A Modern Learning Experience

Can Give Companies a Competitive Advantage

BY JEREMY AUGERN

Savvy organizations can capitalize on new workplace learning solutions to attract talent and improve performance.In the war for workplace talent, a robust learning experience can be a company’s secret weapon. Employees now want learning to be an integral part of their job, and they want employers to offer a modern approach to it. According to Gallup, 87% of millennials (who now occupy the largest share of the labor market) say development is important in a job. In fact, Gallup’s 2016 “How Millennials Want to Work and Live” report revealed that the opportunity to learn and grow is what millennials look for most in a new job opportunity.

A modern workplace learning experience is about strategically harnessing technology to put the right information at employees’ fingertips “just-in-time” so they can lead their own continuous development and drive iterative improvement. There are three things that are critical for creating a modern workplace learning experience:

1.  CONTENT CREATION AND CURATION

Creating and curating “just in-time” learning content is a critical component of the kind of informal, modern learning experience today’s professionals are seeking out. By leveraging next-generation learning engagement platforms, companies can easily deliver snack-sized knowledge and micro-skills to employees when they need it most, using built-in capabilities like automation features, adaptive learning technologies and learning repositories.

This means companies no longer have to rely solely on HR to manage learning. They can increasingly tap internal subject matter experts (SMEs) to create custom, shareable learning that can be leveraged throughout the organization. This SME-developed learning not only helps to identify and foster growth of high potential employees, but it’s also a good strategy to deliver learning that is tailored to the organization versus off-the-shelf content.

As companies use technology to expand their workforces internationally, and as employees increasingly opt to work remotely, creating and curating localized learning content is particularly important for facilitating an interconnected workforce that isn’t bound by geographic and cultural obstacles. According to an analysis of American Community Survey data by Global Workplace Analytics, fortune 1000 companies around the globe are revamping their space to accommodate the fact that employees are already mobile.

2. VIDEO LEARNING

Video is a great way to deliver meaningful, engaging, and job-relevant learning to employees. It can have an especially high impact on employee learning. People only remember 10% of what they hear after three days, but if relevant visuals are paired with that same information, they retain 65%.

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Video tools integrated into next-gen learning platforms can be used to do things like:

>> create custom video tutorials and training sessions;

>> record stand-up trainings and augment them with different learning aids and rich content;

>> provide customer support for service technicians;

>> capture employees’ experiential knowledge and deliver it to their peers by recording them talking about what      they do in their roles and how;

>> and allow trainers to overcome time restrictions, travel costs, and other barriers.

3. SOCIAL LEARNING & ASSESSMENT

Social learning is about empowering individuals to access information, expert advice, and online mentorship, as well as virtual networking and sharing experiences and insights. For example, video can be used for social assessment and leadership development, where performance-improving feedback from peers, managers, coaches, and mentors is delivered regularly to drive iterative improvement. Activity feed functionality can also be used to foster group discussions while building out products or projects.

By investing in all these areas, companies can deliver the kind of modern learning experiences that will help improve employee performance, attract and retain the right kind of talent, and ultimately improve their competitive advantage in a quickly changing workforce. To learn more about modern learning strategies and facilitating an engaging modern learning experience in the workplace, visit D2L.com/enterprise.

About the author: Jeremy Augern is Chief Strategy Officer of D2L Learn more at: D2L.com/ enterprise

 

Published in Ideas

Y ANNICK RENAUD-COULON

WHY DID YOU LAUNCH THE GLOBAL COUNCIL OF CORPORATE UNIVERSITIES?

I launched GlobalCCU in 2005 together with a handful of corporate university directors from Brazil, the U.S.A., Spain and France. I had the vision of creating a global network of corporate universities, in line with the growing globalization of the economy.

This profession, still very young, was born in the greatest empiricism, and the corporate university executives were in search of exchanges with their peers to avoid wasting time in their process. They needed benchmarking, to compare themselves and understand how leaders in their sector were successful. I also wanted to demonstrate that corporate universities were not training centers but key strategic levers to challenge and implement business strategies and federate around the company’s culture and brand.

The biggest mistake is cultural. They must avoid management by values that are too inopportune. If each culture is based on values, and if philosophy leads us to think that there are universal values, such as beauty and truth, they are only superficially universal. Their definition and translation into practice varies profoundly from one culture to another, from one company to another.

They must also avoid economic nationalism through education. I can attest to the fact that we learn a lot from emerging countries in terms of corporate learning and development. The corporate universities of these countries are often far ahead in many areas, in the impact of learning on business, in their holistic approach between human and digital, or in the implementation of social responsibility via education. From this viewpoint, the GlobalCCU Awards are a very interesting global observatory.

I strongly suggest that with a lot of humility and a lot of listening to better understand nations that are geographically far away, we can get rid of our prejudices. The corporate universities, which are unique and irreplaceable spaces of openness to the world, have to tackle the different ways to access knowledge, depending on the culture and countries and particularly depending on the use of learning technologies that are not suitable to everyone or to all situations. In other words, beyond the clichés and the easy playing fields of technology, they have more than ever to identify the real skills needs for today and tomorrow — for people, business and society.

GLOBALCCU OFFERS A CERTIFICATION PROGRAM. WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?

The GlobalCCU CU Certification is the highest global recognition of the existence, the reliability and the level of maturity, of performance and excellence of a corporate university. It is delivered at the end of an in-depth and gradual assessment process with certified auditors, developed and placed under my responsibility.

In just 18 months, the corporate university can achieve the entire three-step process and communicate its excellence to its stakeholders. At the end of the complete certification journey, our CU Certification allows the company and its stakeholders to be sure that their educational structure performs at the best-in-class corporate universities worldwide level.

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Published in Insights

DO WE FULLY UNDERSTAND THE BROAD MIX OF WORKFORCE SKILLS NECESSARY FOR FUTURE SUCCESS?

BY SIMON HANN &  SOPHIE LANYON

Three global forces are revolutionizing the way we work: automation, globalization and technology. The accelerating pace of technological, demographic and socio-economic disruption is transforming industries and business models and changing the skills that employers need. Job profiles are changing rapidly, and — according to the World Economic Forum (2016) — the most in-demand occupations today did not exist ten or even five years ago.

It prompts the question: what skills are important in the face of change and disruption?

Formal qualifications and technical skills are only part of the requirements for today’s workforce. The importance of soft skills is growing. Deloitte Access Economics (2017) forecasts that soft-skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030, compared to half of all jobs in 2000. That’s a significant workforce change. Soft skills are important to drive business outcomes. Contributing to overall staff productivity,employees with more soft skills could increase business revenue by over $90,000, reports the Deloitte Access Economics, 2017. (This figure is based on an increase to the average Australian business revenue of $3 million as reported by the Australian Taxation Office for 2013-14 financial year.)

Does the workforce have the soft skills to foster business success now and in the future?

Based on a new analysis of résumés and job listings, by Deloitte Access Economics (2017), there appears to be a significant gap between job market demand and supply of soft skills. Demand exceeds supply by exceeding supply by 45 percent. In addition, less than 1 percent of Australian professionals list soft skills on their LinkedIn profile. Soft skills clearly are important for all occupations and industries, yet there appears to be a shortage of these skills.

Businesses in Australia spend a staggering $11 billion on employee training and staff recruitment annually, according to the Department of Employment (2016). On-the-job training — whether it be through workshops and courses, e-learning or traineeships — is seen by businesses as important in teaching both technical and soft skills. Furthermore, the abundance of information, resources and development programs at peoples’ fingertips means they can acquire knowledge or skills without formal training. The ability to develop skills will increasingly be on the individual; it has become an economic imperative for individuals to become lifelong learners.

If training, both formal and informal, is important to organizations, why is the gap significant? It can be difficult for business and individuals to objectively assess skill levels. The lack of formal confirmation of soft skills is playing a role in this gap as people don’t have the confidence to claim skills that they are not able to verify.

CLOSING THE GAP

This is where recognizing soft skills with micro-credentials will enable businesses to identify gaps in their organization and, ultimately, make informed strategic decisions on how to effectively invest in building their workforce capability in the years to come.

Micro-credentials underpin a culture of empowered and motivated learning while at the same time increasing employee engagement through recognition. It is not part of a learning strategy — it is part of a business performance strategy. In the future of work, the most essential factor for an individual and his or her future potential is the ability to adapt and expand personal knowledge and skills. Micro-credentials can be the recognition and transportable symbol of capabilities in action which individuals and businesses will use to navigate the future world of work in the digital age. Micro-credentials are available from various organizations, including DeakinCo., Udacity and Coursera.

—Simon Hann is the CEO of both DeakinCo. and DeakinPrime, backed by Deakin University in Australia. In his roles, he is passionate about exploring the impact of digital disruption on the workforce and providing businesses with solutions to prepare for the future. Sophie Lanyon is the Product Engagement Specialist at DeakinCo. To find out more about DeakinCo. please visit deakinco.

Published in Ideas

AUGMENTATION OF THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE IS ENABLING ACQUISITION OF 21ST- CENTURY SKILLS AND METACOMPETENCIES WHILE ENHANCING THE JOY OF LEARNING.

BY DR. SHRADHA KANWAR

The Web 3.0 era heralds the beginning of exhilarating times in the learning space. Imagine a world of learning where the flow of information is a beautiful choreography, rapturously engaging the learners as well as inspiring them to become part of the performing spectacle. Here, the words, sounds and motion relate to every sense of the being, create a synergistic impression, and build a composite understanding. This is the new learning engagement, and this is becoming real because of augmented reality (AR).

Augmented reality is not an aberration or an astounding world of disbelief, but a very pragmatic, yet powerful, integration of digital information that triggers the brain to perceive information differently. It is a judicious combination of the real-world environment with an extended overlay of new knowledge using technology as the powerful means to drive information in a multi-modal form.

AR overcomes a striking impediment of ordinary learning by introducing deeper, richer and more personalized learning experience. An infusion of play and humor (a characteristic of game-based learning), along with an intense reflection as part of the decision making process, ensures a popular, self-directed form of learning.

EXPERIENCING  NEW LEARNING

Imagined scenarios that extend the learning experience significantly boost the impact of a learning. For educators, researchers and practitioners, this realistic superimposition of a real-world setting as an augmented context with realistic visualization, provides a unique platform to customize teaching. By appropriate selection of ed-tech tools to make learning more adaptive and attuned to students’ learning styles, a lot can be done to expand its scope many fold.

A very tangible form of introducing AR in the learning scenario is by embedding visual data with static content, such as textbooks and presentations, thus enhancing oral instruction and written material. Regular teaching tools augmented to introduce fantastic 3-D elements, exaggerated visual scenarios, strategically implanting distorted data inputs even sometimes drifting towards visual infidelity, can advance memory recall and long-term learning.

Apart from the tremendous design appeal, another prime benefit is its ability to craft a differentiated learning environment, thus aiding learners with different multiple intelligences and learning styles. Kinaesthetic learners, who dominate the centennial generation, benefit the most as this multimodality of content is in alignment with their information processing patterns.

AUGMENTING NEW SKILLS

Maximum presence of AR has been evidenced in gaming. The learning space has always been the last to be benefited by advancements in technology. But things seem to be disrupting considerably, especially in these rapidly evolving times. The process of navigating through more engaging content results in learners becoming more intuitive and critical thinkers with a heightened prowess to creatively solve problems. Another contribution of AR is its ability to introduce a temperament of inquiry and curiosity, a necessary attribute of the 21st century learner.

AR amplifies the spatial and visual perceptions, substantially engaging learners. Once upon a time the word “digital” was looked up to with much awe and bewilderment. This is no longer the case, as everything spans digital today with no exception. Hence, words such as “augmented” and “virtual” that seem to be breaching the boundaries of reality, are in a very short span of time likely to become regular manifestations in the learning eco system.

Augmented reality, a beautiful coalescing of virtual with real, is all set to redefine learning scenarios. While augmented reality and its explorations into the learning space still seem to be at a nascent stage, the prospects seem to be never better than now. These are indeed the beginning of exhilarating times, where augmented is the new real!

–Dr. Shradha Kanwar is the National Head for Learning and Development at iNurture Education, an India-based education firm offering under graduate and post graduate programs in new-age domains across 30+ universities and colleges in India. She is an edu-scientist and an innovative learning technologies evangelist. Dr Kanwar has over 18 years of diverse experience in driving excellence and deep insight into creative intelligences and implementation of innovative learning solutions.

Published in Ideas

BY IAIN MARTIN

There is a vibrant future for globally linked higher education, even though the future of dedicated standalone overseas bricks and mortar campuses is very limited. The high levels of capital investment required and the inability to rapidly respond to market changes make these investments very high stakes indeed. There may be situations where a very specific need for high levels of infrastructure (e.g. medicine and engineering) where this may work as a model, but I suspect that this will be the exception in coming years.

We at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) are seeing considerable innovation in the delivery of education to students who spend most of their study time in their home country. ARU serves 24,000 students studying in the U.K. alongside 12,000 international students studying for one of our degrees with an overseas partner. But I struggle to see how proposal for an overseas campus that would be worth developing in the face of more flexible alternatives.

It is time for innovation: ideas that are desirable, deliverable with current technology, and economically viable; and ARU is always looking for transnational education (TNE) ideas that measure well against these three parameters.

MODELS OF  GLOBAL DELIVERY

There is no shortage of models for the delivery of TNE. The challenge is implementing an approach that is sustainable both academically and financially. The next few years will continue to see new approaches tried with perhaps a few surviving the initial burst of enthusiasm. The three current models:

1. Partner-based models sit at heart of our current TNE initiatives. It is likely that this is the space in which new or finessed models will evolve in the short to medium term. There is real opportunity to grow the depth and size of these relationships and certainly, we are looking to this with several partners.

There are many possible variations on the partner model. For example, the University of Arizona has talked about a network of micro-campuses developed in partnership with a range of universities and colleges is one manifestation of this concept. We have many Chinese partners where the students are studying for one of our degrees, spending three years in China and one year in the U.K. The students work with our staff both face-to-face and online and use learning resources developed in partnership. Although they are based at a Chinese University for their first three years, they see themselves as students of two institutions from day one. Our view is that these models offer great opportunities for the future, providing benefit for both students and the in stitutions.

There are many benefits for university and partner in evolving models of TNE and, perhaps more importantly, great potential gains for students. Done well, we can see quality outcomes with a reduced cost of delivery; an opportunity to greatly widen the reach of the university; flexible matching of delivery to users’ must-have requirements; and a real ability to support the wider mission of the university.

2. There are real opportunities for partnership based global delivery of synchronous and asynchronous blended and face-to-face education. With evolving multipoint video conferencing technology and better global broadband provision, the options for real-time online interactions with other students and teachers improves to provide synchronous blending. The concept of asynchronous blending is the idea of periods of online only delivery structurally linked to a period(s) of campus delivery. This is a very flexible approach that, when designed appropriately, could deliver many of the benefits of spending a full three to four years overseas at a dramatically reduced cost for students.

3 I will not spend much time talking about the pure online model. It is self-explanatory and with continued evolution in both the educational technology and perhaps more importantly cultural acceptance of online delivery the opportunities will continue to grow.

THE NEW MODEL  FOR EDUCATION

The emerging commercial global identities of the past five years have been dominated by two characteristics. The first are models that act as a bridge between consumer and provider, Uber and Airbnb being two high-profile examples. The second would be personalization of cost vs.level of service; the budget airline model being a prime example where the basic fare simply gets you from A to B, and everything else is an extra.

Whatever you may think about the ethics of business model that underpins Uber and Airbnb, what they have done very successfully is link a service provider and a consumer in a way that just a few years ago was neither realized or desired. If Uber is a taxi company and Airbnb a new hotel company, what in this model is a university? It depends on what we think the role of higher education provider is, and this again will be nuanced depending on the segment of activity we are talking about: a first undergraduate degree versus a specialist vocationally related PG qualification,for example.

Taking the budget airline analogy, the base price might simply be delivery of the core educational outcomes at the minimum process point possible, and any more is additional. For example, face-to-face tutorials, time on campus, work experience, and/or careers advice would be additional. I recognize that this profoundly challenges many of the notions surrounding a traditional degree.

If we look at a standard degree as an educational journey where we know the starting point, the ending point and the mandatory way-points, could we envisage the role of a global aggregator and integrator of higher education provision? The answer is conceptually yes, but with profound structural and practical barriers.

A global university aggregator would have a range of linked education providers who make available online and blended modules with registration, authentication, education mapping, and records of achievement and revenue collection. But what about issues of quality control, national standards, funding, financial aid and equivalencies? Further, what would this structure do to the incumbent brick and mortar campuses?

Despite these challenges, it does seem possible that a well-run aggregator model will emerge. Whether this focuses on both under and post-graduate delivery or just on the latter is unclear. This is not simply about online provision, if the truly personalized global degree is a desirable outcome then blending, either synchronous or asynchronous could and probably should feature in the educational map we provide our students.

The future of global TNE is exciting and challenging. Existing providers are going to have to work increasingly hard to find new sustainable models. We are optimistic but in no way underestimate the challenges.

—Prof. Iain Martin is the Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, U.K. He has also been Vice President and Deputy Vice Chancellor University of New South Wales in Australia and Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Published in Ideas

GLOBALIZATION, VIRTUALIZATION AND DIGITIZATION TAKE EFFECT

BY PRADEEP KHANNA

Three forces have reshaped the way we live, learn and work: globalization, virtualization and digitization. Until recently, there was a fine balance among these forces with each positively reinforcing the others. Now, the fine balance between these forces appears to be changing, resulting in a new world order.

LOOKING BACK

To better understand this, we need to trace how these forces have evolved over the last 25 to 30 years.In the first phase (the 1990s), globalization was the dominant theme. Learning was all face to face. E-learning was emerging. Countries were moving from a local and nationalistic outlook to global thinking. Trade was being globalized.

In the second phase (2000-2010), virtualization became the dominant theme. Globalization continued growing, and these two forces were reinforcing each other. Technology had its ups and downs with the tech crash and subsequent slow growth. These were the times of rapid growth in virtual learning, e-learning, virtual work, virtual teams, offshoring, and global delivery. This phase ended with a severe economic downturn as a result of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008-09.

In the third phase (2010-2016), digitization was the dominant theme, and it continued to drive virtualization and globalization. This was the perfect storm with all three forces reinforcing each other. Digital disruption and digital transformation became buzzwords.

THE DIGITIZATION ERA

The digitization phase has unexpected results.

>>  The cost of education (especially higher education) in the third phase continued to rise as demand increased and costs increased without any efficiency dividends.

>>  Entrepreneurship boomed with strong focus on emerging technologies. Mindshare and media share started getting dominated by artificial intelligence (A.I.), drones, robotics, driverless cars, virtual reality (V.R.), augmented reality (A.R.), mixed reality (M.R.), wearable technologies (W.T.) and Internet of Things (IoT).

>>  The mismatch between jobs and skills started to increase. The value proposition of a university degree came into question. Different pathways to employment/self-employment emerged from start- ups to technology-oriented skills training.

>>  MOOCs (massive open online courses) were supposed to disrupt higher education and skills training. They started with fanfare, and the year 2013 was called the year of the MOOCs. E-learning became online learning. But dropout rates in the online environment were very high, giving rise to blended learning.

>>  The labor market became more tactical with employers saying we have X amount of dollars to pay for Y set of skills for project Z. And once the project Z was over, it was “Thank you very much; nice meeting you; bye-bye.”

>>  Technology-enhanced medical care resulted in increased human longevity. It was no longer about lifelong learning that required dipping in and out of a learning continuum. It also became life-long working.

THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

The three forces of globalization, virtualization and digitization resulted in jobs moving up the skill curve. These forces, working in tandem, drove global economic expansion, albeit from a lowered post-GFC base.

While there was broad economic expansion, the economic benefits were being distributed unevenly both globally as well within country boundaries. Routine jobs were initially moved to emerging economies and, later-on, automated.

Technology became more and more pervasive, and a clear digital divide started emerging. On one hand, we were seeing a demographic digital divide with Gens X, Y, Z and the youngest generation being digitally savvy. On the other hand, we had the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation not so digitally aligned.

The digital divide was also manifesting itself in other ways. On one hand were the educated class working in technology and service sectors with rising incomes from higher skillsets, although needing to continually re-train and/or re-invent themselves. On the other hand were people working in traditional industries (aka the Rust Belt) who were at the forefront of constant restructuring and ongoing job losses, and the consequent hollowing of the middle class.

Something had to give way. The traditional working middle class asserted itself through the likes of Brexit and U.S. elections. Nationalist forces started asserting themselves. And physical and virtual walls started coming up.

NEW WORLD ORDER DEFINED

This is where we are in 2017. The fine balance among the three forces of globalization, virtualization and digitization is being altered. Digitization is now the dominant theme and is driving virtualization. Globalization is being negatively impacted at least temporarily. The new world order is being defined.

One thing is for sure: Being a futurist is a difficult role in the new world order. We can hardly see a year ahead, let alone 10, 20 or 30 years. The future is emerging, and we have to be nimble and innovative all the time. It’s one thing to say change is the new norm, but it is difficult to be constantly adapting all the time. It is akin to asking the question “Can we have an economy where everyone is innovating?”

Our attention span is now down to eight seconds, whereas the information overload is rising exponentially. Neuroscience tells us our brain strongly prefers single tasking, whereas our job overloads constantly require multi-tasking.

Most future-of-work forecasts are indicating at least 40 percent of us will be working for ourselves, giving a big boost to what is being called the “gig economy.” The sharing economy is also set to grow. But when do Uber-type models emerge in education and training?

Considering the lifelong learning scenarios and digital literacy issues, it is difficult to say whether the time has come for digital universities. However, given the mismatch between jobs and skills, corporate universities are definitely getting a leg up. While we are making good strides in personalized market- places, the holy grail appears to be personalized learning at scale.

While there are a number of emerging technology trends like A.I., drones, robotics, driverless cars, V.R./A.R./M.R., W.T., and IoT, it is not an individual technology trend that will reshape the way we live, learn and work. Instead, the fusion of different emerging technologies will have the biggest impact.

—Pradeep Khanna is the founder & CEO of Global Mindset (globalmindset.com.au) with a strong focus on how globalization and digitalization are reshaping the way we live, learn and work. He is an Adjunct Pro- fessor at a number of institutions in Australia, Singapore and India, and Sydney Chapter President of VRAR Association. Khanna is a regular speaker at International Conferences. Formerly, he served as Global Delivery Leader for IBM GBS Australia and New Zealand. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Published in Ideas

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

Current e-learning can be boring, ineffective and lacks motivation. Training may not be engaging enough with dropout rates of 70% for e-learning. This means companies could waste 3 out of every 4 dollars invested in online training- a disproportionate and unaffordable cost for any company.

How can we improve online learning completion rates? Discover these 4 strategies to solve this learning crisis:

1 OFFER QUALITY, PRACTICAL AND APPLICABLE CONTENT

Deliver your employee what they need in your training courses; quality, useful and applicable content. To ensure that your content is practical and useful for your employees, it is essential to turn it into a set of tools directly applicable to real life. Avoid the indiscriminate use of models, theories or definitions that only convey obviousness. If you want your employees to be engaged within your training, you must first convince them that the training is beneficial to them.

2 OFFER SAFE ENVIRONMENTS

If you want to motivate your employees to learn, you must first improve their self-confidence.

An employee who faces training with confidence is likely to become a motivated employee. Create a safe environment in which the participant can test the contents without risk, thus improving their confidence.

You can use gamification techniques, collaborative activities, business simulations or business games to create these safe environments. Make sure your training does not become an obstacle.

3 GIVE PERSONALIZED FEEDBACK

It’s important to give your employees the chance to observe the result of their decisions and receive immediate feedback about areas to improve. Feedback which is permanent, personalized and that allows adaptability and is scaleable. Be sure to leave enough time for the employee to internalize the improvements and to put them into practice again.

Feedback should be:

>> Clear and direct

>> Constructive

>> Given immediately

>> About facts, not about the person

>> Descriptive, not qualify or judge

>> Focused on behaviors that can be changed or improved.

4 TURN YOUR TRAINING INTO A GAME

What if you told your employees that they can train and develop their skills while playing and having fun? What do you think their answer would be?

The game has become the most effective learning tool, as shown by a study conducted by Traci Sitzmann. Her findings show games:

>> Improve learning retention by 90%,

>> Improves the conceptual knowledge of the student by 11%, and

>> Increases task completion by 300%.

And since we are playing, there is nothing better than a learning video game. This solution solves the learning completion challenge, as it:

>> Engages. Through the adventure, learning turns into something entertaining for students.

>> Builds confidence. Being a video game, the user relaxes and feels safe, increasing their self-confidence.

>> Improves performance. The game dynamics motivates students, increasing their effort.

>> It is based on practice. The content is fundamentally practical, allowing the user to learn and master the skill or the competence through experiential learning.

To discover how to add games to your training programs, contact gamelearn at www.game-learn.com.

Published in Ideas
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