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Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Measuring Success (ROI) of a Training MOOC, Part 1

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 10, 2014 NO COMMENTS

Press Online button.Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have been around for almost two years, and in that time, a large amount of data about the courses has been generated. Now, researchers are starting to probe what kinds of students take MOOCs, why they take them, and what factors contribute to individual student success. These are important, no doubt, particularly in higher education, but companies interested in using MOOCs for training and development are also interested in the success of the courses as a whole—not just for individual students, but for organizations overall. This is an especially interesting issue for a couple of reasons: first, there is no consensus on how to measure the success of a MOOC in any environment, and second, companies are notoriously bad at measuring the returns on investment of their training programs in general.

Over the course of of two articles, I will explore what constitutes meaningful measurement of training and how this measurement can be applied to MOOCs. 

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Gamification with Narrative- The story behind the content that drives the simulation

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On July 26, 2013 NO COMMENTS

Can simulations tell stories? The affirmative answer of Gamificationyes suggests that gamified simulations built around narrative may be considered an anomaly by some seeing as how the term of gamification was only recently introduced. But for us it’s just common practice, so let me delve a little further into what I mean by narrative and how it has a profound affect on a gamified simulation.

Let’s first begin by further explaining narrative. By definition narrative is: A narrated account; a story. Alternatively, it’s the art, technique, or process of narrating. By further characterization, simulations are narratives; they have a story behind them. You can take a seemingly boring topic and actually breathe life into it to make it much more engaging for the trainee to learn. By utilizing a gamified simulation with narrative it aids in creating a story and context for a specific activity and makes learning more palatable.

Narrative theory states that humans are primarily storytellers, thus people respond favorably to messages presented in a narrative framework” -Morgan, Cole, Struttman, & Piercy, 2002

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Gamification Mechanics vs. Gamification Dynamics

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On July 24, 2013 NO COMMENTS

Since the introduction of Gamification a few years backGamification some have begun to define the difference between Gamification Mechanics versus Gamification Dynamics. While there is a thin line between the two and it can be blurry at times, let me attempt to define each in the following post.

Gamification Mechanics: Also understood as verbs of gamification, in essence these are the elements that move the action (aka simulation) forward. Defined as the basic actions, control mechanisms and processes that are used to “gamify” an activity. These actions in which players take (“agency”) and the rules that limit those actions to create pressure (also known as “urgency”) are what make up game mechanics. The problem with the gamification mechanics definition is that is often a vague term to use “mechanics”. In essence it kind of becomes a catchall for operations and their effects. In effect anything that may seem related to how a game operates may be labeled as a “mechanic”. Granted, the essential idea behind gamification is to “just add in game mechanics.”

According to Gamification.org (http://gamification.org/wiki/Game_Mechanics) there are 24 types of gamification mechanics currently recognized, while I won’t define each one individually I will provide a list below of the 24 and most are pretty self explanatory without further definition needed.

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Gamification and the Hype Cycle

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 3, 2013 NO COMMENTS

Taking an in-depth look at the Gartner Hype Cycle as it applies to Gamification and predictions for millennial trainingWord Cloud "Gamification"

As gamification moves from the early adoption stage to becoming more broadly accepted across all arenas it will prove to be a useful tool within training programs across a variety of industries. In order for gamification to be successful it can’t just rely on badges, leader boards and points. Rather, gamification mechanics need to have objectives in place towards collaboration and innovation.

Gartner (http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/gamification/) defines gamification in the following few paragraphs:

“Gamification is the use of game design and game mechanics to engage a target audience to change behaviors, learn new skills or engage in innovation. The target audience may be customers, employees or the general public, but first and foremost, they are people with needs and desires who will respond to stimuli. It is important to think of the people in these target audiences as “players” in gamified applications.

While game mechanics such as points and badges are the hallmarks of gamification, the real challenge is to design player-centric applications that focus on the motivations and rewards that truly engage players more fully. Game mechanics like points, badges and leader boards are simply the tools that implement the underlying engagement models.

Gamification describes the use of the same design techniques and game mechanics found in all games, but it applies them in non-game contexts including: customer engagement, employee performance, training and education, innovation management, personal development, sustainability and health. Virtually all areas of business could benefit from gamification as it can help to achieve three broad business objectives 1) to change behavior; 2) to develop skills; or 3) to enable innovation. While these objectives are very broad, more opportunities may emerge as the trend matures.”

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Relevance of Learning versus Relevance of Training and Development

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 21, 2009 NO COMMENTS

trainingIndexIn today’s environment, training organizations are struggling to prove their worth. They are also struggling to keep programs going on smaller budgets with smaller staffs. One way to get ahead of this fray is to know the difference between learning and training and development – and to understand the relevance of each in terms of your organization’s environment and the overall environment.

First, training managers should understand the difference between learning and “training and development”. Learning, in general, is the absorption of base knowledge about a particular subject, such as an industry. This knowledge will give an individual an understanding of the world around them and how the organization (and the individual) fit together. Training and development, on the other hand, is the act of teaching someone how to do something, such as a job, or teaching them the skills and attitudes that will have a direct impact on job performance, such as operations, human resources policies, or management and leadership. Let’s look at some examples of each before we discuss their relevance.

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Relevance of Learning versus Relevance of Training and Development

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On May 5, 2009 NO COMMENTS

Training RelevenceIn today’s environment, training organizations are struggling to prove their worth. They are also struggling to keep programs going on smaller budgets with smaller staffs. One way to get ahead of this fray is to know the difference between learning and training and development – and to understand the relevance of each in terms of your organization’s environment and the overall environment.

First, training managers should understand the difference between learning and “training and development”. Learning, in general, is the absorption of base knowledge about a particular subject, such as an industry. This knowledge will give an individual an understanding of the world around them and how the organization (and the individual) fit together. Training and development, on the other hand, is the act of teaching someone how to do something, such as a job, or teaching them the skills and attitudes that will have a direct impact on job performance, such as operations, human resources policies, or management and leadership. Let’s look at some examples of each before we discuss their relevance.

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