Training in the 21st Century

Getting to the Heart of Gamified Learning Development

Guest Blogger: Kyle Lagunas, HR Analyst at Software Advice

Employee engagement and participation in learning and development programs has always been a challenge. With the rapid development and deployment of new tools and technology in the workplace, though, there’s more to be learned and mastered than ever. Leaders are now looking for methods to tackle this issue head-on and driving demand for changes in learning management. Enter gamification.

The use of game mechanics in non-game environments to improve user experience and participation is rapidly gaining interest as a solution for improving learning management. We’re told it can fundamentally change an organization’s learning and development processes, but many still aren’t sure how—and have questions around what gamification really is.

The Truth About Gamification

Let me be clear: Gamification is not about turning work into a game, or making work fun. As Andrzej Marczewski of Capgemini explains, employees won’t be sitting at their desks, “with Call of Duty-like games on their screens, shooting at reports and running around 3D spreadsheets.” At its core, gamification is a tool for motivating your people to show up and perform to the best of their ability. Continue reading →

Mentoring – Making Beautiful Music Together

Guest Blogger: Kris Schaeffer, CPLP, Kris Schaeffer & Associates

I used to share office space with Titus Dickson.  He was an opera coach and one of his students was the famous soprano Ruth Ann Swenson.  Titus described how opera singers coached each other and passed along their techniques and tips.  He said that the notion that opera singers are high-maintenance competitive performers may be true for only a handful of the most notorious divas.  It’s not the ethic of the profession.  “Opera grows as an art only when the masters are willing to pass along their learning to the next generation.”  With each opera, the cast of singers becomes a team. They help each other master their parts.  They’re all looking for the same things – the critique’s rave review and a packed house.

An entire profession believes that they need to help each other to make beautiful music together.

That generous spirit reminded me of some sage advice I heard in my early years of ASTD – my professional organization.  Peter Lewis looked around the local Chapter meeting room and said, Continue reading →

Webinars: More (Information) Is Not Always Better

Last week, when I attended and presented at the Virtual Edge Summit in San Diego, I realized once again what odd and valuable experiences conferences are: People come from far away, sometimes at considerable expense, to meet and greet others as they rush from presentation to presentation. During this intense experience, they sample a smorgasbord of knowledge and information. Those topics that are most relevant to their present needs will likely stick with them. Less relevant information may be stored in their memories (and/or folders) as interesting tidbits, headlines, and key words that will enable retrieval and exploration later, when needed.

This process works for conferences. The short- and long-term value is proven each year as people put responsibilities on hold and head off to the airport to attend this or that annual meeting. Certainly, I learned many new and important things at VES, met new people, and encountered a few I knew from other events. But this year, the conference experience offered one additional insight: As I was leaving, I came to a realization that the way conference presentations are designed is a close match to the way many webinars are structured. And though it works for conferences, it’s usually a very unsuccessful format for virtual presentations. Continue reading →

“Cheaper” Can Be Costly: A Case for Investing in Self-Paced ELearning

Self-paced e-learning is more expensive to create than real-time curricula, but the savings begin immediately and it’s an investment that pays off in multiple ways. Like buying a rug or carpet, you can spend more upfront for something that will really work and be usable for an extended period, or you can buy something that is cheaper initially, may not have the look and feel you want and will need to be replaced within a few years. Most of us have learned that, ultimately, the cheaper choice actually costs us much more in a number of ways.

Self-paced e-learning is an amazingly flexible component to include in any blend of learning tools. But an hour of self-paced e-learning costs much more to create than an hour of real-time curricula (approximately $10,000 compared with $6,000 for design, development and production costs). However, once the e-learning is created and uploaded, Continue reading →

What Is Blended Learning?

The term “Blended Learning” is used to describe a mix of learning environments that combines old and new resources for learning and development. This strategy creates a more integrated approach for learners.

Computer technologies and the Internet have led to explosions of knowledge, with a resulting increased need for people to process and utilize that new information. Fortunately, those same technologies also offer a wide array of surprising new possibilities for learning and development. Many of the technologies people think of as resources for staying connected with friends, and for entertainment, are being incorporated into formal Blended Learning programs. Continue reading →

Reap the Benefits of Social Learning in Your Organization

Social Learning is the term for a new solution to an old problem: how to capture, vet and disseminate the amazing knowledge that people carry around in their heads? When people work in the same location, they learn from each other in a variety of informal ways:

  • Observation and modeling
  • Casual conversations at the water cooler— where a moment of venting about a tough problem can offer an unexpected solution
  • A purposeful trip across the room or down the hall to the resident “expert,” whose store of valuable knowledge, and readiness to share it, is well-known within the organization. Continue reading →

Two Types of Immersive 3D Experiences and Their Impact on Training

Two types of immersive 3D experiences are being researched and discussed in relation to training, and it seems important to try and separate the two. Most people familiar with monitor-based 3D environments know the experience as one in which small figures/avatars act as our agents inside the world we see on our monitors: We use our keyboards and mice to direct our avatars, inside our monitor screens, to interact with other people’s avatars and with the environment around them, and to talk using VOIP or chat.

For most people, whether they’re playing video games or attending 3D training sessions, the monitor-based 3D experience is what they think of when they read reports of the impacts of 3D immersive experience on people’s real-life behavior and self-perception. Continue reading →

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