We are living in one of the most innovative yet disruptive times. The millennial workforce will account for 50% of the workforce by 2025. Five generations are working side by side. Digital disruption has arrived; mobile communications, the Internet of Things and the sharing economy are our new norm. Soon, artificial intelligence (A.I.), machine learning and cognitive systems will be augmenting the workforce.

How do today’s learning leaders drive the high-performance organization in this age of disruption? This year’s Learning! 100 award-winners have some answers (beginning on page 26). In this issue, Elearning! magazine recognizes 100 organizations across the public and private sectors for innovation, collaboration, learning culture and high performance.

The most innovative companies like Amazon Web Services and Bayer AG not only create new solutions, they host a culture where innovation is in their DNA. (See Bayer AG’s story in our November edition.) Enterprises like Cisco, Agilent and IBM are shifting from manufacturing to business and cognitive services while reinventing their learning organizations. Scripps Health, Bing Lee Stores, VCA and universities like Georgia Tech, USC and the University of Edinburg are embracing simulations, virtual reality and A.I. to improve learner performance.

The Learning! 100 are thriving in this age of disruption.

Where do you start your own organization’s transformation? Defense Acquisition University (DAU), a seven-time Learning! 100 winner, reveals the evolution of learning strategy on page 14. At DAU, strategy development is collaborative; courses are tiered and evaluated with Impact Metrics to assure alignment with business strategy and impact. Performance improvement is the criterion every course is measured or replaced.

Disruption is also changing the role of instructional designers, subject-matter experts (SMEs) and learning leaders. In a data-driven world, we need to be more analytical and insightful. Access to intelligence is key to this transition, as noted by Candy Osborne, Bob Danna and Laci Lowe on page 42.

Even though your organization might not be ready to embark upon a re-invention, you can make learning more impactful. So Jonathan Peters, Ph.D., shares how L&D professionals can gamify learning, beginning on page 21.

Congratulations to the 2017 Learning! 100. Thank you for sharing your stories and showing the way to building the high-performance organization in the age of disruption.

Jerry Roche

Contributing Editor, Elearning! Media Group

 

 

Published in Insights

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

THE THREE KEYS TO A MODERN WORKPLACE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

when looking for talented employees to join your company, what are the most relevant qualifications that your recruiters and hiring managers consider? Résumés are primarily filled with education and work experience aspects that demonstrate what an applicant has learned over the course of his or her life before joining your team.

However, the most important characteristic for people you’re bringing on board is a talent and a passion for life-long learning. While it’s helpful to find people with an inborn talent that matches perfectly their new positions, the reality is that most new employees need to add to or refine their current skillset.

The good news is the majority of skills your company needs in its employees can be taught. Today’s workforce recognizes the benefits of personal and professional self-improvement, and offering training and development that fits the needs of modern learners will shift your organization to be more creative, agile and growth-minded.

There are several key aspects to modern learning that look different from traditional training methods.

1. The first step in delivering a modern workplace learning program is moving it online. The ability to access training videos and materials anytime, anywhere allows your team to find exactly what they need, when they need it, and to apply it on the job right away. One huge disadvantage to traditional classroom training is the lack of mobility. Expenses add up quickly when everyone has to be brought together and taken off the job for hours at a time for sessions. Online training that is also mobile-optimized extends that “anytime, anywhere” ability even further, so those working in the field can fit training in whenever their schedule allows.

2. The second key to delivering a modern workplace learning program is to use video. Let’s face it: this is the way most of us learn at home and away from work. YouTube is a tremendous resource for learning all types of new things. Workplace learning needs to work the same way. Take advantage of the most effective form of training today: micro-learning videos. Video allows both sight and sound to create a more engaging learning experience, and especially when it’s in a micro-learning format, retention rates go through the roof compared to clicking through a text-heavy, hour-long course.

Using micro-learning videos improves the learning process, decreasing the cognitive load, which is necessary for employees to retain information. Even for someone with an exceptional attention span, giving too much information at one time is futile because the brain cannot process and retain it all.

3.  That brings us to the third key of a modern learning program, which is post-training reinforcement. Our brain works on a “use it or lose it” basis, so your employees need opportunities to recall what they’ve learned afterward, or the natural process of forgetting will take over, ousting the majority of that expensive training. With microlearning videos, employees will retain more initially, but they’ll still need the extra boost to retain the information long-term. Better learning retention can be achieved easily and efficiently through an online program that includes reinforcement, such as quizzes and thought questions delivered in the days and weeks after a learner has engaged in training.

All of these key aspects of modern learning online accessibility, in a micro-learning format with post-training reinforcement are what create significantly higher engagement in your training program, which translates to employees being more adept at finding solutions to business challenges across the board.

To gain an advantage among your competitors, you have to take advantage of the talent for learning that each of your team members possesses. Employees are your most valuable asset, so investing in their development in the way modern learners need is the ace in the hole for your organization to become a leader in your industry and to stay there for years to come.

— Dean Pichee, Founder and President of BizLibrary.

Published in Insights

Virtual Reality (V.R.) has been slower to catch on in the U.S. despite the huge investments made by Google and Facebook. It is projected that 22.4 million people in the U.S. will engage with a form of V.R. at least monthly this year, up 109.5% over 2016, according to eMarketer.

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The V.R. category is being driven mainly by 360-degree photos and videos. The gaming industry is also driving growth of V.R. headset use. In 2017, 9.6 million people in the U.S. will use a headset to experience V.R. monthly, up 98.7% over last year.

While V.R. headsets provide a more immersive experience, adoption will remain low due to their often high cost. This year, only 2.9% of the U.S. population will use a V.R. headset at least monthly, eMarketer estimates, with that number growing to just 5.2% by 2019.

—Source: eMarketer’s AR and Virtual Reality (VR) Forecast 2017

Published in Trends

In 2017, 40.0 million people in the U.S. will engage with some form of augmented reality (AR) at least monthly, up 30.2% over last year. Much of A.R.’s growth will be fueled by Snapchat Lenses and Facebook Stories, according to eMarketer.

By the end of 2019, A.R. users will top 54.4 million, accounting for 16.4% of the U.S. population, or nearly one in five Internet users.

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“Users of Snapchat Lenses comprise the vast majority of our A.R. estimates,” says eMarketer forecasting analyst Chris Bendtsen. “Snapchat growth will continue to contribute to A.R. users in the future, but in the next several years, eMarketer also expects Facebook Stories to be a significant growth driver of A.R. usage, since it is now widely available to Facebook’s user base.”

—Source: eMarketer’s AR and Virtual Reality (VR) Forecast 2017

Published in Trends

The new technologies of what is being called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” have the potential to transform the global geography of production and will need to be deployed in ways that address and adapt to the impact of climate change, reports the World Economic Forum in a paper titled, “Technology and Innovation for the Future of Production: Accelerating Value Creation.” The WEF paper, prepared in collaboration with AT Kearney, explores the new technology landscape, focusing on five technologies that will have the most immediate impact on production-related sectors. It raises questions for CEOs, government leaders, civil society leaders and academics about the implications for individuals, companies, industries, economies and society as a whole, and as is intended to bring new perspectives and generate responsive and responsible choices.

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The paper maps the full production value chain of activities of “source-make-deliver-consume-re-integrate” products and services from origination, design manufacturing and distribution to customers and consumers incorporating principles of circular economy and reuse. Production fundamentally impacts economic structure at a global to local level, affecting the level and nature of employment, and the environment.

The transformative potential of technology in production systems is widely recognized.Trends toward higher levels of automation promise greater speed and precision of production as well as reduced exposure to dangerous tasks. They also can help overcome stagnant productivity and make way for more value-added activity. The extent of automation, however, causing significant anxiety about issues of employment and inequality.

—Download full report at: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/ WEF_White_Paper_Technology_Innovation_Future_of_Produc- tion_2017.pdf

Published in Trends

The National Center for Simulation at the University of Central Florida (UCF) recognized the 2017 class of the Modeling and Simulation Hall of Fame in June. The five honorees are:

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David M. Kotick, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, chief modeling & simulation (M&S) engineer - A pioneer in virtual communications, he is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) leading subject-matter expert in the field, and holds multiple patents in the fields of digital communications within the Live Virtual Constructive environment.

Frederick L. Lewis, Rear Admiral, United States Navy (Ret.) - Served as the president from 1995-2012 of the National Training and Simulation Association.

Robert M. Matthews, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, retired deputy technical director - His imprint on M&S has touched not only a variety of disparate Navy programs across warfare branches, but also a variety of Navy and DoD modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) infrastructure initiatives.

Honorable John L. Mica, U.S. Representative - A champion for the simulation industry through policy, funding and loyal support.

Beverly J. Seay, M&S consultant & UCF Trustee - A founding business leader of the Orlando M&S community who was instrumental in bringing together government, industry and academia to lay the foundation and a set of standards for the integrated ecosystem it is today.

Published in Latest News

CHANGING YOUR PARADIGM ON HOW YOU WORK AND MANAGE MILLENNIALS CAN COMPLETELY CHANGE YOUR CANDIDATE POOLS.

BY BILL KLEYMAN

There’s clearly an evolution happening in our profession. The research firm Gartner recently reported that by 2020, 100 percent of technology roles will require at least an intermediate level of proficiency in business acumen.

“Developing strong business acumen is a prerequisite to effectively shift focus from optimizing operational efficiency to driving business effectiveness, value creation and growth,” Lily Mok, Gartner’s research vice president said. “At the heart of an effective communication strategy is the ability to clearly link the vision, strategy and action plans of the business to drive desired behaviors in the workforce that contribute to improved performance and business outcomes.”

Communication aside, new management styles are required to gain as much value as possible out of employees. Furthermore, these new management styles also introduce more value to the employees through new, exciting challenges, growth opportunities, and new ways to interact with the business.

MANAGING THE MILLENNIAL

We are firmly within the digital economy with a digitally-enabled workforce. This means we are a part of a fluid, dynamic business environment that is constantly evolving.

Millennials are the drivers of today’s emerging digital economy. Now that we have an idea as to how these legacies work, let’s examine a new approach to managing millennials that involves re-prioritizing the hiring traits we discussed earlier.

1.  Attitude: What is the candidate’s attitude toward the industry and the job at hand? Is he or she excited or just there to make a dollar? What’s driving him or her to succeed? A digital-ready organization will want a positive-attitude candidate who’s ready to emerge into the digital framework and be excited by change.

2. Aptitude: Once attitude is established, what is the candidate’s aptitude toward learning and growing? Does he or she want to take on more roles? Is he or she curious about cross-training? Going beyond what the candidate already knows, aptitude toward learning will allow you to hire a moldable and excited new member to the team.

3. Experience: Let me start by saying that experience is certainly important. But fluid organizations ready for the digital economy won’t hire for experience alone. They’ll want a positive attitude, the aptitude and capability to learn, and then the ability to evolve the experience. Having some experience is great, but it’s even better to mold the experience to what the organization really needs. In a way, we’ve flipped candidate capabilities and priorities to match the strengths of the millennial.

We’re allowing experience to grow organically around what the business requires. Ultimately, this gives the millennial candidate a voice within the company and an opportunity to grow and evolve with the company. Most of all, it builds loyalty and encourages thought.

Think of Facebook as an example. Yes, it loves your experiences and what you’ve done in the past; but it will very actively look at your attitude, your aptitude to learn new technologies, and your personality. These organizations know that if they hire the right people, the experience will come. However, it’ll also give these organizations an employee who’s much happier in his or her job.

Changing your paradigm on how you work and manage millennials can completely change your candidate pools. Furthermore, millennials don’t often work well in overly rigid environments. This is where they get restless, become less productive, and are more prone to leaving. However, if you employ and nurture around attitude and aptitude, you’ll see that not only will they get more experience, but also they’ll bring more value to your organization.

—The author is vice president of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, a Stamford, Connecticut-based consulting firm.

Published in Insights

BY DEAN PICHEE, CEO, BIZLIBRARY, INC.

Unengaged employees cost the U.S. economy $550 billion every year! According to a report by Gallup, 70 percent of workers aren’t engaged at work. The modern worker is changing, and the workplace is not modernizing quickly enough to meet employees where they’re at and engage them. So, in this new environment we’re all navigating, what do employees really want? Security?Stability? More money? In nearly every instance, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “NO.”

In 2016, research conducted by ClearCompany discovered that 68 percent of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy. In fact, many employees value employee training and development more than salary or even benefits. So, if engagement could be increased and turnover mitigated, why is this employee training and development often an afterthought?

There are multiple answers:

>>  It’s Too Long - Along with a changing workforce comes a changing attention span. YouTube has ushered in the era of the short video, and that’s what today’s employees expect. The average attention span of a learner is now said to be in the 5-to 15-minute range. This is due to our inherent limited ability to concentrate, as well as the steady stream of interruptions throughout a normal work day. It’s a fantasy to think that learners can maintain full attention throughout an 8-hour class or a 90-minute e-learning course. They physically can’t do it, and the workplace environment wouldn’t let them even if they could.

>>  It’s Too Boring - In addition to the fact that most training is too long to be effective, it’s often too boring. Let’s face it: we’re all professional TV watchers. We’ve been conditioned to expect visually stimulating content. We’ll gladly play along at home with long-time classics such as Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune. But we have no tolerance for “death by PowerPoint” presentations or click-and- read e-learning where stilted text is read to us word-for-word while we look at static graphics.

>>  It’s Too Expensive - Traditional training — a costly proposition — is much more expensive than many organizations realize. It requires a lot of money to bring people together, whether it is in a room or online. In addition to the direct costs of the training itself, there are often hidden and indirect expenses, such as travel costs or opportunity costs. It’ s no wonder managers are always looking for ways to cut the training budget.

It’s time to give your employees effective, modern, microlearning development opportunities and really support those initiatives. Microlearning is the ideal solution to the employee engagement problem because it addresses the vast majority of issues organizations are facing when it comes to employee engagement. Videos average in length from five to seven minutes so learners can actually focus long enough to absorb the information they need.

Microlearning is done in a way that’s familiar to learners. When you need to learn how to do something quickly, you usually turn to short online videos to demonstrate those things to you. By providing employee training using this method, we can ensure that the learning experience is consistent with what they already do.

IS MICROLEARNING REALLY A SOLUTION?

If done correctly, absolutely! You’ll need to use your program to develop your employees in their current positions, but also develop them in a way that will benefit their overall career. In fact, employee development is the second-most impactful way to improve employee engagement (after recognition).

Gallup studies have shown that 87 percent of Millennials think development is important in a job – making training and development a top priority among the generation that is soon to make up nearly half of the nation’s workforce. Employees who are provided with these modern development opportunities are more engaged at work and more satisfied with the workplace overall, so it’s no wonder that readily available training opportunities often lead to reduced employee turnover. Instead of searching YouTube on breaks, learners can watch an online training video that’s relevant to their job and improves their overall skillset.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Employee engagement, employee turnover, productivity, agility and many more business challenges are all different parts of the same problem — a problem that can be solved with strategic employee development and made more effective with microlearning at its core.

Published in Insights

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
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