Back to Blog
by Louise Gaston, Evolve Solutions Group
Microlearning Gamification – Daniel Belhassen
Gamification of eLearning CAN exist without games! In Daniel Belhassen’s session we learned some tips and tricks for including some game features without turning your course into a game:
What Fortnite can Teach us about Memory, Motivation & Learning – Jeremy Medrano
Fortnite is a popular and engaging phenomenon, I know my son is a HUGE fan. Game developers have developed strategies for effectively capturing a gamer's attention and retaining it over long periods of time. Imagine what you could accomplish by applying these methods in your e-learning?
These are the proven methods that we learned about, all of which we can apply to our own learning initiatives.
Back to Blog
It is already a week since DevLearn 2019 and I am still processing through all the information, new vendors and ideas I want to pursue. Here are my top 5 things I learned at DevLearn 2019 last week:
1. Augmented & Virtual Reality - Cool emerging tech when used for the right thing!
To be honest, I went in with a bit of a bias on AR & VR. It is all the buzz right now and certainly is worth the excitement but I stand by my belief that it is still emerging and developing (probably in its adolescence) and is really great for certain things. I see phenomenal uses for AR & VR in forestry, manufacturing, construction, and hazardous/safety areas. Mapping forest reclamation projects, overlaying construction projects on a building site, teaching electrical workers to resolve hazardous issues without having to recreate those situations. The potential is endless. But please, do not ask me to build communications skills in a Virtual Reality game.
2. LXP, LMS and LRS - Learning platforms have come a long way
I spent a ton of time in sessions about platforms, LXP, LRS, LMS, LCMS....I also spent a significant amount of time talking to vendors who provide these platforms. Biggest take-away: the platform is really just the jumping off point. An LXP provides the framework and foundation but you still need to design good training and bring it all together in a format that conveys the right information at the right time and in a way that your audience can consume it. I am over-simplifying a bit but as I learn more about the evolution of learning platforms, I look forward to learning more about which platform works best and whether we can finally do away with the traditional LMS systems.
3. xAPI - only as good as what you put into it
I learn more about xAPI every year and we have even started an xAPI pilot program in house to test out the limits of SCORM and AICC data and its ability to be read by xAPI. Biggest take-away, SCORM and AICC are very limited in what data they can pass and without an LRS you can't really interpret it. I am learning still and am still a bit confused about not only how it all works but what we can actually get from this new type of data. It is one thing to gather data, it is another thing to interpret and act on that data.
4. Speaking of Data - Because everyone else was talking about it
There were tons of sessions talking about xAPI, Data, analytics, dashboarding, how to get data and what to do with it. The key take-away for me and what I personally continue to struggle with on this topic:
- What should we be measuring?
- Is what matters actually measurable?
- What metrics matter? To the designer? To business leaders? To outcomes?
- Why can't we get better data?
Lots of still unanswered questions but I feel like we are all still looking for these answers.
5. Simplicity is key
Each year, I attend at least 1-2 sessions on color, design trends, color, imagery, etc. And every year I see the same thing, simplicity is key, color preferences are going to change, and whether it is content, color, graphics, imagery, keep it simple and make sure you have some white space.
Back to Blog
Augmented and Virtual Reality is cool! I am talking about the jaw dropping, “I can’t believe they can do that, how can we apply this and I want it now" type of awesomeness. BUT…
AR and VR are not for everyone and everything.
As someone who lives learning technology, I am going to have a hard time picking between the 10+ sessions at DevLearn 2019 dedicated to AR/VR and emerging tech including the keynote, “Augmented Human: How Technology Is Shaping the New Reality” with Dr. Helen Papagiannis.
AR & VR…what is it good for?
AR & VR have been around for a while, but it wasn’t until the last few years that it went from novelty to necessity and from leisure to business use. I remember about 5+ years ago, my husband (not a tech guy) got us all VR Goggles for use with our Samsung phones. It was fun for a bit seeing the view from the top of the Empire State Building and “flying” across the Great Plains all while sitting by the fire in our family room.
Flash forward just a few years and now AR & VR are seemingly everywhere….but should it be?
We all want to be on the cutting edge of learning, making the best use of emerging tech, creating content and interactions that deliver information and help learners retain and employ that information. Learning technology is helping us every day get better, faster, and more effective at developing, delivering learning. But it needs to be right for the topic and the learner and it can’t be the only way you deliver.
Just like arbitrary requests for training from stakeholders and business leaders – because training fixes everything – yeah right! Just because it is new and cool doesn’t mean it is right for your training initiative. What L&D professional hasn’t been asked “Hey, can we use AR & VR for that training course?”
Great uses for AR & VR:
Pick your topics and initiatives! Consider your learner and make AR & VR one of the solutions, not the only solution.
Back to Blog
We are just one week from the start of DevLearn 2019 and I am happy to see I am not the only one getting excited! We are so lucky to have 3 people from our Learning Solutions team attending this year so we can truly divide and conquer! The only time we will probably all be in the same room and session is for the keynotes. Speaking of the keynotes…
As a data science geek, I am especially looking forward to Talitha Williams’ session on “Using Data to Inform Learning and Work”. The next big technological disruption is here and it’s data.
Do we have the right data?
L&D has been gathering data for decades. Smile sheets, course evaluations, surveys, skills assessments and more recently e-learning completion rates, time spent on a screen, website analytics, and the list goes on. But before we do the analytics and try to glean insights about our learners from this data, we need to be sure we are capturing the right data.
We have all been consuming L&D data like candy, but if it isn’t the right data, the information that can tell us about what our learners need and want, then we are just churning out meaningless metrics and measures.
Examples of bad data and insights (and I am just as guilty as the next person):
In order to get to information and insight, we need to gather the right data and we need to get better at it. In the age of xAPI, LXD, AI, Machine Learning and the ability to track nearly every click, search term and user behavior, L&D is still running to catch up. We are trying to use the same measures and data (the “old way”) of measuring learning outcomes and learner performance.
I know I am guilty of using the “old way”: “We have a 56% course completion rate so they must like it. – Success!”
Using the standard data and metrics and asking a different question just isn’t going to work anymore.
Examples of better data and some insights:
“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina
Once we get over ourselves and stop using the “old ways” to collect data and start collecting the right data, we can then start looking for insight in the information. This is the tough part, what does all this data mean and how can we make decisions and get buy-in from this data? We are finally on the brink of Big Data finding its place in L&D but we need to be the catalyst for change. We have to change how we gather and interpret the data and then change how we distribute this information to the broader organization in a way that is actionable.
Here are some examples of good data, insights and action:
Data: Only 30 out of 60 people attended the training course
Insights: Survey of those that didn’t attend showed that the course was too basic and not in the right modality
Action: Create an advanced module in a different modality that can be completed at any time.
Let’s start learning from our learners – it all begins with the right data and insight from information!
Back to Blog
Less than 2 weeks away from the start of DevLearn 2019 and we are finalizing our plans, selecting sessions and getting excited (can you tell?) for everything that our team will learn at the conference.
DevLearn 2019 kicks off with a keynote from Sophia the Robot, an advanced humanoid robot, created by Dr. David Hanson of Hanson Robotics. Sophia will be engaging in a live interview and sharing her perspectives on how robots and AI are changing the nature of work. As I plan my schedule for DevLearn 2019, Emerging tech, AI, Machine Learning and LXP sessions are at the top of my list.
I love technology, it’s at the heart of what we do! But I have questions…..
We're smitten with technology. And we're afraid, like young lovers, that too much talking might spoil the romance. But it's time to talk. – Sherry Turkle
L&D as the end game!
AI and machine learning have already made their mark on nearly every aspect of the modern business and consumer experience, except in Learning & Development. Just like everything in L&D, we are the end game, the last mile and this means we are often the last to adopt and/or benefit from advances in technology. Same is true for AI but not because we don’t want to, it is because we don’t have the time, resources, budget and support to make it a reality. For this reason, we in the L&D field are constantly playing catch-up in a rapidly changing world of work.
How can we embrace AI in Learning?
Personalization and Contextual Learning
AI and Machine Learning already gives us a personalized, contextual, and customized experience; Alexa and Amazon Shopping, Facebook Ads, Google predictive searching, and Customer Service ChatBots to name just a few. But we in L&D are still tied to the “old” ways through audience analysis, customized learning paths and some recommended learning through key words and search terms. Why? Because we don’t have the time, resources, budget or even support at the senior level to invest in the back end of learning technology to make this a reality in the future. We love to talk about technology and how it will change the way we work in the future, but this all takes a lot of work to get the content in a format that is usable for true personalization in learning.
When are we going to have the resources and time to make it a reality?
What wakes me up at night and tickles the back of my brain is, with all of this technology, innovation, emergence of AI and Machine Learning that we have at our fingertips, how do we make it work in L&D when we are still seen as an afterthought?
How do we get the content in there?
In nearly every other part of a business (B2B or B2C) we already have business systems in place for capturing the information which can then be utilized by AI and Machine learning and into ChatBots and digital assistants to provide just-in-time information when you need it. These systems are primarily driven by marketing, customer support, professional services and operations/logistics. These functions are already gathering a wealth of information that can be used to then inform and support the consumer. We don’t have these sophisticated systems in place in L&D.
L&D is still stuck in the tech dark ages because we don’t have a seat at the table, we are not a part of the Digital Transformation conversation in business. When will L&D get a seat at the Digital Transformation table?
The challenge we are facing
Without the resources, time, budget and organizational support, we can’t yet make this a reality. Getting the content from our existing courses, modules and objects into a format that can be consumed and utilized by AI and Machine Learning is a seemingly insurmountable task.
Let’s look at the numbers:
“Hey boss, I think ChatBots are the way to go for better supporting our learners but I need the next year+ to convert our existing content into a usable format? So, I can just ignore all my other projects, right?!”