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Archive for September, 2013

The Other Side of Simulation: Gamification is Everything!

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On September 30, 2013 NO COMMENTS

GamificationGamified simulations can change the way organizations train up; they have the ability to make normal, day-to-day business operational teaching more compelling and interactive. Gamification is just now beginning to be taken seriously within the simulation industry making organizations sit up and take notice. By utilizing game craft techniques we are able to make simulations that encompass serious concepts and bring them to life and mirror the real-world, just without the potential hazards for a wrong decision made and thus making every day ‘average experiences’ much more compelling. The incorporation of game dynamics through simulation is an intriguing concept and one that I am sure is here to stay.

Despite only being recently introduced, gamification is one of the largest movements of our time. When you stop to think about it you’ll realize that customer loyalty programs, such as frequent flyer miles, credit card reward programs and grocery club cards all encompass what gamification is designed to do; and that is rewarding interaction with tangible benefits. This idea is also able to transfer over into other aspects of life, such as a job promotion, being awarded a diploma, receiving a year-end financial bonus, and the list goes on. Although all of these concepts offer a reward in the end, they tend to lack certain elements that create an engaging experience for the user, this is where gamified simulations come into play (pun intended).

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How to MOOC: Designing Effective MOOC Training Programs

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On September 23, 2013 NO COMMENTS

MOOCMassive open online courses (MOOCs) are a bit of a chimera – they have the head of instructor-led training, the body of traditional e-learning, and the long tail of social media. They also take advantage of many technology-enabled learning tools and platforms. Just as there are myriad types of brick-and-mortar courses, there are many types of MOOCs, each of which has its own goals and implementations. How do we design effective training programs for such an eclectic creature? In a presentation given at the 2013 Sloan-C conference, Jason Mock, instructional designer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, noted that MOOCs do not require completely new models of instructional design, but that problems in MOOCs are by nature much, much bigger than problems in traditional courses. Because of this, sound instructional design is even more essential for MOOCs than for other types of programs.

So what are some main issues corporate trainers need to consider when designing a MOOC?

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Wharton Puts First-Year MBA programs online for Free

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On September 14, 2013 NO COMMENTS

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Wharton’s announcement that it was working with Coursera to put its first-year MBA programs online for Free.  While this does not provide the participant student with the same benefits of going to Wharton with its two-year immersion in a community of scholars, or access to its famed relationships with employers, it does create an opportunity for many to receive the same ‘high-quality’ training from their professors.

They have even provided an opportunity to receive a certificate of completion for $49 to those who pass those initial classes.

To date, about 700,000 students in 173 countries have already enrolled in Wharton MOOCs, more than the combined enrollment in Wharton’s traditional MBA and undergraduate programs since the school’s founding in 1881.

You can read the entire article here at: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-13/wharton-puts-first-year-mba-courses-online-for-free#r=read

Copyright 2013 Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.

Bryant Nielson – Managing Director of CapitalWave Inc.– offers 25+ years of training and talent management helping executives, business owners, and top performing sales executives in taking the leap from the ordinary to extraordinary. Being a big believer in Technology Enabled Learning, Bryant seeks to create awareness, motivate adoption and engage organizations and people in the changing business of education. Bryant is a entrepreneur, trainer, and strategic training adviser for many organizations. Bryant’s business career has been based on his results-oriented style of empowering the individual.

Learn more about Bryant at LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/bryantnielson

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A Dearth of Investment in Young Workers

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On September 8, 2013 NO COMMENTS

nytlogo152x23Tyler Cown, a professor of economics at George Mason University, wrote a New York Times article, with the same title as this post (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/08/business/a-dearth-of-investment-in-young-workers.html?_r=0).  What  is troubling is his argument that due to a slow economic recovery, that much of our nations youth are being bypassed.  Suggesting that these workers will not attain the economic status of their parents or achieve the desire of being middle-class.

Mr. Cown’s article makes the following points:

  • Businesses have been and are expected to continue to be unwilling to invest in teaching skills to their new staff.
  • That these same businesses are investing in information technologies that eliminates dependency on staff, and,
  • Staff can expect to have more of their training and education delivered to them online.

The article is a bit sobering and does not point to a rosy outlook.  Reading is does, however, provide opportunities for companies who wish to take an alternative path to success.  It also creates opportunities for firms delivering affordable solutions to these companies to provide the training that they remain willing to deliver.


MOOCs: Flipping the Corporate Classroom

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On September 2, 2013 NO COMMENTS

Global computer network. Hi-res digitally generated image.I have said before that the real innovation of massive open online courses (MOOCs) is not technological (after all, we already had online videos, forums, and blogs), but pedagogical – the idea that content is king has been steamrolled by the Internet and the spread of open educational resources. MOOCs have challenged the dominant thinking about how people learn. And guess what? Sitting in a room and listening to someone talk for an hour or three isn’t it – mere exposure to content does not equal learning. People learn by engaging with content, participating in hands-on activities, and teaching and learning from their peers. So why does so much of corporate training still involve an instructor flipping through a seemingly endless PowerPoint slide deck?

The MOOC model involves students watching short videos for content and then performing active learning activities, such as participating in discussions, working through simulations, collaborating on projects, and writing and peer-reviewing essays. The content delivery portion of a MOOC is typically short, with each video lasting no more than 10 to 12 minutes, while the real emphasis is on applying the newly acquired knowledge and skills and connecting and collaborating with others. Content, which thanks to Google is always at our fingertips, takes a backseat to building personal knowledge networks and solving real-world problems.

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