Training Industry Magazine - Winter 2014 - (Page 15)
TOOLS IN LEARNING
RE S K I L L ING
OF D E S I G N
Certain emerging technologies have the
potential to transform training. They may
release untapped power to make employees
more capable and determined to succeed.
And if that happens, the state of corporate
learning and development will evolve into
a new paradigm of workplace effectiveness
and efficiency. Let's call this new paradigm
"the reskilling of design."
Design acumen is the cornerstone of training
quality. Nothing matters more, yet over the
past decade or so, design skills plummeted
to historic lows:
* Information design became symptomatic
of "SMEs disease"
* Instructional design and graphic design
were containerized as "development"
* Illustration and video production
were swamped by clip art and stock
* Software design was eclipsed by the rote
use of "authoring" tools
All of these regressions have catalyzed the
deskilling of design professionals. These days,
creative resources who make courseware
function more like fabricators than designers.
Most of them lack specialized design skills,
formal qualifications and experience.
The reskilling of design is going to be
a byproduct of emerging technologies
known as the cloud. Cloud computing is
not a machine. It's a metaphor, a process, a
delivery method and philosophy. The cloud
today is a transformation affecting every
industry and organization, redefining how
people work and what they produce.
- ROBERT BECKER, PH.D.
The cloud will focus the process of making
e-learning, creating copious free space
where design acumen can thrive and various
impediments to design - social, financial
and structural - can be made to disappear.
Due to a mind-boggling tangle of systems
and digital assets, technical proficiency has
superseded design acumen as the driver
of e-learning. In most of the e-learning
produced today, the design agenda is
subordinated to code development rather
than being served by it.
On the higher end of the market, vast labor
and sums of money are spent on special
effects. Few of these "cool factors" are ever
justified by design principles. On the lower
end of the market, SMEs stuff content into
PowerPoint decks, using authoring tools to
deliver their courses online.
We may wonder how PowerPoint, a tool for
making linear sales presentations, became
a platform for education and training. The
reason is telling: PowerPoint requires no
design skills. It is a tool for commoditizing
The cloud is not a PowerPoint killer, but a
design liberator. Thanks to opportunities
made possible by the cloud, designers
will not need to double as network
administrators, application code developers
or database managers. Designers in this
near-future scenario will be designers only.
Everything needed to realize their inventions
will be performed in the cloud. By letting go
of responsibilities which they are not really
competent to perform, creators of learning
will concentrate wholly on the one thing
TRAINING INDUSTRY MAGAZINE - WINTER2014 I WWW.TRAININGINDUSTRY.COM/MAGAZINE
they are uniquely endowed to do, and that
On the plus side, companies will shed the
tangle of instructional technology that stifles
creativity and instead resort to the cloud for
technical resources. When training is made
and delivered in the cloud, the cloud will
generate empirical data about people who
took a course, how successful the course
was, and how it could be better, instantly.
The opiate of training evaluation will be
superseded by an elixir of training analytics.
BAD DESIGN WILL
NO LONGER BE
There is a downside to this future for
corporate learning. As designers reskill,
bad design will no longer be tolerated.
There will be no excuses like, "don't have
the budget or the tools." Designers will be
responsible and accountable for what truly
enables and sustains learning, rather than
how many slides are in a deck and whether
multiple-choice questions really prove
performance objectives. (hint: they never
have and never will.)
Robert S. Becker, Ph.D., designs advanced
interactive learning for corporate and
institutional clients. He operates Becker
Multimedia and is an adjunct professor of
serious games and gamification at Elmhurst
College. Email Robert.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Winter 2014
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Meeting Today's Learning Consumers Where They Are
How Smart Leaders Squash Employee Entitlement
The Reskilling of Design
Responsive Design and Learning Solutions
Women, Leadership and Emotional Intelligence
Key Trends for 2014: Shifting to Business-Centric Learning
The Promise of Badges for Learning and Development
The Business Leader's Bottom Line: Aligning Learning with Organizational Needs
Raising the Bar: The Impact of Sales Training on Effective Customer Engagement
The Language of Measurement: When to Assess, Evalutate and Test
Casebook: Combined Insurance: Ensuring Efficient Sales Training via Mobile Learning
The Challenge of Workplace Re-entry After Training
The Learning Shift: From Event to Process
Training Industry Magazine - Winter 2014