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 →

Reflections on Colloquial “Bandwidth”: What Does It Mean for Us?

“I just don’t have the bandwidth to go to that meeting tonight,” I said to a friend/colleague at the end of another hectic week. After commiserating, my friend noted that the term “bandwidth” is being used a lot these days to describe our everyday condition. “A few years ago,” she said, “everyone talked about taking things ‘offline.’ Now, everyone talks about ‘bandwidth.’” What does the change in use of terms tell us about shifts in our thinking and concerns, and what do we really mean by “bandwidth”?

Thinking back, the phrase to “take it offline” became widely used at a time when we were realizing that electronic communications could not be counted on to remain private. E-mails could be accidentally, or purposely, forwarded to the wrong people. And with the onset of information overload, it was becoming clear that not every communication needed to be shared with everyone. For trainers, “let’s take that offline,” became a new way to respond to topics that threatened to sidetrack a workshop into subjects that were not relevant to the learning goals.

Today, I rarely use or hear “take it offline.” But I use and hear the term “bandwidth” often—it offers a pithy way to say a lot of things in one word. 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 →

Quick. Quick. Tell Me What You Think of Brainstorming. Want another way to get high-quality ideas?

Guest Blogger: Kris Schaeffer, Kris Schaeffer & Associates

We’ve all participated in a brainstorming session. A rapid-fire volley of ideas.  Ideas come so fast that it is difficult to record them all.

But what if someone in your group doesn’t like to compete for talk time?  Or what if you had an entire group that is reluctant to speak up, doesn’t like conflict, and defers speaking until others (elders and native-born) speak first?

That’s exactly what the Community Outreach Program (COP)* had to consider when designing three community meetings for San Francisco’s Japantown.  How can we get them to be involved and active participants in rezoning their neighborhood? Continue reading →

Blended Virtual Solutions to Enhance Training and Learning

The creation of the blackboard (or chalkboard) in the early 1800’s offered a huge new benefit for teachers: the ability to share drawings, writing and formulas with everyone in the classroom at the same time. Their use spread fairly quickly, given the speed of those times, and by the mid-1800’s blackboards had become standard equipment for classrooms throughout the United States. Just as this innovative breakthrough in the early 1800’s opened possibilities for new ways of teaching, today’s new technologies offer enormous benefits 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 →
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