meetings with Chief Learning Officers, talent management leaders, and vendors of next generation learning tools.
The corporate L&D industry is over $140 billion in size, and it crosses over into the $300 billion marketplace for college degrees, professional development, and secondary education around the world.
Digital Learning does not mean learning on your phone, it means “bringing learning to where employees are.” In other words, this new era is not only a shift in tools, it’s a shift toward employee-centric design. Shifting from “instructional design” to “experience design” and using design thinking are key here.
1) The traditional LMS is no longer the center of corporate learning, and it’s starting to go away.
LMS platforms were designed around the traditional content model, using a 17 year old standard called SCORM. SCORM is a technology developed in the 1980s, originally intended to help companies like track training records from their CD-ROM based training programs.
the paradigm that we built was focused on the idea of a “course catalog,” an artifact that makes sense for formal education, but no longer feels relevant for much of our learning today.
not saying the $4 billion LMS market is dead, but the center or action has moved (ie. their cheese has been moved). Today’s LMS is much more of a compliance management system, serving as a platform for record-keeping, and this function can now be replaced by new technologies.
We have come from a world of CD ROMs to online courseware (early 2000s) to an explosion of video and instructional content (YouTube and MOOCs in the last five years), to a new world of always-on, machine-curated content of all shapes and sizes. The LMS, which was largely architected in the early 2000s, simply has not kept up effectively.
2) The emergence of the X-API makes everything we do part of learning.
In the days of SCORM (the technology developed by Boeing in the 1980s to track CD Roms) we could only really track what you did in a traditional or e-learning course. Today all these other activities are trackable using the X-API (also called Tin Can or the Experience API). So just like Google and Facebook can track your activities on websites and your browser can track your clicks on your PC or phone, the X-API lets products like the learning record store keep track of all your digital activities at work.
3) As content grows in volume, it is falling into two categories: micro-learning and macro-learning.
4) Work Has Changed, Driving The Need for Continuous Learning
Why is all the micro learning content so important? Quite simply because the way we work has radically changed. We spend an inordinate amount of time looking for information at work, and we are constantly bombarded by distractions, messages, and emails.
5) Spaced Learning Has Arrived
If we consider the new world of content (micro and macro), how do we build an architecture that teaches people what to use when? Can we make it easier and avoid all this searching?
Neurological research has proved that we don’t learn well through “binge education” like a course. We learn by being exposed to new skills and ideas over time, with spacing and questioning in between. Studies have shown that students who cram for final exams lose much of their memory within a few weeks, yet students who learn slowly with continuous reinforcement can capture skills and knowledge for decades.
6) A New Learning Architecture Has Emerged: With New Vendors To Consider
One of the keys to digital learning is building a new learning architecture. This means using the LMS as a “player” but not the “center,” and looking at a range of new tools and systems to bring content together.
On the upper left is a relatively new breed of vendors, including companies like Degreed, EdCast, Pathgather, Jam, Fuse, and others, that serve as “learning experience” platforms. They aggregate, curate, and add intelligence to content, without specifically storing content or authoring in any way. In a sense they develop a “learning experience,” and they are all modeled after magazine-like interfaces that enables users to browse, read, consume, and rate content.
The second category the “program experience platforms” or “learning delivery systems.” These companies, which include vendors like NovoEd, EdX, Intrepid, Everwise, and many others (including many LMS vendors), help you build a traditional learning “program” in an open and easy way. They offer pathways, chapters, social features, and features for assessment, scoring, and instructor interaction. While many of these features belong in an LMS, these systems are built in a modern cloud architecture, and they are effective for programs like sales training, executive development, onboarding, and more. In many ways you can consider them “open MOOC platforms” that let you build your own MOOCs.
The third category at the top I call “micro-learning platforms” or “adaptive learning platforms.” These are systems that operate more like intelligent, learning-centric content management systems that help you take lots of content, arrange it into micro-learning pathways and programs, and serve it up to learners at just the right time. Qstream, for example, has focused initially on sales training – and clients tell me it is useful at using spaced learning to help sales people stay up to speed (they are also entering the market for management development). Axonify is a fast-growing vendor that serves many markets, including safety training and compliance training, where people are reminded of important practices on a regular basis, and learning is assessed and tracked. Vendors in this category, again, offer LMS-like functionality, but in a way that tends to be far more useful and modern than traditional LMS systems. And I expect many others to enter this space.
Perhaps the most exciting part of tools today is the growth of AI and machine-learning systems, as well as the huge potential for virtual reality.
7) Traditional Coaching, Training, and Culture of Learning Has Not Gone Away
8) A New Business Model for Learning
he days of spending millions of dollars on learning platforms is starting to come to an end. We do have to make strategic decisions about what vendors to select, but given the rapid and immature state of the market, I would warn against spending too much money on any one vendor at a time. The market has yet to shake out, and many of these vendors could go out of business, be acquired, or simply become irrelevant in 3-5 years.
9) The Impact of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Slack Is Coming
The newest versions of Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Google Drive, Workplace by Facebook, Slack, and other enterprise IT products now give employees the opportunity to share content, view videos, and find context-relevant documents in the flow of their daily work.
We can imagine that Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn will result in some integration of Lynda.com content in the flow of work. (Imagine if you are trying to build a spreadsheet and a relevant Lynda course opens up). This is an example of “delivering learning to where people are.”
10) A new set of skills and capabilities in L&D
It’s no longer enough to consider yourself a “trainer” or “instructional designer” by career. While instructional design continues to play a role, we now need L&D to focus on “experience design,” “design thinking,” the development of “employee journey maps,” and much more experimental, data-driven, solutions in the flow of work.
lmost all the companies are now teaching themselves design thinking, they are using MVP (minimal viable product) approaches to new solutions, and they are focusing on understanding and addressing the “employee experience,” rather than just injecting new training programs into the company.
AECT-OTP Webinar: Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials for the Workplace
Time: Mar 27, 2017 1:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Learn how to implement digital badges in learning environments. Digital badges and micro-credentials offer an entirely new way of recognizing achievements, knowledge, skills, experiences, and competencies that can be earned in formal and informal learning environments. They are an opportunity to recognize such achievements through credible organizations that can be integrated in traditional educational programs but can also represent experience in informal contexts or community engagement. Three guiding questions will be discussed in this webinar: (1) digital badges’ impact on learning and assessment, (2) digital badges within instructional design and technological frameworks, and (3) the importance of stakeholders for the implementation of digital badges.
Dirk Ifenthaler is Professor and Chair of Learning, Design and Technology at University of Mannheim, Germany and Adjunct Professor at Curtin University, Australia. His previous roles include Professor and Director, Centre for Research in Digital Learning at Deakin University, Australia, Manager of Applied Research and Learning Analytics at Open Universities, Australia, and Professor for Applied Teaching and Learning Research at the University of Potsdam, Germany. He was a 2012 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, at the University of Oklahoma, USA
Each student learns differently and assessment is not linear. Learning for different students can be a longer or shorter path.
assessment comes before badges
what are credentials:
how well i can show my credentials: can i find it, can i translate it, issuer, earner, achievement description, date issued.
the potential to become an alternative credentialing system to link directly via metadata to validating evidence of educational achievements.
DB is not an assessment, it is the ability to demonstrate the assessment.
They are a motivational mechanism, supporting alternative forms of assessment, a way to credentialize learning, charting learning pathways, support self-reflection and planning
An article in The Conversation recently argued universities should ban PowerPoint because it makes students stupid and professors boring.
Originally for Macintosh, the company that designed it was bought by Microsoft. After its launch the software was increasingly targeted at business professionals, especially consultants and busy salespeople.
As it turns out, PowerPoint has not empowered academia. The basic problem is that a lecturer isn’t intended to be selling bullet point knowledge to students, rather they should be making the students encounter problems. Such a learning process is slow and arduous, and cannot be summed up neatly. PowerPoint produces stupidity, which is why some, such as American statistician Edward Tufte have said it is “evil”.
Of course, new presentation technologies like Prezi, SlideRocket or Impress add a lot of new features and 3D animation, yet I’d argue they only make things worse. A moot point doesn’t become relevant by moving in mysterious ways. The truth is that PowerPoints actually are hard to follow and if you miss one point you are often lost.
Courses designed around slides therefore propagate the myth that students can become skilled and knowledgeable without working through dozens of books, hundreds of articles and thousands of problems.
A review of research on PowerPoint found that while students liked PowerPoint better than overhead transparencies, PowerPoint did not increase learning or grades
Research comparing teaching based on slides against other methods such as problem-based learning – where students develop knowledge and skills by confronting realistic, challenging problems – predominantly supports alternative methods.
PowerPoint slides are toxic to education for three main reasons:
students come to think of a course as a set of slides. Good teachers who present realistic complexity and ambiguity are criticised for being unclear. Teachers who eschew bullet points for graphical slides are criticised for not providing proper notes.
Slides discourage reasonable expectations
Measuring the wrong things
If slide shows are so bad, why are they so popular?
Exams, term papers and group projects ostensibly measure knowledge or ability. Learning is the change in knowledge and skills and therefore must be measured over time.
When we do attempt to measure learning, the results are not pretty. US researchers found that a third of American undergraduates demonstrated no significant improvement in learning over their four-year degree programs.
They tested students in the beginning, middle and end of their degrees using the Collegiate Learning Assessment, an instrument that tests skills any degree should improve – analytic reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving and writing.
new forms of human-computer interaction (HCI) such as augmented reality (AR),virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR).
combining AR/VR/MR with cognitive computing and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies (such as machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and chatbots).
Some thought-provoking questions include:
Will remote workers be able to be seen and interacted with via their holograms (i.e., attending their meetings virtually)? What would this mean for remote learners?
Will our smartphones increasingly allow us to see information overlaid on the real world? (Think Pokémon Go, but putting that sort of technology into a vast array of different applications, many of which could be educational in nature)
How do/will these new forms of HCI impact how we design our learning spaces?
Will students be able to pick their preferred learning setting (i.e., studying by a brook or stream or in a virtual Starbucks-like atmosphere)?
Will more devices/platforms be developed that combine the power of AI with VR/AR/MR-related experiences? For example, will students be able to issue a verbal question or command to be able to see and experience walking around ancient Rome?
Will there be many new types of learning experiences,like what Microsoft was able to achieve in its collaboration with Case Western Reserve University [OH]? Its HoloLens product transforms the way human anatomy can be taught.
p. 22 Extensive costs for VR design and development drive the need for collaborative efforts.
Case Western Reserve University, demonstrates a collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic and Microsoft to create active multi-dimensional learning using holography.
the development of more affordable high-quality virtual reality solutions.
AR game developed by the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences [Austria] (http://www.fh-salzburg.ac.at/en/) that teaches about sustainability, the environment and living green.
Whether using AR for a gamified course or to acclimate new students to campus, the trend will continue into 2017.
Google Expeditions This virtual reality field trip tool works in conjunction with Google Cardboard and has just been officially released. The app allows teachers to guide students through an exploration of 200 (and growing) historical sites and natural resources in an immersive, three-dimensional experience. The app only works on Android devices and is free.
Flippity This app works in conjunction with Google Sheets and allows teachers to easily make a Jeopardy-style game.
Google Science Journal This Android app allows users to do science experiments with mobile phones. Students can use sensors in the phone or connect external sensors to collect data, but can also take notes on observations, analyze and annotate within the app.
Google Cast This simple app solves issues of disparate devices in the classroom. When students download the app, they can project from their devices onto the screen at the front of the room easily. “You don’t have to have specific hardware, you just have to have Wi-Fi,”
Constitute This site hosts a database of constitutions from around the world. Anything digitally available has been aggregated here. It is searchable by topic and will pull out specific excerpts related to search terms like “freedom of speech.”
YouTube a database of YouTube Channels by subject to help educators with discoverability (hint subjects are by tab along the bottom of the document).
Zygote Body This freemium tool has a lot of functionality in the free version, allowing students to view different parts of human anatomy and dig into how various body systems work.
Pixlr This app has less power than Photoshop, but is free and fairly sophisticated. It works directly with Google accounts, so students can store files there.
uild With Chrome This extension to the Chrome browser lets kids play with digital blocks like Legos. Based on the computer’s IP address, the software assigns users a plot of land on which to build nearby. There’s a Build Academy to learn how to use the various tools within the program, but then students can make whatever they want.
Google CS First Built on Scratch’s programming language, this easy tool gives step-by-step instructions to get started and is great for the hesitant teacher who is just beginning to dip a toe into coding.
Future Trends Forum hosted by Bryan Alexander will address the most powerful forces of change in academia. The founder of the online blog Future Trends in Technology and Education has begun this weekly forum to enliven the discussion around the pressing issues at the cross roads of education and technology through weekly online video chat conversations where practitioners in the field can contribute and share their most recent experiences.
Paul Signorelli, co-author of Workplace Learning & Leadership with Lori Reed, helps clients and colleagues explore, foster, and document innovations in learning to produce concrete results. He also is heavily engaged in supporting team-building and communities of collaboration. As a San Francisco-based writer, trainer, instructional designer, and consultant, he designs and facilitates learning opportunities for a variety of clients, helps others become familiar with e-learning, social media, MOOCs, mobile technology, innovations in learning spaces, and community partnerships (onsite and online) to creatively facilitate positive change within organizations. He has served on advisory boards/expert panels for the New Media Consortium Horizon Project documenting educational technology trends and challenges since 2010; remains active locally and nationally in the Association for Talent Development (formerly the American Society for Training & Development); and facilitates webinars for the American Library Association and other learning organizations. His most recent work remains focused on connectivist MOOCs (massive open online courses) and building sustainable onsite and online communities and partnerships. Signorelli earned an MLIS through the University of North Texas (with an emphasis on online learning) and an M.A. in Arts Administration at Golden Gate University (San Francisco); blogs at http://buildingcreativebridges.wordpress.com; and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First-time users: upon entering the room, click “Allow” to the Flash prompt requesting access to your webcam. (Chrome users may need to click Allow a second time).
Note: The Shindig app currently only supports interacting with the featured speakers through text. To fully enjoy the Shindig experience and be enabled to ask video chat questions of the speaker or video chat privately with other participants, please log in from a computer with webcam and microphone capabilities.