter-expert verified information (The Well, FMC Technologies’ wiki, has grown 98 percent since 2012)

>>   Reduction in duplication of course development leading to standardization of courses.

>>   The near-elimination of the use of non-FMC Technologies facilities for training.

>>   Leveraging internal resources and eliminating external expense.

>>   Eliminated millions of dollars in travel costs annually through the increased availability and competency in hosting virtual events and training.

>>   Through in-house video services, reduced the time and cost of creating training materials while increasing the materials’ usefulness, reach and reuse.

>>   Implemented and integrated software to deliver meaningful data to those that need it through cleaning up a SharePoint environment.

linkedin.com/in/chris-bartlett-058636a/

Ruth-Ann-Clurman

Ruth-Ann Clurman, Senior Director of Learning  and Organization Development, Ascension Health

During Ruth-Ann Clurman’s tenure, Ascension’s Learning and Organization Development team has led innovation and accessibility through both social and mobile learning tools. The organization has been selected for the Learning! 100 list for the past five consecutive years. Its workforce supports customers both remotely and virtually and needs 24/7 access to learning solutions. The team also needs a way to connect with each other for peer mentoring and solution support.

Ten years ago, Ascension Information Services began with 675 associates from healthcare facilities across the United States. Today, it has more than 3,000 associates and is recognized as one of the best health-care information technology services organizations in the nation.

Co-workers say Clurman is encouraging and insightful, always striving for improvement in collaboration and effectiveness. That she possesses the vision to identify areas of opportunity and determine development plans that improve and engage associates. That she orchestrates changes with persistence and wisdom to allow for growth. That she continues to work ahead of the curve to clear the path in the constantly changing specialties of health care and information technology so that others may follow. Clurman possesses a master’s degree from Missouri State University. linkedin.com/in/ruth-ann-clurman-1a57883/

Ramon-Garcia

Ramón García Espeleta, Manager, Gerente Virtaula CaixaBank

Ramón García Espeleta guides Virtaula CaixaBank’s online learning effort throughout Spain. During the six years that had has been responsible for the bank’s learning platform, electronic learning has become of utmost importance. It has multiplied by 10 the capacity of concurrency, has changed the design four times, and has generated more than 15 million hours of learning, including more than 2 million in 2016. Informal training has been enhanced, and knowledge between all the people in the organization has increased. Internal trainers have become facilitators and entertainers through virtual online classroom training. The platform itself has been recognized with several awards.

During Espeleta’s watch, the main challenge of the project is for its employees to evolve together and to maintain the spirit of training and development service.

The bank’s online learning platform was born in 1999. In 2006, Web 2.0 tools, blogs, wikis and forums were introduced; in 2010, the collaborative and semantic Web were introduced; and in 2014, Virtaula emotions were introduced. The bank is now seeking the educational application of augmented and virtual reality within its content.

In the last year, a smart recommendations engine has been included in the online learning effort. This tool allows automatic content personalization and segmentation depending on the actions that the users themselves or other employees related to them have made. The bank is currently working on advanced models of artificial intelligence with analytics that inform managers about what employees need and want, as well as applications of virtual and augmented reality.  linkedin.com/in/ramongarciaespe/

Johnathan-Fear

Jonathan Fear, Senior Director of Coupa University, Coupa, Inc.

Jonathan Fear is known as a brilliant leader in the corporate education industry. He has taken all areas of education into consideration at Coupa Inc., an enterprise software company. That includes internal training, customer training, and partner certification, which have all been integrated into their existing platforms (like Salesforce CRM).

Coupa’s corporate education program is called Coupa University, of which Fear is vice president, a position from which he has been able to drive training across many different functions within the company.

Fear is detail oriented, customer focused, and a joy to work with according to staffers. He has proven able to manage the expectations and priorities of requests from top customers effectively. He works well under pressure and is always looking out for his client’s best interests. Additionally, he has always had an excellent grasp of the technology and manages resources wisely.

Fear has been with Coupa for the past six years, but has more than 20 years of experience in the training and education space with companies like SumTotal and Executrain. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Quantitative Economics and Decision Sciences from the University of California, San Diego.

Coupa has been named to Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies. Its primary mission is to deliver a spend-management platform that unifies business processes across all the ways employees spend money. Its consumerized financial applications digitize spending across travel and expense management, procurement and invoicing. The organization was honored with the 2016 Learning! 100 Award.  linkedin.com/in/jonathan-fear-901a11/

Mohammed-Amir-Habib

Mohammed Amir Habib, Consultant, Sidra Medical and Research Center

Mohammed Amir Habib created the first scenario-based e-learning course at Sidra (and possibly Qatar) as part of a core values awareness drive. All the other 110 or so sessions (clinical and corporate) used tell-and-test approaches with an occasional one-page contextualized question.

Because the learning industry in Qatar is still maturing, it generally purchases materials from companies in Dubai. But Habib became one of the first — if not the first — e-learning professional Because the learning industry in Qatar is still maturing, it generally purchases materials from companies in Dubai. But Habib became one of the first — if not the first — e-learning professional working in the Persian Gulf to bring cutting-edge instructional design coupled with superb development and graphics skills, to create a world-class module. The session he created — Sidra Core Values Awareness — takes the learner through a typical day in the life of a Sidra employee. The learner makes decisions with appropriate support in the form of a values champion to give guidance on behavior in line with Sidra’s values.

Habib helped everyone across the organization to not just learn about the values but actually see the values in action in their everyday decisions. The aim wasn’t just to teach the values but how they need to be lived by allowing learners to experience real, authentic experiences that occur everyday.

Habib has a background in I.T. and has been developing since the age of 10. The key to his success is his understanding of instructional design, human learning psychology coupled with his expert level technical skills.

David-Hembroff

David Hembroff, Head of Training and Development, USIC

David Hembroff has proven to be quite a visionary in the learning industry from his position with USIC, an industry leader for underground infrastructure protection with more than 7,500 employees nationwide. He has helped to chart the course of current and future training and development at USIC and is always looking at ways to improve the company’s overall education process. He’s also taken a fundamental role in USIC’s transition into a digital learning organization, helping to drive internal productivity rates up by more than 100 percent.

Hembroff’s passions are adult education, development and training, and writing. He has built great soft skills as a leader, and has honed his marketing and customer skills with some of the best in the business.

Under Hembroff’s watchful eye, USIC’s employee training has become a well-balanced blend of e-learning served through its proprietary LMS — USIC Institute — and instructor-led and on-the-job training led by its team of training leaders and coaches.

His Training and Development division has been responsible for: curriculum development, instructional design, tiered skill training courses, multimedia and interactive training presentations, micro-learning, continuous engagement and the aforementioned USIC Institute, which offers more than 100 training courses.

Moreover, USIC is a high-growth company, making learning and training crucial. Its 8,200 field technicians undergo more than 500,000 training hours per year.  linkedin.com/in/dave-hembroff-37377a3a/

Brooks-Williams

Brooks Williams, Director of Organizational Development, MidSouth Bank

As an extraordinary leader, Brooks Williams is acutely aware of the impact he has and is dedicated to helping people become their very best. He recognizes leadership as a responsibility, not just a job.

Williams is a learning executive who champions meaningful and impactful workplace learning. By being able to understand both the needs of the bank’s business at a high level and the value of employee development, he gains buy-in from across the organization that learning and development is a key to achieving real and sustainable results.

What makes Williams an extraordinary leader? He is future-directed, with a confidence and optimism about future successes that are contagious. He puts in the work: curriculum development, class (instructor-led/virtual/hands-on) presentations, site visits. Even the little things, like a phone call to an employee who made a big contribution or a handwritten note to welcome a new employee.

Success is key. He works with employees to eliminate barriers that might inhibit success, and he creates opportunities for employees to contribute more to the business and thus feel more empowered. He is invested in his people: a catalyst for their continued learning and development. One of his favorite sayings is, “When you are finished growing, you are finished.”

Williams is a senior leader with a notable career in financial services. His selfless approach to leadership has earned him an incredibly loyal following and is the primary reason his people stay with the organization for much longer than some of them had ever planned. People want to work for him. linkedin.com/in/brooks-m-williams-mbb-cmf-239200128/

Jeanne-Beliveau-Dunn

Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, Vice President, General Manager, Cisco Services

In just the past year, Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn and her team’s many accomplishments include the launch of a $10 million global cybersecurity scholarship program aimed at helping address the cybersecurity skills gap; revamped and revised the certification program to address new and emerging technologies; and continued to bolster efforts to provide best-in-class I.T. training and certification.

In November 2015, her team launched a revised curriculum and framework for its expert-level certification program, the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), to meet the changing demands of the digital economy and ensure that I.T. professionals are imbued with the skills they need to participate in meaningful business discussions about the new technical areas that are shaping business strategy and operations. This includes revising the curriculum to incorporate a new assessment approach focused on ensuring that candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills with evolving technologies such as network programmability, Cloud, security and IoT.

This next generation of I.T. certification and training represents a continuation of Jeanne’s long-time work to address talent agility and reskilling. Helping organizations address the existing skills gap and empowering professionals in their own career development is a driving passion for Beliveau-Dunn, and have been the guiding forces of much of her work at Cisco.

In the past year, her book “I’m the Boss of Me: A Guide to Owning Your Career” was published. It provides an easy-to-follow guide on developing a self-empowered approach to work, career and life, interspersing personal stories and anecdotes with lessons learned from her more than two decades of experience in the technology industry.  linkedin.com/in/jeannedunn/

THOUGHT LEADER

Matt-Kurtin

Matt Kurtin, Lead Programmer and Learning Technology Consultant, Innovative Learning Group

Matt Kurtin has been a passionate, knowledgeable, and active thought leader in the learning and development space for the past 20 years. This fact is made abundantly clear by his prominent role at Innovative Learning Group (one of Inc. magazine’s 5,000 fastest- growing small businesses) and the fact that he is in constant demand to share his knowledge with those in the industry.

Kurtin has spoken at more than 15 conferences and conventions, including many of the industry’s most prominent gatherings. He has authored more than 500 e-learning courses and is proficient in Captivate, Articulate Studio, Articulate Storyline, Lectora, Flash, ASP.NET, JavaScript, and XML.

He is a true rarity: someone with immense technical skills, emotional intelligence, and a consultative ability to identify the true need of the client. All of these traits are held together with a visionary passion for learning as a whole. His infectious zeal for learning and development has had a significant impact on the industry. He has acted as both an active developmental presence and an engaging ambassador.

Kurtin leads the mobile learning strategy at Innovative Learning Group, where he has personally developed many mobile applications and courses. Additionally, he has extensive experience supporting translation of custom e-learning courses and has worked on courses delivered in more than 20 languages.

And he has not rested on this pioneering approach to mobile learning; he is actively involved in the discovery of possible applications for virtual reality and augmented reality within the learning and development market.

Jean-Meister

Jeanne C. Meister, Founder, Partner, Future Workplace

Jeanne C. Meister founded Future Workplace to work with forward-looking companies to think differently about the future of work and the changing composition of the workforce. It is now a human resources advisory and research firm dedicated to discussing, debating and sharing the “next practices” on navigating the future workplace and workforce. A consortium of nearly 50 organizations come together both virtually and in person to discuss debate and share “next” practices on preparing for the future of work.

Meister considers herself a workplace visionary and activist who drives her clients to think differently. She has a deep background and experience in corporate learning, and has been awarded a Distinguished Contribution in Workplace Learning Award by a leading organization in the learning industry. Her specialties are employee experience, corporate university design, talent management, leadership development and executive education.

She is also the author of four business books — the first two of which were written on the topic of corporate universities. Today, Meister is very obviously passionate about helping organizations re-think how to attract, develop and inspire employees in a workplace that is rapidly changing. Her latest book is “The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules for Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees.”

Meister has also published articles in popular magazines like Financial Times; Fast Company; Forbes; Harvard Business Review; Harvard Management Update; Journal of Business Strategy; Outlook, a Publication of Accenture; People & Strategy Journal; and Elearning! magazine. linkedin.com/in/jeannemeister/

Mike-Connor

Mike Conner, Chief Evangelist, BlueBottleBiz 

Mike Conner believes in revolutionizing the future of corporate learning. His vision is to support informal learning by giving it some structure, yet providing professionals with more freedom to learn than traditional learning systems provide. He sees the value in an all-encompassing learning solution that supports collaborative learning by combining expert (vetted) content, professional network and unique collaborative tools that allow colleagues and experts to work together.

Conner spent 2016 introducing collaborative learning to Fortune 500 and enterprise companies. He has contributed articles to top publications, and weighs in on topics that cover the future of learning, how learning technology is evolving, and ways to retain talent by building solid learning programs. His articles and quotes have been shared widely among the business community in both the U.S. and the U.K. He meets with the analyst community to discuss collaborative learning and the impacts it will have on organizations.

Conner truly believes that learning provides the foundation to success for professionals and for their organizations. For him, sharing the benefits and innovations of collaborative learning isn’t just a “job,” it’s a passion.

Previously, Conner was the Vice President of Global Sales for Safari (previously Safari Books Online). As a member of Safari’s executive team, most of his time was devoted to developing a second-generation platform and preparing his sales organization and enterprise customer base for enhancements to drive customized learning with curated content. linkedin.com/in/michaelconnercatalystsale/

INNOVATOR

Sue-Brett

Sue Brett, C.E.O., Learningonline.xyz

Sue Brett has proven to be an inspiring force who has shaped a young team of e-learning professionals and developers into achieving results that transform people’s lives and add value at every level of interaction with the company’s user base. She has spent over a decade, challenging and inspiring individuals to do more, be more.

She has been instrumental in the success and launch of e-learning portals such as Cudoo.com and apps such as Langu. ag, which offer more than 160 languages to users to learn and enhance their communication skills. She has worked hard to map the language courses to internationally recognized CEFR levels so that users can easily chart their progress from one level to another, as they progress in their language learning journey. Language lovers can now confidently learn any language and get certified based on their level.

Her company, from its absolutely unique video-based language nanolearning to peer exchange and live online learning, a combination of mLMS, apps and online-based products that connect learners, peers and instructors to a world of cultures.

Brett’s company was shortlisted for the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) Education Awards 2017. GESS is a world-class education exhibition and conferences provider and with GESS Education Awards, it aims to acknowledge and reward the brightest contributors to the educational industry.  linkedin.com/in/sue-brett-27911034/

Rory-Cameron

Rory Cameron, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development,  Learning and Marketing Platforms, Litmos, by CallidusCloud

Rory Cameron has led all areas of Litmos at CallidusCloud since its acquisition in 2011. Much of Litmos’ ongoing success and innovative product and marketing direction is driven by his substantial knowledge and thought leadership in the learning industry.

Cameron operates a high-energy and customer-centric organization. He was responsible for multiple acquisitions in 2016, including the key addition of ViewCentral, which has been re-branded as Litmos Training Ops.

He has been recognized with many different honors and awards, including the Irish Global Technology 50 by the Irish Technology Leadership Group and the Irish “40 under 40.” He continues to rapidly grow the Litmos learning business within CallidusCloud and has reinvigorated innovation into the learning industry.

Cameron has more than 15 years of experience in business development, sales, and sales operations across a range of technology sectors. At CallidusCloud, he runs the platforms group which consists of Litmos, Clicktools, Badgeville, and Datahug, highly disruptive platforms in their respective markets. He also led the effort to broaden CallidusCloud’s solutions suite including a volume SaaS operation and the development of the company’s renowned sales academy.

Bottom line: Cameron drives all areas of Litmos and heavily impacts the ongoing success and innovative product and marketing direction within the business. linkedin.com/in/rory-cameron-8947403/

Nicole-Thomspon

Nicole Thompson, Human Resources Director, Fairfax Media

Nicole Thompson has been a driving force in creating one of the first new multi-disciplinary, contemporary learning teams within an innovative digital learning platform that enables collaboration and capability building. 

Through Thompson’s efforts, Fairfax is now speaking to companies globally about its innovations, in order to help them drive transformation in their companies through their new learning teams. Fairfax also presents at conferences to educate the broader market on what it has done to assist them transform learning.

Thompson joined Fairfax as the Human Resources Director for Technology during a career that spans 20 years. Since joining Fairfax, she has obtained an invaluable insight into digital disruption and how technology can be used to build capability. Her current role focuses on enabling business transformation and spans building capability, digital learning, talent management, diversity, alignment and engagement, leadership development and performance management.

While most organizations recognize the need to transform learning, many haven’t yet taken the big step and acted. Fairfax — with Thompson in the forefront — is one of the brave few that have taken the first steps toward L&D transformation. Thompson and her team have created what they believe to be a first within big corporate Australia: a new, multi-disciplinary team with contemporary skills and an interactive digital learning hub that requires stakeholders to collaborate on content production. linkedin.com/in/nicole-thompson-70865712/

Ibrahim-Jabary

Ibrahim Jabary, CEO, Gamelearn

Ibrahim Jabary has turned technology and video games into the best allies of learning. In the process, he has not only revolutionized e-learning, but is also proving that video games are becoming the most powerful tool within corporate training.

It all is the result of betting on the field of learning, of innovation and the transformation of traditional training methods. Thanks to his serious games, Jabary has managed to solve the big problem of e-learning. That is, 70 percent of the people who start an online course never complete it. However, with Gamelearn and his online courses in video game format, Jabary has achieved a dropout ratio of only 7 out of every 100 students.

This is done thanks to a completely revolutionary methodology that combines quality content with a practical approach, simulators to practice with “real” situations, and gamification techniques in a single format: a video game. It’s a unique recipe that has allowed for the training of more than 200,000 professionals from more than 50 countries.

In addition, Jabary has managed to meet his other great challenge: to transform online training with video games into a simple, useful and accessible tool for any company in the world, thanks to the development and launch of the first game-based learning platform in the market.This Gamelearn CEO and founder has spearheaded innovation in the field of corporate training. He was a pioneer in game-based learning platforms in the market, along with developing the first simulator for the development of customer service skills. linkedin.com/in/ibrahim-jabary-2457661/

Sarika-Khanna

Sarika Khanna, Sr. Vice President of Product and Services, Litmos, by CallidusCloud

Sarika Khanna and her team supervise all product development and innovation at Litmos, by CallidusCloud, which prides itself on being at the leading edge of innovation in the learning industry. Khanna and her team have been responsible for pushing the limits of innovation forward in the learning industry. Khanna is passionate about building products to solve business problems and is an avid learner. She has been with CallidusCloud for more than six years and was instrumental in taking the core product offering — Commissions — to SaaS business. In addition to Litmos, she has led the products for the Selling Cloud, Hiring Cloud and Marketing Cloud.

She has proven to be a strategic problem solver with ability to quickly evaluate business issues and work across cross-functional teams to develop innovative strategic and tactical solutions. Her other strengths include:

>>   Strong domain expertise in audience and segmentation, reporting and enterprise analytics, lead management, campaign management, vendor management, email and Web marketing and search marketing.

>>   Strong interpersonal, persuasion and facilitation skills with people of different levels, backgrounds, and personality styles.

>>   Excellent technical, analytical, and problem-solving capabilities.Prior to joining Litmos, Khanna worked at leading software companies including Oracle.

She held variety of positions ranging from engineering to product marketing and product management. She holds a master’s degree with distinction in Information Systems from George Mason University and a master’s in Industrial and Mechanical Engineering. linkedin.com/in/sarikakhanna/

Jack-Makhlouf

Jack Makhlouf, Chief Learning Officer, eLearning Mind

The founder eLearning Mind (ELM), Jack Makhlouf was born to tackle corporate America’s stale and ineffective internal and external- facing training. When you meet him, you instantly know that he’s an extrovert with an undying passion to make learning fun, engaging and impactful — as it’s meant to be. He is a true believer in the idea that education is the key to lasting change and true success.

Makhlouf was previously a founding member of the industry-recognized AT&T Learning Services team. He has been pioneering the e-learning industry for more than 20 years, working with Fortune 500 clients, designing, developing, and implementing innovative learning solutions and enterprise system technologies. Makhlouf brought two widely known learning components together to create a revolutionary learning methodology backed by modern brain science. This was coined as “neurolearning.” This methodology leads the way eLearning Mind thinks and implements learning solutions to foster deeper and more impactful learning experiences.

He applies neurolearning principles to the e-learning industry through instructional design, and has proved neurolearning’s effectiveness over and over by helping more than 100 Fortune 500 clients implement innovative learning solutions and maximize performance through by applying neurolearning to e-learning solutions. 

Makhlouf has a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from the University of South Florida. linkedin.com/in/jackmakhlouf/

Brent-Pearson

Brent Pearson, Founder, Enboarder

Brent Pearson has developed a new mobile learning platform called Enboarder that is streamlining onboarding challenges for busy managers in an intuitive way that adds value for new hires, busy managers and organizations.

Enboarder has been developed by Pearson in response to research that indicated one of the biggest gaps in onboarding new employees takes place between the time the employee is made an offer, and begins his or her first day. This e-learning tool uses mobile delivery methods to serve up a scripted set of interactions that fill that gap. In the first year of implementation, he’s already won pilot projects with such notable brands as Coca-Cola and Turner Broadcasting.

Pearson is a serial entrepreneur with passions in research & development, recruitment strategy and recruitment technology. He has previous tenures with Booz.Allen Hamilton as Director of Knowledge Management, as well as many startups. linkedin.com/in/bpearson/

Alexander-Salas

Alexander Salas, Supervisor, Learning Management Systems, Centene Corp.

According to co-workers, selecting just one category in which to honor Alexander Salas “is impossible.” Since joining Centene Corp., he has been a catalyst for progress — a figurative wrecking ball destroying bad habits and silos in the organization when it comes to the LMS. He has developed an entire online community to support learning and the LMS, streamlined administrative processes, and enhanced the abilities of corporate customers.

Not only is Salas an e-learning multimedia developer, he’s also a U.S. Navy veteran and a lifelong learner in learning and development (L&D).

After serving alongside U.S. Marines as a Navy Hospital corpsman, Salas has promoted and spearheaded the adoption of e-learning solutions for every employer he has worked for in the last 12 years. He’s the organizer of the Orlando Articulate Users Group, which promotes learning of Articulate authoring tools; he shares many of his custom templates at Articulate’s E-learning Heroes Community.

A former Web technology board member at ATD’s Central Florida Chapter, he is an active speaker on topics such as augmented reality, e-learning authoring and multimedia design.  Aside from all this, Salas has a master’s degree in Training and Development and Leadership and is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) and CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer.  linkedin.com/in/stylelearn/

Mike-Alcock

Mike Alcock, Managing Director, gomo learning Ltd.

Mike Alcock has now created two award-winning, game-changing e-learning authoring tools: Atlantic Link in 2003 and gomo learning in 2013. He’s won more than 30 awards on the back of these, including “Best of Elearning!” (four times), Brandon Hall Gold (three times) and many more. In each case, he’s been personally responsible for sales and marketing as well as product development, leading both companies to global recognition.

With gomo learning in 2013, Alcock took an existing HTML5-based framework and commercialized it to create the next generation of Cloud-based authoring tools. Gomo was one of the world’s first responsive HTML5 authoring tools and still maintains product and innovation leadership in the authoring tools space.

Alcock and his team continue to lead the way with collaborative, Cloud-based solutions. Gomo now offers integrated hosting, xAPI analytics and a native app capability, taking it from a pure authoring tool to a complete learning suite. The new product’s sales is now growing by more than 60 percent in the last 12 months. Gomo is now a key part of Learning Technologies Group (LTG) alongside LEO, Eukleia, Preloaded and Rustici.

Alcock’s success in inventing new and innovative software solutions, as well as building and running two global authoring tool companies and changing the landscape of the industry, earned him this 2017 Learning! Champion Award. linkedin.com/in/mikealcock/

MENTORING

Che-Prince

Che Prince, Owner, Founder, Che Prince Learning Solutions

As a recent graduate from the Instructing Adults Certificate Program at George Brown, Che Prince was instrumental to the success of his students as a direct result of his excellent mentoring capabilities. He provides additional technical support and guidance in order to achieve excellent grades that will help students successfully launch new careers as training developers. In addition to his daily activities as a training developer and C.E.O. of his own learning solutions company, Prince also finds time in his busy schedule to provide the coaching and mentoring.

Prince is a subject-matter expert in learning consulting and needs analysis. He has demonstrated knowledge and experience within L&D and learning technologies, a comprehensive knowledge of practice of project management, and an understanding of adult learning. Other strengths are global and organizational awareness, change management leadership, excellent communication skills, highlighted by initiative, creativity and vision.

Bottom line: Prince is an excellent coach and mentor who rigorously applies the principles of adult learning not only to his own instructional design, but to his trainees as well. He is able to break down requirements into individual simple step-by-step tasks in order to easily obtain successful learning objectives.

Previously, Prince spent nine years as a troop commander and training officer in the Canadian Armed Forces; 16 years as an aerospace engineer at Pratt and Whitney Canada. He has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Ryerson Polytechnic University and a Six Sigma Green Belt.  linkedin.com/in/cheprince1/

HIGHPERFORMER

DanHalverstadt

Dan Halverstadt, Vice President of Quality and Training, USIC

Dan Halverstadt has been recognized as a thought leader in the learning industry and has been influential in training and quality at USIC. He currently manages a team of four direct reports for training and quality. Additionally, he’s accountable for more than 60 indirect reports. In recent months and years, he’s effectively moved all training internally, saving $1 million annually in consulting cost. He added the positions of Learning Management System Administrator and Instructional Designer, who created an online learning system under his directive, reducing training times by 66 percent.

Halverstadt developed an industry, ground-breaking and award-winning training method with 270 learning modules specific to the position, utilities, and geography of each role.  He also created a system of on-the-job training that included upgrades and changes resulting in: doubling production and employee retention; reduction in safety issues by 50 percent; quality increase of 40 percent; reduction in cost by 85 percent for new technicians; and, developed user-friendly, water-proof pocket manuals affording each employee an easy-access field guide.

He has more than 20 years of experience driving improvement, visibility, and quality in organizational initiatives for the United States Air Force and USIC. As a USIC VP, he ensures that each time an employee goes out to a call, that employee is equipped with the tools to ensure safety and quality through in-depth training initiatives, protect infrastructures, and provide damage prevention.  linkedin.com/in/danielhalverstadt/

DanielleTomlinson

Danielle Tomlinson, Vice President, Global Education, Plex Systems

Danielle Tomlinson is a long-time leader in the training and development industry, having led training and development within some of the largest and highest growth software companies. Currently, she is responsible for all education services around the world at Plex Systems, a leader in Cloud-based ERP for manufacturing.

Tomlinson has spent the majority of her 20-year career working for high-tech and high-growth software companies on the Services team, specifically the Education Services team. That’s typically the department that provides technical training to customers, partners and employees. Her responsibility has centered around making sure that people know how to use the products that are being sold. Performance is typically measured against a financial goal for the delivery of this training. During her career, Tomlinson has demonstrated an ability to grow revenue and improve margin through business development initiatives, cost management, recruiting key partners and employees, and innovative training product development.

At Plex, Tomlinson has expanded the corporate education globally to search many different markets around the world. The company currently supports more than 400 organizations and 1,300 production facilities in 20 countries around the world.

In 2012, Tomlinson was honored with a “Top 40 Under 40 Training Leadership Award” by a leading publication. This Learning! Champion Award adds to her impressive career. linkedin.com/in/danielle-tomlinson-458393/

DianaBennet

Diana Bennett, Program Manager, IBM Corporate Headquarters (CHQ), Center for Advanced Learning (CAL) Technical Leadership Exchange (TLE)

Here’s the kind of person and employee that Diana Bennett is:

“D”ynamic harbinger of learning for technology leaders;  

“I”nspirational role model;

“A”dvocate for innovation and enablement — bringing positive change to IBM;

“N”urturing manager who supports, encourages and empowers her team; and

“A”gile learning program manager who removes obstacles in order to deliver quality education.

According to her co-workers, she is the type of leader who transcends the negative and works towards the growth, improvement and overall betterment of employees. Her positive nature is infectious.

In terms of reach, Bennett’s training program has a primary target audience of IBM technical employees in leadership roles, but all of IBM’s 400,000 employees can participate. In past few years, the 25,000 to 50,000 technical participants have given the program an overall satisfaction rating of 92% positive.

Bennett leads a small but effective team of nine learning professionals who trust her to deliver their vision and increase the skills and knowledge of innovative and technical IBMers.

Obstacles arise that have the potential to derail a lesser talent, but not Bennett. She faces each challenge with an unflappable positive spirit and a capable tenacity. She inspires. Success is the only end state that she knows.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Arizona State University, Bennett has an extensive background in producing engaging and exciting events in corporate education. Past work includes acting as program manager for fast-forward career development events as well as facilitation, event planning, presentations, communications and client focus. linkedin.com/in/diana-bennett-b122599/

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