Training Industry Magazine - Winter 2014 - (Page 15)

TOOLS IN LEARNING TH E 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 photography * 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 Due to a mind-boggling tangle of systems and digital assets, technical proficiency has superseded design acumen as the driver of e-learning.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 training. 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 is teach. 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 TOLERATED. 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. 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Winter 2014

Tracking Trends
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Meeting Today's Learning Consumers Where They Are
Facilitating Change
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
What's Online
Company News

Training Industry Magazine - Winter 2014