Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2013 - (Page 7)
AT THE EDITOR’S DESK | DR. IRENE T. BOLAND
HYPE FROM FACT
IS AN IMPORTANT
PART OF OUR
TOP FIVE LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES TO WATCH
Today, technology impacts so many facets of human
development that we have an unparalleled opportunity and
challenge in selecting the right one and making effective use of
it for learning. Sorting hype from fact in learning technologies is
an important part of our responsibilities as training professionals.
Let’s focus on a small handful of emerging technologies that show
promise as tools to accelerate human performance.
Augmented Reality (AR) enables us to add a layer of information
to a real world visual. For example, if you are responsible to
train retail employees, you could have them wear lightweight
AR glasses. Through these glasses, your employees see the real
merchandise with a layer of text over the top that describes ways
to upsell and cross-sell it Whenever the employee is ready to
increase their sales, they can review this information about the
merchandise using the glasses. Later, when they are standing
with a customer, they’ll be able to recall how to persuade them to
purchase additional items.
THE EXPERIENCE API
The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) team brought us the
voluntary SCORM standard more than a decade ago enabling
us to track when our training has been taken, completed and
whether the learner passed an exam. The ability to track the
diverse learning events of our lives will soon be possible, through
the Experience API (xAPI) being developed by the ADL.
Generally, the xAPI can track anything that is stated as actorverb-object. It’s in early stages of development, with prototype
installations being tested. It will open the doors to tracking
things like mentoring, learning from a friend, contributing to a
knowledgebase, and knowledge learned on a tough project.
Through the Functional MRI (fMRI), neuroscience is revealing
the locations of brain activity when a person is attempting a
cognitive task. It can also show physical changes in the brain
when a person makes repeated efforts to learn new content. This,
combined with advances in neurogenesis (that we can make new
brain cells) and neuroplasticity (that our brain cells can change
jobs) makes for an exciting frontier that could eventually lead us
to a full understanding of how learning happens.
A challenge for many enterprise organizations is how to educate
large numbers of people well. The Massive Open Online
Course (MOOC) is a way to offer a blended learning course to
thousands of learners at once. Learners create posts or other
kinds of artifacts as evidence of learning. Peer-grading and
feedback enables assignment scores to be generated for each
learner. MOOC systems currently offer these courses, many of
which come from Ivy League schools, for free. Most MOOCs
offer certificates of completion, and a few offer university credit.
Watching how MOOCs evolve and participating in this setting
puts you in a position to spot opportunities for using this
technology to educate your global audiences.
Touchscreen devices are seen as an innovative way to deliver
training due to portability and touch-based inputs. However,
there are times when the way learners move their bodies is part
of what has to be learned. In those cases, gesture-based input, can
be used to track and provide feedback on learner movements.
For example, engineers who perform critical maintenance on
million-dollar equipment need to learn a new task. Often, the
engineer must learn the skill when the equipment is not actually
available to them, or it is too large a financial risk or physical
danger to have them practice on real equipment. The horizontal,
vertical and depth of the engineer’s movement can be detected
and used as inputs to the training software, resulting in highly
Staying informed of emerging technologies across all industries
equips us to envision the future of what’s possible in learning
technology. The innovations that impact the training industry
could come from anywhere. Understanding the affordances and
limitations of technology will enable us to successfully select and
implement systems that help our organizations grow.
Dr. Irene T. Boland serves as human performance, process
improvement, and change management expert to Fortune 500 and
Global 2000 organizations. Email Irene.
Training Industry Quarterly, Fall 2013 / A Training Industry, Inc. magazine / www.trainingindustry.com/TIQ
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2013
From Where I Sit: The Sustainability of MOOCs
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Top Five Learning Technologies to Watch
We Need to Support Learning, Not Manage It
Supercharge Your Next Leadership Initiative
Boomers & the Technology Gap
Technologies to Manage Information Overload
It's Time to Invest in the 'Performance Zone'
Inroducing Simulation into Learning Technologies: Examining the Key Considerations
The Evolution of the LMS
Bringing Your Mojo to the Virtual Classroom
Merging Social Learning and Technology to Achieve Business Outcomes
Optimizing Workforce Learning and Performance
Badges: Bridging the Higher Education and Workforce Gap
Integrating Video into Training
Tools for Supporting Sales Coaching
Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2013